1-800-SWEEPER News

Construction in Focus Reports on 1-800-SWEEPER’s Commitment to Giving Back

Last year, Business in Focus reported on the organization’s history, growth, and success. This year, we caught up again with Founder and President, Mike Lucht, to learn about 1-800-SWEEPER’s commitment to giving back.

Commitment to Giving Back

1-800-SWEEPER raised $65,492 for Veterans Matter in 2020. Veterans Matter is a Toledo, Ohio-based non-profit that brings private sector resources and Veterans Affairs (VA) resources together to house veterans in VA-supported housing as quickly as possible. The non-profit’s innovative, cloud-based rapid resource response, carried out in partnership with the VA’s homeless veteran’s program, allows veterans to access housing in a matter of minutes, rather than the standard thirty-day to sixty-day waiting period. Basically, donations are used to pay deposits directly to a landlord to get veterans and their families housed right away.

To raise money for Veterans Matter, the 1-800-SWEEPER team asked for pledges from Partners as well as from individuals and organizations outside of the 1-800-SWEEPER umbrella. Partners like Lucht “reached out to friends, family, customers,” anyone who might be willing to help a veteran in need. “I went through my phone list and sent many text messages and sent off the flyer that we created and just broadcasted it to anybody and everybody because there is no exclusion here—everybody can participate in a campaign such as that, so it wasn’t specific to people in our industry,” Lucht says.

1-800-SWEEPER Foundation

The 1-800-SWEEPER Foundation is another way that the organization gives back. The brainchild of Lucht, the organization launched the foundation in 2016 to serve Partner companies’ local communities throughout the United States. “We earn our money in the communities that we live in, and we try to identify the needs within the communities of our Partners that on occasion might need a little boost,” Lucht says. “We are all privately owned small businesses that have a commitment to give back.”

Funds go to a variety of needs including qualified environmental and community beautification projects, local Wounded Warriors programs, and natural disaster relief. For example, the foundation donated a substantial sum to help rebuild Gatlinburg, Tennessee after a wildfire ravaged the Smokey Mountain community. In addition, $10,000 of the $65,492 raised for Veterans Matter came from the 1-800-SWEEPER Foundation.

As 1-800-SWEEPER celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, the team is eager to keep moving forward as they look back over a decade of supporting local communities and successfully bringing the industry together. “We’ve accomplished some things that I think most people in this industry never thought would ever happen in terms of creating a successful cooperative,” Lucht says.

If you’d like to donate to the 1-800-SWEEPER Foundation, please visit www.toledocf.org/1800sweeper.

 

To read the full article, click here

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1-800-SWEEPER’s Past, Present, and Future

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Though 1-800-SWEEPER has become an industry giant, it wasn’t always that way. What started as an option to make it easier for regional customers to reach Progressive Sweeping has grown into a national organization that provides lead generation, support, education, and networking for other contractors in the power sweeping industry. But how did it grow into this industry resource? We took the opportunity to speak with Michael Lucht, President of 1-800-SWEEPER to get the dirt on how the organization was developed, how it helps professionals in the sweeping industry, and the challenges it has faced along the way.

Early History and Concept

Founded in 1978, Progressive Sweeping was working on expanding its market in 1984 when area codes were being decentralized. Given the growing number of phone numbers with different area codes that were fed into their office, they knew that as populations grew and the number of area codes was continually expanded, they would need to find a better option for current and prospective clients to connect with them. The first attempt to get the 1-800-SWEEPER number was stifled because, even though the number was domiciled with and available from the company’s phone carrier at the time, it was designated as a national account number with a $40k minimum expense in long-distance calling fees required before they would release the number! However, soon thereafter, upon reading a Wall Street Journal article announcing the de-regulation of 800-vanity numbers that allowed for portability, Mr. Lucht got back in touch with his phone company and was able to secure 1-800-SWEEPER for his business. However, as time moved forward, Mr. Lucht started to think about what he could do to leverage his company’s 800 number. Because his company was regional, he began to consider how he could expand the use of the number to help other companies in the industry. After a year of contemplation and planning, he introduced the co-operative concept to a dozen fellow contractors during an NPE West meeting in Las Vegas in November 2010 that would evolve into becoming the first nationally recognized brand and only co-op buying group in the power sweeping industry. But his initial concept of creating a marketing/lead generation and purchasing co-op has since grown significantly to include a range of other benefits for member companies, including relationships with over 40 vendors in the buying cooperative, education, training and hiring tools, and the Sweeper Summit & Equipment Expo.

“It was my vision but, of course, it took a lot of people to commit to getting involved, and we launched the business in July 2011. I believe we had 21 companies committed to the organization at that time.”

For full article from North American Sweeper Magazine click here.

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2021 Virtual Mid-Year Meeting

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As the pandemic is still affecting the in-person meeting and trade show schedules for most of us, the 1-800-SWEEPER Mid-Year meeting planned for Dallas, TX was once again moved to a virtual format. When life gives you lemons…. make lemonade! And that’s just what 1-800-SWEEPER did for their annual Mid-Year Meeting, the pre-curser to the organization’s premiere event, the 2021 Sweeper Summit & Equipment Expo which will take place in-person in November at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas.

The meeting was supported by Gold Sponsor Schwarze Industries and was held on June 9th & 10th in two, 2-hour sessions. Other vendor sponsors included Silver Sponsors Elgin, Go Canvas and Keystone Plastics and Bronze Sponsors Kimball Midwest, Baldwin Filters and Liquitube.

The agenda consisted of an update on the activities and new programs rolled out by 1-800-SWEEPER, including 2 new initiatives: The Mentor Program and a Business Ownership Transition Planning Program. Vendor presentations were made by Schwarze Industries, Go Canvas, Keystone Plastics and Elgin. The highlight of the meeting was the presentation by 1-800-SWEEPER Partner, Mark Carter of Peloton Sweeping, titled Beast Mode Hiring. Mark gave an informative 75-minute presentation on guerrilla marketing tactics and hiring practices, that are very beneficial and timely in today’s hiring climate.

We’d like to thank our 30 Partner companies for taking the time to participate in the 2-day event! Ben Steyer, Executive Director of 1-800-SWEEPER says “Our Partners have so much experience running successful sweeping businesses, sharing that experience with other Partners is the cornerstone of our organization and what makes us so successful. We are very proud of the engagement that our Partners have shown through our virtual events over the past year and are excited for November when we can all get back together in person at the Sweeper Summit & Equipment Expo!” All participating Partners will receive a custom Yeti Slim Beverage Cooler as a thank you for their support of the 1-800-SWEEPER brand and making the organization a collective group of industry professionals, second to none!

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The Perfect Storm: How Jake’s Sweeping Tornados is Sweeping Up San Francisco Bay

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How does taking over a friend’s side hustle turned into a wildly successful business? Growing up in a family full of entrepreneurs, is it any wonder that Darren Estrada of Jake’s Sweeping Tornados had the entrepreneurial spirit at a young age? After selling a prior business, Mr. Estrada was looking for a new opportunity when a close friend mentioned wanting to get out of a side business. In early 2000, Jake’s Sweeping Tornados was born, purchased its first truck, and started working a few existing contracts.  Read More…

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