Perseverance and a lot of effort. These are the building blocks of Mister Steamer Carpet Cleaning, Colin Croteau’s business.
Established in 2019 as a janitorial company, Colin recently branched out to steam cleaning. Armed with eco-friendly products and the promise of extraordinary customer service, Colin cleans upholstery, carpet, and tile throughout the city.
We caught up with him to discuss future goals and his best business advice.
When did you join the Accelerator?
I started renting a garage in February 2020. Everyone is great here. I’ve gotten help with my start-up process in addition to garage space. I’ve been treated well.
What’s the best part about being a member of the Accelerator?
People in the building are accessible whenever you need them. It’s a tight-knit community that’s willing to help each other out. Everyone is really friendly.
The growth is pretty awesome too. Everyone I’ve spoken to so far has humble beginnings and they’ve been able to move forward with their business by starting here.
Why did you start your company?
I had a pretty good job, but I wanted something more hands-on. Working for someone else would have been a pretty substantial wage loss. So I decided to start a janitorial company and clean residential places for move-outs.
I noticed one of the things my competitors weren’t doing was cleaning tiles, grout and carpet. I saw potential in offering those services alone, so I got some training and certification and branched out.
Why do you choose to use eco-friendly products?
Going eco-friendly was important for health purposes. I don’t want to be breathing in crap and I don’t want my customers to either.
On the health hazard scale of 1-4 (with 4 being the worst), most of my products are 1. Technology and chemistry have changed recently. Products that worked in the 80s and 90s were harsh. Now eco-friendly products are safer and more effective. Why wouldn’t you want to use them?
What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
I love the freedom of being a business owner, and the actual job itself is quite satisfying.
I also really enjoy the interaction that I get to have with my customers. I’m a people person, so being at a new place every day and meeting people is great for me.
What have you learned since starting your business?
It takes time. When I first started, I thought I’d go from 0 to 100 overnight. But that’s not true.
I found out the more time and effort I put into growing my business, the more success I’d have. Every month I notice small things I can do better to improve the quality of my service. I always try to take it to the next level.
That’s really helped me in life too. Being more patient and going the extra mile pays off.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs starting their business?
Have something scalable and repeatable. You’ll earn a living by offering something people need now and then. Especially in the service industry, there will always be a need for cleaning. As time goes on, people have less time to do things themselves.
A lot of people start businesses out of passion. If this is something you’re going to do, know that there will be tough times. You have to put your time in and grind it out. Be a go-getter. Knock doors. Solicit business. People with successful businesses go door to door. It’s the only way to get off the ground. You have to put your time in.
What was your biggest challenge with starting Mister Cleaner?
Staying motivated to keep going. I started my cleaning business first and Mister Steam is only a couple months old.
How do you define success?
Simple: achieving your goal, whatever it is. If you have a goal for yourself and you accomplish it, then you’ve succeeded.
Ultimately, if you put forth an effort and give it your all, you’ll be successful. What you put in determines success.
So what are your goals for Mister Steamer?
Growth. I’m hoping to franchise one day and have multiple locations throughout Canada.
Who or what inspires you?
The Lord Jesus Christ. I’m Christian and that’s where I get my motivation for anything in life.
Also, my wife. She’s always there for me and very supportive.
What words do you live by?
Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not onto men.
What’s the best business advice you were ever given?
It’s cliche, but keep trying. Effort drives everything. Especially in business. You just have to give it whatever you can and keep at it. As long as you can do that, you’ll see results.
Also, set small goals. Big ones too, but don’t just have big goals. Have small, attainable goals, because then you can continue growing. If you have otherworldly goals that are far off, it’s pretty hard to attain.
What’s a fun fact people don’t know about you?
I’m pretty goofy when I’m with friends or family.
What’s your favourite local restaurant?
What’s your go-to drink?
Coffee and water.
What was the last book you read?
The King James Bible.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Somewhere in the Mediterranean would be nice.
If you could learn anything, what would it be?
I would learn to create a self-sustaining type of life. If I could learn how to build my furniture, grow my food, that’d be awesome.
What local Accelerator member people should know about?
The Spider Guyz. They’re helping rid people’s homes and it’s a great service. A lot of people don’t know you can get bit by deadly spiders in this area.
Also the McMahon Group. They do app development, web development, Facebook apps, and e-commerce. I think they’re going to blow up one day.