- Tell us something about yourself, your background:
I was working a full-time job at the time when I realized that my prospects for advancement was limited due to my lack of education. I couldn’t see myself doing the same job so I began searching for self-employment opportunities. I thought if I was willing to put in an honest effort then why not do it for myself rather than someone else.
My research pointed me in the direction of service-based businesses. One that could be home-based, started with little money and was simple to operate. I narrowed my focus to cleaning type businesses. I reasoned that many fortunes had been made by people willing to clean up after others.
- Tell us about your venture with a brief explanation:
CLEANLOTS: I grew a simple side hustle in 1981 into a successful business starting with little money, skills and education, but plenty of passion, patience and persistence.
- How/Why did you start as an entrepreneur? What set you off?
I was always somewhat entrepreneurial when growing up. Many kids had a lemonade stand. I tried something different. I was about 5 or 6 at the time when I set up a card table in front of the house, displayed some of my younger brother’s toys and began selling them to the neighborhood kids. My brothers were not happy with me! My parents were impressed with my initiative but asked me to request the necessary permissions next time.
Both my parents were great examples to me growing up. Neither had gone to college but that didn’t stop them from finding ways to make extra money. Besides my dad’s side hustles my mom babysat and my parents rented out the basement suite. They both worked hard, never complained and always provided for us.
- Tell us a bit more about your venture:
I recalled helping my dad as a teenager with one of his own means of supplementing his income. He was a janitor with the public school system who took on various odd jobs outside of his full-time job. One was maintaining a nearby shopping plaza free of litter material. He would clean up discarded drink cups, cans, fast food and candy wrappers, cigarette butts and other items people discarded on the property after use.
We would walk the sidewalks, parking lot and surrounding landscape and sweep up litter into our collection tools. Empty the contents into a waste bin on site and be done in little more time that it took for us to walk the property. In fact it was almost as easy to do as going for a walk!
I decided to test the market to determine if there was a full-time business in this service. I started cold-calling property management companies to ask if they would be interested to learn how I could provide them with cleaner, litter-free properties for less money. They were and I was off to a good start with my first 3 properties to service.
Parking lot litter cleanup is a service best performed on-foot, with simple hand tools. It’s best done in the early morning hours before businesses open so we can clearly see and clean all material without vehicle interference. Our clients appreciate having clean properties greet their tenants and their customers each day.
- Where are you now with your venture?
I share my 40+ years of experience with others across the country in my book, Cleanlots – America’s Simplest Business. I offer free support as my way of honoring my late parents and making available an affordable business opportunity.
- Website, Social media and Video links:
Website: Click HERE
Facebook: Click HERE
LinkedIn: Click HERE
Video links: Click HERE
–End of Interview–
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