Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Karl Carter

Posted on 2/26/2021 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Karl Carter is the owner of B & S Cleaning Solutions, which provides residential and commercial cleaning to clients in the PA-NJ-DE Philadelphia-Metro area. He is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP). We had a chance to sit down with Karl Carter to ask about his experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirt. When I was in junior high school, I opened a shoeshine stand (showing my age) and car wash at the corner barber shop. After college I started an entertainment company. My focus was photography as well as giving and coordination parties and weddings. I always liked the idea of entrepreneurship as it provided the opportunity to be your own boss, the freedom to navigate the shark infested waters as I desired as well as provide jobs and training to my community.

2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

I chose the commercial janitorial industry because it was and still is a multi-billion-dollar industry with consistent growth potential. The commercial contract cleaning industry al be it extremely competitive, is currently worth $78 billion. That in conjunction of the relatively small initial investment to launch I felt this was the industry for me.

3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP/ WBA. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

I chose the LAEDA training program because of the janitorial program which offered commercial contracts upon completion. It offered real world experience from business professionals. They helped you draft your business plan as well as offered vital information on how you should best structure your business. They also offered vital tax information specifically how best to shelter your dollars. The teaching professionals offered a wealth of practical business experience. That however is just the beginning. Upon completion of the training program LAEDA offers a host of services to assist in growing and sustaining your business.

4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

The challenges were many, specifically, extremely time consuming and financially draining. My goal was to be a full service commercial janitorial company. There was a ton of on-the-job training. My mistakes were many and they come at a significate cost to rectify. There are also the financial struggles when launching a business. As I needed to purchase various equipment and was reinvesting all the money back into the business to accomplish this, I was not able to generate a sustainable income.  Due in part to the financial strain and the many missteps I experienced while learning the business, I shut down after 3 years of operation.  I restarted the business two years later armed with the knowledge I gained from my previous mistakes and have been able to sustain the business for the last 12 years.

5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Today the business has grown from a part time enterprise to a full-time enterprise with unlimited unpaid overtime. We have various contracts with small to medium business. The ability to offer employment and empower myself and my community is extremely satisfying. The ability to create / build a fully operational business and potentially pass that along to my children is also extremely satisfying. 

6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

If you are thinking about stating your own entity, build upon your passion. While extremely stratifying and liberating, it entails a massive amount of hard work and commitment. You must persevere through the 20 hr. days, through the missteps, through all the roadblocks.  Do not give up. Never give up!

To get in touch with Karl Carter and get your free service evaluation from B & S Cleaning Solutions, visit his website at www.bandscleaningsolutions.com or call at (267) 303-8517.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.