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Client Success Spotlight: Patty Mayer, owner A&M Pressure Washing Inc.

news success stories Dec 07, 2021

pictured: Patty Mayer, owner A&M Pressure Washing Inc., WBC at JEDI client

The first quarter of 2021 was tough for Patty Mayer, who owns A&M Pressure Washing Inc. in northern California. It was harder from a business operations perspective than all of 2020. 

 Staffing challenges had left her with just one employee, and her attempts to hire more people were stifled by a lackluster response to the job opportunities she was offering. Before the pandemic, she’d post a job and receive 100 applicants. But during it? She’d be lucky to see five.

 Without employees she couldn’t grow.

 “There just wasn’t the pool of prospective employees,” Mayer, a single mother of two, said. “I couldn’t look for new work. We lost work and we didn’t have any of those big jobs that would come along and bolster our bottom line.”

 But, since receiving valuable mentoring and coaching from the Women’s Business Center at JEDI, things have turned around. 

Mayer became focused on making the transition from a small, “mom and pop business” to a legitimate, growing one that could attract and retain the right employees and attract and retain long-term, corporate clients. Support from the Women’s Business Center, helped propel her forward.

 “Now, I have an incredible crew. People I really want to stay, so now my focus is on that,” she said. 

 She’s working with a human resources specialist through the WBC to create an employee manual, she is consulting with a financial advisor to determine if the rates her company charges are capturing the value her service provides and she’s working with a sales consultant — which Mayer said was the most valuable for her — to learn how to navigate the sales process in a way that’s more comfortable for her. 

 “I could do sales, but was uncomfortable with it. Now, it’s my favorite thing,” she said. “I had that female-centric idea that you don’t want to ask people for money. I felt like it wasn’t something people wanted to hear. It felt kind of skeezy. But we provide a vital service and we do a really great job and we take a lot of pride in it.”

 By working with the sales consultant through the WBC, Mayer came to realize that her excitement about and passion for the work her company does are invaluable assets to the sales process. 

 “When I reframed it, and went about it with the mindset that they really do need their dumpster enclosures cleaned and their walkways cleaned and cobwebs removed, that helped a lot,” Mayer said, referring to the commercial clients, such as gas stations and restaurants, that her company serves. “We love what we do.”

 With a new outlook, new staff, an expanded fleet and a growing framework for employee support, Mayer began the fourth quarter of the year with 25% growth — a stark contrast to how the year started. 

 Now, she’s learning how to grow. She’s working with a marketing consultant to redesign her website and she’s researching how she may be able to scale her business, with the help of the WBC. 

 “I would participate in the WBC leadership circle and hear them talk to each other and hear the terms they were using and hear they were in the same boat and it was great to hear other people talk about business,” she said. ”When you’re on your own, you don’t have that interaction with other people.”

After a rough start, and with people in her corner, Mayer — it seems — is turning the corner.

“That first quarter was just, like, terrible,” Mayer said. “The small business grants and local financing has helped a lot to get good equipment. And this year we moved into a bigger shop. So hopefully we’ll just continue to grow.”

Content created by Association of Women’s Business Centers