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March 2007
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Cleaning Company Grows From 0 - $4.2 Million

I was reading an  article about Anthony Samuels, CEO of Done Right Building Services, Inc. in Boston. Like many of us in this industry, he never had the dream to own a cleaning business, but here he is with a multi-million dollar cleaning company.

He started out by working in a corporate job, but longed to do something on his own that didn't involve a lot of cash to get started. He went to work for a family-owned cleaning company with the promise that he'd be able to take over the company. However that didn't work out so he struck out on his own.

He started his company as a sole proprietorship and funded it with with credit cards. That was in 1993. Now 14 years later, Samuel's company has more than 100 employees and sales of over $4 million in 2006. So how did he accomplish this?

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Back from BSCAI Convention

It's been a while since we've posted to the blog because we were busy getting ready to go to Chicago for the Building Service Contractor's Associaion International (BSCAI) Convention. Now that we're back, it's catch-up week! Isn't that the way it seems to go when you have to leave town for a business trip or vacation?

The convention was great. There are three parts that were all worth attending. First is the trade show. Two days of walking through the vendor area, finding out what's new in the cleaning industry both in equipment and technology. It's very educational and it's also great to be able to talk to people from the companies you buy from.

The second part of the convention are the speakers and breakout sessions. The keynote speaker was Chris Gardner, of Pursuit of Happyness fame. He's had a very interesting life, although I'm not sure many of us would want to live through the hardships of his early life in order to achieve his current success.

One of the sessions that I think many of you would have been interested in listening to was from a woman in Texas who went from making about $200,000 per year in her cleaning business to over $1 million per year - in just one year! What was her secret? In a nutshell, taking advantage of mentors who were willing and able to give her the advice and guidance she needed. Of course, mentors couldn't make it happen for her, so the second piece of the puzzle was that she needed to take action on all the nuggets of information they gave her. Well she did just that - she took action every single day! Where did she find her mentors? Through her membership at BSCAI. Whenever you join an organization, take advantage of all it has to offer. If you don't, you'll be wasting your money. I was very surprised at how willing the other members were to share their stories and offer advice.

The third and best part of the convention was meeting the other attendees. Yes, there were a lot of very large cleaning companies represented there, but you'd be surprised how many of them started out just like us - with one person and one account. It totally motivated us to continue growing our business and made us realize that our vision of owning a multi-million dollar company is certainly achievable and within our grasp.

If you're thinking about starting a cleaning company or have already started and would like to find a mentor who can help you grow, then think about joining us as a member of We help our members every day with issues and questions that they have about their cleaning business. You'd be amazed at how much momentum you'll have once you belong to a community of like-minded individuals who are ready and willing to share and help each other out. 

Do You Believe in the Value Your Cleaning Company Offers?

Why would I ask you this question? Of COURSE believe in the value your cleaning company offers! Don't you?

Suprisingly, I've seen so many business owners start a business hoping to succeed, but the reality is, they're full of doubts concerning their own ability. This tells me they really don't believe in themselves or the value they offer to their customers.

In order to succeed in your cleaning business, you need to believe in the value of your service. How can you possibly convince your prospective client of this if you don't believe it yourself? Let's say you have those nagging doubts, but you start marketing your business anyway. Do you really think you're coming from a place of integrity? Think about how you would feel if someone approached you to clean your house and you decided to hire them, only to find out they really didn't live up to their promises. You'd fire them in a hearbeat.

Here are some things to think about as you start your cleaning business:

  • Realize that people pick up on your anxiety and tentativeness. So if you're doing sales calls to market your business and you're thinking to yourself that they probably don't want to be bothered, then they'll hear it in your voice and will shut you down right away. However if you change your expectation to the idea that they really need what you're calling for, then they'll be more likely to listen and have a favorable response.
  • Don't carry your emotional baggage with you - it changes your attitude. When this happens, it comes through in your conversations with prospects. As I said above, people will pick up on it and you'll be sunk.
  • Think about the services you offer. Do they have a benefit to your prospective clients? Then you need to make sure you're able to deliver the benefits your prospects are looking for. When you can do this, you will believe in yourself and the value of the services you provide. If you're unsure of your ability to deliver, then you need to spend more time educating yourself on the niche you've chosen for your business. As they say, knowledge is power, and the more knowledgeable you are about your cleaning services, the more confident you'll become. When you have confidence, you'll believe in the benefits you can provide your clients.
  • Do you feel as if you need your clients more than they need you? That's coming from desperation. If you come from a place of abundance (there's more than enough clients for you and all your competition), then you'll relax in the knowledge that the clients will come. You'll also come to realize that you won't get every account and it doesn't serve you to feel devastated when you don't get the account. After all, your ideal client is just around the corner.