Michael Brown is the founder of Swept Janitorial Software, which is an all-in-one app that integrates employee scheduling, tracking, customer supplies, and quality control. As many of you know, Josh Melton has coached me from solo to a team of commercial cleaners over the past two years. Josh personally uses Swept and introduced me to Michael a few years ago. I've been following his journey and had to get him on the show. Michael is brilliant and I couldn't wait to listen to his mindset. I also have to mention this. We've now used Swept personally since 2021 and there is NO way we would have been able to to take 2 month-long family trips to Florida in the middle of winter without this amazing tool. As of the time of this interview, Swept had over 40,000 users in a market of 1 million janitorial companies. They have a lot of space to grow and they will!
In the first portion of this interview, Ken and Michael dig into training up our kids to be life-long learners and critical thinkers. Michael shares a story of a local friend with a large security guard company that designed a program to "give them their brains back". He found out the unique talents and skills of his workforce and utilized them. This made the employees enjoy their work more and it saved the company from investing in specific job functions and roles. Michael encourages other employers to look outside of the typical roles to find gold on your team.
"People will overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten." - Dan Martell
"Dream Manager" book is a favorite of ours. Michael says it was based on Mary Miller's janitorial company Jancoa out of Cincinnati. This company has an incredible culture that the book was based on.
Michael grew up in rural Nova Scotia with no money in the family, so he sought to earn through his own businesses at age 8. He has been a life-long entrepreneur. His dad was a government worker with an incredible work ethic. He was work-oriented and that really shaped young Michael.
"If you have nothing to lose, you can take risks."
"People will give you the advice they would take."
His first business was a rain gutter business in college that he built a million dollars and sold it. He started a commercial cleaning company in 2014 and struggled as we struggle. Michael started Swept for his own cleaning company as an internal tool to support the growth of the company. The software grew from there to where it is now at over 40,000 users worldwide.
"Everything that we want to do is already in us." Michael finds his big ideas and plans while out in nature without devices. Being away unlocks these ideas. "We, as humans, have the ability to figure it out."
"There is a difference between a Leadership Mindset and a Survival Mindset. One is scalable and the other is not."
"I'm fascinated by people. They want the end state, but don't want to do the pre-work. Some would rather risk the money than take the time to validate it before they spend the money."
"I am so sorry. Let me do better. I wish you would have told me. Michael, it's not our business to tell you what's happening in your company."
"I really didn't want to run my business assuming people were stealing time from me was terrible."
"1,000 features that don't work well together isn't even better than pen and paper."
"We solved the pain for ourselves and realized the scale of that problem was way bigger than us."
Swept user stats:
Michael thinks the industry is going to shrink in the number of companies, where a consolidation will occur to eliminate the bad ones.
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