We’ve launched our new,’ Ten Minutes With,’ series to give businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve been doing in lockdown and what they’ve done to copy in this new world we’re living in.
We want to know how you’ve adapted and if you’ve got any advice for other businesses as we head towards a new kind of normal.
This week we’re talking to Clint Parr from contract cleaning company, 1stTimeClean.
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Tell us about your business?
We’re based in Burslem and specialise in all aspects of commercial contract cleaning including high level cleaning, sanitisation and infection control, office, kitchen and extraction cleaning.
We specialise in deep cleaning and sanitising business premises, which since the Coronavirus crisis we’ve seen a surge in demand for.
1stTimeClean is a family run business with around 30 staff and although we’re based in Staffordshire we work across the UK and have some big contracts in Scotland.
What did you do before launching your business?
After a few hedonistic summers doing bar work in Zante (when I was a lot younger and had hair), I came back to the UK and worked in scaffolding in London for a few years which I loved.
I joined our family company when I came back to Stoke-on-Trent and took it over from my Dad seven years ago.
Why do you do what you do?
My Dad set up the business and worked incredibly hard to make it successful. It’s really important to me to continue what Dad started and build on its success going forward for me and our family.
At the moment being able to give peace of mind to clients about the cleanliness of their working environment especially as staff go back, is also really important.
What advice do you have for companies during this time?
Cleanliness and hygiene are more important than ever for obvious reasons. Businesses need to ensure they’re on top of and are enhancing their cleaning regime. Touchpoints like light switches, kettles and door handles need to be disinfected very, very regularly.
Sanitisation stations are also key so staff can keep their hands and work-stations clean.
It’s not only about hygiene levels, it’s about peace of mind for businesses and their staff. We’ve heard of occasions where employees have refused to go back to work because they feel that the steps in place aren’t sufficient enough.
Obviously we can help businesses and if they want to find our more they can visit our website at www.1sttimeclean.co.uk
How are you coping in lockdown?
Business was quieter for the first month as so many offices were closed. It meant I got to spend lots of time at home with my family which was nice.
It wasn’t long though before we started to get more and more work coming in as people started to gradually open up. In response we launched a new sanitisation service, which was due to go live in the summer but because of the demand for deep cleaning and disinfection we brought it forward. That’s kept us really busy and we’ve won new contracts because of it despite the lockdown.
I think it’s been harder for my wife who’s been home-schooling our son and daughter.
Have you learnt anything about yourself?
It’s made me realise not to take the little things for granted. I have missed the freedom we had before lockdown, things like going out for a family lunch or going to the match with my lad. I want to make sure I don’t forget that when lockdown is over.
Are you going to do anything differently after lockdown has been lifted?
The month at the start of lockdown where I spent so much time with my family was really special. I want to make sure that I have more quality family time in the future. I want to put systems in place to make sure I can make that happen.
What are your plans for the future?
I am ambitious and want to continue to grow the business, win more contracts and creating more jobs. We’ve invested heavily in marketing and advertising this year and it’s already started to pay off.
And finally, if you didn’t own 1stTimeClean what would your dream job have been?
I loved being a scaffolder but unsurprisingly like a lot of my mates I would have loved to be a footballer. At 44 though that ship has definitely sailed especially as I can’t see my feet now!
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll grab a cuppa over Zoom.