In this Entrepreneur Profile, Black Speaks decided to feature LaShaun Mosby, founding owner of MoProClean, a small commercial cleaner and government contractor based in Kansas City, Kan.
A native of Forrest City, Ark., Mosby, 62, has been in the commercial cleaning business for 30 years but she started work with MoProClean five months ago.
She is also a pharmacy technician and a home health care aide. In 2015, she obtained an associate’s degree as a pharmacy technician from the National University of America in 2015. On. Oct. 21, 2019, she received a certificate in home health care from Home Instead national company.
After being born and raised in Forrest City, Mosby moved with her mother and her younger sisters to Wisconsin when they were all still children.
Mosby moved to Milwaukee and married a U.S. Army staff sergeant and a member of the Army Corps of Engineers before retirement.
She was involved with the military and first entered the cleaning business for military family housing in 1989 to 1990 when she and her husband were stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas.
In 2005, she was living in Arkansas. She moved to Kansas City in 2010.
She cleans apartments and buildings. She works with one other woman cleaner. She plans to recruit two more cleaners for her company.
Mosby has retained one main customer, the Platte County Senior Services, Inc. center, in Kansas City.
The following is a Nov. 15, 2019 phone interview between BlackSpeaks.com and Mosby:
1) When did you start MoProClean? How long have you been in business? What is the size of your company? How many employees work for you? Do you have a brick-and-mortar structure or a catalog outside of an online presence?
I am LaShaun Mosby and I have been in the business of cleaning for 30 years. We started five months ago. We are now cleaning apartments. I clean buildings.
We are getting it together. We are two women cleaners. We plan to get two more cleaners.
At the moment, I have one building as a customer. It’s a senior citizen center in Kansas City. It is the Platte County Senior Services, Inc. center. I used to live in Milwaukee, Wisc. and now I live and work in Kansas City.
Scheduling is the main thing. When she can’t be here to clean, it’s just me. When she can, it is both of us.
I provide the materials and we clean according to the vendors’ or contractors’ policy.
When I lived in Milwaukee, I wanted to own my own business. I cleaned the military facilities. I had my younger sisters further their education. I kept getting more clients.
My husband was in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant. I was working with the military. I did not go to college. I did not do business school. I knew customers through word-of-mouth and flyers.
I was in Fort Riley, Kansas. The military customers directed me to where I needed to be. I was a military commercial cleaner.
When a military family moved out, I cleaned their home or house. I cleaned all of the rooms. [A house] could have five bedrooms. The military leaders had large houses.
We got white gloves. We got inspected. My company was a government contractor with Fort Riley. We were stationed there for two years from 1989 to 1990.
2) What were the trends in the cleaning industry before you started MoProClean? What are the cleaning industry trends now that you are president and founder?
Now, they have different chemicals, flooring, tiles and solutions to clean with. The new chemicals are lighter and easier than what we used to clean with. Some things in the past had to be cleaned with razor blades and blades in the military.
We do our own inspections and we have a military checkoff list.
3) How big is your customer base? Are they all recurring customers? Do you get a high percentage of new ones and how do they find out about MoProClean? Do African-Americans make up the majority of your customers or is your base racially mixed?
I’m looking to get five or more customers, both military and commercial. I will get new contracts. I will get more cleaners. I’m looking for seniors, doctors or lawyers [with offices] in Kansas City or Lee Summit. I am looking on the website for cities.
I am trying to get more African-American customers and offices. I actively am looking for that. I have done the chambers of commerce. I look for home health care customers.
I just got certified two weeks ago. I started this business 30 years ago.
4) How old are you? Where did you graduate from high school? Did you go to college after high school? If so, where? What was your major or field of study? What is your line of work? Was your major or degree in business administration? Did you graduate and when? Did you gain another degree or further your training? If so, what and when? Did you work for other companies before and after this? If so, which ones and when? What were your titles?
I am 62 years old. I have an associate’s degree as a pharmacy technician from the National University of America in 2015. I have had a home health care certificate Oct. 21, 2019 from Home Instead national company.
5) How did you enter the cleaning industry? How did you gain an interest in it? Who or what inspired you?
I launched the website in five months and then I started work. My partner did the website.
6) What made you decide to open your own cleaning company and site? When did you make that decision and under what circumstances? When did you start the company, buy the property and launch your new business? Did you ever start a catalog or open up a brick-and-mortar business?
I started MoProClean. I always wanted to own my own business. I could work at it and succeed by doing what I know.
7) As a business person, have you joined any business organizations and other groups? If so, which ones?
I have not joined any group. I am a baby.
8) Do you have a social media presence? Are you on Facebook, Linkedln, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp or Reddit?
I am planning to do Facebook, Linkedln, Snapchat, Instagram and Whats App.
9) Walk me through a day of work for you as president of MoProClean. What kind of suppliers and services does your company require to thrive every day? What would you call a good day at MoProClean? What would you call a bad day at MoProClean? Please be specific.
A good day is when I can do what I set out to do. I have to make some kind of gain. I give myself four hours, depending on the room sizes. It’s very standard – top notch.
A bad day is when I don’t do those things. I have to put in more time or there is an issue.
10) Do you have plans or new year’s resolutions to expand MoProClean in 2020? Would that involve the general, deep and green cleaning, free estimates you already offer, rewards, coupons, service tickets and technical support or customer services? If so, how?
I will be providing the same services as I am now.
11) How has the millennium affected your business? How has the economy with some joblessness, consumer debt, college debt, homelessness and other features, affected your business? Are you finding more and more customers with financial difficulties? Are the number of customers decreasing because of the struggling economy?
It has affected me. Young people don’t take it as seriously as they should. So many youth out there think they can start a business [easily].
12) Are any of your family members or friends supporting your business? Any siblings or children? What about a spouse? If so, whom? In what capacity do they serve the company and for how long?
I don’t have family in Kansas. My family is in Wisconsin. I was born and raised in Forrest City, Arkansas. My mother moved to Wisconsin in 1974. I had two younger sisters. I had no father.
I moved to Milwaukee and got married. I got into the military through my husband, a veteran. He was with the Army Corps of Engineers before he retired. Later in life, I was in Arkansas in 2005. Then I moved to Kansas City in 2010.
My husband is deceased. He died last year — December 2018. He was 62 years old. I have four children. They are ages 40, 38, 23 and 20. I have two older daughters and two younger sons. They are not partners in the business. My children are in different states — Alabama, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin.
13) Do African Americans and other racial minorities support your company? If so, how? Bank financing or capital as support? Patronage or customer participation? Website development? Advertising and marketing? Word-of-mouth spread? Special event sponsorships and events? Exactly what type of minority businesses have supported you? Have you reached out to them or have they approached you? If so, how?
Most of my customers are black and no other ethnicity.
14) Do African Americans support other African-American businessmen and women, sufficiently in your view? What would you like to see?
I would like us to support us more.
15) Do you see enough African Americans and other racial minorities as successful as you are in businesses similar to yours? If so, who? Do you feel that you can help young African Americans who may have some difficulty breaking into business management and leadership? Do you see enough young blacks and minorities serving in leadership and management roles such as yourself as an owner of a business? If so, why or why not?
I don’t see enough of them in Kansas or Wisconsin. We should do better — not just in cleaning but in other businesses.
16) What advice would you give young businessmen and women in business in terms of management and leadership and advancing their careers?
I would simply tell them to get an education to fulfill their dreams. Help the young boys and girls. Other groups such as Puerto Ricans help one another out.
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