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

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

Category:

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.