John Neilson, founder of Neilson Cleaning, worked for too long in an overly rigid job at which he felt stifled. After leaving for the world of small business, he decided to launch his own startup to enjoy the freedom provided by being your own boss.
"I had worked for automaker BMW making good money, but I didn't like that we went to lunch on a bell, took breaks on a bell had to report at certain times," he said. "There's nothing wrong with structure in an organization but it was too rigid. We were punished with harder work if we failed to meet our quota, and you always had a handful of favorites who got away with doing anything they wanted or nothing at all. I wanted more family time and freedom and I knew I could have that with my own business."
Neilson Cleaning is a full service exterior cleaning company that cleans roofs with low pressure chemical washes that are manufacturer recommended shingle, tile and metal roofs. The company also does exterior soft washes, grease/oil spill cleanup, concrete restoration and concrete and paver cleaning in addition to paver joint resanding.
"What makes us different is education," Neilson explained. "I'm member of the USMCC industry association and they’ve educated me on the right way to do pressure washing. I've never seen anyone reclaim water like we do. Used water has detergent and dirt in it and it's not allowed to drain into storm drains because they goes directly to our water sources. Also, too many are blasting off the dirt instead of letting the soap clean it and that's bad for your home or business."
Neilson's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to learn best practices and be honorable. "Educate yourself on what you want to do," he said. "Make sure you're following reputable people. Successful people don’t worry about competition. They learn from them. There's plenty of work out there for all. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t cheat. It'll stifle your business because word gets around. You have to be on your A game all the time."