Talk about a simple, yet totally scalable and profitable, business! Parking lot litter clean up could be the solution for the hungry entrepreneur that enjoys being outdoors and cultivating relationships within the real estate industry. Listen to how Brian Winch's dad sparked a movement that became America's simplest business.
Some of this weeks episode highlights are:
16:47 My competitors come and go over 40 years. The ones that last are the ones that provide that communication and that extra value.
20:20 When I started this business, I had barely graduated high school. I didn't have a lot of money or, or skills. The only things that kept me going when I started was passion, patience, and persistence.
41:48 Why make $15 an hour or so working for somebody else when you can make $30 to $50 an hour doing this for yourself? And it's not that difficult!
--- Full Raw Transcription Below ---
Brian Winch (00:00):
There's a lot of people out there that are chasing the bucks and, you know, they keep trying this and that and that and that and you know, they keep giving up on it or they've run into a rough patch, but they're not invested enough to find a solution. They just move on to the next opportunity because they think, no, it's not for me. So you really do have to have a passion for great liking for what you're doing.
Welcome to the SideHustle Lounge. If you're looking for flexible ways to earn income, grow your mindset, and live the lifestyle you've always dreamed of, you are in the right place. So lower the lights. Grab your favorite beverage and join your host. Founder of NotaryCoach.com and Amazon bestselling author of Sign and Thrive: How To Make Six Figures As A Mobile Notary And Loan Signing Agent, Bill Soroka.
Bill Soroka (00:59):
All right. Cheers. And welcome to my next guest. Brian Winch. He's the author and creator of Cleanlots - America's Simplest Business. And what we're talking about today, guys is how to make a hundred grand a year picking up trash. Brian, Welcome. Thank you so much.
Brian Winch (01:15):
Hi Bill. It's great to be here. Thanks for having me.
Bill Soroka (01:18):
I have been looking forward to this conversation with you because this opportunity absolutely blows my mind, man. How did you come up with this idea?
Brian Winch (01:27):
Well, actually it was a side hustle that my my dad did way back in the day in the late 1970s when I was a kid growing up. He took me along with them a couple of times to a shopping Plaza, which was only a few blocks away from, from our house. And he was a janitor full-time janitor. So he did a number of things to supplement his income. So I guess he was one of the original side hustler back in the day, but it wasn't called side gigs or side hustles. It was called spare time income or a part-time business or whatever, but he used to cut grass in the summer shovel snow in the winter, but year round he would clean up litter from the outside of the shopping Plaza. And so I thought it was the easiest thing to do.
Brian Winch (02:13):
We would just walk around the property early morning hours before the stores open and clean up any litter material from the exterior property, the parking lot, sidewalks surrounding landscape into our litter collection tools. And just in a matter of minutes almost you know, the time it took to walk the property we were done. And so a few years later I was 21 years old, this was 1981 and I was working full-time job and I couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I've always been kind of independent and entrepreneurial by nature. And I recalled the memory of doing that with my dad. And unfortunately he passed away recently back then. And so I, I didn't have his experience to call upon and to get started, but I thought, you know what, maybe there's something to this business and let's let's test the market for it.
Brian Winch (03:10):
And so basically I started contacting property management companies, so there was no internet back in the day was the yellow pages, yellow pages, phone directory. So it was pretty easy to find a real estate management, property management, commercial property management companies. And I just started developing an elevator pitch and making these cold calls. And I wasn't trying to sell my service to anybody from that phone call. I was just trying to gather some information like, you know, who's the person that makes the decision. Who's, who's the decision maker. And would you be interested to learn how I can you know, clean up the litter from your property, give you a better service for, for a better price. And so, you know, I got a lot of people jumping on that. And so I think it was like five or six calls in. I I got lucky and someone said, wow, you're Brian. You know, it's a very opportune time for you to be contacted was cause we were just having this discussion in the office, how we weren't happy with our present service provider would, you know, here's three addresses. Would you go out and give it back to us with prices? And that's how it all started from there.
Bill Soroka (04:17):
Wow. Wow. So how does it, how does the business actually work? Do you do the work yourself or you ha you have a team?
Brian Winch (04:26):
Well, you know, when I started out the business, it was as a side hustle. So it was just myself. I'm learning the business, learning the school, you know, school of hard knocks. And I quickly built up a number of properties that I serviced part-time. And the whole intention of this was to find something that I, I enjoyed doing. And I could make a living full-time from doing this. So you know, a few months into it, I think it was three months. I was making more money doing this on the side than I was working my full-time job. So I left my job, concentrated my efforts on building the business and built it into a very successful one man operation. But from there you know, I guess I became a victim of my own success. A lot of my clients wanted more of me at more properties and I can't be everywhere at once.
Brian Winch (05:19):
So we scaled up and we brought other people into the business and over the years it's been 40 years now. You know, we, we now have a whole army of people that blanket the city and clean up properties, for us. I still keep a hand in the business. I still put a few hours in each day because, you know, I love doing what I do. It's simple work. I basically make money going for an early morning walk. And so that's, that's where it is now. And then I share my experience with other people across the country who want to do something similar. I mean, it's almost as easy do as going for a walk. Will you use very unique, simple hand tools? So there's no touching any of this material yourself. You're just walking up to an item and sweeping it into the collection tool. And like I say, in a matter of minutes, you're finished on your property and on you go to the next one.
Bill Soroka (06:14):
Yeah. That brings me right to my, one of the first questions that popped in my head is how labor-intensive is this work?
Brian Winch (06:22):
It's basically walking. There's no, you know, bending over lifting heavy objects or anything like that. It's just basically walking around a property. And with simple hand tools sweeping up the material into your collection tool. And when it's, when it's full, you just dump the contents into a waste dumpster on site and then jumping into your vehicle and away you go to the next job site and, you know, some people do this part-time, you know maybe two or three hours a day and others are looking to scale that up into a full-time business and build it into a, you know, a six-figure income, just like I did.
Bill Soroka (07:02):
Yeah. I love an opportunity that has scalability. So it can be really kind of whatever you want is what I'm hearing. Yeah. do you, is this the same thing as those sweeper trucks and things that we see in parking lots? Is there, like, do you have to do that kind of work or is it literally just what you're describing, walking around, picking up trash?
Brian Winch (07:21):
There are two different services where a sweeper truck basically can only maneuver, you know, there was areas in the parking lot. And so the whole purpose really of the sweeper vehicles or vacuum trucks is to clean up the, you know, the leaves or the dirt to the grit, to the, the gravel you know, that gets into the parking lots. You know, the litter pick service it's, it's more effective to provide that service on foot where you can walk the entire exterior property cause litter winds up everywhere. It's not just the parking lot. It could be on the sidewalks. It could be, you know, in the bushes or in the landscape. And so that's the whole point of an on foot service with simple hand tools.
Bill Soroka (08:03):
Yeah. So you mentioned property managers what are, what, who would be the ideal customer if somebody wanted to take this business on?
Brian Winch (08:16):
Bill Soroka (08:16):
Would it be just property managers or..
Brian Winch (08:19):
Well, most of it, most cases that would be the your prospect because these shopping plazas their contract, the owners will contract the management services out. And so that, you know, any service necessary to main maintain the property, either interior, like, you know, HVAC or electrical or plumbing to the exterior property which would be, you know, line painting, landscape maintenance, snow removal, parking, lot litter cleaning. So basically all the tenants or the businesses that make up each, they pay a common operating costs each month with their, with their rent or the lease that they pay. And so, you know, they expect the services or certain a number of services to be provided. Of course, you know, the, the people that frequent the businesses, you know, they expect to see a clean property and you know, the customer, so obviously do as well.
Brian Winch (09:17):
So, so, you know, our service is just one of a number that you know, a property management company would contract to maintain the properties on behalf of their clients, which are the owners of the properties. But you ask a good question because there are some properties where you know, they're standalone and, you know, perhaps that they self-manage, I'm thinking dollar stores or, you know, sometimes the drug stores like a Walgreens or maybe some grocery stores they may look like they're part of a big development, but in their store is kind of separate and all by itself. And I'm not saying the store manager would be responsible, but if you did approach the store manager, he would refer you to their corporate division or corporate property management office. So in effect, you're still dealing with a property manager, but it would be that representing, you know, that type of retailer or business.
Bill Soroka (10:14):
Awesome. How do you calculate your pricing on this? Like how, and really where I'm going with this, Brian is how can somebody who's listening right now say, yeah, this is a viable business. Do you need one client, or do you need a thousand clients? Like how much do these companies pay for service like this?
Brian Winch (10:33):
Well, they paid good money because it is an important service. If you think about it, it's a clean litter, free property is the first first image, your first thing that anybody will notice when they pull into a property before they even get in inside the building. Yeah. And you're going to notice besides, you know, whether the grass is cut. Is there weeds in the property though? You know, they're going to notice how much litter is around, you know, or the common area, litter containers in front of the businesses. Are they overflowing or is there garbage all over the sidewalk, things like that. But basically it varies across the country as to how much you can charge like a lot of services but we're, we're charging anywhere from 30 to $60 an hour. And so you, you base your price on the time you estimate would take to to walk the property and, and clean it.
Brian Winch (11:25):
And so you present your, your prospects or your clients with a an estimate to maintain their property on a certain frequency basis. They may ask for five days a week, it could be three days a week. The whole point of the service is to keep the property litter free. So you're not going in just once a week and cleaning up an accumulation. And, and then you just bill your clients accordingly at the end of each month for your services, you know, whatever a contract price both have agreed upon, whether it be $350 a month or, or $3,500 a month, depending on the size and the frequency of your service.
Bill Soroka (12:03):
Awesome. Thank you for that candid answer. What keeps popping into my head is man, if you wanted to get your steps in every day on your pedometer, this would be the right gig for you. Cause you could, you could stack, I mean, how many clients do you have? What's the most amount of clients you personally have stacked into one day?
Brian Winch (12:21):
Well I guess my Mondays would be my busiest day because I, you know, I serve as some properties five days a week and others, you know, three days a week. So Mondays are typically the busiest. So I used to put in a full hour of, you know, a full day's work eight hours. And I could when I was younger, I could probably do about 22, 23 buildings in, in one day because most of these properties are small to medium size. They're not the massive big box developments, or, you know, the indoor shopping malls. They typically are done in-house they have their own people on site, but there are far more of these small to medium sized properties all over the city. And so, you know, you can knock them off in, you know, five minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes. And the more properties you have, the less driving time between each property, but, you know, we've got people that you know, maybe do two or three or four buildings, you know you know, every day you know, maybe a couple hours, two, three hours a day. And you know, that's a great way to make a, an extra two, $3,000 a month basically going for an early morning walk.
Bill Soroka (13:36):
Yeah, no kidding. So what about oversaturation if, if you're teaching people how to do this they're in every city, what, how would one of my listeners differentiate themselves in the conversation to get their foot in the door?
Brian Winch (13:56):
You know, everyone approaches or markets the business a bit differently. I mean, it's, it's, my business model is no different than if, you know, someone is selling a landscaping franchise or a janitorial franchise. I mean, you know, if you do a search, you'll find wherever you're located in any city across the country, there's literally tons of competition that you would think, you know, for office cleaning or landscapers. And you know, my service might be provided by the sweeping contractor, like you were mentioning earlier, but they don't actually provide the service with their sweep, or they might provide an on foot service as well. Or in the same thing with maybe a large cleaning company, they may offer a service that they call a day portering service, which is something similar, but it's, it's, it's still different. But so there's always some competition. So it, it basically I have the the information in the book is I show people how to, you know do prospecting and how to market your services, et cetera. And basically you, you have my support. I do provide free support as well. Because it works, it works. And if it didn't work, I could make that, that offer.
Bill Soroka (15:18):
Yeah. I love, I love that you offer that level of service. That's kind of unheard of when you buy a book, you actually get a one-on-one coaching with you. The, you know, in a lot of the other businesses I talk about and I'm involved in relationships and your ability to connect with people is a huge factor in that. Do you find that's the same in this space?
Brian Winch (15:39):
It is. And you know, I'm an introvert, I'm not an extroverted person. So, you know, I hear some people that are considering different business opportunities. Well, you know, they tell me I'm an introvert. I can't pick up the phone and make these sales calls. I can't talk to people, but actually, if, you know, if you're working for yourself, you find the motivation. And if, if you're passionate for what you do, and like, like I am, I mean I love what I do. I love working outdoors and seeing the results from my work and leaving a cleaner footprint or, or a shopping Plaza behind me. So I have no hesitation or problem whatsoever is sharing how I can give my prospects a cleaner property for less money. So so and yeah, I lost kind of, kind of lost my train of thought there.
Bill Soroka (16:33):
Yeah, it was about relationships like connecting. We find that relationships with your clients makes a difference
Brian Winch (16:41):
And that's the key actually, you know, anybody can clean and I've, I've seen competition. My competitors come and go over 40 years. And the ones that last are the ones that provide that communication and that extra value, and I'll get into what that extra value means shortly. But you know, a lot of the companies or people that think that they can just start a business and they're just going to go out and do this and and not communicate with their clients. I mean, they're not going to be in business very long. And so one of the ways we, we keep those communication channels open, if you will, is that when we're cleaning our properties and we happen to notice maybe some lights burnt out that day, or there's the building got tagged with graffiti or you know, a stop sign in the, in the parking lot got knocked down.
Brian Winch (17:28):
We'll take a picture of that. And then we'll the first thing the next morning, we'll, we'll send that to our client and, and let them know that when we're,there cleaning their properties, we notice these things, and they really appreciate that we're acting like an extra set of eyes for them, and it makes their job easier. And, you know, really, that's why we're in business. And we always remind our clients too, you know, our job is to make your jobs easier. So if we notice these things, we're going to communicate them with you. And so it does a couple of things other than cementing that business relationship, it helps you to develop that relationship. And then over time, they're going to be more likely to want to continue doing more business with you, as opposed to maybe a, a competitor or, or someone else that they're presently using, but they're not getting the same level of customer or, or service or communication.
Bill Soroka (18:23):
Yeah. You know, I, I, I love that that's, there's no traffic in the extra mile. And that's what that sounds like to me, it's like, you're going above and beyond. You're establishing a strong foundation and the it becomes less about trash and more about people. Yeah. And I think thats it.
Brian Winch (18:46):
Exactly, and, you know, like I said, anybody can collect, it can clean, but if you want to be in this business for any period of time that extra level of service that you provide, and it really doesn't cost you anything, but it, it helps build your business. And, you know, you've probably heard the saying your best source for new clients is, is from your existing client base. And and that, that really is the secret to my success is, you know and I I've had some customers for almost for 40 years. You know, some, you know, the nature of this business is contracting. So, you know, you win some, you lose some and people move around, but it's surprising how often we've, we've dealt with the a certain property manager for a number of years, but he's, you know, he's moved on two or three times and we've actually worked for him at two or three different companies, but it's the same guy or gal, and they know what kind of service they can expect from us. And so they reach out to us.
Bill Soroka (19:49):
That's huge. That's huge. Now, you, you said a couple of things about being in business over 40 years, and I think I've only been in business 20, but I know it's not all rainbows and unicorns. And even though you talked about how you can look back with satisfaction and see the clean lot, which I love - immediate gratification, that's one of the big benefits I can see in this, but what, what did you do to help keep yourself going when, when times weren't as,
Brian Winch (20:16):
Oh, well, you know what you know, and that was in the early years because, you know, I started this business. I barely graduated high school. I didn't have a lot of money or, or skills. So basically the only things that had me and kept me going when I started was the passion, patience and persistence. And you know, you know I would run into you know, dead ends or, or I'd run into a problem. And I had to learn how to find you know, solution to it, either myself or you, can't be afraid to ask for help. You know, maybe you find a mentor but you know, you always have to find the solutions to your problems and just keep moving forward. And, and then, you know, it's a great experience for you to, to go through those things, because, you know, you learn from doing, and it's only going to make you stronger and more wiser and you know what, you're never going to have all the answers, but, but it, you know, the great thing about this business is it's, it's simple and, and you just go out and provide the service and the customer service provide that extra value. And you know, most anyone can be successful if you stick with it.
Bill Soroka (21:33):
Have you always been an early riser?
Brian Winch (21:37):
Well, not when I was a teenager! The nature of the work, you know, you've got a fairly good window of opportunity to to go out and provide the service it's any time that businesses are closed. And so when I first started out, obviously I, you know, I was working at a job during the day, and then I would go late in the evenings early morning hours. And then, you know, when I left my job my hours changed where it was more early morning hours, where I was going out to do the business. And then I guess just from, from doing it over a number of years, I became that early bird or early morning riser. And, you know, I just love being out and doing my work and getting it done before everyone else is up. And, you know, on the road striving to work you know you know, sometimes I have to go, I've got appointments.
Brian Winch (22:26):
I have to meet with clients or whatever during the day, you know, cause I still run the office as well. And you know, I, I have to say, I, I don't enjoy driving during the day as much as I do in those early morning hours when I'm doing the service. And, you know, I've cut back on the number of hours that I, you know, that I do this now. So but you know, like I say I don't have a retirement date set on the calendar. I'm, I'm 61. And as long as I have my health, I can't see myself doing anything else, but this
Bill Soroka (23:01):
That's pretty incredible. I mean, that's a, that's a gift that not a lot of people get is when you love what you do so much that you'll just keep going. About the day-to-day work, what keeps popping into my head is when they're out walking, they're doing, they're doing their thing. They can listen to audio books, they can listen to music, they can listen to anything. Is that, am I understanding that correctly?
Brian Winch (23:27):
I don't, you know, I don't, I kind of discouraged that. I know a lot of people would like to do that. The reason I discourage it is because when you're out early morning hours, let's say, you know, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, o'clock, eight o'clock in the morning. There's the businesses are closed. You basically have a an empty parking lot. And so, you know, you can get out and do your job, but you always need to be aware of your surroundings. And you know I have had some vagrants or panhandlers approach me early morning and they're looking for some change and some money. I always tell them I don't carry money because I could be robbed. I've never been robbed, but I just tell them that. And, but you don't want to be a target where you can't hear somebody approaching you, you know having said that though, I do know a lot of people without issue or problems.
Brian Winch (24:24):
That's what they do when they're doing this work. You know, they'll, they'll listen to music or they're listened to a podcast like the side hustle lounge they'll listen to the news, whatever, you know, they'll, they'll listen to something and, you know, maybe turn the volume down so that they can still hear the footsteps of somebody approaching them. But I, you know, I don't want to scare anyone. You know, I've been doing this for 40 years. I've never been robbed. I I've, you know, now you're safe, I'm safe. Having said that, you know, you don't want to necessarily be doing this in the worst part of town. And, but because it's a business of yours, you have the, the, the right to turn down any kind of work that you feel that it would be unsafe to do.
Bill Soroka (25:07):
Yeah. I love that you brought up situational awareness. I think that's critically important. So where my head was going was, oh my gosh. Think of all of the audio books, think of all the learning. Think of all the growing I can do listening for two or three hours in the morning, but that's a really, really good point. And then on that note, would you say as far as gender goes, is there a would you say 80%, 80/20 male, female, or vice versa? What is this?
Brian Winch (25:36):
That's a good question. Because every time I think that most of my prospects, the people that it would be interested in this business are male and, you know, a certain age, you know, like, let's say, you know, 40 to 65, then all of a sudden I get a lot of orders from women. You know, that are, are looking to do something like this because, you know, they want the opportunity to make money getting some exercise in the early morning hours and, and, you know, quite a few women bought my book and and started the business and they've had great success. And so, but, you know, I would have to say that it's not necessarily a younger person in their twenties, you know, maybe they're looking for some, something more of an online opportunity. So it's, it's typically, you know, you know, somebody in their you know, mid thirties, right, right up just like 65 years of age. And it probably is mostly male, but women can do this just as well as guys.
Bill Soroka (26:35):
Yeah. I'm sure. Powerful. So how do you get started doing this, Brian, and specifically, like what's the startup investment?
Brian Winch (26:43):
Well, you know, when I started this in 1981 I think it was about $200, $250 bucks. And so what you're looking at is, I mean, this is a business, so you're going to have some startup costs. You know, like you have to choose the type of legal structure for your business. You have to choose a name. Everyone's set up differently, you know, at home with a home office. You know, maybe you can, if you've got a scanner, a printer, you can print a lot of your own business forms, things like that is pretty easy to start marketing. You just do an online search for real estate or property management companies. And and, and just start compiling a list of prospects in terms of equipment. You need a reliable vehicle. Doesn't necessarily have to be a pickup truck, trucks work best I think because, you know, you've got the open back of the pickup, you know, to put your tools and everything without always having to open the trunk, et cetera.
Brian Winch (27:44):
So, but it's some sort of a reliable vehicle to get you from job site to job site tools, you know, maybe, you know, under a hundred dollars, you're looking at a couple of rooms and this unique litter collection tool that makes the work really easy to do. And and you're, you're set to go. So some people can just start this on a shoestring. It doesn't cost much money and other people like to maybe start you know, building a website and everything before you really have to. And that's one thing I always tell people before you, you know, start creating a website you know, grab the low hanging fruit you know, claim your free Google My Business Listing because as soon as, as soon as you grab that, then if your prospects are looking for you, they can find you and start getting listed and all the free online directories and what have you.
Brian Winch (28:38):
And so, you know, the business can be started on, you know, quite frankly on a, on a small budget. And obviously you're starting this old part-time, most people are starting this as a side hustle. And you know, some of those people will always want to keep it that way, but you can, you know turn that side hustle into a very profitable full-time business, just like I did. And you know, but it's, it's pretty inexpensive business get started.
Bill Soroka (29:07):
Earlier you mentioned that it's relatively easy to make $2,000 or $3,000 a month at this what's that look like,
Brian Winch (29:14):
Well, you know, you might have maybe a three, three or four mid-size medium-sized properties where you could go in there. It might take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to know per visit to service that property, or it might be maybe a larger you know, strip Plaza, you know, where you've got a grocery store, you know, a couple of anchor tenants, and then a number of smaller shops and businesses in that where, you know, you might be there, you know, 45 minutes to an hour. And then, so you might just do two of those whatever compared, you know, it all depends on the size of the properties. And so, you know, you're looking at - depending on how close it is to your home as well. With the, of the, the travel time you know, the two or three hours you can quite easily bring in, you know, a thousand or a couple of thousand dollars, $2,500 a month, or even $3000 a month,
Bill Soroka (30:13):
Wow. You've been doing this for a while. Coaching students across the country. Have you noticed any trends for maybe a top performing or top billing states?
Brian Winch (30:30):
You know, it's, I'm not marketing a franchise, I'm selling a book. And some of my clients that have reached out to me for support are doing very well. You know, we tend to stay connected you know, I always hear their progress, but yeah, but to be honest with you for the price point of, for my product under a hundred dollars, a lot of people buy my book. They buy a lot of other books as well. You know, it's with good intentions, they put it on the bookshelf and with the attitude, well, one of these days I'll start something like this. And so, but yeah, some people I guess you know, I've had some, a lot of good reports from people in the, in the Southeast like Kentucky and Georgia lately. You know I've had some people do very well up in New Hampshire, California, you know, it's, it's pretty much scattered right across the country.
Bill Soroka (31:27):
Yeah. I guess that's probably one of those things that's going to be really client specific more so than date or even city specific.
Brian Winch (31:33):
Bill Soroka (31:34):
I want to talk, what I love about this overall concept is that it's scalable. And I think that's really important because some people are literally just looking for a side hustle. They want something they can do personally. And then there are others that are always thinking bigger about how the scale, this thing to a citywide statewide or nationwide you've grown your business. So can you share with us what some of the the biggest challenges you faced as you scale your business up?
Brian Winch (32:05):
Oh, you don't want to become too reliant on one client for, for so much of your business. It's great when it lasts, but you know, at some point the relationship may end 5 years, 10, 15 years down the road. So you always want to diversify your client base and try to develop as many clients as possible so that when you do inevitably lose a property and not necessarily because of bad service, but you know, it, they may want to go a different direction. They may decide to take the work in house or whatever, but know, it's not such a blow to the income that's coming in. You, you basically just need to be a little bit active on social media and I'm not talking about Facebook, but I, you know, get on LinkedIn and start developing relationships with with people there.
Brian Winch (33:02):
Because if you think about it your, your prospects are property management companies or property managers, and chances are, they're going to have a profile on LinkedIn and, you know, just kinda start sharing, you know, some of your success stories. So share some video of, you know, this is what the property looked like when I arrived. And here's a before and after here's your, here's a clean property after, after we've, we've cleaned it and, you know, kind of share stuff like that. And, and, and then, you know, when you build those relationships with people the business will come and just keep people happy. And, and, you know, this business isn't difficult, it's not like a retail business where, you know, your phone is ringing off the hook all day long. You know, people are looking for this or that or whatever.
Brian Winch (33:46):
You know, you know who your clients are, you know, you keep you go after them, you keep them happy and you know, provide that customer service and that communication and the, the, the, you know, your business will continue to grow. And you just need to be patient. I mean, some people want to, you know, Brian, can I get 150 buildings in one year? Well, I suppose it's possible. It didn't happen, you know, to me you know, it takes some time, I mean, if someone expresses an interest in your service, it may take a week or, or a few weeks for them to ultimately make a decision you know, one way or the other, if they want to, you know use your service and maybe terminate whoever else they're using. So that, that's the important thing is just to keep everybody happy and just keep moving forward.
Bill Soroka (34:41):
One of my favorites - almost cliches - are that the 'fortune is in the follow-up' when you reach out and you make your initial connection, how often do you follow up?
Brian Winch (34:54):
Well, this is a great question. And that's a great question, because I think we briefly touched upon this when it comes to cold calling and, and, you know, you contact people and you want to send them information. That's basically just to get the whole conversation started. And you know, it could be several emails going back and forth, you know, three or four or five or six, and over several weeks or even a few months and each time you're sharing a little bit more information as to how your service is different and how it's better and how, you know, your service can be of value you know, to your client. And at some point they're going to feel more comfortable with you and that they want to do business with you. And that's the whole key is, I mean, I don't look at it as I'm going to, I, you know, I need to sell my service and I'm going to sell somebody the first phone call or email, or, or the second or the third just need to be patient and a bit persistent.
Brian Winch (35:54):
And over time, you kind of learn when to kind of back off of that, you know just give them some time, but then, like you say, you follow up and maybe you know maybe you've sent three or four emails you've gone back and forth, and then you've decided to kind of lay off it a little bit. And if you haven't heard back from the prospect you can reach out and just say, you know, just following up, it's been six weeks since we last communicated. You know, was there anything else, you know you know, we, we can do for you or anything else that do you have any concerns? And so you always kind of want to find out what, where they are in that whole, you know, kind of communication. And, you know, at some point they'll say, they'll be honest with you and they'll say, well, you know what? We've decided to move forward. You know, we're, we're, we're gonna, we're happy with what we've got, or they'll just say, you know what, I'm trying to push for this, but you know what, I, I've got to get approval from my boss and the owners are coming in town to do a tour next week. And we're waiting for that opportunity to kind of present them, you know et cetera, et cetera. And so, but, but, but it's good to get that information. And that's why you have to always do the follow-up.
Bill Soroka (37:08):
Yeah. I love that. And I've throughout my whole career, I've been just blown away by how timing plays into this so much. And sometimes even the people you're talking to you, they don't even know that it's bad timing. They just, it's just not clicking. And then you just keep yourself top of mind, you stay in touch and then all of a sudden the stars align or whatever it is, and the timing becomes perfect, or it doesn't, you know, it might just fizzle off, but sometimes just the act of sending an email, I can't, there's been so many times where I'll send an email and it's like, yes, this is perfect. I need you now.
Brian Winch (37:41):
And that's exactly how we or I got my first client when I first started out is you know you know, he, he told me he was, there was kind of an element of surprise in his voice. He said, wow, well, you know, this is an opportune time. We were just having that conversation in our office, you know? And, and it's funny that you phoned, but, you know, if I hadn't made that phone call, you know, nothing would have happened. And so that's why I'm saying, tell people, you gotta be patient and persistent, and eventually you'll be re be rewarded for, you know, for, for that behavior.
Bill Soroka (38:15):
You got to get in the arena. That's where the collision of opportunities and people happens to grow your business. I love that. Okay. So on this, on the scaling conversation, let's say somebody gets into this, they're doing a kick job and doing a great job. Their clients love them. They get more business, and now they've got to hire somebody. What's your number one piece of advice for somebody who has to hire another person?
Brian Winch (38:43):
Well, you want to find somebody who, who thinks just like you do. You're looking for somebody who doesn't mind getting up early in the morning making a few extra bucks they're motivated to do that. And you know, in my book, I've got several interview questions to kind of bring that out and to find out if it's a good candidate, as opposed to somebody who's thinking, oh, you know what here's an opportunity for me to, to make easy money and no one's going to know whether or not I actually go out and do the work or not. You know you know, we, we've been very lucky. You know, we've had some people working for us part-time and full-time, you know, for decades. And and actually, you know, a lot of times, you know, share with people, you know, what you're doing and what you plan on doing, and you'll get a lot of people interested and say, oh, you know what, that, that sounds really cool.
Brian Winch (39:36):
And, you know you know, are you looking for help? I could do that, you know, a couple of buildings. And in some cases, you know, we've got people that just work weekends for us, you know, cause we do have properties that are seven days a week and, you know, someone's maybe saying, well, I'm not really interested in, and they're doing this, you know, you know, you know, five days a week, but you know, what about the weekend I could go with Saturday morning or maybe also Sunday morning as well. And you know it's worked out really well for us where we've had people that, you know, provide that weekend service for us as well. And, you know, and you don't necessarily have to come from a cleaning background. I tell people in my book, you know, where to find these people, these prospects, and, you know, you could go to indeed.com or Craigslist or whatever. And there's actually a lot of small, you know, mom and pop cleaning companies that are looking for cleaning contracts of all sorts, not just inside like the janitorial, but, you know but you know, they they'd be receptive and very interested in making some extra money, you know, going around the properties and cleaning up the litter and, and they've worked out really well for them before us, because after all they're, they're used to cleaning and you know, so, so there's all sorts of possibilities.
Bill Soroka (40:51):
If there was somebody who is listening right now and thinking, man, I don't want to start another business, or I don't want to cultivate these relations. I don't want to take this on, but the idea of doing the work as a part-time income is interesting. What would they hunt for? Where would they go to find a job like this?
Brian Winch (41:10):
You know, he could probably start just do a search online for, you know, parking lot litter cleaning services, day portering you know, litter removal, you know, different variations of those search terms. And they'll find a number of no contract cleaning companies that provide that service, excuse me. And then they could just contact them and say, look at, Hey, I'd be interested in, in this particular job early morning hours, I have a few hours available each day and, you know are you hiring and and you know, go from there, but I often tell people, you know, why make $15 an hour or so, you know, working for somebody else when you can make 30 to $50 an hour doing this for yourself. And it's not difficult! I mean, I, like I said, when I started out, I didn't have any college degree. And, and I'm, I'm giving my experience. I'm showing people in my book. It really is that simple. If you follow it, if I haven't seen, if you work the business, the business will work for you and then why not make money and work for yourself as opposed to, you know, making, you know, it's still working for other people and making them rich.
Bill Soroka (42:26):
Yeah. And that I can totally agree with Brian, as we wrap up here, are there any final words of wisdom that you'd have for somebody who's on the fence, thinking about an opportunity like this, what do you have to say?
Brian Winch (42:39):
Well, I always say, you know, don't get involved in anything, you know, just with the lure or the promise of big bucks. No, don't, don't chase the money. If you, when you go to all my website on, on the homepage, I've got a free download report, you know, is this opportunity right for you? And you have to make the decision, you know, can I see myself doing this? Would I enjoy doing the work? And if that's the case and you decide in favor, then there's no reason why you can't be successful in this business and make a lot of money doing so. But, but at the end of the day, if you don't like what you're doing, you're at some point you're just going to lose interest in it. And then you're just going to move on to something else. And unfortunately, there's a lot of people out there that are chasing the bucks and, you know, they keep trying this and that and that and that and, you know, they keep giving up on it or they've run into a rough patch, but they, they're not invested enough to, to find a solution. They just move on to the next opportunity because they think nah, that's not for me. So you really do have to have a passion or a great liking for what you're doing.
Bill Soroka (43:45):
Incredible advice. Brian, if you're listening right now and you want to explore what this opportunity is, even deeper, you can visit the VIP room at https://www.sidehustlelounge.com/VIP. I've got a whole section just for Brian and Cleanlots about this opportunity. You can click to download his book and his book comes with a coaching session with him as well. Plus tons of other information. FAQ's the whole deal. We'll be right there for you.
Bill Soroka (44:12):
Brian - Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself today. This has been an enlightening and awesome conversation. I'm so intrigued and I really appreciate you bringing this opportunity to our audience.
Brian Winch (44:24):
Thanks Bill. I appreciate the opportunity.
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