1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Partner Profile: Sweep Masters, Moss Point, MS

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We’re profiling one of our newer members, Cheryl Meyer, owner of Sweep Masters in Moss Point, MS. Cheryl is an Affiliate Member of 1-800-SWEEPER.

Cheryl started in the sweeping business working for Don Odom, then original founding owner of Sweep Masters, in 2003 as Don’s secretary. About six months into Cheryl’s employment, Don called her in the middle of the night to help sweep parking lots. A lot of his employees had quit all at once and he needed her help. Cheryl states,  “I started learning to drive a sweeper truck that night, and I’ve been in the sweeper business now since I was 23 years old. I continued helping on the routes until Don eventually got more employees, and I went back to my secretarial job in the office. He’d call me occasionally and say, “Do you want to learn to do some construction sweeping?” Or, he’d teach me other stuff sweeper truck drivers need to learn. Eventually, I learned it all and I started training new hires.”

Cheryl would eventually buy into the business in 2005, became president in 2015, and in August of 2019 became sole owner, because Don had to retire early due to illness. Today, they have 10 employees, plus Meyer. Sweep Masters had been operating two offices, one in Biloxi, MS and the other in Theodore, AL. They purchased a building in Moss Point, MS that’s much bigger and is in the middle of their service area, and they’ve streamlined operations by moving their whole operation into the Moss Point location.

Sweep Masters serves a 65-mile radius. That may seem like a big distance to cover, but the area is not very dense with shopping centers. Being on the Coastline, they go 65 miles east and west, but only 10 miles north (and south, in Alabama).

Meyer has grown the business over the years and provides quality power sweeping and property maintenance services. Quality, professionalism, and excellent customer service are traits Don Odom started, and even though he is no longer with us, those traits are still the framework that Sweep Masters runs on today.

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1-800-SWEEPER: 10 Years of Growth and Accomplishments

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It’s been nearly 10 years since 1-800-SWEEPER burst onto the power sweeping industry scene in August of 2011. Armed with a vision, a powerful vanity phone number and the support of 22 sweeping company owners, Mike Lucht began what remains to be the only co-op organization in the sweeping industry. Headquartered in Toledo, OH, 1-800-SWEEPER now boasts 40 buying group Vendor Partners and 55 Member Partners representing market coverage of over 95 area codes across the United States accounting for 18 of the top 20 metro markets and 50% of the country’s population. “When we launched the organization, there was no play book to guide us and we weren’t sure how it was going to be received in order to attract enough like-mind company owners to make it work,” says Lucht, President of the organization. “It’s been a work in progress, and we’ve made some great strides over the last 10 years, while building many strong relationships along the way. No one expected it was going to be easy, but the challenge has been an extremely rewarding experience.”  But make it work they did, and 1-800-SWEEPER is proud of their accomplishments and the contributions they have made to the businesses represented in the group and the power sweeping industry in general.

Launching the 1800sweeper.com website in October 2011 was the first step in getting the start-up organization off the ground and introducing the brand.  What began as a service directory of sweeping companies across the country quickly grew into something much more. Today, 700 pages later, it is not only a market resource for service contractor information, but also provides educational content on the sweeping industry as a whole; including the various types of equipment recommended for specific job applications, the different services each Partner company offers, as well as employment opportunity pos

tings resulting in the creation of the highest revenue producing website in the industry. The value of the service requests over the past ten years has been very impressive. Partners have received over 32,000 leads conservatively valued at over $20,000,000.  With a 24/7 Call Center and the development of the 800 App, service requests can be easily responded to on an immediate basis. “Getting the service requests to our Partners the quickest way possible was important. It has been documented that the quicker the response the greater the chance is of securing the business. We believe providing a timely response and quality service is one of the reasons why clients choose us” says Ben Steyer, Executive Director of 1-800-SWEEPER.

There have been many other milestones and achievements along the way. The organization’s slogan is “More Than a Number!”, and that, it certainly is! Not only do they have the #1 website and vanity number in the power sweeping industry, but they have also created a successful co-op buying group for their Partners. Leveraging the combined buying power of the group is an integral part of the organization’s foundation. The co-op enables Partners to take advantage of exclusive discounts on the purchase of equipment and supplies needed to run and grow their business, as well as earning rebates in return. Andy Williams, Business Development Rep for 1-800-SWEEPER, says “We strive to have vendors in the group that our Partners find beneficial. Vendor Partner agreements with Schwarze, ELGIN, Keystone Plastics, NAPA and many more are instrumental to our Partners and their growth.” The original intent and goal of the organization’s business model was to have all Partners’ membership fees covered by the savings and rebates they receive from the buying group and numerous Partners are doing just that! We bring a lot more to the table than just service leads, which are designed to be provided FREE.”     

Another attractive benefit of being a 1-800-SWEEPER Partner is the annual Sweeper Summit. “We’ve all gone to industry trade shows that are predominately geared toward paving contractors. So, we decided it was time to create our own, just for the power sweeping industry. The educational content of the conference has been well received, and the addition of the outdoor, hands-on Equipment Expo was the icing on the cake. It’s a lot of work planning the event, but it’s been well worth it in the end.” says Carolyn Bell, Director of Marketing for 1-800-SWEEPER. “The Sweeper Summit began in 2012 as a small Partner meeting in Detroit with 20 people. Today the event is a full-blown industry specific conference with over 200 attendees and outdoor equipment displays – attendance grows every year and attendees love the outdoor venue. It’s been a great addition!”   

While these last 10 years have been a growing and maturation period for the organization, and the whole industry for that matter, Mike Lucht feels they have found their footing, “Our executive team is ready to take on the challenges ahead, in the years to come. We have introduced many new programs to our Partners and the sweeping industry over the years; the Sweeper Sim – our sweeper operator training simulator, the National Pavement Maintenance Leadership Academy (NPMLA), the 800 Foundation; which recently raised over $60,000 for the Veterans Matter organization, along with the other innovations mentioned earlier. We will continue to evolve and move forward, bringing new ideas and innovations to the industry. We’ve only revealed the tip of the iceberg.”

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Welcome New 1-800-SWEEPER Partner: Tim Toler, Clean Sweep Lot Services, Indianapolis, IN  

We’d like to welcome Tim Toler of Clean Sweep Lot Services in Indianapolis to the 1-800-SWEEPER family. Tim makes a great addition our organization and we’re glad to have him.

From starting with a broom and a wheelbarrow, Tim Toler has grown his company a long way. For eight years Tim Toler, now president of Clean Sweep Lot Service, Inc., did outside maintenance for a developer. Noticing that a store in the area wasn’t keeping its lot clean, Toler contacted the manager, who put him in contact with the management company. He not only got a contract to do that property, but nine others managed by the same firm.

For a couple years, Toler and his son continued to clean the properties by hand, all while continuing with his full-time day job. Coupled with starting to go to church on a regular basis, he says he came to the realization that there was enough money in other people’s trash to quit his regular job and go full time with sweeping.

Deciding that if he was going to have truck payments then he’d just as well have a new sweeper, Toler went out on a limb and bought a new Schwarze 347-I. After having walked lots for many years in his work for the developer, with sparing use of a Tennant sweeper — walking the soles off many pairs of shoes in the process — the overnight transition was enormous.

At first, he found himself still spending four to five hours on a property that previously took eight but now should be done in about three. Even then, one property manager simply could not be made happy. “However, I came to a realization,” Toler says, “that my time had to be worth much more than $10 an hour. That was the beginning of figuring out my actual costs and the pricing that needed to go with it.”

Toler credits his company’s growth with providing a good end product for his customer and always doing whatever he says he’ll do, period. That has brought him both growth and a high degree of customer loyalty.

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