Clean Sweep Maintenance has been in the sweeping industry for 29 years, and over that span of time owners Wanda and Charlie Daniels have worked to improve the company in order to solidify its place in the industry.
When the company started in 1981 it only had one employee and one truck, Charlie says. But now the company has grown to 20 trucks and between 35 and 40 employees. Clean Sweep also has two office locations, in Richmond, VA, and the main office in Yorktown, VA.
Currently, 85% of Clean Sweep's business comes from parking lot sweeping, 10% from municipal sweeping, and 5% from construction and other sweeping.
But it's not just the type of sweeping the company does that has kept it in business for so long. Wanda and Charlie attribute their longevity in the industry to multiple factors. First is their focus on taking care of the customer. "You have to do a good job every night for every customer. If you have a less than stellar night you need to work real hard not to make those mistakes again," Charlie says.
As Clean Sweep grew, Charlie says it was important for the company to balance its focus between growth and the customer. "I see that mistake a lot. People get too focused on growth and forget to take care of the customers they already have."
In order for the company to stay in business, Clean Sweep had to find and retain good employees. "Trained employees have learned what's important to the customers and to the business," Charlie says. "The depth of knowledge you create through retained employees gives you a real good foothold in the market."
Clean Sweep believes that a good working environment is essential to retaining employees. And an important aspect of that is well-maintained equipment. "Working on the nuts and bolts of the business - such as maintaining the equipment fleet - is important," Charlie says.
Maybe more important in a good working environment is a focus on safety. Clean Sweep requires all of its employees to wear safety vests whenever on the job. But the company also makes sure it reinforces safety aspects with its employees. Clean Sweep holds nightly, weekly, and quarterly safety meetings with its employees. And as a little extra incentive, the quarterly safety meetings include safety bonus awards for employees, Wanda adds.
The combination of these factors has helped Clean Sweep Maintenance grow and maintain its presence in the industry. After 29 years, the company isn't resting on what it has accomplished - it's looking for new ways to keep the business going. Currently, Clean Sweep is working on its North American Power Sweeping Association certification. "I think it will help our customers have more confidence in our professionalism," Wanda says. "This is a way to show our customers that we're constantly trying to evolve ourselves as a company and get better at what we do."