How it all began

My name is Travis Kozai, I am the owner of Commercial Custodial Services. I wanted to share my story of how this all began. This company means a lot to me because of our beginnings and success that my employees and I have had together.

I became motivated to look for extra income in late-2002. I was switching from working at the Chandler Police Department to working at the Chandler Fire Department and taking $30,000 pay cut. My wife was laid off from her job shortly thereafter, further compounding the problem.  I knew I needed a second job and I had enough spare time to invest in something, the question was what?

I knew the risks of starting my own business— most fail within the first year— but taking the risks looked better to me than flipping burgers. I started Kozai Custom Cleaning and started cold calling every business on Alma School Rd. between Riggs Rd. and Baseline Rd. looking for clients. It actually paid off! I started cleaning work for several doctors and dentists in the area. Slowly but surely my financial hardships started to become lighter.

When I got a job cleaning a construction trailer for the U.S. Army Reserves, I got an idea for how to develop my company: Provide a great cleaning service for both the private and government sector. This required me to maintain a high visual standard if I didn’t want another larger cleaning company coming and taking my jobs. As always, with growth in companies comes hardships. It was very difficult finding reliable employees as we continued to grow. It was also very challenging to keep our pricing competitive yet profitable. One of the biggest hurtles to overcome was simply figuring out what worked and what didn’t. What ended up being mine and the companies success was finding the right team to help it grow.

Now, fifteen years later, we have grown from me on my hands and knees cleaning some trailer to a business with forty-five employees. We clean for large commercial clients as well as for government agencies. We are able to serve in three states: Arizona, Utah, and Texas. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy starting my business but I wasn’t ready for just how difficult it can be. But businesses, like people, aren’t defined by their fail and fall. They’re defined by how they get back up.

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