STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Dropped From Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

Stratus Building Solutions has been the darling of franchise hype-machine Entrepreneur magazine in recent years.

In the 2012 33rd Annual Franchise 500 list, Entrepreneur ranked the janitorial franchise #12 among ALL franchises.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  Yes, Entrepreneur ranked (what some have called) a thinly veiled Ponzi scheme out of St. Louis right up there with McDonald’s, Hampton Hotels, Pizza Hut and Subway.

It ranked the little-known Stratus higher such household names as KFC, Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, and Papa John’s to name a few.

In fact, in 2012, Entrepreneur positioned Stratus Building Solutions as the only top franchise that most people could afford.

Less than a year later, Stratus Building Solutions no longer appears on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500.

What happened?

Entrepreneur Has Unashamedly Promoted  the Stratus Franchise Scheme

Bad franchise companies like Stratus Building Solutions rely on seemingly legitimate publications like Entrepreneur to provide them with the phony credibility they need to sell lots of franchises.

Here’s the list of accolades Entrepreneur has heaped on Stratus Building Solutions since 2009 [source:  Entrepreneur.Com]:

Franchise Ranking History [Stratus Building Solutions]

Franchise 500®: #12 (2012), #20 (2011), #13 (2010), #38 (2009),

Fastest-Growing: #1 (2012), #1 (2011), #3 (2010), #4 (2009),

Low-Cost: #2 (2012), #5 (2011), #5 (2010), #7 (2009),

Top New: #1 (2010), #3 (2009),

Top Home-Based: #2 (2012), #6 (2011), #4 (2010), #6 (2009),

America’s Top Global: #11 (2012), #18 (2011), #11 (2010), #33 (2009),

In addition, Entrepreneur has published the unsubstantiated and highly unlikely claim that Stratus Building Solutions had 5,131 franchises in 2011.

In court documents, Stratus execs didn’t claim anywhere near that number.  Where did Entrepreneur get its inflated numbers?

UnhappyFranchisee.Com Protested Stratus’s Franchise 500 Ranking

Since May, 2012, has been urging Entrepreneur to stop promoting the Stratus Building Solutions franchise in their widely publicized rankings.

We sent them a detailed letter documenting the damage Entrepreneur was doing by promoting this troubled and troubling franchise:

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Should Entrepreneur De-List Stratus From the Franchise 500?

We sent them links to the myriad horror stories and lawsuits caused by Stratus Building Solutions:


STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Goldeneye Holdings v. Stratus Franchising Lawsuit May 30, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Franchisees v.Goldeneye Holdings Lawsuit May 29, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Open Letter From Unit Franchisees May 23, 2012

STRATUS Franchise: Are Stratus Master Franchisees Jumping Ship? May 18, 2012

STRATUS Franchise Called “Pyramid Scheme” on FOX News May 10, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise is a Scam, Attorney Claims March 6, 2012

LA FRANQUICIA DE STRATUS es una Estafa, Acuerdoa Abogado March 6, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise Class Action Lawsuit Filed August 13, 2011

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise: Are Stratus Franchisees Successful? November 9, 2011

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise Lawsuits Ahead? February 1, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS: Markeeta Rivera’s Franchise Horror Story February 1, 2012

STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Franchise: Guadalupe Clemente’s Horror Story February 2, 2012

We tried to appeal to Editor-in-Chief Amy C. Cosper and President Ryan Shea by sharing comments like this one:

Zurab Kvantrishvili  Submitted on 2012/06/07 at 9:39 pm

Before I bought this franchise I researched information everywhere, and one of the reason we paid $17 000 for it was that Entrepreneur ranking. If Stratus didn’t had such a high ranking I would never trusted them with all my life savings. When I spoke to John Coleman (one of the master Franchisor in Philadelphia Stratus Building Solution) and asked him to return my money back or I would take him to the court, he laughed at my face and this is his exact words: ”Please, who’s going to believe you? we are ranked as number #1 cleaning franchise by entrepreneur nationwide. You will waste more money on the lawyer” . I really want to believe that Entrepreneur will take Stratus Building Solution out of their ranking. Please, don’t let them scam more hard working people!

None of that swayed Editor Amy Cosper or President Ryan Shea from continuing to promote this toxic franchise opportunity for another 7 months.

Amy Cosper responded:

We have looked into this and until Stratus Building Solutions is found guilty in a court of law, we will not be de-listing them. Also, please note disclaimers throughout the listing.

Thank you for your feedback.

Amy Cosper  VP/Editor in chief

Entrepreneur President Ryan Shea wrote:

We publish the franchise 500 Rankings every year in January so we will take the lawsuits against them into account when we calculate and create our 2013 Franchise 500 rankings.

So the collapsing Stratus Building Solutions got to enjoy another 7 months as Entrepreneur’s 12th highest ranked franchise, even as its Master Franchisees fled the system and shed the Stratus name like a snake sheds its skin.

Stratus Building Solutions is MIA From the 2013 Franchise 500. 

So did Entrepreneur finally do the responsible thing and remove Stratus Building Solutions from its Franchise 500 rankings?

Or was Stratus Building Solutions too exhausted from fighting lawsuits and waving goodbye to its Master Franchisees to submit the necessary paperwork?

We asked Entrepreneur President Ryan Shea, who replied:

We are not going to comment either way.
Ryan Shea , President, Entrepreneur Media, Inc.

Actually, we don’t blame Ryan for not answering.

If word ever got around that Entrepreneur was starting to penalize franchisors simply because their franchisees were failing, that lawsuits were flying, and their Master Franchisees were de-branding and walking away from their investments in disgust, Mr. Shea might risk offending a very lucrative and highly valued segment of Entrepreneur advertisers.

Without them, he might have to rename his big moneymaker the Entrepreneur Franchise 75.



Tags: Entrepreneur magazine, Entrepreneur 500, Franchise 500, Amy Cosper, Ryan Shea, Stratus Building Solutions, Stratus franchise, janitorial franchise, franchise scam, franchise lawsuits, unhappy franchisee

8 thoughts on “STRATUS BUILDING SOLUTIONS Dropped From Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

  • Scammed by Stratus

    Please help me get this out there!!! “Stratus Building Solutions”
    With the illusion of opening my own business with life savings I decided to purchase a franchise through “Stratus Building Solutions” since day one this became a scam!!!

    First of all the regional manager is so unprofessional and inconsiderate. They basically have an excuse for how they stole my money, there contract is basically against you in all ways possibly. I have evidence and others on how they can destroy your ambition to become and meet your dreams of having your own business.

    I just need you to know that there work ethic is a lie, that you pretty much don’t own your business like your told that they can take way accounts if they please. And that no matter what you do and how you try to contact to complain too, there nobody’s out there to help, there nobody to give you hope!!! It’s sad what they do to you, what they promise!!!

    Please visit this site below I wish I would of seen this before I invested my life savings to this company:(
    franchise owners are calling Stratus Building Solutions franchise a big scam just like Jani-King, Jan-Pro and other commercial cleaning franchise companies

  • karla mendosa

    hello my name is karla and buy a fanquisis with here in austin texas stratus to principo all very well but after a few weeks I do not even answer the phone they sold me the franchise is called cristina she always sat facing the computer as it does not nothing makes your internet job is to speak and comberserte buy is logical that it earns its commission after you fuck,, that is, you promise to pray what does not exist but when you buy jodistes give an account of 10 million square not hacenni in 2 days and get paid $ 500 a month that’s abuse and as naive as they keep buying until you will be rich and poor ..

  • Reasoned Source

    @Viewers, Who actually thinks that DJ and Pete tell the truth about the actual size of the company? Did anyone raise their hands? Here is something that you must ask yourself in regards to the overall lies, fraud, deceit and just general lack of honesty in both of these guys mental states:

    In a recent article dated March 29, 2013 in St. Louis Today, Dennis Jarrett claims that the Overall Business of Stratus Building Solutions was down 4% from the year previous and the primary reason for that downturn was the direct result of the customer cutting back on services!!!!!! REALLY DJ? So let us first “break down” the supposed numbers…..In multiple printed articles and posted on their website, they claimed to have crossed the 100 million dollar per year sales mark in 2011….So, a 4% drop would mean approx. 96 million dollars is what they supposedly did in 2012….So, let’s do some math….Here are a list of Masters that LEFT the system at various points in 2012:

    Ventura County, California
    Chicago- Bankrupt/Closed completely
    Minnesota- Bankrupt/Closed completely
    Indianapolis- Bankrupt/Closed completely
    North Texas- Bankrupt/Closed completely
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Now I am sure of the following and this is without a doubt, the above listed Masters that are no longer part of the system billed more than $4 million dollars per year.

    So DJ, why lie? Could it be another level of deceit that you want to portray to the Media? Why? Could it be to take advantage of other non-suspecting potential Area Developer/Master? Could it be to take advantage of other potential unit Franchisees?

    Now to the remaining Masters, If any of you think that staying with a liar, cheat, fraud and that any of the following people are any different than Dennis Jarrett, Pete Frese and Marvin Ashton, you are sadly mistaken.

    Channen Smith
    Mark/Jayson Bashforth
    Tom Weiss
    John Coleman
    Afshin C.

    Channen Smith and his group have already been on TV, have a Craigslist Scam warning posted in Denver against them and their Unit Franchisee is one of the one’s mentioned in the RICO action out of Phoenix.

    Mark/Jayson Bashforth have been sued by Lincoln Baker (former Area Developer of San Diego), are currently being investigated by the AG Office of Texas, Have had to settle with previous Master (Pete Vavan) over stealing one of his employee’s at the behest of Dennis Jarrett, Pete Frese, Marvin Ashton and Carmen Garcia. They have another potential suit being filed against them in the near future as well.

    John Coleman and Tom Weiss have numerous Unit Franchisee’s that have signed with Jonathan Fortman in the RICO case.

    Afshin C. is the developer and manipulator directly associated with the Fraudulent Performa used by Stratus Franchising, LLC and is also directly responsible for false statements as many of the first Masters including Jeff Aibel and Ken Cassiri came online for what is called “Proof of Concept”….

    Bottom line is, these people are worse than a “pack of rats”….I state again, those Masters that are still paying ANY Royalty Fee’s and/or Note payments to Stratus Franchising/Jarrett Realty are causing GREAT HARM!!!!! You are paying for their legal fee’s and for them to continue to operate a business based upon lies, deceit and FRAUD!!!!!!

    Let Stratus go into Bankruptcy and allow the remaining HONEST MASTERS to leave the system all at once!!!!!!!!

  • Julia

    I suggest anyone trying to start any business to first look into it wisely then, find something you are familiar with unlike Some of these so called Master Franchises whom never picked up a mop in their life, nor have any type of janitorial background but want to influence you into buying and profitting their pockets. If you have the experience and cash flow, be smart and start your own business, if your courageous enough to have the nerve to go into one of these fake businesses and ask for their assistance in finding you an account, your probably better off looking for your own busniess. Busniess owners want real people not ” Name brand with no longetivity of employees, always seeing different people cleaning their trusted offices, bldgs, healthcare,govment, and secure places. Do these ‘Master Franchisees” even do background checks as they say they do and show clearances? NO! They care about you investing your money into their pockets!! Be Aware of Scam artist whom call it legal! Start you own business and dont get caught up into making the scum more wealthy… Business insurance in Denver is really inexpensive, go up Federal and get quotes, then start looking for your own Janitorial accounts, with the horror stories you hear about these Start your own business scams, and the accounts they give you which pay no were near your time and money invested, you can find your own accounts, if your investing more than 7500 into these scams !!! START YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!! I started mine, and get far more with my mom and pops business, than any of these other fake Janitorial Franchisees would even imagine! Ask yourself, ” Did I stop working for an employer to so call start my own business, and not only invest all my saving into this franchise, but to only start from the bottom as an employee again? The choice is truley yours, you see, if your seeped into these franchise scams, its only your own fault, Investigate, research..the internet is fabulous!!! Do your homework and Truley make your dreams come true by becomeing a “Real Small Business Owner”!! It pays to do the Math!!

  • Reasoned Source

    @Julia, Your obviously in the Denver area….Therefore, you were Scammed by none other than Channen and Rene Smith who spent Thanksgiving in their Multi-Million dollar home, driving their 100k cars and their children were out of their private schools. All gotten off the backs of hard working, life savings given backs of mostly minority people…..

    Channen and Rene Smith are embarrassed to be associated with the likes of Dennis Jarrett and Pete Frese, yet do NOTHING to separate themselves from them and their business model which is corrupt, proven to be full of lies and mis-stated financials.

    Channen and Rene Smith want nothing but your money, so they can live in their 2.2 million dollar home outside of Denver.

    Just thought you should know……..

  • Reasoned Source

    @Viewers, sometimes I like seeing some of the “oldies but goodies”, NOT you DJ, you’re just “Old Fat Bastard” not “oldie and goodie”! But isn’t it amazing at the great Leadership of Pete Frese, Dennis Jarrett, Matt Jacober and Marvin Ashton how QUICKLY AND LOUDLY the Stratus Brand has fallen……

    In a recent phone conversation with a current Master, it was brought up that he was attempting to Sell his franchise. Has it listed with a broker, has reached out to numerous business people for advice etc….AFTER a full evaluation was done, HE was informed of the following:

    1) Recently listed Anago Franchise less than 100 miles from him, doing slightly more than 1.8 million dollars (approx. 150k per month in billing) was listed and pulled after 1 year and no takers at 225k.

    2) Though he was currently billing at/near 200k per month in business, the BROKER felt, because of the BRAND/Lack of Brand Value, that the business would be nearly impossible to sell for anything more than 250k.

    IF, this person removed the Stratus Name, the typical “Evaluation” would more than DOUBLE!

    These are cold/hard facts. By staying with Stratus, you are costing yourselves as Masters Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars because of the LACK of Value in the Brand…….

    YOU have no one to Thank/Blame for that other than Dennis Jarrett, Pete Frese and Matt Jacober.

    Still think Stratus Brand isn’t DEAD?

  • Reasoned Source

    @Viewers, Another interesting weekend as more and more “sources” are starting to feel more comfortable coming forward and reporting the inside scoop of various Masters which include my new found friends Afshin Cangarlu, Foad Rekebi and of course none other than Channen/Rene Smith.

    Another phone call that a Source got this weekend was directly from Marissa (I’m the National Marketing Director) Lather. It was a very interesting conversation that primarily revolved around the fact that SHE views herself as a VICTIM not unlike those Masters harmed, those Masters family’s harmed, those Masters employees harmed, those Masters Owner-Operators harmed and those Masters Owner-Operators employees and family members harmed! REALLY?

    Marissa, Let me make this as pointed and clear as I possibly can for you……

    It was DIRECTLY because of you and your connections that the following happened:

    Interview/Award/Publicity for the St. Louis Business Journal. That was publicized throughout the Blogging Community, USA Today (get to that next), posted on Stratus Clean Website, Promoted in Packages sent to future/possible Masters, MADE into Posters to hang on Walls throughout the U.S. on various Masters meeting/entrance areas MANDATED BY STRATUS….

    Interview/Publicity primarily due to the St. Louis Business Journal in which OLD FAT BASTARD AND HIS SIDEKICK were interviewed by none other than USA Today for an Article that was again placed on Stratus Clean Website, Made into Posters, sent out in the National Newsletter, Posted on Blogging Community.

    Radio Interviews were given, Blogging Interviews were given, Trade Shows were done, Ads posted on numerous outlets including those that directly market to minorities etc……

    Now, your statement is “I was doing my job”…..REALITY IS, YOU KNEW THE TRUTH the entire time and PRIOR TOO the “JOB BEING DONE”! YOU knew the Pro-Forma was false, YOU knew the HISTORY of how Stratus Building Solutions came into being, YOU knew the problems, YOU knew Pete/DJ were men who lacked honor as it was rumored strongly and NEVER DENIED by even Pete Frese that the TWO OF YOU were romantically involved whilst he was still MARRIED!

    YOU also knew the truth behind Bill (sexual harasser) Blair as SEVERAL Women in that office reported those issues to YOU.

    YOU also knew the truth behind Afshin Cangarlu AND Marvin Ashton in regards to the dealings that involved a former Master, that former Masters Employee and the acts of none other than Carmen (where/who/what in the world am I) Garcia in regards to the staging of protests, uprising of owner-operators, TV News crews showing up at a STAGED PROTEST etc…..

    NO MARISSA, NO ONE should be sympathetic towards you. YOUR attempt to “clear the record” both with a Source and with an Attorney whom shall go nameless is PATHETIC at best.

    More items coming that will assist at least the Attorney General of Texas, California and the Secretary of State of Indiana, Florida in the coming days.

    As more and more people come forward, it has become quite obvious that not only is the CRIMINAL Charges possible, I believe they are PROBABLE!!!!!!

  • Reasoned Source

    @Viewers, This past week brought a lot of movement on numerous fronts, it appears that the Attorney General in California is heavily looking into the business relationships of none other than SLUM DOG Afshin Cangarlu himself……Marvin Ashton is hearing footsteps as well as his past days at Bonus Building Care seem to be causing a stir in numerous areas as well.

    Channen/Rene Smith seem to have given up on the idea of purchasing, being part of the acquiring of assets from Stratus Franchising, LLC. Evidently, this was supposed to have been a seamless transaction that was to be finalized at end of June 2014.

    Matt Jacober has recommended BK at end of June regardless as to whether or not the “GROUP” purchases the assets and accepts liabilities of on-going court cases in Indiana, Missouri, California and future cases for sure in Texas and Florida.

    Old Fat Bastard aka Dennis Jarrett seems to still be looking for the bottom of the bottle…..

    More news coming soon as BK is within sight!

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