Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Team Clean Incorporated provides residential cleaning and commercial janitorial services. Our expanded line of services includes laundry, linen, carpet cleaning and handyman services. Team Clean was established in 2004 and began providing services to Summit County out of our Dillon branch at 330 Fiedler Ave. Suite 104. In 2020 we expanded our service area to Eagle County and established a branch at 30 Benchmark Rd., G6, Avon CO 81620.
Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
My name is Tony Gancev. I am a proud father of three wonderful kids, an avid world traveler, habitual entrepreneur and strategist. I’m fluent in four languages. I love humor and take opportunities to laugh anytime I can. I studied at University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria and at the London School of Economics where I graduated in 1999 with a master’s degree in Human Resource Management. My business and professional adventures date back to high school and follow me throughout my entire life.
In 1996, I worked as an intern at Aroma Holding, the biggest manufacturer of consumer products in Bulgaria. I was involved in promoting a newly acquired and the first of its kind toothpaste robot that was developed in England.
In 2000, I was involved in the opening of the US market for a Turkish brand Neri Karra AG, a fine leather accessories brand located in Istanbul, Turkey.
In 2001, I started Team Temp Staffing Inc., a temporary employment service company that I successfully grew to a market leader.
In 2003, I started Right Way A.T. Inc. which by year 2007 became the second biggest drywall installation company in Summit and Eagle Counties and by year 2009 was dissolved past the economic downturn.
In 2005, I cofounded Skye Inc., an apparel brand in Boston, Massachusetts.
I acted as Vice president of Dillon Business Association from 2011 through 2016.
In 2007, I drilled water wells in Uganda as part of a team of 12 Summit County residents.
In 2008, I participated in a UN project for development in Athens, Greece.
In 2013, I was a member of Moldovan Diaspora and the delegation to the UN in New York.
What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Opening Team Temp Staffing Inc. allowed me to secure reliable labor with skills that are in high demand in Summit County. I channeled this skilled labor to start Team Clean Inc. after realizing that I can be a much better service provider compared to what was available. I pulled the trigger and initially started Team Clean as a pilot project and a sister company of Team Temp Staffing. In a few short years I made Team Clean Inc. a stand alone business with its own dedicated staff and unique business model. I still source labor from Team Temp, and it is an additional strength and edge that I have over my competitors.
What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Learn different forms of leverage and master them! My motto is… “Other people’s money, other people’s time”. It’s an edgy and controversial way to look at business, but in its essence, this is what it boils down to and is the pinnacle for any organization to strive towards. In my opinion, the ultimate reward of being an entrepreneur is when your success is built upon loyal partnerships with both the supply of capital and skilled, high quality labor. I strongly advise every entrepreneur to place great value on this from the very beginning of each venture.
Work on your patience, always! The world of an entrepreneur can be a chaotic one, and it is very important to be patient and to learn how to control the only variable that you can control…YOU!
Failure to plan is a plan to fail! Educate yourself on how to approach every business situation with a strategy and a plan. Revise both periodically and have experts critique and provide you with feedback.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
In my opinion, the three essential skills every entrepreneur needs to develop are guts, smarts and the ability to hustle.
“Guts” You have significantly fewer chances if your risk tolerance is low. Being an entrepreneur requires taking risks, and it’s not something you naturally run towards in the beginning.
“Smarts” I strongly believe that everything you do should be done with intelligence and deliberation, no exceptions!
“Hustle” The road to success will be a long one if you don’t learn how to hustle early on and keep developing the ability to hustle, by which I mean the persistence in getting where you need to be, not easily giving up but creatively and sometimes aggressively solving problems as they arise.
How many hours do you work a day on average?
I always try to work smart, not hard. I value the free time that I earn as a business owner, and I manage it as well as the money that I earn. There are times when I work very little and times when I work all the time. I don’t believe you can average the time of an entrepreneur. It’s as impossible as to understand the average amount of hours an artist spends on creating.
To what do you most attribute your success?
I graduated from a very strong mathematics high school and although it was very difficult, I learned very valuable and creative ways to look, assess, reason and solve problems. This helped me tremendously with business and life in general.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
I have tried most available marketing media. I partnered with UnyWorks recently in order to expand our online marketing and advertising, and this has shown us the best results.
Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
I had a limited amount of money available and very little access to capital when I started Team Clean. And although at the time there wasn’t a need for much capital, I quickly realized that the need would eventually arise, and I needed to be prepared for it. I spent significant time reading and learning from other successful entrepreneurs how to be creative and resourceful. And the most important thing that I learned about capital and funding is that you need to borrow money and line up funding when you don’t need it. This helped me tremendously years later, and I’m enjoying the benefits of this to this day.
What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
The best way to achieve long term success is to learn how to read your environment and track the ongoing changes in it. They not
only affect you now, but definitely will in the future.
I have a favorite quote by Charles Darwin… ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” And I believe it applies to businesses just the same as it does to species.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
My 5 year plan for Team Clean is to make it a statewide franchise and the go to company in Colorado for the services that we provide. In 10 years, I see Team Clean as a nationwide franchise that ranks in the top 10 companies nationwide.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I am a big fan of Apple and McDonalds because in my mind these two companies are models for how to structure your business to be not only a leader of the industry but also an innovator and forward thinker that consumers are loyal to.
I believe that success of any company depends on the strength and versatility of its business systems and processes.
McDonalds, in my opinion, proved to be successful in perfecting its systems to consistently deliver the same quality products and services in all international markets and throughout its history.
Apple on the other hand is successful for the same reasons as well as its unique ability to continuously innovate and come up with new, cutting-edge products that make its customers look forward to with anticipation, not an easy task to attain.
How important have good employees been to your success?
I am a people’s person, and I enjoy meeting and getting to know people. I always knew that having great and loyal employees would make Team Clean a success story and one thing that helped me tremendously in achieving that was my willingness to hear my employees out, to consistently find time to visit with my employees on a regular basis, and to build and maintain good rapport.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Giving up has never been a part of my vocabulary. I was raised to work hard, be patient and at the same time, persistent. I must admit there are times when you have to cut your losses and walk away, and I have done it several times over the years, but I always made sure that it was absolutely necessary.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by the things that challenge me, the things that can make me better as a person, as a father, as a man and not least, as a businessman. I’m motivated by things that expand my horizons in the areas that interest me. I’ve learned not to be too specialized, and I purposely try to learn and be motivated by things outside of what is relevant to what I’m doing.
What are your ideals?
I believe in honesty, working smart not hard, delivering on my promises, and constantly bettering and improving myself. I don’t like excuses and settling for less. I believe that almost everything is possible, if you can clearly define it and want it with all your heart.
How do you generate new ideas?
I usually generate ideas on the go, I have never been successful in trying to force myself to fabricate my ideas on the fly. The ideas pop into my head all the time and over the years I’ve learned to record and keep track of my ideas. I’ve learned to categorize and prioritize my ideas and never let my mind overthink my ideas. What helped me the most was to keep pondering and to keep coming back and looking at my ideas from different angles. I always try to “sleep on” my ideas and float them by people with adequate experience who could give me a different perspective. I’ve never been ignorant or in denial of the fact that I don’t know everything and never will. I was never afraid to seek advice from people.
How do you define success?
How do you build a successful customer base?
Building a successful client base is like growing and shepherding your flock. You need to know each member of your flock their unique needs and desires and you need to be consistently following up with your clients, giving them an opportunity to point out what you are doing well and where you can do better. Create value and work on increasing that value without undermining your
bottom line.What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Time, resources, freedom to create!
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Being able to live in Puerto Rico for almost two years and successfully managing my businesses remotely. Unfortunately, we had to move back to Colorado after hurricane Maria in 2017.
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Risk tolerance and the degree of love of adventure and curiosity.
In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.