In this episode Josh talks with Jared Twilley, Co-Founder and CEO of Jani-Serv, Inc. They discuss the unique model Jared has set up for his company.
Jared is self-employed since age 21, Believer, Father, Brother, Son, and loves the gym 6 days a week. He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Jani-Serv, Inc. based in Utah. Jani-Serv, Inc., a National facility services company which began in Mesa, Arizona 2002, Mr. Twilley sold his managing share to his partner in 2016, Mr. Twilley continued services in Utah under the Jani-Serv, Inc. brand he Co-Founded.
During operations in Arizona, the Twilley Brothers built multi-service chains from Lawn Care, Maid Services and Maintenance Services Nationally. The “Total Facility Services Model” has continued into the Utah market, as well.
In today’s episode you will learn:
- How to hire part-time people
- Ways to start from scratch
- To believe when no one else does
- See patterns in all things
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, how are you today? This is Josh Patrick. You’re at the Sustainable Business podcast. My guest today is Jared Twilley. I am really excited about having Jared on the show and this is why. Jared runs a real and I mean a real blue collar business using the wonderful world of janitorial which means that he cleans other people’s offices or probably more stuff than that. We’ll find out when we bring Jared on. So instead of me telling you what your does, we’ll let you have him and tell yourself.
Hey, Jared, how are you today?
Jared: I’m doing great.
Josh: Thanks a lot for joining me. Tell me what is your business does.
Jared: I have staff that go out in a variety of types of buildings and they clean generally, I would say 95% or more after hours where they’ll come in between about 6pm and 6am depending on the needs of the customer. We’ll clean clinics and schools and hospitals. We’ll provide staff at manufacturing plants to go through and clean when they shut down their lines and stuff like that as well as just one off once a week or a couple times a month, cleaning all types of buildings. We are janitors.
Josh: We might think is the most glamorous type of business in the world.
Jared: Oh, of course not which is more beneficial to me when my neighbors start asking questions.
Josh: Why is that?
Jared: Yeah, it’s a nice hidden industry. It’s something that you could really grow from and find a lot of success because it’s a residual type business. As long as we provide a good service and show up and have a good rate. They’re always getting added value. You keep a customer for 10 or 20 years. It’s something I’ve done since 2002 with my brother and my dad at Arizona. I’m up in Utah now, but we’ve had customers for 15, 20 years.
Josh: The nice thing about that type of business is it’s one of the keys to having a sustainable business in that you have recurring revenue.
Jared: Oh, yeah.
Josh: So on January 1 when you wake up, you probably know with 90% how much business you’ll have those still be on the books on December 31 of that year.
Jared: Oh, yeah. More like 100%.
Josh: That’s assuming we don’t lose any accounts.
Jared: Yeah, as long as I don’t lose it, but it’s a pretty nice way to start your day knowing what you got to work with.
Josh: So what is the biggest challenge that you face in your business?
Jared: The difficulty I think that is faced because I’ve had a day cleaning service. I’ve had a maid service before. So with the janitorial is communication, right? So I’m not out at night and I’m not running around day and night. Otherwise, I can’t grow my business and so having really good supervision and people I can count on and that the messages properly translated from the customer to me, to them to the workers. It kind of filters sometimes through a handful of people.
A lot of it is interaction and making sure that the message is properly translated. That’s probably the most difficult. The work can be done, but it’s just making sure that what work is being done and done properly.
Josh: How do you go about doing that communication?
Jared: So for the longest time, we tried to have a model to where it was like many, many businesses where you have the owner might have a manager or supervisor and then employees. But as we were growing our business, we were asked to become a subcontractor through a lot of different national vendors which had retail stores. It was very common for somebody to pick up 100 or 1000 retail stores in different regions.
Then they find a local company and they subcontract out the work. That was kind of something that we picked up. We learned. And as we did that we saw, if we change the model that we’re doing to more of this general contractor, subcontractor model versus like a franchise— our name is very similar to franchise cleaning companies, but we work with small local business owners. So where the communication got better was the ownership of this local cleaning company that we would work with.
They took pride in the work that they did. That was also kind of our slogan, but in taking pride in it and ownership of it because they are an owner of their own business that communication will get better and there was a lot more effort put in. They understood that we brought them a good amount of book of business. At times, it would equal if not be greater than what they had on their own and so quality improved, communication improved.
It’s not to say that we’re not without any issues like any other business. That’s one of the things that we pride ourselves on is our reviews online or five star on almost any site you look at. They’re legit. We didn’t pay for them. So communication other than everything that we have, right? We’re facetiming. We’re texting or emailing. We’re sending pictures. We’re doing every bit of communication, but it’s a 24/7 thing. That’s the thing that kind of stinks is it’s all the time. And so my wife’s learned to live with that.
Josh: So from what I just heard, and maybe I heard this wrong, you actually subcontract the work that you get to other janitorial companies?
Jared: Correct. I do have a handful of employees that are falling in different buildings. It all depends, like if we have a government building, you can do that but there’s processes you go through. For the most part, if I can take an employee, build them up, help them set up a business, teach them how to manage it, that’s one way. We have success with that.
Otherwise, I’ll find and outsource cleaning company that just they’re really good at operations, but they’re not good at selling. And so my team will focus on growing and building and then we send out day operations to make sure that the customers are happy. They’re getting their needs met and everything like that. We don’t sell the work to these contractors.
We’re not charging a fee. We’re just taking a margin as if they had a salesman that sold the account to them, essentially. Then we’re doing the billing and we’re informing all the staff and the chemicals and the processes and machinery. It’s very seamless. It’s like as if they were an employee, but they have their own business that is not only licensed or bonded, insured, but that they own. I own nothing of it and then we just meet regularly. We talk regularly and we just go through businesses if we counsel with one another.
Josh: Gosh, I love that model that you’re doing. That’s brilliant. Here’s why you think it’s brilliant. You don’t have to hire the part time hourly workers that are out there actually doing the cleaning—
Josh: — which is real bottleneck and problem in that industry is how do you attract good people?
Josh: Because you’re probably working with people that only have three or four or five employees, your skill ability is great. It becomes their problem to find the good people. Because it’s a small enough group. They’re probably out there working with the crews.
Jared: Correct. So that’s where my focus is. That’s where the problem that my brother and I we would find over the years. Those that were generally over a million or a couple million dollars that had created a decent organization. If we started throwing work at them, we weren’t that important to them. We just became another number.
It’s generally the folks that have a small business between 30,000 a year to 300,000 a year as a family business because then over a few years I could take them up to an extra hundred or two 300,000 myself if they stick with it and go through and understand the process of managing a business. The loyalty between us and them gets extremely tighten.
So the contractors themselves, like I mentioned before, stay with us just as long if not longer than any of the customers. Because like anything, you get disappointed customer fail, but it’s not a ding against them. We’re very understanding if something happened. It’s not as if I’m going to just yank it all away. It’s a very different experience. It has its frustrations because they’re their own business owner. I can only buy so much, but the benefits way outweigh all the other frustrations that come up with.
Josh: I think what you’re doing is, one of my favorite sayings is win, win or don’t play.
Josh: What you’re doing is you’re setting up a situation where the customer wins. Your subcontractor wins and you win. Because what you’re doing is you’re providing services for your subcontractors that they probably don’t know how to do themselves. If they did, they wouldn’t want to do it anyhow.
Jared: Yeah, it’s a very difficult thing for scalability for you to know, “Okay, I’ve grown my business to this much, at what point do I hire somebody to do my billing or hire somebody go out and do my sales? Or do I add on an operator or a nice supervisor.” So if we focus more on where their skill set is for quality and hiring and firing and training, what they’re good at and doing, and we take care of that administrative role in the sales process, and the billing and everything like that.
It lightens their load and I still make my margin. I wouldn’t make as much. I would make it more on volume, but the scalability of it allows for me to scale at a better rate so I’m able to hedge against that growth based off of that because if I did it myself there might only be 10 or 15% more. It’s not as if you’re coming and taking so much off the top otherwise that it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. I’ve seen that a lot where in this industry, the franchise model takes too much advantages if they’re almost an employee.
They take so much out of it that it ruins the contract. That’s one of the greatest ways for me to grow as competing against the franchise because now I have somebody that’s making so much more than an employee and then a franchise that the quality is there. They’re happier and they get paid no matter what. Then the only difference is as a contractor usually get paid 30 days or whatnot, but I pay every two weeks so I made sure my finances were in order so I never having to worry about payrolls. It just makes for a lot better, seamless transition. If I could pay weekly, I’d pay weekly. Whatever I can do to make sure that their burden is light so that my burden is light.
Josh: So I’m assuming that the people you contract with pay you monthly.
Josh: So did you have a pot full of cash seen outside that you can afford to finance [inaudible 00:11:05]. How do you go about doing that?
Jared: In the beginning 2002, I had to work. I was the first employee. I worked seven days a week. Every two three weeks, my brother gave me a couple days off. For the first three months or so, we banked every bit of cash flow. By the end of that first year, maybe two years later, I told my dad, my brother, I’m like, “Hey, I’d like to get paid for the first three months.” So I finally got paid, but it’s always just been a slow roll. Basically, for the first four or five years, I made $10 an hour and we were doing at least a million dollars in business.
So we always made sure that we never took more out of the business than the business could grow with. We always stayed debt free and funded it. It was frustrating because we’d have employees making way more money than us. There was never any seed money, never any inheritance, never borrowed anything. Over the years, we’ve had lines of credit when you get a big deal come in. But for the most part, same thing, if I don’t have to get in debt, I’m not going to get in debt. It’s extremely frustrating when you love to market and you love to sell and you want to crank it up. But I’d rather have no debt more than anything, kind of situation. That’s just me personally.
Josh: If you want to have no debt you limit how fast you can grow.
Josh: And it’s actually how big you can become.
Jared: Correct. I’ve looked at acquisitions. I looked at a bunch of different things of how I could grow better different. But for the most part, personally, I’m putting up two to five bids a day. I put a lot into marketing. I’m constantly tweaking my budget up as I grow and adjusting and if I lose, but for the most part, I’m always growing. It just takes time.
Josh: It does, it does. So if you want to grow faster, there are ways to do that you just have chosen not to.
Jared: I’ve grown 50% this year from last year and before that was another 50% or 100%. I usually can grow 100 or 200% a year if I want to. That’s what the lines of credit are for. If I ever wanted to outgrow it. If I wanted to borrow, but even at 50, I found somewhat of a formula that I use to fuel my growth. Then I just be satisfied with the things that I have. I’m not broke by any means. I have nice things. It’s just learning to be happy where you’re at the time and then adjust it as the time goes on.
Josh: It’s one of the things I really like about blue collar businesses, and I call your type of business, a blue collar business. The reason I do is that the people actually doing the work of the business are blue collar employees.
Josh: Not necessarily the owners. But the thing I really like about people who own blue collar businesses have a tendency to live within their means or not trying to grow way faster than what the market of let them do. What they do, do is they stay within their means. They grow within their means and you don’t tend to over borrow.
Jared: Yeah, no, I find that in a service industry. Your name and reputation or everything so you could grow as fast as you want. Then as you lose quality, if you grew too fast, I’m sure it could hurt, but there’s always ways to control things. That’s never really been my concern to outgrow.
Josh: What if you grow too fast you’re going to run our cash?
Jared: Yeah, yes. The fortunate thing is in this industry, like you said, it’s a 30 day bill cycle, right? Unless everybody I sold to fired somebody, that very same day, I’ll never run out of cash. Because there’s a term that you’re always having to deal with somebody else closing your new contract and canceling this previous contractor. As long as your marketing and then you’re stacking your growth as you continue to grow, if you drew your profit towards your growth margin. That’s fine.
Josh: How do you get new customers? I mean where does your growth come from?
Jared: So I have at least five or 10 processes that I go through. Like most businesses, you got telemarketing, pay per click, SEO, email marketing, LinkedIn, networking, referrals, visiting our customers asking for referral, just door to door, nothing spectacular. Then the whole focuses as well every bit of quality is then mentioned online so that those that we go on meet and are talking to, they can verify our quality. Because the hardest thing is you can only grow within so much of your social circle.
There’s going to become a point where you’re going to have to be verified constantly by others. So having my back of the house all in order with online reviews from like Angie’s List and Thumbtack is a new one and Google and everywhere else. If somebody is out looking, they can verify, “Hey, these are who they say they are better business bureau and all that different stuff.” They can qualify you on their own and then I feel just in the age that we are now with technology. It’s constantly, you’re being searched.
They’re searching you on social media, and then all those other things. So if the message of my business is different than the message of me as an individual on social media that could just as easily affect me getting work. In my opinion, that’s just my opinion. Because that’s how I view people when I look at them when I’m looking at businesses.
Josh: So what’s your favorite way of bringing new business in? What’s the most effective for you?
Jared: For me, personally, I always enjoy the internet just because if they verify it that way, if they’re truly interested, they’re ready to move now. Otherwise, referrals are great. I think that’s a wonderful way of growing your business and people talk about, “Oh, you’ll get paid better on a referral and everything like that.” But my favorite way is whenever somebody says yes, and they signed the paper. There’s no bias here.
Josh: Spoken like a true business owner I ever heard that before. My favorite method is whoever writes me the check the fastest.
Jared: Yeah. That’s correct.
Josh: I love that. That’s great. Do you help the people who are working with you, your subcontractors? Do you help them with business systems also?
Jared: Yeah, the thing that will go through with them is just will train them through hiring and firing and training and visiting, will teach them how to properly visit their accounts with their staff at night and how to train them. There’s always trainings provided by the supply houses that we buy our supplies from. They’ll do open trainings, but usually it’s one on one.
I’ll take somebody that already has experienced and then we’ll talk to them. I have an online system that is both in English and Spanish that goes through a whole training and certification process that they can go through for additional learning and ongoing learning. There’s all kinds of training that’s available, but I look for character more than anything. Because with character you can train anybody anything, but you need to trust them.
For what we do, I’m placing somebody in your office, right? And you’re home. I’m surprised how many people just give you a keys to their house when I did a maid service and a check and cash and they’re not even there. They don’t even know who you are half the time. That business, it’s a very private thing. There’s a lot of trust involved, a lot of character questions, a lot of things where you have to really drill down and get to know people before you even hire them.
Josh: Do values have a place in your hiring process?
Josh: Do you have articulated values that you recommend your subcontractors look at when they hire somebody?
Jared: Yeah, I go through with them what it is that made me want to hire them as well, like the characteristics that they had and the values that they have should translate. That’s one of the things that we talked to the other with our management and even today was kind of like, “Well, this person had this guy and this gal and this gal working with them.” Isn’t it amazing that we have these issues and look those same three different people all had those same different issues when certain things that raised and had a lot to do with character. You are who you associate with kind of thing. So I think he got a judge good judgments and you got to do it right away.
Josh: If you make a mistake, you have to admit it and fix it fast.
Josh: Because that’s my old saying goes, bad news does not get better with age.
Jared: Yeah. No, I know it was one of your five principles. I was watching the video on owning an issue.
Jared: You’d be surprised, because “Oh, no, I clean that. Oh, no, I did that.” Instead of “I could have made a mistake.” There’s only so many times you could say you took care of it. It’s like maybe you didn’t. Otherwise, why am I having the same conversation three times, four times? We’ve physically seen it and it wears on you. So owning up to your choices is an amazing thing.
Josh: It is, it is. Hey, Jared, unfortunately, we are out of time. Would you be willing to talk to some other business owners or they were interested in having conversation with you?
Jared: Oh, yeah, of course.
Josh: So how would they find you?
Jared: Our website there would give you my phone number and then I can send you my email as well. If anybody feels like they would like to call and talk to me anytime.
Josh: What would your email be?
Jared: It would be firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have an offer for you, too. But as we were talking earlier, cash flow is a hugely big deal when it comes to a business. I’ve put together this program we call Cracking the Cash Flow Code. And part of when I put this together I said well, we need to have success path so you know what you need to be doing at different stages in your business to create excess cash in your business and go along that road from going from every no cash to having too much cash. To get this is actually pretty easy. You just go to www.sustainablebusiness.co/cashflow, put in some information and I’ll send you our free infographic and you’ll find out where you are on the road to creating financial freedom for me yourself from your business. This is Josh Patrick with Jared Twilley. You’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.