Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Spaulding.
Hi Laura, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
After college I got a job at KCMO as a police officer. I moved up to undercover narcotics after only 18 mos. I stayed in law enforcement for 7 years and quickly grew disenchanted with the low pay, and bad hours. I started to look for business opportunities. One evening a victim’s family member asked me when we were coming back to clean the scene up. I had no idea why she would ask that but I also had no idea who was gonna clean it up. The lightbulb went off. I started researching the industry and came across a training school in Dallas TX. I used my only savings of $2500 and the only week of vacation I was given and flew to Dallas to take the training. I met a couple of guys in that training class who said they got an SBA loan for $150K and it was pretty easy they just wrote a business plan. So, I made a plan upon my return to go to my local bank and apply. I walked in, and they practically laughed at me. I went to 4 other banks and was denied by all of them. I called my new friend and colleague and he was dumbfounded. He said again that it was easy. He even said that we made the same amount of money on a civil servant salary, he had more liabilities, and I had more education. I knew then that discrimination was equally bad in business as it was in law enforcement. I was determined to find a solution so I got creative. I went into another bank, lied and said I needed a HELOC for new windows on my home and they wrote me a $15K check. It was not $150K, but it was a start. I used the money to buy an enclosed trailer that I could pull with my small paid-off 10-year-old Ford suv. I bought equipment and supplies and printed my own business cards and marketed myself. I had a rudimentary website, and terrible collateral but I went door to door to offer my services. I was hooked. After my first job came in, I was invigorated. I made more in that one job than I did in 3 months as a cop. The department got wind of my extra job and gave me an ultimatum. I packed up my equipment and resigned. I then packed up my house and drove to FL and I have been here ever since. The business grew very slowly and I learned from all my mistakes.
We kept growing every year and in 2016 I franchised the company and we now have locations all over the country. So, I went from making $40,000 a year as a cop to owning a multi-million-dollar corporation with franchisees all over the country. I am proud of persevering under really bad circumstances. Now when people ask me about my business, I am happy to say we’ve never had a business loan, venture capital, angel investors or support from family or friends. Not $1 was given to me. I started everything with that $15K loan on a house I didn’t even live in.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Absolutely not. from the get go having no money, no support, and no mentor I had to learn on the go. Everything I’ve learned from business has been from reading books. 16 years later I have never had a mentor. I was kicked out of my house at 17, had alcoholic parents who were abusive and did not support me in anyway. I grew up being told I would never be anything. Instead of believing it I was out to prove a point.
When I want to learn something to grow my business, I pay a consultant or buy a book to learn. We have done our own PR from the get go, I have boot strapped the franchise system, and I don’t owe anyone anything. Very little funding ever goes to woman owned businesses. One day I will have enough to loan to those women b/c I know they have little to no options.
As you know, we’re big fans of Spaulding Decon. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Spaulding Decon is a national franchise specializing in crime scene cleaning, hoarding, meth lab cleanup, and other disaster restoration services. We are the only franchise of our kind in the world. Our franchisees earn money from helping people in their time of need but also buying their distressed real estate. WE have created a wealth platform for our franchise partners that will follow them Well beyond this business.
What matters most to you?
Providing opportunities and empowering women in business. because of all the hardship I faced I want to give back as much as I can. we are still a very small business but we provide our employees more than other businesses with thousands of employees.
Secondly, freedom is most important to me. money and success has bought me freedom. freedom to do as I please and explore the things that make me happy.
- 45,000 territory fee
- 10% discount to veterans
- 8% royalty
- Website: www.spauldingdecon.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/crimescenecleaning
- Facebook: Facebook.com/spauldingdecon
- Youtube: YouTube.com/c/crimescenecleaning