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? There are some basic attributes that apply to any occupation you choose:


1. A basic knowledge of your trade and a willingness to continue to learn more. I have a business associate and friend who does not hesitate to fly to another city to learn from a knowledgeable person who is willing to share. As to basic knowledge, it would be unwise to start off a cleaning business without at least some first-hand experience related to the time necessary as well as procedures. I remember consulting with a couple who thought they were interested in starting a cleaning business and hired me to teach them how to strip a floor. I reluctantly accepted the invitation stressing to them that they could get the same training from their vendor. The breaking point came when they stopped the training (mid-way through) to watch a ballgame. Wonder if they made it?


2. A good (or should I say great) work ethic. Please remember that much of custodial day-to-day operations is very physical and exposes a person to a higher degree to contagion than working in an office. The friend I referenced in point one who travels at his own expense to learn more of his trade takes power naps and sleeps very little when I am around him. I don’t know whether he has the right balance yet but he certainly is demonstrating his willingness to invest “sweat equity” in his business. 


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.