Dream Big and Take Action: Jonathan Barnett of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning : Under30CEO Dream Big and Take Action: Jonathan Barnett of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning : Under30CEO
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Dream Big and Take Action: Jonathan Barnett of Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning

| October 22, 2010

Jonathan Barnett launched his first company while he was in college selling fireworks. He got into the franchise business by following his love of basketball into purchasing a basketball franchise in 2006.  Then later in 2006 he started Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning which is one of the fastest growing franchises today.

Through it all he says the most important parts have been the learning. Sure he made a few bucks in college with the fireworks business but it was the experience that led him into a much bigger venture today…

You have done so much; briefly tell us about your successful business ventures.  Your inspiration for beginning each and the moment when you decided it was time to move on and begin the next.

I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur, like my grandpa, who was an inventor and owned several businesses throughout his life. My first business venture was Johnny B’s Fireworks (2000-2003). I started this fireworks stand, while attending Oral Roberts University. I remember driving home from the gym and seeing a firework stand off in a field somewhere.  I said to myself, “If someone else can run a firework business, why can’t I?” It became a promising little start-up.

At the same time Johnny B’s was underway, I also had another project in the works. In 2001, while attending and playing basketball for Oral Roberts University, I founded Crossover International.  The mission of Crossover International is to use basketball as a platform to share my faith and build solid relationships with youth around the world.  Every year, Crossover takes collegiate Christian athletes on tours around the world.  On these tours, we have camps for kids in the daytime, where we teach them about basketball, but also take time to share our faith through testimonies, dramas, and songs.  At night, our team plays against pro club teams.  During game half times, our team testifies to the crowd through dramas and song.

I had the fireworks business for four years, adding an additional location every year before selling it in 2003.  While it provided an income through college, what was more valuable was the entrepreneurial experience.  Having multiple locations taught me how important it is to create effective systems and a business that is easy to duplicate.  The fireworks venture gave me the confidence that I would use later to launch Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning.

I purchased my first franchise in 2006-2007.  It was a minor league basketball team in the International Basketball League (IBL) and we named it the Colorado Crossover.  My original goal was to have the Colorado Crossover to be an extension of Crossover International, but for people in the States, rather than overseas.  It was a great experience, and helped get my foot in the door of the franchising world.

In 2006, after finishing my MBA, I started Oxi Fresh Franchising Co.  In graduate school, I had studied service businesses, where I determined that carpet cleaning was a service that was not being performed at the highest level. Carpet cleaners were using up to 60 gallons of water to clean a home and left customers with soaked carpets. Such an ineffective system was practically begging for innovation. Therefore, I created an environmentally green system that primarily uses oxygen, instead of water. Where other carpet cleaning companies use multiple gallons of water, we only need two. An Oxi Fresh carpet gets dry in approximately one hour, as opposed to up to 24 with steam cleaning. With 200 units sold nationwide in less than four years, Oxi Fresh Franchising Co is one of the fastest growing new franchises in North America.

How much of your success can you attribute to your education or is your business savvy a natural instinct?

I am a big believer in education and think it is very important.  However, I also believe that education alone is not what has allowed me the opportunities that I have been fortunate to have in the business world.  A large part of it is determination, a willingness to take risks and the ability to take advantage of networking opportunities.

What is the best piece of advice you would give a young entrepreneur who is just starting out?

So many people have great ideas, but are waiting until everything is lined up perfectly before they take that first step of faith.  I would say, “Don’t let what you think you can’t do, keep you from trying to do it.”

Your college career is pretty amazing tell us about how you juggled classes, exams, D1 Basketball and a successful business all at once.

It wasn’t easy to juggle all of my interests and responsibilities. However, I just had to work hard, stay organized, and keep focused. I guarantee that my friends probably had way more fun than I did did in college. Looking back at that time in my life, and wondering how I did all of it at once gives me the confidence, I need to tackle the challenges in my life today.  Those three years in college were some of the toughest years of my life, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

How in the world did you manage to own a basketball franchise in your 20’s?

There are so many moving parts to owning a basketball franchise: securing sponsors, attracting fans, finding a good coach and recruiting a team doctor. I made the investment to purchase the franchise and learned to delegate the many tasks involved in owning a basketball franchise to others around me. I put together a great team of managers that ran the organization.  I had to let other people lead, which was challenging, but necessary.

Your profile seems impeccable but no one is perfect. What were the biggest mistakes you made along the way and the lessons you learned from them?

As I alluded to earlier, allocating responsibilities was challenging for me, at first. Over time, I have learned to surround myself with talented people I can trust. In everything I have done, I can think of mistakes that I have made, but I truly believe that nothing is a failure if you learn from it.

How did you get the word out about Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning?

When I first launched Oxi Fresh, I actually gave the first four franchises away to get the ball rolling. It was a risk, but I knew that would be a powerful way to jumpstart the business and help spread the word.  I also attended a conference in Atlanta that focused on best practices of both how to develop a franchise brand and how to award franchises.  There were many things that I learned at that conference that we still use to this day.  I realize that we are very fortunate to be in the place we are despite this economy.

When did you know it was time to franchise?

I had studied franchising, while pursuing my degree and had already run one by the time I started Oxi Fresh. My experiences had taught me that the franchise model is one of the best business models.  So, from the time I started Oxi Fresh, I had the goal to make it a success in franchising. When you first launch a business already determined to make it a franchise, you make the business easy to duplicate and build it on systems, rather than on personnel.  Starting Oxi Fresh with that mindset, one focused on franchising, meant we were able to franchise very quickly.

Do you have any advice for a young entrepreneur looking to start a business and possibly become franchisors as well?

I would say that you turn your thoughts into your actions, your actions into your habits, your habits into your character, and your character into your destiny. Dream big and then take action.

Roy Roca is an intern at Under30CEO. Follow him on twitter @roy_roca

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Category: Entrepreneur Interviews

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Just looked up some more info on these guys:

    By the end of 2009, Oxi Fresh Franchising Co. had expanded to a total of 193 franchises in 43 states.


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  • realtruth

    This guy is full of %$*@ he stole everything from a company called Oxymagic. He cleaned carpet for them, He also owned the Oxymagic franchise in Denver and worked for the corporate office. Jonathan Barnett is a BIG FRAUD!

  • StopDeception

    This guy is a total FRAUD. He says he sold fireworks and did some basketball stuff…then where did he get the experience and knowledge in the carpet cleaning industry. He stole it. Then HE WAS SUED IN FEDERAL COURT.
    His first 4 franchises were to his friends or family.
    To the comment below, MattWilsontv, to avoid confusion, a franchise should be counted as each franchise that pays a royalty fee. Oxifresh counts their “franchises” by territories, so 1 franchise paying 1 royalty could be counted as several franchises…total fraud. Ask for a list of franchise owners…there are not 193. Look at their financials, the numbers don’t add up.
    Shame on you under30ceo.com for not digging further into this guys past and shame on you Jonathan shame on you.

  • David Iseley

    Ol Jonathan Barnett and his sugar coated bull@*%$ as usual. My name is David Iseley Founder of Oxymagic a carpet cleaning company that I started 13 years ago. One Saturday around 10:00 AM. I had a carpet cleaning job to clean carpet for Natalie Ehrlich, Jonathan Barnetts mother. As we where going upstairs she knocked on Jonathans door telling him to get out of bed. Then asked if we where hiring because he needed a job. I said yes we where hiring and I gave Jonathan a job cleaning carpet. Oh, Under 30 CEO is the picture becoming more clear now of how Jonathan learned about the carpet cleaning industry. He is full of lies and deception. I have stayed fairly quiet the last 4 years about this manner but when it was brought to my attention that Jonathan was claiming to actually be the creator of the oxygen cleaning system I decided to break my silence. After getting his MBA at Colorado Christian, Ironic isn’t it. Jonathan wanted to start an Oxymagic franchise in Denver. So he did. I showed him how to market and even printed his marketing materials for him with the print shop Oxymagic had in house. He built his Denver Oxymagic franchise with one single direct response marketing piece that I created. This flyer was vigorously tested up against around 50 flyers I designed in a 3 year period of market testing. Oh, is becoming more clear now. We got screwed because we trusted Jonathan Barnett the Christian college student that went to ORU then Colorado Christian. His first franchise was not a basketball franchise it was the Oxymagic franchise model that he stole. He advertised his Oxymagic Carpet Cleaning at the Colorado Crossover games. Oh, what an impeccable profile you have. Lets see you run another Oxy carpet cleaning franchise. Then you go to work for them as Vice President of franchise development then you up and quit without notice. Oh, did Jonathan mention that his first name was Oxi Power which he changed for some reason. And that we sued him in federal court and we turned over papers to the FBI in Denver where by fax he claimed to be the owner of Oxymagic’s teade secrets. IMPECCABLE profile. What a genuine entrepenuer. When his thieving @^% was sitting in deposition during the lawsuit our attorney asked him if he could explain how oxygenated cleaning worked and Jonathan’s response. Uh I don’t know I just know it works good. Jonathan Barnett has no place being interviewed by under 30 CEO because of the genuine talent and hard work of other legitimate hard working and innovative under thirty CEO’s who have really paved ther’re own way. I guess its not enough that he stole from Oxymagic and I but now he claims he invented the method what a lier. David Iseley Founder & CEO of Oxymagic, by the way I was 27 when I started the company.
    P.S. Hey Roy. Why don’t you ask Jonathan about the false and deceptive advertising video where he claims that Oxy Fresh was featured on CNN. A total FRAUD!

  • realtruth

    His college career looked amazing? Did a little digging after what the Oxymagic guy had to say and it seems there are a lot of flaws here. According to the ORU basketball stats Jonathan Barnett played less than 12 minutes all season and averaged only 1.3 points per game. A D1 basketball carrer not even worth mentioning. This guy is full of hot air. Oh and I think you could own one of those IBL teams for around 20K and its a joke. Nobody shows up to the games but the player and owners family and friends. Worth mentioning as a big sports team owner NOT!

  • Sandra

    Oxi Fresh is AWESOME – I will never let another company clean my carpets again. Jonathan is a genius.

  • Dpearsall0

    Wow, sounds like a bunch of envious and/or jealous entrepreneur wannabes out there. Most companies that are successful take and build on others ideas. That is called progress.
    Sounds like a lot of what Apple people say about Bill Gates.
    Get on with life. Competition is a good thing.

  • Mary

    I have had Oxi Fresh clean my carpets over the last 2 years. They have done an awesome job, many of my friends use them as well. I didn’t realize the founder was so young. That is awesome!

  • Jason

    I love OxiFresh. They were able to get my dog stains out of my carpet

  • Broncofan

    Hey Oxymagic guy – have you heard of the McDonald brothers? They made hamburgers – but it was Ray Kroc who was the real businessman. While the McDonald’s were busy flipping burgers, Kroc went out and put a Mickey D’s on every street corner. You didn’t invent the oxygenated process either, but obviously you were unable to turn it into a successful business model. Give credit where credit is due and eat your sour grapes in peace.

  • Brad

    I have been a involved with Oxi Fresh as a business owner since 2009. What a tremendous opportunity. The business model as well as the leadership in this organization is wonderful. Jonathan has built a team of people with intergrity and character something that is lacking in the business world. We as business owners are fortunate to have such a great business leadership to follow. I would encourage other people that are looking to start a business to check out Oxi Fresh.

  • Jimbro

    Oxi Fresh = Woohoo!
    Oxy Majic = Boohoo.

  • PaFranchiseOwner

    I have been a franchise owner for a little over a year, I own a franchise in Pennsylvania. Oxi Fresh has provided an excellent opportunity for myself to be a business owner. The business model is exceptional and the support from Jonathan and his team are superb. Whenever I have a question or concern they are always willing to help and that is a very comforting feeling. I would recommend Oxi Fresh to any person interested in owning a small business.

  • Jose

    I have been an Oxi Fresh franchise owner for a little over a year. I am making a nice living using some fantastic products that I get at a reasonable price. Oxi Fresh is a friendly, family like company that is having a significant impact in the carpet cleaning market and I’m proud to be part of it’s success.

  • Joey FS

    Fraud….press charges…….again..then again. Looks like you failed in the court of law. I spoke with both outfits and oxifresh hands down the most professional. No mud slinging or slander type of stuff on the part of OxiFresh. When I finally save the money to buy that oxifresh I want and hear this type of stuff I believe a lawsuit will be headed in your direction.

  • Joey FS

    I agree with you Sandra….. The american dream. Why buy hamburger(oxymagic) when you can eat steak (oxifresh)

  • Joey FS

    The poor franchies you have sold. Talked to one the other day and she helped me make my choice. I was told not to buy one of yours. Can you please explain why I should buy a oxymagic to a oxifresh. Besides the supposed comments you make, anything of substance?

  • Joey FS

    Sorry about your broncos this year. Point well said. I have been saving for my own biz for awhile and dont want any part of someone that chews sour grapes. To me he will be paying to much attention to oxifresh and not help me with a business from him. I wonder what his few franchises say about the direction of oxymagic. They cant be happy as I dont even think they signed a new one this year.

  • Donna and Mark Glover

    We became OxiFresh Franchise owners this year, and we have been VERY satisfied with the company as a whole. Everyone, from Jonathan Barnett to the support staff in the call center have always been professional, informative and as helpful as possible. The marketing group has been phenomenal in helping us create the best strategies for the market we are in, and we always have a quick answer when certain operational issues arise. The professionalism, ongoing support and commitment to being green had us sold from day 1. We did not see this kind of feedback from other carpet cleaning franchises we inquired about, and we continue to grow in a crazy Dallas market that is FLOODED (sorry, no pun intended ;)) with carpet cleaning franchises. Thanks Jonathan for providing us with a great option for success in our own business, and keep up the good work!

  • Benjamin

    Great article! As a first time business owner, I could not be happier with my choice to become an Oxi Fresh franchisee. Jonathan and the rest of the Oxi Fresh team have been remarkably supportive over the last 11 months that I have been in business. I am proud of the high quality service we deliver to our customers every day and am extremely excited about the long-term vision the Oxi Fresh leadership team has for the continued growth and success of the company. Keep up the great work!

  • yankee

    Sounds like sour grapes to me…..if you a hire a college kid, then he’s able to start his own business on improving what he learned at your business, then more power to him.

  • Ken

    I recently purchased an Oxi Fresh franchise, and I have to say I have found the owner Jonathan and his staff to be above reproach and of the highest integrity and competence. It should be of no surprise that Jonathan is doing so well. During my due-dligence of Oxi Fresh, I personally interviewed over 20 owners, whom, when asked, all said they would do it again.


  • Victoria Rader

    This business has given my dad, Victor Semenyuk, what he came here to US for … freedom … As a franchisee owner, in the middle of economic crisis, he is thriving because of Jonathan’s vision. Way to go Jonathan!!

  • John

    Bought a franchise last year and looking to invest in a 2nd. Customers are very pleased with our service and already getting many repeat business.

  • Jim

    This happens to be true. When this video first aired on live tv it was shown as a paid advertisement. On the Oxi Fresh website that part is clipped out. Of course Jonathan would not be truthful about this.

    He also does not care about the well being of his struggling franchises. He will always point to the successful franchises that are doing well due to a better economic area, more capital to put into advertising, etc. He has no new and innovative ideas. He copies most other company’s wording for the brochures. He donates a large portion of the call center proceeds to his crossover ministries.

    The encapsulation system is not new. But, our products do work well for the most part. Ask him about tile and grout cleaning. I don’t think he does it anymore because their “training” is poor.

    How do I know all this?? I happen to be a franchise owner. I don’t know anything about our competitors but it’s about time someone spoke up about this fraud! And yes, I will remain anonymous otherwise he may try to sue me.

  • uncleted

    Looks like the cronies have stepped in by someones direction in the last few hours. That CNN VIDEO is a bad idea. I find it very deceptive and see how a person could be wrongly persuaded thinking this was a headline story. Many companies got scammed by this video production company. Oxi Fresh this looks BAD. FTC and FCC stuff.

  • uncleted

    Looks like the cronies have stepped in by someones direction in the last few hours. That CNN VIDEO is a bad idea. I find it very deceptive and see how a person could be wrongly persuaded thinking this was a headline story. Many companies got scammed by this video production company. Oxi Fresh this looks BAD. FTC and FCC stuff.

  • Cowgirl6crash

    The following comments are all staged by Jonathans Cronies, Family Members and Friends. It’s obvious with the closeness in times these people are commenting they are staged. I think everyone has lost site of all the untruths surrounding this guy. Like where he got his carpet cleaning experience? His failed semi pro basketball franchise? His college basketball career? This BOGUS CNN video. I did a Google search and found copycatfranchise and this guy has NO integrity if what is said is true the people backing him here need a real head check.

  • uncleted

    Without Oxymagic there is NO Oxifresh PERIOD!

  • kettlebell power

    False and deceptive advertising the Oxifresh way like saying they are chemical free and THE WORLDS GREENEST CARPET CLEANER? Prove it! Unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

  • kettlebell power

    False and deceptive advertising the Oxifresh way like saying they are chemical free and THE WORLDS GREENEST CARPET CLEANER? Prove it! Unfair competition and unjust enrichment.

  • Doug

    I’m into my second year as an Oxi Fresh franchise owner and don’t regret one minute of it. It is a great product and customers are pleased with the results and speak favorably about our process over the competition. But one thing I have learned being new to the entrepreneurial world and that it takes more than just a great product, it also takes leadership, building a team spirit, support, and guidance from the top down. All these things I’ve gotten from Jonathan and appreciate it very much.

  • naperbill

    Buying an Oxi Fresh franchise is the best thing I’ve done professionally — period. I work hard at trying to give my clients great service and a great product. I’m proudly approaching 1,000,000 square feet of carpets cleaned in my first 18 months in business. Now I look forward to taking this business to the next level, knocking off some of the weaker competition with Johnathan’s team and the other Oxi Fresh owners from across the country.

  • 3Oxifreshowner

    I purchased my first Oxi Fresh Franchise in Jan. of 2009, the second and third in June of 2009 and will be buying more as time goes on. Great Products! Great System! Great Service! I could say more! Jonathan and staff have been nothing but GREAT to work with. I started making money in the third month of opening my first franchise. My customers love it/us as well. Repeat and referral business started coming in right out of the gate! I learned a long time ago, when someone attacks you or your business they have nothing positive to say about themselves or their business. It’s always a BIG mistake to attack your competition and make personal attacks against those in the same business as you. You end up looking like a failure or worse. Really, after reading the post of the owner of OxiMagic, why would anyone want to purchase an OxiMagic franchise? I’ll encourage you to look at a company with a positive owner (Jonathan), a great system, and a great overall business plan. Livin The Dream!

  • naperbill

    A little off the topic, but I’ll go with it. I played D1 college baseball and am proud to say so. My entire college career? One at bat (I walked), 4 innings of defense. And I guarantee you I’m a better baseball player than 95% of the people in the country. Anyone who even gets to put on a uniform for a college team, regardless of their stats, has got a ton of athletic ability.

  • sonic boom

    Yeah I attended an Oxymagic franchise training when it was first franchising about 5 years ago. The meeting was in Denver. I remember well that Iseley was the one with all the knowledge and know how. His knowledge of writing good ad copy and testing was outstanding He conducted 90% of the training and Jonathan stood up there kicking his feet at the front of the room. What a shame that someone can steal others ideas this easy and then claim they started it all. Stick with the facts people!

  • sonic boom

    Hello Jose What do you get when you. Steal Oxymagics marketing and Oxymagics cleaning system encap with oxygenator and use the same machine and come up with a similar name and copy the franchise development model. You get Oxi Fresh. Someone once said, “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”

  • mile high clean

    If you like Oxi Fresh you should try Oxymagic they have an onboard vaccum on their cleaning machine and really do remove allergins as they clean. Much better process! Plus a better consumer rating in the Denver market. Go Oxymagic the original oxygenated carpet cleaner.

  • Smithjohn

    People, bottom line here is Jonathan started a business very, very similar to Oxymagic. Whether or not he conducted himself in a “Christian” manner is between him and his God. America was created on competition and only the strong will survive. Look at Mcdonalds and Burger King, slight differences but both able to be establish a strong foundation even though they market to the same demographic (everybody). Show me a new and innovative business and I will show you people who copied their blue print. Oxymagic’s owner APPEARS to have done a poor job protecting his brand but Jonathan, of Oxy Fresh seemed to be well within his rights to establish a similar business. The company I work for made me sign an agreement that if I was terminated I could not work for a similar company due to my knowledge of how our business/financials work. I believe most companies do this. I do feel a little sorry for the owner of Oxymagic (David) but he trusted a poor little christian college student, which in turn, learned all he could from a small business owner and then did the necessary work to establish his own business. Jonanthan has to be some what bright to have his business in the spot light and to continue to sell franchises in this tough economy. Legally, it looks like Jonathan was well within his rights to start this Oxyfresh, but on a personal level it looks like Jonathan betrayed a close mentor. Either way, I beleive there is enough business to go around for both to be sucessful. I mean, look at all the steam cleaning business’ out there, Stanely Steamer may be the biggest but look in your phone book, there must by dozens of steam cleaning companies competing against each other. Bottom line, a business with a solid foundation/plan will most always succeed.

  • Olmorrill

    You really need to get over it David……

  • sonic boom

    Thieve Big and Take Action!
    Lots of things left out of this interview. Seems very shadey how he got in the industry until you do a little investigating.
    And for the people or friends standing up for this guy they have no morals either.
    I see no problem with someone standing up and letting the truth be known. Its only through this type of rebuttal that people can avoid being scammed and hear the facts. What about this ministry he talks about on the CNN video. Is this what ministers do? Take from others and leave them high and dry? Is that the new Christian way? Happy Holidays!

  • burrito

    According to this article, if you read it closely, Mr Barnett had no experience in carpet cleaning and yet he started a carpet cleaning franchise company. Something doesn’t add up here, where did he get any knowledge about carpet cleaning???
    A franchisor should have years of proven experience before getting people to invest in their concept. This guy is a total fraud.