A Client Story | Spring Clean Cleaning Services

Interested to know how a company grows and lasts in Nashville for over 20 years? You have come to the right place! Spring Clean Cleaning Services, a current NBIC (Nashville Business Incubation Center) client, is a great example.

Darren and Karla Frieson, the husband and wife team behind the janitorial company, are continuing to make residential and commercial properties shine. NBIC sat down with Karla Frieson to learn about their business beginnings, why NBIC was their best choice, and their recommendations for business resources other entrepreneurs can incorporate. There are definitely a few aha moments below that you should check out!

Fun Facts About Spring Clean Cleaning Services:

  • They are a 20+ year-old minority and service-disabled veteran janitorial company offering cleaning, upholstery, and landscaping to their commercial and residential clients, along with carpet cleaning to residential clients.
  • They were honored as a 2014 Nashville Business Journal Small Business Awards as a finalist.
  • Some of their clients include: Department of Veteran Affairs, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tyson McGhee National Guard, ITT Technical Institute, Metro Southeast, Veterans Administration, Bridgestone/Firestone and The City of Berry Hill.

Why NBIC?

We wanted to grow. We needed processes and wanted to learn the best advertising options to put in place. NBIC was the natural choice to get us there.

 

As a Nashville born business, what do you think about your new “It” city?

My husband and I are actually Nashville natives and grew up in East Nashville. It is really unbelievable to see all of the growth happening in the city. I am also a real estate agent that survived the housing market crash and now can experience the benefits that the growth of the city has to offer.

So, you guys are a husband and wife team taking the janitorial world head on, was that always your plan to work together?

I didn’t think we would be working together, but I saw a need that I could help Darren fulfill. He was constantly out in the field on projects and I knew I could help with the the back-end/operations of the company. The ability for me to step in to this role just made sense and it is history from there. It is also a lot of hard work, but worth it!

We know you celebrated your 20 year business anniversary in 2015. What was the biggest “aha” moment you have experienced since starting your company?

The biggest “aha” moment we learned from Angela Crane-Jones, and it includes one simple word…NETWORKING! We truly realized how important making connections with the people you meet on your business journey and that it is a huge necessity.  Being at the right events, getting your name out there and establishing relationships goes a long way to reaching your business goals.

spring-clean-cleaning-services-team-photo

What is the one business tip you would give to new entrepreneurs starting out in Nashville?

Do things the right way in the beginning by connecting with an incubation program like NBIC or other business support organization. It is more than just getting a business license; you need to know about insurance, finding the right accountant and proper bookkeeping system, paying your taxes and much more. If you can connect with the right organization in the beginning, some of those hard learning lessons can be avoided.

Okay, so what would you say are the top things you love about NBIC?

  1. Angela Crane-Jones: (the superwoman behind NBIC, in case you are one of only a few that didn’t know). She really helped us with so many different aspects to grow our business and made us be accountable to our business and vision. Whatever she said was “gold” in our eyes and I did each task without hesitation, because I trusted her and saw the passion she had for helping small businesses.
  2. Relationship Building aka Networking: As I mentioned before, we really learned a lot about connecting with potential customers and other businesses. Creating genuine relationships are an integral part to any businesses success.

What’s next for Spring Clean Cleaning Services in 2016?

We are looking to diversify; offering other services and expanding into other states.

To learn more about Spring Clean Cleaning Services visit – http://springcleanllc.com/

A Graduate Story | Adtec Digital

We chatted with Ron Johnson, President of Adtec Digital; a contribution broadcasting company (aka they make viewing TV commercials and digital messages way easy). Adtec was founded by Ron Johnson, David Cook and Andre’ Ancelin in 1986. The company continues to create cutting edge equipment and initiallt proposed the way commercials are currently inserted into commercial broadcasting. 

Ron currently resides in Goodlettsville with his wife, and has two sons.

What inspired you to start Adtech:

Myself,  David Cook,  and Andre Ancelin attended  Tennessee Tech together and after graduation decided to start a tech company. I was the sales and marketing guy, David was the cool, customer service guy made sure the client experience was great, and Andre was head designer and basically formulated our concept.

So, who was your first customer?

During our last year in school, we made a playback piece of equipment for Tennessee Tech and, in turn, they become our first customer after we incorporated. The equipment was text based and would play content back automatically to share current happenings around the campus. After Tennessee Tech signed on, we realized it would be a great idea to provide this type of equipment to other universities. Then, it was like a domino effect as universities and hotels starting requesting our equipment.

We now provide equipment and services to universities, hospitals, hotels, cruise ships, theme parks, casinos and all major TV broadcasters. A lot of our staff and equipment was used for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. With so many networks reporting live, we were called on to ensure they reached all of their audiences.

So, the Olympics are another big event that many networks report live, will Adtec play an integral part?

Yes, the Olympics are one of our big clients. We actually started sending equipment down in February, and will have staff on call in Rio de Janeiro  throughout the event to ensure viewing runs smoothly. We train people who are actually down there to be able to help out if need be, standby to provide technical support if need, still need to be available for the next several weeks. Plus, as a company that stays on the cutting edge, we will be introducing a new product, Afiniti which is a line of encoders and decoders that provide more robust audio and video solutions.

What brought you to NBIC?

My father-in-law saw a write-up in the newspaper about the opening of the incubation center, and thought it would be good for us to participate. If I am not mistaken, I think we were like the 2nd or 3rd business in the program.

Tell us the 2 things you gained from your NBIC experience?

  • Big salaries on the front end, don’t equal success: We participated in development clinics during the NBIC program and noticed participant business plans would include paying themselves extremely high salaries. We decided to do the opposite; as we knew 90% of all businesses failed after the first 5 years and we wanted to be extremely frugal. My total take home for the first year was $780!
  • Take the advice given: One of our advisers during our time in the program was Phil Bredesen (previous Governor of Tennessee). He told us that we should join the American Hospital Association in order to gain access to their hospital contact database. Very quickly after joining the American Hospital Association, we passed the 1 million dollar mark and hospitals quickly became one of our largest revenue channels. Now, every hospital in the US has some type of Adtec equipment. So, when you are preparing for a procedure or surgery, and they ask you to watch a video before seeing the nurse or doctor, there is a high chance you are watching on our equipment.

As a native Nashvillian, what do you think about the growth of Nashville?

It’s a good thing; providing jobs for people and opportunity. My one beef is the big push to drive everything and everyone downtown. I would love to see more investment into the pockets of area outside that city, like Lebanon, Wilson County and Goodlettsville.