Q. Give our readers and introduction to your business. Tell us what your business is all about, and the area you serve.
A. My name is Jason Butler and I own Zap It Cleaning Company. We offer pressure washing, gutter cleaning, and window cleaning services to both residential and commercial clients. We service the entire Charlotte, NC area including all surrounding areas. We’ve been in business for over 10 years.
Q. Give us a brief description about yourself. Include a brief educational or entrepreneurial background along with your major achievements.
A. I actually loved to work from a very young age. I started working a paper route when I was 12. I finished 2 years of college before deciding I would rather be working. I was always an outdoor type worker and a visual person. That’s why I was interested in some type of cleaning company. So one day I thought why not buy a pressure washer and go play in the water!
Q. What inspired you to start your own business venture or make significant changes in an existing business?
A. The challenge of starting my own business was appealing. If you think you want to work for yourself so you can just go and come as you please you’re probably not going to succeed. It requires attention to detail, customer service, and focus. There is always room for any company to improve no matter who they are particularly with service companies.
Q. What are three pieces of advice you would give to budding entrepreneurs?
A. 1. Be persistent.
2. Follow the “Grandma Rule.” Treat everyone you encounter day-to-day like you treat your own grandma.
3. Respect peoples time. If you say you are going to be there at 12 o’clock, be there at five till.
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A. 1. Preservation. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.
2. Innovation. You have to always aim to improve.
3. Communication. Poor communication leads to decreased productivity and low morale.
Q. How many hours do you work on average?
A. Typically 65 hours a week. I love to work though, I don’t do good sitting around I have idle hands. So I don’t find working this many hours any trouble at all. A guy once told me “If you want to work 40 hours per week, work for someone else. If you want to work 60-80 hours a week, go to work for yourself!”
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
A. Hard work. Nothing substitutes hard work no matter what you are trying to achieve in life. There are no shortcuts to success in anything. Like the movie actor Dwayne Johnson says “Be the hardest working guy or gal in the room.”
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What do you think is the most successful form of marketing?
A. The best way to market your business is to make sure your employees know that they’re your biggest asset in not only completing the work but offering our services in any way we can. We are a sales organization first, and a cleaning company second. Everybody at Zap It Company knows how to sell our services should the client inquire. Many times a neighbor might walk over to a house we are cleaning and ask “How much topressure wash my house?” Our cleaning technicians are trained to give quotes and handle all sales. These days great looking and great website ranking offer a high return rate. I would say a well-designed website is a must!
Q. What is the best way to assure long term success?
A. Slow and steady growth. Don’t try to be too many things to too many people. Remember, if you try to chase 2 rabbits at one time you won’t catch either.
Q. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5-10 years?
A. Hopefully busy and respected in the community. It’s all about “The Customer Experience.” We will always live by that. When the bridge between the customer and your company is strengthened business and happy clients will follow.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A. As far as a service business I admire a local company here in Charlotte called Killingsworth. They are a pest control company that has expanded into different areas like carpet cleaning and heating and air conditioning. I see their trucks around often and they are always carrying the best looking and most professional equipment, and their trucks are always clean – a good sign. I also have a few friends who work at the company and talk about how good their culture is and their dedication to customer service.
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
A. Good employees are paramount. Good employees are also the hardest thing for any employer to find. Remember, as a business owner you don’t want to be the smartest person in the room. You need employees that understand your company and its goals. Good employees should also be paid well and reminded of how important they are. Give recognition and show appreciation.
Q. What motivates you?
A. I’m motivated to be the best at what I do, whatever that may be. A successful entrepreneur once told me “The best always have something to do.”
Q. How do you generate more ideas?
A. I’m always writing stuff down. Whenever ideas pop into your head you should write them down if not more than likely you will forget them later on no matter how small. These little ideas can later become critical as your company grows and adjusts.
Q. How do you define success?
A. Success is defined in many different ways. Mine is making customers happy. I love a great customer experience. It’s always refreshing to have a great interaction with a company when you need a product or service. This goes from the initial phone call up until the job is complete and even after with the follow up. The customer experience is “Number 1.”
Q. What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A. I enjoy marketing. Every business needs a dependable way to make the phone ring. Nothing else in your business happens until after you sell your product or services.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How do you establish this and why did you institute this particular culture?
A. Company culture is so important. You want to operate a place that is “fun” to run and work at. This brings out the best in everyone. Every business is more valuable to the degree that it does not need to depend on its owner for everything.
Q. Do you believe there is a pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
A. Not really. You just have to jump into it and give it 100%. It’s a grind. But to succeed you keep your eye on the prize. Things like creating your own opportunities and destiny. Selling products and services you like. Taking pride at being a problem solver. And affecting change in people’s thoughts and actions.
Q. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
A. Mistakes are going to happen. That’s business. What you can do is correct them immediately. Don’t let things fester. Jump on it immediately and correct the problem. The issue with many companies is that the employees are scared to relay problems because the management system is poor. Admit to the problem and outline a solution. Any problem should be handled well ahead of it spiraling out of control.
Don’t Forget To Get Your Zap It Clean!