Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in general services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jacob Bailey, Owner of Summit Maids, located in Cleveland, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Summit Maids helps people enjoy more of their lives by providing residential and commercial cleaning services in the greater Cleveland, OH, area. Our customers run the whole gamut from young professionals who work a lot and just need some help at home to retirees who would like a hand keeping things tidy and everyone in between! On the commercial side of things, we specialize in large apartment buildings, manufacturing offices, professional suites, and health & wellness businesses.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a former member of the international diplomatic corps who thought startups would be fun. After working with some big-name brands in the tech world, I have found my place in the offline SMB world as a business owner myself. It turns out that there are a lot of cool things that can be brought to the SMB space when you have a background in tech. So that's what I do. I run offline businesses and add in some of the flair and efficiency of modern technology. And I'm having a blast doing it. My mission is to provide good jobs to great people from all walks of life and to raise my community around me. So I work hard to build good, sustaining businesses that are able to provide those jobs and to give back to my community through direct fiscal support, activism, and donations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have to say that so far, one of the most impactful moments of my career as a business owner was when I gave one of my team members a raise, and she broke down in tears. At first, I was afraid that I'd done something wrong, but eventually, she shared that it was because with this raise, she was making more than she'd ever thought she could see before, and she would be able to buy a house - something that she never dreamed she would be able to do before that day. Creating those moments and helping people achieve things they didn't know were possible - that's why I do what I do.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Carrying that weight. All of your team depend on you for their livelihoods. They can clock off on Friday and enjoy their weekend, while I have the pressure of knowing that if I don't keep growing, don't keep building, then it all could come toppling down, and all those people would lose their jobs because of me. So I keep going. I keep pursuing my goals. And I look to meet other business owners who can relate to what I am going through. You don't have to do it alone.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just get started. I am a chronic overthinker myself, and if I'd just gotten going ten years ago, I can only imagine how much further along, I'd be now.
- You don't need to reinvent the wheel. There are hundreds and thousands of 'unsexy,' 'boring' businesses out there that just work. Don't worry about building the next Facebook. Just start something, get your cash flow going, and decide what's next from there.
- Don't go it alone. Find your tribe of other business owners and entrepreneurs who you can lean on for support when the going gets tough.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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