Jeremy Forman is hard at work on his new business venture - PCS, Inc.
This week's Young Entrepreneur is a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” who has a passion for solving business problems and discussing new business ideas. 31-year-old Jeremy Forman is currently working on a business venture in a small niche market created by the recession – his company restores residential and commercial properties to "marketplace condition" in cases of foreclosure and other distressed property scenarios. In his spare time, Jeremy acts as a board member of The Medical Research Junior Board Foundation for Children's Memorial Hospital and loves to practice and teach mixed martial arts. Jeremy is no stranger to hard work and is already showing signs of a successful first year at his property restoration enterprise, Property Cleanout Services, Inc.
Property Cleanout Services, Inc.
Location: Chicago, IL
Principal – Jeremy Forman
Start Date of Company - March 25, 2009
Why did you decide to open your business?
Based on what was happening in the housing sector, my partner Matt Walker and I thought that there was a huge opportunity for growth in this niche business (cleaning out foreclosed homes to provide real estate agents with great looking homes to put back on the market and sell quickly).
We also believed that we have a unique skill set that enables us to service customers better than our competition.
What have you achieved with your company thus far?
We have landed three large national clients who are very difficult to build relationships with. To date, this is our largest achievement and we base the importance of this achievement solely on the amount of competition there is in the marketplace to create a relationship with them.
Matt and I are also very proud of building a local client base that we love working with and would bend over backwards for. We truly enjoy working on the behalf of local sales agents, which allows us to focus on prepping the house and allow the sales agents to promote the properties.
We are also excited to be putting people to work for us – especially the contractors we hire who have been out of work for months and months.
What has been difficult about running a business? What disappointments have you experienced since becoming a business owner?
Managing cash flow, scaling the business and being patient about growth opportunity have all been difficult. We are a service-based business that gets paid after the work is done. That means we have to pay for supplies and labor up front and then wait to get paid. Managing that cash flow and leveraging it to enable growth is difficult.
It is also difficult scaling business as you need to make sure you hire people who will represent your business as well as you do. Nothing less than the best is acceptable and it can be difficult waiting to grow to your potential, but you have to be patient.
What advice do you have for aspiring young entrepreneurs?
If you go into business with a partner, make sure that you and your partner come up with a contractual partnership agreement laying out all the details of the partnership including job responsibilities, who makes what decision, how much time and money you expect to put into the business and how much profit you anticipate taking out.
I love working with my partner Matt, but we often have varying viewpoints on how to run the business. You need to be able to scream and yell at each other, but you also need to learn how to listen, trust and occasionally give in to their opinion.
…and if that doesn’t work, I know that I always have our contract to fall back on.