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Career Story: Owner Of A Commercial Cleaning Business

Owner Of A Commercial Cleaning Business

Job Title: President Of A Small Company

Type of Company: We provided commercial cleaning services. Most of our customers are corporations such as office spaces and retail establishments. We provided full janitorial services including cleaning, window washing and floor stripping and waxing.

Education: BA, Rehabilitative Services •• MS, Occupational Therapy

Previous Experience: I worked in the school system for many years as an occupational therapist. I assisted elementary age children with fine motor and visual motor skill acquisition. It was a fun and rewarding career, but I decided to purchase a business after I had my second child. I had always had an "entrepreneurial spirit" and wanted to explore that.

Job Tasks: My job is to make sure that the company runs smoothly. I have 30 employees to manage and approximately 60 customers. On a daily basis, I oversee invoicing, payroll, time sheets of our cleaning technicians, sales calls and the creation of sales proposals. I also perform follow-up calls for existing and prospective customers. I have a director of operations who oversees the labor aspect of the company. She interviews, hires, reprimands and trains employees. Her job is to make sure all the work gets done correctly and on time. My job is to make sure she does her job well. I also supervise our crew leaders who take the lead at each job, the evening supervisor who oversees all night jobs and the office staff who handle invoices, work orders and other paperwork.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: When things are going smoothly, it's a fun and exciting job. The best part is winning new accounts and keeping current customers happy. We treat our employees well and have regular staff meetings and fun gatherings. In the summer we have a barbecue, and we have a holiday dinner every day. I enjoy creating a pleasant atmosphere for the employees.

The worst part of the job is dealing with employees who are not dependable. Often people don't show up for work, or do a poor job. I do not like scrambling to find someone to fill in for someone else.

Job Tips: Business ownership can be both rewarding and exhausting. Yes, you do get to set your own hours, but you must also be prepared to work many hours. Be sure to have a good understanding of business operations before starting out on your own. Although you don't need to be an accountant, you do need to understand basic accounting principles because ultimately the success or failure of the company is in your hands. Last, a business that doesn't grow, dies. You've got to have a business plan in place that projects growth and a clear strategy to get there. Flexibility is critical, as unforeseen circumstances arise frequently.

Additional Thoughts: The most important personal qualities for success are persistence and education. If you are determined to make it work, don't give up. Keep working at problems from every direction you can, until solutions become clear. Never stop learning. Information and technology are constantly changing. You've got to stay on top of changes so that your business can change with them and survive or even thrive.

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