Josh Minx’s Southern Clean Pressure Wash company in Kansas City, Missouri began out of a mix of the desire to work for himself and a silver lining in a dark cloud.
After being a manager for a large steel corporation for more than 13 years, Minx was looking for an opportunity to own his own company. His research included talking to business owners like John Tornabene of Clean County, Jim Gamble of Crystal Clean and Michael Hinderliter of Steamaway as well as the owner of the small-scale company that cleaned sidewalks of the building he worked in about the pros and cons of the industry. He also joined the powerwashcommunity.com online community (he is now an administrator) to ask questions about owning a pressure wash company.
“(Members) all seemed to be doing well, they enjoyed what they were doing, and I wanted the same thing,” Minx says.
As he conducted researched and mulled over his choices, his company started laying off workers – Minx saw an opening. He agreed to an early retirement package and transitioned into pressure washing.
Today, Minx thrives on his relationships with his customers and making them happy with his high-quality work. “Nothing is more satisfying than happy customers. After a job is done and we take a walk around and they are happy with how great everything looks, it makes you feel good inside that you’re helping somebody.”
What gave Minx the gumption to walk away from a secure job for starting his own company? In part, his high school football coach. According to Minx, Coach ??? always said, “In life, you can have anything you want but you can’t wait for it to come to you.” Minx has used this saying through his whole life and today shares it with his employees.
The next phase for Southern Clean Pressure Wash is building the business to be the sole income for his family as Minx’s wife leaves her military career to raise their five children, whose ages range from 10 years to 2 months. Eventually, he hopes to have 5-10 trucks on the road, work 6-7 days a week, and branch out to other states. One of his biggest challenges in accomplishing that is hiring great employees.
After coming from a corporate background where he would hire someone and not interact with them again, Minx wants a pressure washing company that feels like a family, especially since he spends all day with them driving from job to job. “I get people who treat the job like a “weekend warrior” type thing, not a professional job.” He also struggles to find employees with good customer service skills and who can handle the work.
Minx continues to lean on his online community for help and advice as he works to grow the company. One of his weaknesses is organization, so he took his peers’ suggestion and uses Invoice2go, software that allows him to create, search for and send invoices from the office or out in the field. “My wife helps me tremendously with the business, and she used to have to yell at me about (invoicing) all the time. Now I take my tablet with me on the job.” He also uses Responsibid, an online quoting tool that creates bids and keeps them organized.
Next will be working on his marketing efforts. He is looking at classes offered by PowerWash.com to learn more about how to sell his business. “This is one area everyone can improve on.”
It takes courage to leave a corporate job for the unknown of small business ownership. Josh Minx took the chance and experiences both professional and personal reward from his pressure washing business. His example shows that even business owners can’t be successful alone – we need our peers, our employees and our families to support us.