This Air Force Veteran Put on a New Uniform With Men in Kilts

Men in Kilts Franchise

Franchisee Patrick Smith Teamed up With His Son To Run the Exterior Cleaning Business

Franchise owner Patrick Smith is no stranger to wearing a uniform. Before he donned a kilt for his Syracuse-based Men in Kilts business, he spent 25 years in the U.S. Air Force working on rescue helicopters and as part of the Air Force’s Fire Department.

After retiring from the military in 2010 and before investing in the home cleanup franchise in September 2022, Smith worked as a special education teacher. But after more than a decade, he was ready for a change. He and his son, Garrett, teamed up on a new adventure as franchise business owners. They looked into several different opportunities and landed on Men in Kilts. “We felt the concept and services were a perfect fit for our area,” Smith says.

Father-and-Son Franchisee Team

The father-and-son team have been operating the business themselves but will add employees as it scales. “I wanted to get a handle on operations before hiring more people,” Smith says. They plan to bring on a new technician in March, 2023.

Patrick and Garrett Smith, Men in Kilts
Men in Kilts franchise owner Patrick Smith (right) went into business with his son Garrett a decade after retiring from the U.S. Air Force.

Smith’s wife and three kids love the business and brand. “They have totally bought into the ‘kilt,’” Smith says. “My daughter graduates from business school in a year and plans on starting with us. My oldest son is in the Navy and plans to put on the kilt after here tires in seven years.”

Smith’s time in the service prepared him for business ownership. “In the military, you are put into situations and tasks that you must complete. There is no saying, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ The military pushes you into leadership roles and helps you become an effective leader and manager.”

Why Exterior Cleaning?

The exterior cleaning business has grown steadily year-over-year (1.3% annually on average between 2016 and 2021) and is currently valued at $10.5 billion, according to IBISWorld. The industry employs about 158,194 and has 122,790 registered businesses in the U.S. This recession-proof industry provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to offer a great service and achieve work-life balance. 

Don’t Let the Name Fool You

Men in Kilts President Rachel Southard proudly wears a kilt to represent the brand. Despite the company’s name, Men in Kilts is not just for men. Women make great franchise owners and play a big role incorporate leadership and support.

Rachel Southard
President Rachel Southard

Southard describes the corporate culture as supportive and friendly. “We have more swag than any other brand. We’re almost always sporting our kilt or some swag in person or on video calls. There’s lots of pride in our uniform,” she says. She describes the franchise opportunity as friendly with a flexible business model that provides an ideal work-life balance. “We are a fun group that really embraces a work-hard, play-hard mentality.”

Why Men in Kilts?

  • Stand out, unforgettable brand
  • Friendly and flexible business model
  • Multiple territories available in key markets nationwide
  • State-of-the-art technology with national sales center
  • Dynamic digital and print marketing
  • Comprehensive and results-focused initial and ongoing training programs
  • Experienced business and marketing coaches•
  • Employee recruiting specialist
  • Call center so franchisees can focus on the business
  • Recruiting specialist on staff
  • Great culture and franchisee community
  • Strong positioning statement with target personas and messaging

For more information about the Men in Kilts franchise, visit https://meninkiltsfranchising.com/.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 25 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. As the editorial director of IFPG, she serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill helps franchisors spread the word about their brands and reports on the latest franchise news and trends. A skilled storyteller, Jill communicates franchisor’s messages through feature articles and franchisee interviews.

Jill is an accomplished writer, editor and graphic designer. Her extensive experience includes key roles with major consumer publications, including Boating, Popular Photography, and Design NJ magazines. As founding editor-in-chief of Franchise Dictionary magazine, Jill developed her passion and fascination for franchising which continues to grow in her role at IFPG.
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