I have been contacted by several individuals who either want to start a cleaning service or have one or two small accounts and want to grow. What does it take to be a successful small business owner? This is a continuation of listing some basic attributes that apply to any occupation you choose:


1. A sense of serving is a blessing, not a curse in the custodial field. One cannot afford to let ego get in the way of providing service above and beyond simply because it is the right thing to do. I have had many experiences where a trash bag broke or there was a spill in front of a customer. While I was on my hands and knees mopping it up, my on site supervisor stood looking rather embarrassed at my actions since it was obviously beneath them since they were a part of “non-working” management. 


2. Being perceived as a professional who solves problems and actually cares about the customer; rather than act the part of a hick who is continuing the stereotype of the world’s view of the janitor. You can call yourself a janitor, custodian, service provider or whatever. It is how you carry yourself and dress and communicate that is important. I work hard at keeping abreast of not only new technologies in my field by reading the trade magazines and Internet information (including all the publications of this provider) but also keep up with the news, sports, etc.


Please remember that we are in the people business that just happens to provide essential custodial services that protect the health of the general population. Get used to being taken for granted. 


We will continue these points in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.