Thirty-one percent of respondents reported that they clean their households everyday according to nielsen.com. Additionally, nielsen.com reported that, globally, 44% of women do most of the household cleaning in comparison to men which is reported at 17%. Women are often stereotyped as always doing the cleaning, but Jerry Parkman, a man located in Ponchatoula, LA, has turned cleaning into his own business.
Parkman worked in the janitorial role for a company for about 13 years before deciding to branch off on his own and create JLP Services, LLC. JLP Services focuses on commercial cleaning for businesses. The business has also serviced some residential clients. It specializes in move-out cleaning for new construction or construction that is for sell or for lease. The business has been running since March of 2016, with business taking off around October.
While maintaining another job, he runs his business with his wife, Emily Davis, who is fundamental in ensuring he stays organized and on schedule. Often, Davis tackles some of the job assignments herself, while Parkman is at his other job.
While residential cleaning is not the primary focus of the business, it is a big reason the business stays busy. Parkman says that business has a way of finding him.
“We approached an apartment complex just with the idea of wanting to clean their common area after-hours,” Parkman said. “That evolved into us being their only cleaning service that they use for over 600 units in their apartment complex. Whenever a resident of the apartment moves out, we flip the apartment and get it ready for the next resident to move in.”
Residential cleaning has turned out to be something JLP Services hopes to further its skills in, especially since it is very lucrative. Parkman thinks that this area (move in, move out) is going to become his target.
Cleaning may not be one of those jobs that sounds fascinating to people, but Davis feels as though this job has slowly changed her.
“Doing this type of work has humbled me,” Davis explained. “That has been a blessing.”
Davis is coming out of the business world, in which she had been accustomed to working for a corporation. She says it has been a wonderful surprise to see that she is actually good at what she does.
One thing they are enjoying most is being their own bosses. Parkman says that he cannot think of a job in which he is able to set his own schedule and work at his own pace. Additionally, being able to decide what he makes is something that he enjoys. He does feel that the concept of “working for yourself” is a myth at the end of the day, though.
“As long as you have clients, you are working for someone,” he said jokingly. “The goal is to please the clients always and forever.”
Something that he felt that had been missing from the cleaning industry is customer satisfaction. Therefore, his business focuses on providing customer service. He feels as though too many businesses say one thing, but do another.
“We want to be something different, so that we can separate ourselves from other janitorial businesses out here,” he said.
The feedback that JLP Services has received has been good for the most part, but he has experienced some downs as well. Since this is his business, he always takes feedback personally. Sometimes, people have their own ways in which they expect cleaning to be done.
“For example, if a client tells us we missed the sink, instead of trying to prove him or her wrong, we let that client know that we will come look at it as soon as possible so that it can be fixed,” Parkman said. “It surprises many clients that we accept feedback so well and it has helped to defuse situations that may have ended badly.
Accepting feedback is driving the customer service for JLP Services. It has allowed trust to be built with their clients. Maintaining a good relationship with clients has meant allowing them to be right most of the time he said.
While trust with his clients has been beneficial, Parkman said that it has been tough with his employees. The biggest challenge he has faced has been finding people that are trustworthy.
“We want to expand to the point where we corner all of the local apartment complexes, but we have had issues with finding people that are committed to our business,” he said. “It is hard to expand when you do not know if your employees are going to be on time or even show up.”
Fortunately, he has had luck with two employees—CJ Carr and Annabelle Amos.
Amos has enjoyed the experience of working for JLP Services. She has learned many things about cleaning, such as how to clean a school and about new products that work more effectively than others.
“I am old so I already had a ton of experience with cleaning,” Amos explained while laughing. “This has been a good experience though…working in this business.”
Carr also has had a good experience with JLP Services. He likes that fact the he is able to work with his bosses, whereas at many other jobs an employee rarely, if ever, gets to see his or her boss.
“Outside of work, Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Emily are really good people, but when it is time to work, it is time to work,” Carr stated. “I think that it has been more beneficial for me because I know them on a personal level.”
Growing up, Carr said his parents took cleaning very seriously, especially cleaning up after himself. Although this is his first cleaning job, it has made him very open minded. He too, has learned useful information about cleaning.
Parkman never turns down any potential business, even if it involves doing a service for a client that is new to him. He decided to also purchase a rug cleaner and floor machine to offer more services to potential clients. He encourages any business or individuals who are in need of a cleaning service to contact him to discusses services and to receive a free estimate.
JLP Services can be reached at 985-294-9614. Information about the business is also available at www.jlpservicesllc.com/about.html.