James J. owns Ideal Maintenance and Janitorial. James worked as a school custodian for seventeen years before starting Ideal Maintenance and Janitorial, which he considers to be an ongoing application of all the trades he has learned over his career. He started Ideal Maintenance and Janitorial to better support himself and his family, with the idea that owning his own business could make him more financially independent.
Aside from cleaning businesses and residences, James does a wide variety of “odd jobs.” When it comes to repairs, James says he can do pretty much anything people ask. For example, he has a client who bought a house and asked him to inspect it to make sure that everything in it is functional.
In addition to running his business, James currently works as a custodian at Tulane hospital. He says that most of his clients come from relationships he builds through his work at the hospital, or from clients’ referrals. James is using this loan to advertise his business and buy floor-cleaning equipment. He wants to advertise on the radio, as well as make business cards he can give to potential customers.
James loves owning his own business because he says it keeps him motivated. Someday, he wants to grow Ideal Maintenance and Janitorial to the point that he can run it full-time. He also wants to open an office to have a physical location for his business, instead of running it from home.
Despite his busy schedule, James tries to help others when he can. He helps the physically disabled by taking them to the store or picking up their medicine. His advice for business owners is to make time for others, even when there isn’t a profit.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.