By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie resident Camon Simon hopes people will leave the scrubbing to him and have their carpets, tile, and upholstery professionally cleaned by his new business, Simon’s Scrubbing Solutions.
When he set out to find a new business venture, he settled on the cleaning business because it will provide an opportunity to interact with customers.
“I like to deal with people and develop relationships,” Simon said. “I will do the best job I can to revive their carpets.”
He has already learned a lot about the cleaning business.
He purchased most of his equipment from a company in Chicago.
He chose his equipment because it provides the maximum amount of flexibility.
Unlike some systems which are strictly truck-mounted, Simon’s equipment is portable, and while it can be used as a truck-mounted system, it can also be brought into homes or offices, eliminating the need to prop doors open and run long hoses out to a van.
Simon said this allows him to avoid losing heat in the winter or cool air in the summer through an open door.
It also allows him to work in banks or other secure environments where it is not feasible to leave doors open.
The services Simon provides include cleaning carpets, upholstery, and tile.
The equipment includes an extractor that has 300 cubic feet per minute of suction and water pressure ranging from 150 to 500 pounds per square inch.
This extractor is combined with a Rotovac 360 rotary vacuum, which provides agitation to get the carpet thoroughly clean.
Simon said most carpet manufacturers recommend having carpets professionally cleaned at least once every 12 to 18 months. Households that include children or pets may require more frequent cleaning.
Simon said his goal is to encourage his customers to get their carpets cleaned on a regular basis, which he said will keep the carpet looking good, extend the life of the carpet and save customers money in the long run.
To encourage this, Simon offers a discount program for regular customers.
Customers who request it will be added to a reminder system in which Simon will send them reminder e-mail messages when their carpets are due for another service.
Simon said the cleaning chemicals he uses are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, and are safe to use around children and pets.
As the result of customer requests, Simon has added automotive carpet and upholstery cleaning to his menu of services.
“I didn’t foresee doing this, but I have had numerous people ask about it, so we added this to this list,” Simon said.
His recent cleaning jobs include a church and some vehicles.
“I tell people I’m the white van in the neighborhood, not the black van,” Simon commented in a friendly reference to a competitor’s commercials. He said if people see his van out on a job and want to leave notes requesting service stuck to his window, that is OK with him.
Simon will travel to Chicago this week for additional training and certification.
This training will include information about the carpet making process, the fibers that are used, and the best way to remove different types of stains from specific fibers, Simon said.
Those wishing to schedule an appointment or get more information may call Simon’s Scrubbing Solutions at (952) 564-7668 or (952) 215-1681 or visit the company’s web site, www.scrubbingsolutions.com.
The company is based between Lester Prairie and Winsted, and serves the entire west metro area, generally from the western suburbs to Hutchinson.
The new cleaning business has a connection to Simon’s first job.
His father spent his career in the Air Force. When Simon was 12, the family was stationed in Germany. His father took a cleaning job to give his sons work experience.
After dinner, Simon and his brother would accompany their father back to the Air Force facility where he worked during the day to sweep floors and clean offices. On the weekends, they stripped and waxed floors.
A variety of skills
After graduating from high school in North Dakota, Simon trained as a welder. His resume also includes farm work.
Later, he earned a degree at Dunwoody Industrial Institute and from 1984 to 2001 worked on servicing computer hardware.
In 2001, Simon started his own business, Computer and Entertainment Solutions.
He continues to run the company today, providing computer support for local businesses and residential customers.
His services include on-site repair, hardware upgrades, data backup and recovery, software installation, and preventative maintenance.
Another service that Simon can provide is commercial photography.
In addition to portraits and special occasions, he has found a special niche.
He is a pilot and has built and flies his own airplane, which allows him to take aerial shots of farms.
He also has customers who ask him to take aerial photographs of their hunting land. These photos show the trails deer are using, and hunters use this information when placing deer stands.
More information is available at www.cesimon.com, or by calling the phone numbers listed above.
Simon is not overly concerned about starting a new business under the current economic conditions.
He said starting small will allow him to keep his prices competitive.
He said even those who work for established companies do not have a guarantee that their job is secure these days.
He encourages people who have lost jobs or who have thought about working on their own to use any talent they have to start a service business.
“You have been worth something to your employer, so don’t be afraid to spread your wings,” Simon advised. “Start out small, trust your ability, and don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.”