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 discussing basic attributes that apply to any occupation you choose:


You (and your significant other) have to accept the reality that owning a cleaning business is not for you unless you are willing to accept the long hours, night work, absenteeism, paperwork, regulations and other challenges associated with operating a service business. It has to be about more than making money since every dime you earn during your startup phase will be well earned. Unless you have very deep pockets or an investor for the long haul, you and your immediate family will be doing most of the work for little or no real compensation. Few of us started out will a full crew, a nice office, new vehicles, office staff and sufficient paying contracts to avoid our own “sweat equity.”


I for one believe that is the best way to go. If you are truly committed and understand the road ahead, you can avoid or minimize many of the surprises when you have to work on a holiday or other occasion. My family had an understanding that we celebrated birthdays (and even anniversaries) on the weekend subject to the work schedule. My children do not seem to have any issues from the experience but long hours and erratic schedules did impact my marriage. Beware of becoming so focused on the business that you lose sight of what is truly important: your health, your family, your friends and your sense of well being.


I love custodial operations and want you to enter this exciting field with your eyes wide open and a passion for success. 


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.