How I got started in commercial cleaning

Mark is a highly skilled mentor, providing access to informative materials and simple but effective business strategies. Honest and supportive, you can really feel that he cares about your success. Mark knows how to provide information in an easy to digest method while still getting the results you need.

– Ana Malone @Busy B Cleaning

It’s 1997 and I’m finishing up school in a recession. I have no idea what I’m going to do. My future father-in-law then reaches out to me asking me to do contract reviews for his cleaning business. Their proposals consisted of a contract only, and it was edited over and over again with terrible photocopies. It was dismal. I rewrote their contracts from scratch. I told them they need a sales process if they want more business. A contract alone won’t sell. That’s when my then-future father-in-law asked me to be their first salesman.

What did I know about the cleaning business? Absolutely nothing. Well, not entirely true….back in college I remember my dormmates were so messy that the cleaning staff in our freshmen dorm walked off the job. I can’t say I don’t blame them either. But I always knew deep down that their job is under appreciated and undervalued. I had very little to go on in 1997.

I accepted on the condition that I work around clear and concise goals. I asked, “What is your goal in the next 2 years?”. The answer was immediate: 3X it. Their revenue at the peak pre-1997 was $2.4million in annual sales. Sales dropped to $600K/yr in revenue right before I started. By 1999, we hit $1.8million. We hit the goal through old-school marketing and advertising.

Universal Janitorial Services, Inc. is thriving well today. My business partner and I bought them out in 2011. In 2020, COVID-19 hit and we doubled down in our marketing efforts. We received hundreds of leads through our lead capture on our website and noticed a pattern of three types of organizations: 1) potential clients we can serve, 2) potential clients that we cannot serve due to geography, and 3) other cleaning companies checking us out. Today, we still clean. We added consulting to organizations nationally and globally fight SARS-CoV-2. And now we help that third category of fellow cleaning business owners.