Antoine Jackson, a family man with many successful years in management in a number of industries, had always valued the importance of owning one’s own business. He needed an opportunity that would work with his already busy schedule. Antoine was working full time, attending school full time, and a husband and father, so he decided that a franchise would give him the support and the training he needed to get his first business venture off the ground.
After considerable research, he was convinced that opening a cleaning business with Jani-King International, Inc. the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company, would be the best fit and he was right.
“My quick growth was due to a combination of a couple of things,” Jackson said, “but mainly it was doing and taking on things no one else would or wanted to do.” Jackson broadened his client base to include various healthcare facilities, restaurants, and even Darien Lake’s Performing Arts Center. He was able to grow his clientele from four accounts his first year to ten accounts his second year. “I always just did things differently, and went outside the traditional way,” King explained, “In the midst of that I always wanted to make sure I provided value to my customers and went the extra mile. Not only myself but also to those I employed.”
In his third year, Jackson decided to go full-time with his franchise so he began looking for financing at several financial institutions. Despite his business being profitable, Jackson struggled to qualify for financing from banks. When he learned about PathStone Enterprise Center, he initially felt hesitant but ultimately decided to call. He worked with Terron Grant, Business Development Officer in the Buffalo office, who made the process simple and Jackson was approved for a $19,000 loan to grow his business.
Since working with PathStone, Jackson has hired additional employees and upgraded his equipment to better serve his clients. He currently has six full time employees and 15 part-time employees year-round. Seasonal staffing between May-December can go upwards of 60-80 people. He has since gained major accounts including Channel 7 and Eastern Hills Mall, a 997,945 sqft facility.
“The funding from The Enterprise Center allowed me to have the freedom to go out and expand my business,” Jackson shared, “The process was seamless and Terron was there to guide me. I am so happy with the results that I have actually started spreading the word about PathStone to people within my network.” Jackson has plans to buy a commercial building from which he can operate his cleaning business as well as a personal development and leadership training consultancy. Jackson is a certified John Maxwell speaker and trainer. He is also now under contract with PathStone to provide technical assistant to other entrepreneurs working with PECI to develop their business. “Mr. Jackson’s drive is what separates him from other loan seekers. His ability to work through obstacles that present themselves and stay focused on his goal. It was an absolute pleasure working with him,” Grant extolled.