Brett Finkelstein founded 1 Stop Maintenance in 2004, bringing close to a decade worth of practical industry experience to his ambitious entrepreneurial endeavor. In the years since it was founded, the company has enjoyed consistent growth that includes large-scale international expansion. With offices in Europe, Asia and North America, Mr. Finkelstein has overseen the company’s impressive international ascent while serving as its CEO and has continued to lay the foundation for sustainable growth well into the future.
As a result of the culture established through the efforts of its founder and CEO, the overwhelming majority of 1 Stop Maintenance reviews reflect a deep commitment to providing excellent facilities maintenance services while focusing on delivering outstanding customer service to clients. The company began as a relatively modest endeavor, but the early success along with the subsequent feedback from clients led to the development of a fairly aggressive plan for expansion that included the long-term goal of entering the international market.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in business management, Mr. Finkelstein spent nine years in the facilities maintenance industry before creating 1 Stop Maintenance. Mr. Finkelstein’s combination of education and experience has been critical to his entrepreneurial success, but it is his leadership style that often earns the praise of 1 Stop Maintenance team members. Known for inspiring productivity while maintaining consistently high levels of morale, the company has clearly benefited from its high employee retention rates. The continuity of the team members has certainly been a significant factor contributing to the company’s decade-plus run of success.
How did you get started? What inspired you to start this business?
Even during my years as an undergraduate I had a vision of myself running a business of my own creation. I worked in the facilities maintenance industry for quite some time before venturing out on my own, so I felt confident that I had the knowledge and experience necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. Once I made the decision to found One Stop Maintenance, I was truly inspired and awed by the tremendous support I received, which ultimately served as further motivation to succeed.
How do you make money?
We work with our clients to develop specific service plans that meet their facilities maintenance needs. Of course, we charge for the services we provide to our clients and generate revenue in this way.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We set a fairly aggressive timetable for profitability and expansion, and though we initially fell short of meeting this timetable we were still able to be profitable within our first year of operation. Looking back, there was a lot more we could have done to reach our profitability goals, but it is hard to feel any sense of disappointment over what we have been able to achieve.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
There were doubts, yes, but we spent a lot of time developing a detailed business plan to ensure that all our bases were covered and all possible outcomes accounted for. Our thorough planning was the key reason why any doubts we had quickly passed.
How did you get your first customer?
We actually offered complimentary services to a small group of prospective clients when we first started out, and this strategy earned us many of our first clients. In fact, a large percentage of those early clients are still using our services today. It was simply a matter of proving how valuable our services could be to clients, and once that was evident we had our first clients in place.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I was skeptical at first, but we have found that the social media strategies we have been using lately have been incredibly effective in generating interest in the services we provide. I am quite grateful that we have a great marketing staff who know exactly how to leverage each social media platform in order to generate the best possible result.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
We went back and forth quite a bit on whether or not it would be worthwhile to invest in a social media marketing campaign. After several discussions on the subject with our management team we decided to move forward with a fairly comprehensive campaign that ultimately proved to be exceptionally successful.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I like to think that I am patient and, when appropriate, I take a very measured approach to running a business. This has allowed me to focus on the things that matter most and to ensure that our business is running as smoothly as possible.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Seeing what began as nothing more than a simple idea so many years ago come to fruition was very satisfying for me, and I don’t think anything will top what I felt on the first day we officially entered the facilities maintenance industry as a business. There was a lot of hard work involved in getting to that day and making sure we hit the ground running.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am excited about the continued opportunities for international expansion. We have already had a great deal of success in this regard and have recently opened additional offices in Asia and Europe, so we feel quite confident that our international success will only continue.
How have you been able to expand on such a large scale while continuing to provide exceptional service to your clients?
We put a lot of time and effort into researching the best possible strategy for expansion, and we paid very close attention to the potential impact any expansion would have on the quality of our services. Once we felt confident that we could expand on a large scale without adversely affecting the manner in which we serve our clients, we put our plan into action and began to enter the new and untapped markets we targeted. Obviously, this has worked quite well for us and we are exceptionally pleased with the results of our expansion plan.