“What made you come up with Sweep?” is a common question I (Owner/Chris Randall) get from anyone who hears about us. It’s a fair question because cleaning typically isn’t a passion for someone, and the whole app based concept of it intrigues most people. I want to walk you through Sweep’s origin story so that you have full transparency about Sweep and can follow our journey in the future.
I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship and working for myself. Throughout various projects, sports, and other situations in life, I learned pretty quickly that I have a knack for building, organizing, and working with others. These skills are important for owning a business, so I knew that I had the capability. Dreaming about running a business and actually doing it are two completely different things however. Although I wanted to run a business immediately after school, it wouldn’t be until 5 years later that Sweep would come into the picture.
Following the status quo of success, I joined a fortune 500 company during/after college and figured I would work my way up the ladder. I did this for 5 years and found great success. That success was mainly financial, but I was missing something. I had strong opinions about certain situations, and often did things my own way. I felt restricted, and therefore, unhappy. On a typical 50 minute drive to work on a random day in April 2019, my life changed.
Self improvement and business education have always been an area in my life that I focus on. On that April day, I was listening to an audio book called “The Personal MBA” by Josh Kaufman. He was talking about what makes a successful business. One key factor was doing something that people hate doing themselves. He mentioned pool cleaning, but my first thought was folding laundry. The second key factor he mentioned was something that is current with the times whether that is technology or the way things are done. My first thought was Uber because it embodies the future and what business can be.
LIGHT BULB MOMENT! I wasn’t sure if these moments were real. I see them in the movies but I truly did have one. The thought of Sweep came alive in my head. I was on my way to work, so it remained an idea in my head. Most good ideas fade away after time. This one, however, would not leave me alone. I talked to my wife and very close friends about it to make it real, get their feedback, and make sure that I followed through with it.
Thinking back to my time working for that fortune 500 company, I realized that most of my stress was centered around my lack of time. Working 50+ hours a week, taking care of a puppy, staying involved with family/friend relationships, working on my physique, and taking care of the fixer upper house I had was too much. I am a very clean person, so coming home to a hairy mess of a house was stressful. Especially since I’m the type that cannot just let it go until the next day. With Sweep, I would have been able to come home and feel relieved and rejuvenated that my list of to-dos just shrunk and saved me time in my day. That’s how I knew that I wanted to help people like me.
Tirelessly, I worked on business research, system building, and probing for ideas and feedback. I found an app developer who was also new to the game, and we decided to take a chance on one another. He and I were both learning every day, and our bets on one another would eventually pay off. I needed him because having a convenient app is Sweep’s main feature, and he needed me to help build his portfolio for future growth. Every day Sweep would become more and more real.
When I was finally ready to set a launch date for Sweep, I knew it was time to let everyone know what I have been up to for the last few months. It was time to let all of my friends and family know about Sweep on a public Facebook post. From there I felt a nervous sensation in my stomach. “Holy crap I’m going to do this!” I kept thinking to myself. Now there were eyes on me and everyone who is important to me knew what I was doing. This was an extra push to make sure that I didn’t back out and go back to my “comfortable” life.
From there, I would continuously push myself to learn and adapt to this new life. As a new business owner, there are things that I will have to learn on the fly. That is inevitable, but I also wanted to be prepared for any situations. In the end, I was able to have everything I needed to be ready for launch. On February 10, 2020 Sweep was open for business!
I sat and waited on that day. Nothing happened. In fact it wasn’t until a week after launch that I received my first order. Up until that point, I had doubts in my head. I felt like I must be a joke and a failure. Luckily, I have a business mentor and a supportive family that ensured me that it is way to early to make a judgment call. I picked my head up and proceeded as usual.
After that first order, I wouldn’t say I was thrilled, but I was relieved that I got it out of the way. Up until that, I wasn’t a real business in my own head because there was no money. Then another order came…and another after that..and even a few more to follow. Sweep was starting to become what I envisioned. Now THAT got me excited.
All in all, after the first couple months I felt like I was in a good position to keep growing. My cleaners and myself were having fun with the business. I was receiving feedback and making adjustments. Success with Sweep didn’t seem like a distant dream at that point. It was easy street from there! Or so I thought.
Now here we are today…amidst a global pandemic. The outbreak of Covid 19 is in full swing, and business came to a halt. My momentum came to an end, but that is okay. At this moment, I am extremely happy and blessed with where I am as a person and as a company. I took the chance on building something great, and I am excited to keep up with that journey once things normalize.
For the time being, we want everyone to take this virus seriously and help the world get back to a normal state. Some things are way more important than the economy. Money will always be there and always find a way to bounce back, but human lives are precious. The more we test the limits about what we can do in the public, the longer this will drag on.
In summary, Sweep is still just in the beginning stages. All it took was a light bulb moment on the way to work to get that initial spark. After many days of hard work and research, Sweep is here and ready to make a positive impact. I am so thankful for the support from friends, family, our cleaners, and our clients. We hope that you continue to follow our journey as we learn and grow.