Teresa Nichols-Dotts started EZ Sweep, Tarpon Springs, FL, in August of 2000 with one other employee and one sweeper. Eight years later the company has grown to 34 employees and 31 pieces of equipment, including seven sweepers. But despite how the company has changed, the key elements to Teresa's business have not. EZ Sweep's focus remains on service and loyalty.
Before Teresa started her own company she worked in the sweeping industry as a sales rep. She began to realize there was a huge market with little competition and lots of opportunity. After obtaining letters of intent to do business from three large paving contractors, a required CDL, and learning how to operate a sweeper Teresa started EZ Sweep. Milling cleanup of road/highway construction comprises 95% of EZ Sweep's current business, she says. The other 5% comes from highway sweeping and construction parking lot sweeping.
Most of EZ Sweep's clients are paving contractors who work with the FDOT, she says. And most of her business comes from word-of-mouth. "It's a large industry but it's a very tight community," Teresa says. "Customer referrals are the best advertisement." Teresa has also found that these larger paving contractors are protective of their smaller subcontractors. This helps EZ Sweep minimizes bad debt issues because the contractors will not refer EZ Sweep to companies who have negative reputations when it comes to paying bills, Teresa says.
Loyalty is a big part of EZ Sweep's business both on the company and the client side. "I'm a very loyal person," she says. "And our customers are loyal to a quality, personable service. We strive to provide timely service to each customer; however, I've not forgotten the contractors who put their faith in me when EZ Sweep began."
Teresa believes it is important to keep service personal no matter how large the company grows. And although she can't do everything herself anymore, she is quite confident in the ability of her employees. "Our employees are trained to give good service, and they do."
However, if a customer is not satisfied with a job, Teresa will do what it takes, no matter what time of day, to make it right. "I'll get up out of bed and go to that jobsite and fix whatever needs to be fixed," she says.
And as the company expanded, Teresa has tried to instill that commitment of service in the employees she hires. "Service is the big thing. As we grew I tried to fill the seats with people who feel the same way about providing a good service to our customers."
Teresa saw the importance that loyalty and service have in this market and she continues to stress those elements. "Our clients appreciate the service we provide."