Tell us about yourself
I received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Regina. Specializing in Marketing with a minor in psychology. I moved to London in 2018, from Saskatchewan, with my wife Hong and our son Louie.
The majority of my career was in disaster restoration and abatement, specializing in fire, water, mold, asbestos, biohazard and odour (15 years).
Spent some time living in China, BC, Saskatchewan and Alberta to see how life and business is conducted. I spend a lot of time travelling when I can to different areas of the world.
Tell us about your business
We incorporated in 2018. We specialize in outbreak prevention and high-end disinfecting. I had realized there weren’t great options in Canada where third party companies could offer highly effective, high end disinfecting options to the provide market outside of health care. We decided to make these options affordable to any organization.
We provide long last disinfecting solutions to organizations, mostly manufacturing and long-term care, that keep everyone in their facilities safer through traditional solutions on the market. We treat about 4 million square feet a month.
We now have 8 employees between London, Barrie and the GTA.
Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
We have grown significantly. From 2 employees in January to 8 employees now. We have see 1000x growth in the last 9 months. We are one of the only companies that specialize in outbreak prevention disinfecting before the pandemic began. We have been able to help businesses keep their facilities continually disinfected during the pandemic.
It was definitely adapting so quickly. There were lots of 100+ work weeks with the longest being 158 hours one week.
Being a start up we didn’t have a lot of cash reserves but we spent our money wisely to obtain the right equipment and processes at the start of the pandemic. That help set the base for our organization to grow.
I previously ran and owned a disaster restoration company so the immediate reaction and demand to a problem was something I was familiar with. I knew how to respond to it disaster even.
My previous experience growing companies helped when rapidly bringing on staff clients and business with All Clear Disinfecting.
What led you to start this business?
There was a need for outbreak prevention and high-end disinfecting solutions for long-term care and other traditional markets outside of healthcare that wasn’t being met.
Was there something that drew into entrepreneurship?
I had worked in crown corporations and government before and found that didn’t appeal to me. The idea of career growth only by years worked and only focusing on one simple task instead of all the aspects of business grew tiresome.
My concept is that if you are a high-level manager in a company you are required to bring in work and manage competently. If you don’t bring in work and perform then you are out of a job. It’s the same if your company doesn’t make money. So the risk is the same.
When you work for a company and receive a salary your potential is capped. Sometimes there are bonuses but it’s very rare for companies to follow through on their bonus commitments. If you own your own company, and you are confident in yourself, there is no cap on your potential growth and earnings. If you are an employee and the company explodes you don’t realize that success personally but you do if you are the owner of the company.
What were some of the challenges you face getting started and how did you overcome them?
The financial challenge was definitely there. Moving from businesses that made us a comfortable amount of income to no income in two years as a shift. However, we kept our expenses low, overhead as low as we could, did what we could in the house, then as finances permitted, outsourced some of the nonessential components.
Growing up on a farm I wasn’t scared of hard work, but 100+ hour days were definitely hard. I have a great wife who has the same vision as myself and give me support along the way. Without that support I don’t think we would have been as successful.
As a busy entrepreneur, what do you like to do when you take a break?
We like to travel, hike and get out into nature with our son.
If you could sit down with any business leader or industry expert, who would you choose and why?
I would definitely like to sit down with Bill Gates. He has the ability to do anything he wants and has shifted from business to building ideas that will help the world for generations to come.
What is the #1 small book/blog/website you would recommend?
Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Can you tell us about an entrepreneur are you admire and why?
I really admire Elon musk. He grew ideas in very traditional and political industries and likely nobody else could. He is a visionary. His ambitions are limitless.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and why?
Good is the enemy of great. If you are content with being good you will never become great.
What advice would you give to someone starting a small business today?
Be prepared to work hard. Keep your overhead low and don’t be greedy.
What’s in the future for your business?
Short term is to help as many businesses as we can during this outbreak. Long term, we will continue to focus on and develop a new market each year. There is a lot of potential and markets that aren’t being focused on and we will continue to exploit that potential moving forward.
Learn more about All Clear Disinfecting here.