All great businesses start with an idea; a single thought that can either die on the vine, or get acted upon. The creation of The Gutter Boys Co. was no different. Just some friends sitting around the campfire armed with a little ambition. My buddy Mike wanted out of debt, and asked me if I could help him. He had done gutter cleaning with the company he worked for Neubert Painting, and knew he could make a few bucks cleaning gutters on his own. Mike said, “Ken, you are a good business man, let’s team up.” A good business man? Not hardly, but I was eager to help, and make some extra money for future McDonalds runs. I had played around with an address painting venture (Uncle Curbys Curb Painting Service) as a teenager, but I didn’t really think of myself as a business tycoon like Rockefeller or Carnegie. Nevertheless, I was eager to get going. Mike and I got the help of Anthony Alberino and we started our first day of gutter cleaning. We went door to door in North Olmsted and had quite a bit of success. We cleaned about six or seven houses and made $70 each. The feast of Big Macs, fries, and milkshakes was epic later that night. Talk about humble beginnings! Just a few guys working hard and eating terrible, sounds like a perfect recipe for a successful company.
The Next Step
That fall we didn’t do much gutter cleaning, but the idea didn’t necessarily die, it just went into hibernation. It woke the very next fall though, September 11th, 2001 to be exact. That day was a big day for the future of The Gutter Boys, but will rightly be remembered more for the tragedy that occurred at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. I vividly remember sitting down with my sister-in-law Gina discussing names. She liked The Gutter Guys, but something just felt right with The Gutter Boys. Sure, we are indeed men, but again, it just seemed more memorable. But again, everything about that day was memorable. Anthony and I printed up the cheesy flyer from a computer in his dad’s basement. We cleaned gutters that fall and continued to grow the client base. The idea fizzled out for a few years, but really got going again in 2008, that’s when Anthony and I re-launched The Gutter Boys. The two of us were excited to take the brand to the next level and believed we had the experience and energy to make it a success.
Growing Gutter Pains
The Gutter Boys started bursting at the seams in 2010. We got the word out one house at a time. The two of us would literally run through neighborhoods canvasing with our much nicer looking flyers. I estimate that we passed out some 200,000 flyers over the next few years. We also used the power of video marketing. You Tube was a fantastic way to get fresh video content on page one of relevant Google searches. The new advertising was a success and we gained upwards of 1,000 new customers for gutters. With the rapid growth came challenges. We wanted to ensure that, with the growth, we could stay true to our commitment for a great service experience. We wanted ordering service, the work that we provided, and the billing all to be seamless. Our drive was to continually make the experience better and better. When you deal with thousands of customers, you truly can’t keep everyone happy, but a 4.86 rating out of 5 isn’t too shabby, according to the Better Business Bureau. We also found challenges in attracting the best help and managing a growing fleet of trucks and equipment.
Thousands of gutters in CLE
Today, The Gutter Boys Company services over 10,000 homes in the Greater Cleveland area. We are leading our industry in providing great service at reasonable prices. Also, our company attracts great help and have a robust system of checks to keep our guys accountable. We also guarantee all our work and have the most responsive customer service around. Our goal has always been, and will always be to be the best. We have a deep conviction that it’s not just about growing that matters, but how you grow. We can truly say that we run our business with that in mind every single day.