Monday, January 31, 2011
Charles Dean, Jr. – Dean’s Janitorial Service, Inc. located in Easton, MD
Dean’s Janitorial Service, Inc. (DJS) is a commercial cleaning business that was founded in 1989 by Charles Dean, Sr. The company began with two employees and one client. Today the company has over fifty employees and services more than sixty accounts. The company’s clients include banks, hospitals, schools, government buildings, post constructions and medical buildings. Charles Dean, Jr. is the company’s Vice President and majority shareholder. He has served as the Vice President since 2003.
DJS is a family run business. Charles Jr. likes this approach because he feels that you get to spend more time with your family. In addition, you get to work with people that you can trust. While he likes this approach, he identified several disadvantages to running a family owned business. He says it’s hard to keep business and family issues separate. Sometimes the lines get blurry. You’re never off work. Whenever you talk to a family member involved with the company business issues may come up. You are constantly mixing your business and personal life.
As a small business owner, Charles Jr. recognizes that there are certain problems and challenges that he faces. He feels that it is challenging to manage assets to ensure the company is getting the most out of each asset. One example is receivables, which he has to ensure are collected in a timely manner. Because DJS doesn’t have much financing, it is important to get the money within 30 days to pay bills. “Pleasing our customers is often sometimes difficult and sometimes our customers can’t be pleased.” Another challenge is identifying which contracts aren’t money pits and which ones are (or will be) profitable. Competition is also a challenge because the barriers (to enter the field of commercial cleaning) are low so there is new competition every day. This affects the prices of the service, which leads you back to the challenge of managing your assets.
I asked Charles Jr. if it is easier to work for an established small business or to start a new business. He said that both have positives. Currently he has reputation on his side. Since his father started the company, they still have three of their first four accounts (the fourth is no longer in business). That reputation and brand recognition is hard to accomplish. The negative side is trying to transition the old to the new. Management, employees, customers, that is the hard part. It would be easier if he started [the business] because things would be his way and he wouldn’t have to make changes. There is a constant war between the old and the new. Each day must be better than the next day, because there is always someone waiting to take your job or steal your business. Charles Jr. believes that if you take pride in what you do, and do the best you can do for your customers, the money will follow.
For more information about DJS, visit www.deansjanitorial.com
Submitted by Ralleisha Dean