1-800-SWEEPER Blog

An Interview with 1-800-SWEEPER Partner: Pat Connor of Connor Sweeping (Newark, DE)

May 3, 2018

An Interview with 1-800-SWEEPER Partner: Pat Connor of Connor Sweeping (Newark, DE)

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At Connor Sweeping, it’s All in the Family

Pat Connor is a man of many talents – and companies. Together with his brothers, the three men run three companies around Wilmington, Delaware. Pat is responsible for two of the companies – a roll off container (dumpster) company founded in 1995 and Connor Sweeping, which began in January 2005.

“Our sweeping business started because there was a need for construction clean up in the community and it was natural to kind of combine with our other businesses; so we filled the need.” Connor Sweeping works to clear sites of dust and debris including: construction, municipalities, industrial, and commercial.  The company has an excellent reputation and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

It’s All Relative

The family atmosphere at Connor Sweeping is not limited to the Connor family. The bookkeepers are a mother/daughter team, while the mechanics that work on the sweepers and keep them running smoothly are brothers. Also, their father is a foreman in the Connor family’s excavation company.

Dover AFB

The largest job the company has had so far is a project at Dover Air Force base.  “They were adding a new runway and the vendor in charge did not have enough workers. It was a demanding job with countless hours, but still a great work experience.”

Port of Wilmington

Another large, successful job is the Port of Wilmington. The vendor, Intercontinental Services, hired Connor Sweeping to clean up the docks after the offloading of product from a ship to the trucks.

Ships could be carrying anything from salt to sand to chemicals. Once the trucks are loaded and ready to proceed to a storage area, Pat’s guys must finish cleaning the docks and then they spring into action, following and cleaning the path of the trucks.

When performing this job, Connor Sweeping has one to three trucks working, which takes away from the other jobs that need to be done. However, the team makes it work.

Biggest Challenges

The sweeping business is not without its challenges. In addition to demanding work and long hours, it can be hard to have enough staff during peak demand times. If the regular schedule calls for 2 to 3 trucks and the Port requests a truck or two, things can get difficult. The opposite situation is just as difficult. If the phone isn’t ringing, how do you keep the staff busy during those quiet times?

“Ensuring you remain competitive enough so people will want to use the business is sometimes a struggle. Not just OUR business but also the sweeping business in general.  Living in a small town can be difficult as well due to a limited number of customers,” says Pat.

Biggest Accomplishment

Weathering the recession! Connor Sweeping is reliant on the home building industry so when the recession hit and very few companies were building houses, this had a trickle down effect that hurt a lot of businesses. “We made several personal sacrifices, moving to a smaller location, which we still inhabit. And even having to lay off some people to stay afloat.” Not easy for a company with a family atmosphere.

1-800-SWEEPER

Pat’s main reason for joining 1-800-SWEEPER was for the networking possibilities. “You can get help and information from other owners all over the country.” A few other important reasons he mentioned were:

  • To get a jump on the competition by being the first in his area to join
  • Having access to vendors
  • Being able to get referrals
  • Available discounts

Trucks and Software

Connor Sweeping has 6 heavy-duty mechanical broom sweepers with water systems to help keep dust down. Part of the secret to their success is saving time by using software. To more easily run the business they use Fleetio for fleet management, Quick Books for accounting, and Tsheets for time tracking and management. All in a day’s work!