The 2024 Cleaning Industry Leaders Review: Neville & Sons

Neville

Based in Columbia, Missouri, the cleaning industry journey for Neville & Sons began in 1977 when David Neville, a diesel mechanic, started a side hustle using several Von Schrader machines.

For 46 years, they have been serving their local community. “Initially, my grandfather grew the business to a comfortable size,” said David Neville’s grandson, Jace Neville. “In 2005, my dad and uncle—Kevin and Tony—purchased the business from him. At that time, we had three vans grossing around $400,000 annually.”

Kevin and Tony Neville took some time to figure out how they wanted to grow the business. Around 2007, they mainly focused on apartment complexes, aligning their growth with the University of Missouri and the influx of apartment complexes in town.

In 2011, they attended Mikey’s Fest in Nashville (a fantastic gathering for carpet, upholstery, and hard surface care professionals), where they learned from other carpet cleaning companies and gained valuable insights into business growth strategies, sales ideas, and skills. This marked a significant shift in their approach to business.

By 2011, Neville & Sons started working on its first student housing cleaning service project and continued to expand further in 2012. By 2018, after graduating from college, Jace Neville returned home to work as the general manager, primarily overseeing carpet cleaning. This allowed Kevin and Tony Neville to focus more on big-picture thinking.

The following year, they purchased a local competitor specializing in water restoration. This move provided the business with additional expertise and employees. “We eventually separated this into a different business unit, with Tony overseeing it,” said Jace. “We’ve been moving towards handling some of the reconstruction work in-house recently.”

Since 2005, starting with just three vans and grossing $400,000, Neville & Sons has grown to have 15 vehicles, including eight truck-mounted carpet cleaning units, and their revenue is now seven times higher than in 2005.

“I’ve always wanted to be a part of the family business and deeply love our company,” Jace said. “Currently, we employ six full-time carpet cleaning crew leaders. Compared to other companies, we only hire full-time crew leaders, bringing in technicians to help in the summer months.”

The company scales up significantly in the summer by hiring around 25 high school and college students to assist them. Some of these individuals even eventually become crew leaders after gaining experience.

The size of the business and equipment allow them to handle larger projects, including high-rise buildings and student housing, where they clean approximately 12,000 bedrooms during the summer months.

The business has served Columbia, Missouri, for 46 years, and many of its customers have been with them for decades. “Word-of-mouth referrals are invaluable to us,” claimed Jace. “And customer service is a top priority. We aim to be efficient and consistent on residential job sites while causing minimal disruption. We oversee the organization and planning for commercial properties, allowing our crew leaders to focus solely on carpet cleaning.”

One of Neville & Sons’ differentiating factors is that they have always been deeply rooted in the community. Jace continued, “We also serve the community, offering free cleanings to local churches and nonprofits. Our goal is to help our community become better than it was before and contribute positively to Columbia, Missouri.

“My definition of success is tied to improving our community and participating in that improvement. Paying our employees well and allowing them to be part of something larger than themselves are critical factors in attracting and retaining quality workers.”

Regarding advice, the Nevilles suggested never underestimating the importance of relationships with local competitors and those outside your market. Collaborating and helping one another can benefit everyone in the industry.

“Our relationships with local competitors have allowed us to share equipment and knowledge, and this kind of cooperation has been crucial, especially post-COVID when the workforce landscape has changed significantly,” disclosed Jace. Building relationships with competitors outside your market can provide valuable insights and support when needed. It’s all about creating a supportive network within the industry.

Watch the full interview here:

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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