AmeriClean’s small business story began 30 years ago as owner Bob Eriks made one of the biggest decisions of his life. He would step out on his own and create a company in Northwest Indiana built on values he believed in and the goal to help others affected by disaster and turmoil. As we enter our 30th year of business, we want to go back to our beginning and focus on the principles this company was built on and all the blessings we’ve experienced through staying true to the core values we embody at AmeriClean.
This week I was able to sit down with owner Bob Eriks to see how it all began, the journey of the past 30 years, and his advice for small business owners (including himself).
What gave you the idea to start AmeriClean? “I had worked for another restoration company prior to opening AmeriClean and truly felt I could take a different approach which would help me to better serve customers.”
Speaking of AmeriClean’s approach, one of the Core Values of the company is “always remember that we have been blessed and have an obligation to help others.” How is that core value implemented throughout AmeriClean? “I think we’ve been blessed with employees that live that same motto daily and go above and beyond for our customers. Their hard work and kindness go a long way in this industry and we are grateful for all they do! I also believe this core value of the company is seen in the times where our employees, my family members, and myself have given up weekends and family time to serve our customers in their time of need.”
The total years of all the AmeriClean employees with the company is 212 years, what do you attest that to? “Again, I believe we have been blessed to find employees who value making a difference in the lives of others. This similar attribute allows our employees to find their daily work rewarding and we try to make sure they know we value their hard work and dedication.”
With owning your own business, there are many challenging and rewarding times… what are those for you? “Some of the more challenging times in owning your own business is managing cash flow and continuously marketing to new business, both are important in our daily operations. I would say the most rewarding part of owning my own business, especially in this industry, is the positive difference we are able to make in times of catastrophe.”
What advice would you give entrepreneurs starting a small business today? “That’s a hard one as times have changed so much since I started AmeriClean in 1986. I would say to make sure you start small with a plane to make sure you can survive the beginning years and have a plan in place for marketing to reach new customers. Really though I would say to always stay true to your core values and no matter what happens it will be worth it.”
What would you tell yourself 30 years ago when you started AmeriClean? “Wow, that’s a hard one. I would probably tell myself to always stick to what you do best and to expand carefully. Also, to always enjoy the journey!”
When you own your own small business, how do you know you’ve “made it / succeeded”? “I’m not sure you ever arrive there. You are always trying to stay the leading choice for your customers and that is always a continuous journey. Owning your own small business is a journey and not a destination”
About AmeriClean, Inc.
AmeriClean, Inc was established in 1986 by Bob Eriks in a small warehouse as a provider of Fire Damage Restoration for Northwest Indiana. Fast forward to today and AmeriClean’s services include Carpet, Upholstery, Air Duct, Area Rug, Ceramic Tile Cleaning; as well as: Water Damage Restoration, Fire Damage Restoration and Mold Remediation. With 30 years of experience, AmeriClean, Inc. is now a leading name in residential and commercial properties for cleaning and restoration needs. For more information, visit our website or call 800.654.9101.