Do you have an interesting story to tell related to your small business? Have some advice for other entrepreneurs to help them avoid some of the pitfalls of small business ownership? We invite you to share your story with the Small Business Community. Please note that your story will be reviewed by our moderators before it is posted on the community, so please don't provide an advertisement for your business. Just answer some of the questions below, in your own words (you don't have to answer them all). We look forward to reading your story!
Question: What is the name of your business?
Your Answer: DAB Commercial & Residential Cleaning Service "A little DAB will do it"
Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer: Memphis, TN 38115
Question: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your own business?
Your Answer: October 2014
Question: Did you quit your "day job" to start your business? How did you initially fund your business?
Your Answer: I did not quite my day job. I initially started working for another small business as the Business Manager/Marketing. I have been doing this for 2 years now. I was going out getting the business, doing payroll, and invoices. I was purchasing supplies, delivering supplies, feeding the employees whenever things got really tight. Borrowing money for supplies from my family and husband. I thought hey, Denise you had your company once and you didn't do this much for your own company. What's wrong with you doing the same thing except putting the same energy, effort, and determination in my own company where it will be appreciated. I made that decision and I haven't looked back, except to say I should have been working for myself all this time. If I am going to take money form, my family and husband it better be to help myself
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: The biggest challenge in running my company is getting out there and working for myself. Not being afraid of being told no. Going to different company and selling myself. I'm great at what I do, I clean, and I like cleaning. When you approach some companies you have a few obstacles to get pass. One of the challenges that I found to constantly get in the way was being told that you have to pay to get on a vendors list for some companies. I never really grasp that concept. Why would I pay you to get on a list to clean your office, home, apartments. It didn't and still to this day doesn't make sense to me. I haven't use those companies.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: I place a bid on a house to do. My neighbors had being evicted. I knew that someone owned the property next door to me. I kept leaving and coming home everyday. I was inquiring every place I could think of. Then one day after a long uneventful day, I turned the corned and saw a gentleman working in the yard next door. I hurried up and pulled in my drive way, high heels and dress I ran very lady like across the yard. I did not want the gentleman to leave or get away. I hand business card in hand and say "hello are you the owner", he replied back yes. I said " my name is Denise Grice, the owner of DAB Commercial & Residential Cleaning Service", here's my business card. I then said " I clean houses, apartments, and offices. I take before and after picture to show my work." "Are you interested in me giving yo a quote to clean your house" he said sure. I replied do you mind if i walk through and take pictures. He said yes, I walked through, took pictures and made notes. I came outside he was still working in the yard. He gave me his business card and said email the quote to his wife . I shook his and I walked away like a proud peacock. I knew this was going to be my project. I was claiming this contract. I went home, changed clothes, and called my friend. I was so excited about the opportunity to do the quote, it didn't matter what he said. He said Denise that's great, but your quote is going to be too much. I said okay. i then called my sister who has had a cleaning company longer than my friend. I explained to her what just happened. I said you have been doing this longer than I have. I could really use your input. Let me tell you how I get my prices first, Brenda. I said based on what I have to do or what the other fellow I was working for previous, I would type in google "How much would it cost to paint a 9 room house, approximately 1181 square feet, search. I would then get a screen that broke down the actual price for labor, material, hours based on the number of people I am using. She said that was good. I told her I was dong that on this job. I explained to her that the owner wanted the house clean from top to bottom. It was awful. She said tell them you are charging for an impact cleaning. I quoted the windows, inside & out, all light fixtures removed and cleaned, chandelier, base boards, de-grease kitchen & bathrooms, remove food from ceilings and walls, remove carpet & padding, the stove was AWFUL, it looks GREAT now. I guess from that you can tell I got the bid. I done myself proud. I worked hard & smart, because that was what it took. One more interested piece of information, my friend who has had a company for 5 years said they would never pay that much for house keeping. I said you're right this isn't house keeping. It's cleaning a house after the residents were evicted. I said you said I would get the job to paint for ? apartment complex in Whitehaven, but I got to paint 3 town houses, I got the job & I got paid. So my biggest challenge was not listen to someone that had been in business for awhile, because what works or does not work for one, just may work for me.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: "I'M DOING IT". I can do whatever I set my mind at. I am my own boss so where my company goes is completely in my hands. I am the driver, and I will steer straight as I can, facing the challenging that arises.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: When in business, ONLY tell potential customers of the services that you offer. Never anyone else work. Only sell yourself and your services. Never say what someone else can do. If their services are needed, let them speak for themselves and give their own bid or quote.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: DO IT FOR YOURSELF. Refer your company ONLY. Don't ever give up. It's your dream, it's up o you to turn that dream into a reality. I was taught that nothing in life comes easy. What you put into your business/company is what you get back in return. The road to a successful company is the person running the company. You will be told no more times than you will told yes. It is the yes answers that add up to bigger and better profits, offers, contracts and so much more. Just be willing to do the work that it is going to take to have a profitable and successful company
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