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Career Story: Owner Of Cleaning Business

Owner Of Cleaning Business

Job Title: Ceo Of Small Business

Type of Company: My husband and I own a cleaning business. We steam clean carpet and upholstery and do more general cleaning for both commercial and residential customers.

Education: high school

Previous Experience: I worked for a financial company for 15 years, dealing with stocks and bonds and pension accounts. By the time I left I was responsible for company mergers.

Job Tasks: Having our own business is quite rewarding for both me and my husband. The one thing that brings us the most happiness is that we are able to arrange jobs according to our own schedule, for the most part. We own a truck-mounted steam cleaning machine. Most of the equipment is left in the van. Chemicals and the wand attachments need to be loaded for each job, and can vary with the assignment (carpets, upholstery, autos, RV's, boats or floods). All furniture has to be removed from the area that is being cleaned. It may even need to be vacuumed, depending on the situation.

Commercial and residential general cleaning is pretty self-explanatory. We need to vacuum, dry mop and wash floors, clean windows, empty trash and clean bathrooms (not my favorite). We also go out of our way to make sure we do extras like high dusting and cleaning hand railings and door knobs. We also make sure we keep the lines of communication open. We try to keep in touch with our customers. We are always willing to go the extra mile. We are also responsible for taking care of our expenses, machine maintenance, invoicing and the money received.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of owning our business together is that we have each other to fall back on. We get along very well and we work together well as a team. My husband has a full-time job, so scheduling jobs around his work week is great. For the most part when we are doing general cleaning jobs there is no one around. We can work at our own pace. There is no stress. I don't need to wear make-up or care what my hair looks like.

The worst part of this job is you learn how disgusting some people can be. I can't stand cleaning toilets, but it's really not that bad. My biggest pet peeve is when someone leaves a full cup of coffee in a trash can. I pick it up and it spills everywhere.

Job Tips: If you ever consider starting a business I would suggest you be ready financially. There are always hidden expenses. It takes a while for you to actually make money. I would say the first year is the hardest. If you start a business with someone, you had better have some sort of commitment with that person or seek legal counsel. Most importantly, have knowledge and a passion for the business or you won't have the desire to keep it going.

Additional Thoughts: I was very skeptical when my husband approached me with this business endeavor. But I have to say that I really enjoy making money for myself at my pace. The hours are great for me. We have two children who require a lot of my time. Our business is meant to be a part-time, extra-income for our family. But in time it could be so much more.

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