Franchising for Life with John Cohen

john cohen circle headshot

John Cohen is the Vice President of Operations at Molly Maid. John got his start in the franchising industry at 16 years old when he worked at a McDonald’s franchised location. He worked his way through the ranks of positions there for five years before he decided to become a Molly Maid franchisee. Five years ago, he joined the Molly Maid corporate team as their Director of Operations and moved into the VP of Operations position in December 2014. He remains an active franchisee in addition to his corporate role.

Key Takeaways:

[0:22] Today’s episode features John Cohen, the VP of Operations for the Molly Maid franchise. In the interview they discuss what makes a good franchisee, what makes a good franchisor, and what it means to be part of a growing system.

[1:44] Josh welcomes John to Franchise Euphoria.

[2:57] John started his career in franchising as a McDonalds employee and was quickly promoted to assistant manager and then store management. The owner of the McDonalds owned six different locations and offered a unique opportunity for John to witness what you can do as a franchise owner.

[4:50] The process of purchasing a franchise looked a lot different back in the ‘90s. John knew he wanted to purchase a franchise and did his franchise research in a local library. While he didn’t find much information in the books, he noticed Molly Maid cars continuously driving by, and his interest was piqued.

[7:23] With some franchise systems, you don’t necessarily have to have a background for your specific industry, but it helps to have some sort of transferrable skillset developed already.

[10:45] Be sure you are working on your business instead of in your business. This is a common mistake franchisees make.

[12:15] As John’s first franchise location developed, he found himself needing to spend less time on the business so he joined the corporate team to help be involved with the business in a different way.

[13:12] John’s Molly Maid location is the second-largest in the system.

[18:10] The Molly Maid operations philosophy is that as a corporate team, you always use the 80/20 rule; you make decisions for 80% of the people because there will always be about 20% you need to help along.

[22:01] With Molly Maid, there have been two overarching factors that have led to struggle as a franchisee: 1) lacking the leadership and people skills to run a franchise and 2) neglecting the proven Molly Maid system to implement your own processes.

[26:05] It’s important to remember that a franchise isn’t a business in a box; you have to set up your business properly and make sure it continues to run properly without going on autopilot.

[27:36] Thanks for listening, and please, reach out to Josh anytime through email at If you enjoyed this interview, please leave us a review on iTunes.


Mentioned in This Episode:

About the author, Josh

Josh Brown is a franchise and entrepreneurial attorney that helps buyers, owners, and expansion-minded businesses find success through franchising. When not working on his two businesses, you can find him on the golf course or spending time with his wife and three beautiful daughters.

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