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Empowering Clients and Building a Family: The Inspiring Journey of a CEO in the Cleaning Industry

Dawn Winter, CEO of Dawn to Dusk Cleaning Service
Dawn Winter, CEO of Dawn to Dusk Cleaning Service

Dawn Winter, CEO of Dawn to Dusk Cleaning Service, started her journey as a single mom in 2006. Inspired by her own experiences, she sought to make a difference for her clients by giving them the gift of time and freedom from household chores. This desire to help others and create a better life for her family motivated her to become a CEO in the cleaning industry. This interview provides valuable insights into the journey of a dedicated CEO and the values that drive her success.

Since 2006, Dawn To Dusk Cleaning Service has been proudly helping people around Macomb and Eastern Oakland County keep their homes and businesses clean and their lives less stressful. We sat down with Dawn to see how Dawn To Dusk Cleaning Service started and how they have maintained success in the cleaning industry. 

What inspired you to become a CEO in your industry?  
“I was a single mom when I started in 2006.  Needed to take care of my kids and keep my home.  I wanted to show that I can make a difference to my clients and help them have the time they needed for their families instead of cleaning.” 

What are the biggest challenges the company faces and how does the company plan to overcome them?
“We continue not to be complacent and prove we are the best and live out our core values with everything that we do every day.  We pay our employees well, so they can provide for their families as well.”

What are the company’s core values, and how do they influence the organization’s culture?
Our core values are respectful, responsible, trustworthy, loyal, meticulous, and enthusiastic.” 

What sets your company apart from your competitors?  
“We really appreciate our employees.  Have family fun days with our employees, kids, husbands, and boyfriends.  We want to get to know their family.  We also donate free cleaning to clients who are going through cancer to help reduce some of the stress they are going through.  We are cleaning certified and were chosen by Proctor & Gamble to use their hospital-grade cleaners in the homes and offices we clean.”  

What is the team’s approach to innovation, and how do you foster creativity and collaboration among staff?  
“We give out gift cards for a month of perfect attendance and for great quality scores we receive from our clients.  Sometimes they receive up to 3 gift cards per month for each technician.  We have them fill out their favorite restaurant or store they like to shop at, along with the gas stations they use. Those gift cards are the ones we buy for them.  They can spin the wheel to land on one of these gift cards.  They love coming in early every day to see each other and talk about their personal lives.  They really feel they belong and are part of the family.”  

How do you incorporate feedback and customer satisfaction into the company’s strategies and operations?  
“We give out a survey after every cleaning.  Our cleaning technicians can see the comments of appreciation themself. Michelle talks about the great scores in the morning, and they all hear how happy they made that client in front of each other. We also give them a $10.00 bonus each from each client when their name is also mentioned on a Google review for the world to see.”  

What is the company’s vision for the future, and how is it working towards achieving it?  
“Our goal is to be one of the best and most successful cleaning companies around.  We have already been told that our customer satisfaction and customer service are the best.  The reviews are also showing us this as well.” 

How has the industry changed in the past few years, and how is the company keeping up with these changes?   
“We had to adjust to paying our employees more money with the rising cost of all our expenses. I have seen many businesses go under not being able to adapt.” 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business in your industry?   
“This is very hard in the beginning.  You must be able to do everything since you do not have the money to pay for what is needed.  Long hours are required for many years.  Will feel at times, you took 3 steps forward and 8 steps backward.  Having a business is literally a roller coaster.  At times it goes up and then way down.  You must work within the money you have and find a way to save some of it.  For the last several years, I have had to take money out of my savings to stay afloat.  There are many years all the money you make gets absorbed into all your expenses.  Must have the passion not to be a quitter and keep going at times.” 

What keeps you motivated and excited about your job as a CEO?   
“I truly care about my clients and employees as I feel responsible for caring for them the best I can.  When much is given, a must is required.  I am self-responsible for being the leader I need to be and for our employees.  We are in each other’s life for a reason.  I do not take that lightly. I also have the responsibility to take care of my family financially.  Whatever I do every day, they either reap the consequences or the benefits from my actions with what I do or not do. I feel that from day one when I started this business.”  

How did you feel about household chores growing up, and did you keep your room clean?   
“So funny you asked that question. Lol.  My mom would say this room does not look clean enough.  Every Saturday, I hated having to clean the whole house from age 12 to when I moved out and was married.  Could not do anything else until the whole house was cleaned.  I thought my mom was so mean.  Now I thank her because she taught me to work hard.  Also, I had a paper route from age 12 to 18.  Money was not handed to me.  I had to work for it.  They taught me to handle money well.”    

“To this day, I must get all the hard stuff work done before I can enjoy and have fun.  They taught me discipline and many life skills that I am thankful for.  If I did not learn that, I truly feel I would not work as hard as I do in life and never give up.”  

Dawn’s hard work has clearly paid off, as her business has stayed successful for over 17 years and is still growing. With the strong and tight-knit work culture that has been cultivated and the base of happy repeat customers, it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.