Charlie McGuire II’s Optimum Cleaning Services in Moreno Valley, CA, is a small, relatively new company that’s already made a big impact on the Inland Empire of Southern California. People in the area know McGuire — and his tagline: “I am the Inland Empire’s favorite cleaner.”
Informed by the past
Optimum Cleaning was established only four years ago. “I started this business with a 96 Chevy Blazer and a portable. I had only one customer, and that was my girlfriend’s mom,” McGuire reveals with a laugh. “I started out not only cleaning carpet, but also as a handyman. I can’t tell you how many TVs I mounted in this business in the beginning. We no longer offer that service.”
While McGuire only has been in the carpet cleaning industry for a few years, he’s worked his share of service jobs, from glass installation to warehouse work. He says his experience in construction helped him most in joining the carpet cleaning industry.
McGuire also had prior cleaning experienced before joining the industry. He says, “When I moved to California, I saw a need [for carpet cleaners in the area] and decided to start my own business. I also had a desire to serve this community, and I felt like being a business owner would help me achieve it, like sponsoring youth sports and more.”
Working with his customers to solve their cleaning problems is what McGuire likes best about the work, along with learning new ways to do so. “I like learning new things, so that’s why I continue with my education in different types of cleaning — and to continue growing my business,” he says, adding, “I love being my own boss and setting my own hours so I can spend more time with my family and serve my community.”
The company now employs one part-time and one full-time employee in addition to McGuire and has posted steady growth. Over the last two years, the company has grown by nearly 20 percent and continues an upward trajectory.
Learning to grow
Optimum Cleaning’s service offerings are growing, too. The company offers carpet, upholstery, tile and grout, laminated floors, hardwood, and dryer vent cleaning, as well as area rug cleaning and carpet dying, both of which Optimum Cleaning is working to expand this year.
McGuire emphasizes the need for companies, especially those just starting up. He says, “Newer people in this industry should remember it’s called a ‘cleaning business.’ They should be focused most on those two words, ‘Cleaning’ and ‘business,’ not new gadgets.”
When it comes to the “cleaning” side of the business, McGuire says, “Companies should be focused on cleaning — as in education, learning how to do different types of cleaning the correct way. I’m not knocking new equipment or upgrading equipment. I’m just saying, learn how to clean with what you have, and when you can do better, buy better equipment. New equipment shouldn’t put you out of business; it should take you to the next level.”
McGuire also points to the fellowship that exists in the carpet cleaning community as a key to his success and that is available to others in the industry. “Find a good mentor. Do some ride-alongs with existing companies. Become IICRC certified,” he says. “I sought out some of the best instructors in the industry and learned from them (which isn’t over). Doug Heiferman, Chris Howell, Scott Warrington, Dennis Klager, and more, to name a few.”
As to the “business” side, McGuire says, “It’s important to focus on the marketing and everything you need to know to run your business.” McGuire confesses that the marketing side of business has presented its challenges and seen changes at his company.
In the beginning, the company focused on “getting its foot in the door” by doing Amazon Home Services, Thumbtack, and Home Advisor listings, as well as establishing a presence on social media. “I went as far as I felt I could go as the chief marketer of the business, so now I have hired a marketing company to take us to the next level,” McGuire says. Though, he still runs a company YouTube channel that has helped drive customers to him.
Things will only get better for this up-and-coming business. Expect to hear more about McGuire and Optimum Cleaning as they continue down this successful path.
Three very different companies. Three very different roads to success. A multitude of business-building lessons to learn. Check out the other companies featured in our 2019 Carpet Cleaning Industry Leaders Review: