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Management And Training

A Family Affair

April 04, 2012
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There is an old axiom that business and family should stay separate; however, there are many family-owned and operated cleaning companies that achieve great success that they wouldn''t have otherwise found without maintaining closeness to kinfolk.

Without familial ties, our company would have never survived the first year of business.

Our family pulled together during tough economic times and achieved success by stepping up and making sacrifices that most employees never would have done.

There are positives and negatives pertaining to working with your family.

We argue more than a typical chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO) because we are brothers.

But, when we work together, we can accomplish anything.

We encourage one another to do better.

We sit down at the dinner table and discuss the day-to-day operations.

We bring work home and, rather than seeing it as a task, we see it as an opportunity to do better work, make more money and make our family proud.

It is also great competition.

Competition Breeds Confidence

My brother and I compete constantly to see who can bring in the most business, who can save the most money or who can eat the most meatballs — and it''s all in good fun.

My brother and I are complete opposites: One of us handles the operations — the actual cleaning — while the other handles business — the sales and marketing.

He has no idea how to clean and I have no idea how to run a business.

We also have completely different ways of thinking when it comes to making big decisions about the company.

I think the glass is half empty; he thinks it''s half full.

My brother is the visionary: He sees where we need to go and what we need to do in order to grow.

I''m the conservative: I double check his plans and look for mistakes.

He comes up with the crazy ideas, I come up with the ways they could fail, a proverbial punch or two gets thrown and then we come up with one solid plan that we never could have come up with alone.

Many people think that, because they can do one or the other, they can successfully run a cleaning company.

But, they quickly find out that successfully running a cleaning business is harder then they think.

When you have your own business and you do everything yourself, it''s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work.

You are no longer taking the chances you first took when you opened the company because you already know how hard it can be going down that road.

So, sometimes you need that push, and who better to push you than your own family?

That much needed push helps you realize that you haven''t reached your full potential, and neither has the company.

It is inspiration backed with trust, love and family.

Family Beyond Definition

Our company works together — like a family.

And, it is not just the family members who benefit from this; every employee of our business it treated like family, even if legally they are not.

Our company uses only green-certified products, microfiber cloths and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuums.

We know that we have to provide our customers with the best service, so we need to use the best products.

We use green chemicals because we are going to be around these products for the rest of our lives, so we want to protect both the health of our employees and our clients.

In our eyes, it is better to be safe than sorry.

We take the extra precautions because we do not want to pass the burden down to future generations.

To us, it is not just a business; it is the family''s reputation that is at stake.

Our employees know that they are part of our family.

We build bonds by going out to eat, taking trips or just hanging out like real family members would.

By doing so, our employees take pride in working with us — not just for us.

Our employees have the confidence to go out there and try as hard as they can because they know that, when they return, their business is there to back them up.

We operate a business of trust: Trust in one another, trust in the equipment, trust in the management and trust in the structure of the company itself.

Cleaners at big companies are typically minimum wage workers and usually get treated like a number.''

Therefore, they are more likely to be deviant and possibly steal things from the company or the clients because it is easier to slip through the cracks of a big company.

It is less likely that an employee from a family-owned and operated cleaning company will steal from clients or the business because their relationship with the company exists on both a professional and personal level.

Less theft and less stress mean more money all around.

In our business, our mother is the accountant taking care of the books.

I manage the inventory and my brother manages the accounts.

Between us all, every penny and every item is accounted for.

We are one of the many successful family-owned and operated cleaning companies out there, and we would never be here if it weren''t for family.

It''s not easy to run a family-owned company.

But, when it is done right, the customers, employees and the owners all benefit.

Michael Dambrosio is the vice president and chief operating officer (COO) at Ultimate Cleaning LLC. He is a Boston native with a background in law. He volunteers with several local organizations and started working for his family when he came back from school. Before working at Ultimate Cleaning, Dambrosio interned for Mayor Thomas Menino and Senator John Kerry and campaigned for Governor Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama. For more information about Ultimate Cleaning, visit their website at or their blog at You can also "Like" them on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter at

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