Toledo couple marks 30 years in carpet cleaningWritten by David Steffen | | email@example.com
In 1977, Marcia and Bill Russell began their carpet cleaning company with one employee, steaming equipment and plenty of fliers. Thirty years later, they have since managed to succeed in carpet cleaning despite competition from well-known national steamers.
“We liked the idea of servicing people,” co-owner Marcia Russell said. “It’s an idea we could build along. The main thing is we wanted to work with people.”
Today, St. Lawrence Carpet Cleaning Inc. has 12 employees and thousands of residential and corporate clients, including Charlie’s Dodge and the Toledo Hilton hotel. The Russells said their personal touch has helped them succeed despite well-publicized national carpet steamers.
“We call the majority of our customers after the job to make sure everything is OK, and if there’s a problem, we’ll go back to take care of it,” Marcia said.
Bill agreed. He said he and his wife’s company has built trust with its clients. Most clients are repeat customers or referrals, Bill said.
“With us being on the job, they’re getting a more personal relationship with us and they feel more confident with us,” Bill said.
Marcia said part of building customer trust is never straying from a quote, unless previously warning a client the cost may change depending on circumstances.
“We’d rather take a loss on the job than to have a dissatisfied customer,” Marcia said.
After three decades, the husband and wife still work out of their Toledo home. They said they are happy with the progress of their homegrown company.
“There are some things we could’ve done better, but overall, we’ve raised six kids with our [business], and we’ve put them through private school. I think we’ve done well,” Bill said.
The couple said another component to any business’ success, including their own, is hard work.
“To succeed in business, you have to be willing to work a lot of hours, especially when you first start a business,” Marcia said.