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Building a business, one cleaning job at a time - Grand Forks Herald

Author: Grand Forks Herald

Source: https://www.grandforksherald.com/business/building-a-business-one-cleaning-job-at-a-time

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GRAND FORKS — It started out as a garbage bin cleaning solution.The company brings trucks to residences and cleans the scum off those nasty garbage bins.But GF Bin Cleaners has expanded into a multipurpose business that does everything from power-pressure washing to cleaning homes in the Grand Forks area.“We’re a cleaning solutions company in the Grand Forks area,” said George Scott, owner of the business.“We originally started out washing residential trash cans.We quickly progressed and then moved into power pressure washing and now we’re a full-line cleaning solutions company.“We have interior cleaners, we have lawn care and snow removal divisions and a pressure washing division.”A large piece of its equipment is a machine that cleans and sanitizes trash cans at 195 degrees.“The trash machine isn’t a high-profit margin, but it gets you thinking about me,” Scott said.“Interior cleaning homes and offices is probably the most aggressive one we’ve been hammering on.”Just the other day, Scott was preparing for snowfall in the Grand Forks area. He wanted to make sure his skid steer loader was ready for winter.Scott was born and raised in the San Diego area.When he lost his job in 2014, he decided to move to Grand Forks.He managed an auto parts store and later worked in tractor parts before deciding to build his own business.“We don’t just do trash cans,” Scott said.“We do offices, actual office buildings.We have partnerships with a couple of Realtors in the area, so we do move-out and construction cleans.”The lawn care division was added in April and the interior cleaning division went into operation at the end of July.GF Bin Cleaning Solutions’ largest project was the North Dakota State Mill. The company cleaned the exterior of the mill to help prepare it for a 100th anniversary in October 2022.“The State Mill was actually able to keep us alive with that contract,” Scott said.He said it wasn’t easy starting a business in Grand Forks.He was an unknown to creditors and businesses in the area.“Trying to break into the Grand Forks market is very difficult,” Scott said.“There is just a big trust factor.If you’re not from here and you’re trying to break in, it is very hard.That was the hardest hurdle so far.”Scott says things are going well because he’s had time to grow and develop the business.“We’ve been pushing hard to be sustainable long term,” he said. “I quit my job and went after this full time.It was basically, ‘you have to make it’ because there was no alternative.“We don’t have a loan.The only ones we have are against myself.My business has been paid for in cash.I haven’t paid myself since March because I keep 100 percent of my profits in the business.”Scott, who washed some trash bins for free to market his product when he first started, now has a website that showcases all of his products.He has a contract with Grand Forks Subaru to wash cars bi-weekly. He’s doing work with Ziegler CAT in Crookston.He’s talking to other companies as winter dawns.Scott, who employs seven full- and part-time workers, rents a shop in Manvel from Gary Dub of Dub Construction.“He gave us the opportunity of a lifetime to rent one of his shops at a rate that we could actually build a company.”Scott has decorated the office with at least one sign“Results driven, passion-fueled,” is the saying.“My team is obsessed with customer service,” he said.“That is their No.1 priority.”Kevin Fee is a freelance reporter for the Herald.

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