“Starting a New Business Takes a Community Effort” – Site Visit at ServiceMaster Restore by NEST
By Marina DeWit, Region 9 Advocate
After 10 years as a production manager at a construction company, Chuck Beverly wanted to utilize his experience and skills in a business of his own. With the help of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in his hometown Poughkeepsie, NY, he put together an effective business plan and secured a loan with a bank that made his dream into reality. ServiceMaster Restore by NEST is a property damage cleanup company specializing in water, fire and smoke damage, bio-hazard cleanup and mold remediation. It is an independent franchise with 15 full-time employees and is quickly growing with high demand for the company’s services in three surrounding counties.
When Chuck purchased the company in 2016, some of the workers did not have proper certification. He invested over $3,000 per employee in the national level training and certification that takes three to five days to complete in the corporate office, thus ensuring the safety and quality of the company’s performance. As the need for service started to increase, Chuck found an 8,000-square-foot building that was built in 1964 just on the outside of the residential neighborhood. The premises was divided to set up the main office for accounting, a temporary storage facility for furniture removed from the affected homes and a treatment center for damaged materials. The idea was to be able to conduct business in a professional environment, have plenty of space for storing tools and equipment, have a ventilated opening for treating and cleaning and have a secure area for customers’ belongings while their homes are being repaired.
According to Chuck, 98 percent of people who see how his company can restore damaged properties hire him at once. Based on his calculations, he needs at least 19 projects to cover the expenses of rent, employees’ salaries and maintenance per month. This business is “like a rollercoaster and is unpredictable” and thus relies on advertisements and references. Chuck is grateful for the help he received from the SBDC, local chamber of commerce, SBA counselors and accountants that molded his idea into a beneficial business in the community. His company actively participates in local events, charities and fundraisers. He plans for his daughter to take over the business as he separates the construction aspect of it in the future. He is also expanding the idea of having commercial cleaning services provided along with his “damage control.” ServiceMaster may employ over 50 employees in the next year, and, though he has run into no barriers from federal regulations, the growth will certainly bring new considerations.
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Marina DeWit serves as the Region 9 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. DeWit works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 9 to Washington DC. She can be reached at Marina.DeWit@sba.gov.