Good, clean work leads to success
Squeegee Clean celebrated 10 year anniversary
STOCKHOLM — Starting a business at age 19 might seem daunting to many people. Chris Grice isn’t one of them.
Grice founded Squeegee Clean Inc., at that age while a student at Sussex County Community College, and has never looked back. Ten years have passed since then, and on May 20, Squeegee Clean held a grand opening celebration at its first storefront location at 2786 Route 23 North in Stockholm.
Local residents and well-wishers attending the event were treated to a catered buffet, live music, giveaway bags and several prize drawings, including one for a house wash valued at $500. Tammy Crimando from the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
10 year anniversary
Squeegee Clean, which washes roofs, siding, decks, walkways and even city sidewalks, has come a long way in its 10 years. When he first started the company, Chris was the sole employee and put all of his money into a power washer, ladders, window cleaning equipment and a truck.
“I had previously worked for two other companies that did window cleaning and power washing,” says Grice, “But I was only getting paid by the hour. I wanted to work for myself.”
Now, Squeegee Clean has 10 employees, five trucks, and has just acquired two similar companies, Faithful Hands Power Washing of Warren County and Dr. Squeegee Window Cleaning of Orange County, N.Y. These acquisitions extended the customer base of the company, which now serves clients as far afield as Pennsylvania, Newburgh, N.Y. and Brooklyn.
One of the most important parts of managing a business is being able to recognize talented people and bring them on board. Grice credits his team for much of his success. Joe Miranda, the company’s Vice President, was previously a rep for Clipper magazine.
“Most of the other reps would spend a few minutes with me, trying to sell me advertising space,” explains Grice. “They were thinking about their business, not mine. Joe was different. He asked a lot of questions and really wanted to understand the business first.”
Soon after, Miranda began working part-time for the company, and now handles customer inquiries, purchasing and other functions. Dillon John, Vice President of Operations, manages the “field” operations, such as scheduling the employees and training.
Looking ahead to the next 10 years, Grice says that in addition to increasing their residential work, “We want to grow our Commercial Division, do more work for retail stores and get more large clients.”
Grice’s advice to other prospective entrepreneurs?
“Go for it," Grice said. "Just do it. Mess up if you have to, but don’t let it stop you. You can over-plan these things, but most important is just to start.”
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