Used Nursing To Start My Business
As a nurse I never thought I would be in the position I am in now. I used my nursing skills and certifications to start a small DBA. I just closed the books for Jan, 09 and my wife and I netted after everything $158,000. Not too shabby for being in business only 4 months now. We will be on track for the company to make 3 Million this year.Now you are asking what kind of legal business could he be in that makes that kind of money? Well let me tell you. I am in the business of death. I clean death and crime scenes. It seems kind of strange and surreal for me right now being in this business. It seems I have spent my whole life working with death. In my 20's and early 30's I was a Special Forces Soldier. In that time frame i was the cause of death. Then when I got out of the service and became a nurse I spent my time helping people fight off death (which I still do). Now as I look to the end of my carrer I now clean up after death. I guess I have come full circle in a way.
Well enough about me. Let me tell you about this business. I started a company that is hired after someone either commits suicide or is murdered and we literally come in and clean up the mess. After the coroner is gone, it is up to the family to clean the mess that is left behind. That mess is a biohazardous mess and the coroner usually tells them this. I also work with hotels and motels and even have done a few small strip mall shops and stores. The cleaning takes specialized training and equipment. All things that have been touched by the body is considered contaminated and all fluids are biohazardous and must either be cleaned and decontaminated or red bagged and burned. I provide that service. I have a company here that arranges for the burning of redbag material and I also have home remodelers that can redo dry wall and carpet and ceilings. I offer all those services. One thing though it does not come cheap. My services range from 250-1000 dollars an hour. Not your average cleaning bill. Luckily most homeowner policies will pay for the clean up of suicides and if it ws a crime there is the federal crime victims assistance fund that will pay for it. If there is no insurance I am willing to work out a price reduction and payment options.
I know this all sounds interesting but let me tell you, this business can be hard on you. It takes a strong stomach and constitution. The coroner picks up the body but not all the body parts. I have literally picked up pieces of scalp and bone and even a few fingers. All gets destroyed. The smell can be overpowering. A decomposing body can sure leave some bad smells and big stains. I have had to remove subflooring before and replace it. Wood is very expensive to redbag and burn but it must be done properly. Sometimes you are even picking teeth out of walls and ceilings. And imagine doing this with a grieving family standing over you and asking why did this happen. Now also imagine doing this in a biohazard suit with a respirator on with possibly no ac or heat on in the place. That is where more of my nurses training comes into play. I have to be empathetic but not to the point of allowing their grief and the scene to affect me or my crew. I will give the family a list of resources that helps with grieving that I have acquired over the years as a nurse, I also have social worker info and even legal info that I can give them. I try to offer a compassionate service in their time of need. When I leave I know that I have done the family a service and can feel good about it.
Another big part of the business is hotels and motels. you would be surprised at the amount of people that check into a hotel to commit suicide. Those places want nothing but utter discretion and speed of service. I provide that to them. After all their housekeeping staff cannot handle the cleanup and they do not want their reputations damaged. I have been to a few high end 4 star hotels to clean rooms.
And to think I started this business with less than $10,000 dollars saved over 8 months. I bought a used 1998 Ryder moving truck and had it painted white for a total cost of 3400. I bought saws and wet dry vacs. I use shovels and plastic putty knives quite a bit. A fish tank to soak items in in cleaner. Tyvek biohazard suits and gloves and respirators..both full face and half mask. I even took a course in this type of cleaning to get ABRA (American Bio Recovery Association) certification. I have a several hand held steamers, used to steam dried brain material which is like cement when dry. A generator and lights for working nights or where there is no power. I use plenty of house hold cleaners a few industrial cleaners and bug bombs for killing flies and maggots. I also have a large ozone generator to help kill odors and clean the air. I am a complete cleaning facility on wheels. I have a photo printer to print out photos of the scene both before and after for the insurance companies as well as for the family if they want them.
I am now keeping two crews busy almost full time. These guys are high school graduates for the most part and now they are earning a great wage of 50 bucks an hour and if they can make it to one year I will raise it to 75 an hour. I believe in paying well for a good job. Plus this business is hard on people. You get to see some of the worst things in life and have to clean them up. I have marketed this business like crazy to get it started though. I literally hit almost every hotel, motel, strip mall and funeral home, hospital, church and police and fire department within a 300 mile radius of me. I am constantly calling them and just inquiring how things are going for them and to remind them that if they ever need my services to just remember I offer satisfaction guarantee and total discretion. It is paying off.
So just remember in these tough economic times there are still ways to make money for a very little start up. All you have to do is find a niche market and fill that need.
KyrhamarksLast edit by Joe V on Feb 17, '15
Feb 6, '09Congrats - better you than me... there are some things that are not worth any amount of money!Feb 6, '09I have seen programs about crime scene clean up services. Very interesting. Congrats on your success.Feb 6, '09I dont know if I have the nerve to be doing something like this. But I always am grateful to people who offer to do nerve wracking work like this. I don't know many families who would be up to the task of cleaning up the forensic remains of a loved one from their walls and floors . I say this because my uncle was murdered in a robbery/ break-in two years ago and I have not been able to get the sight of the scene out of my mind. I was in there only 10 minutes, and I still have nightmares about it. I cannot even fathom cleaning it up. If you are making good money doing this, I am happy for you, you truly deserve it for the pain you spare others. God bless you.Feb 6, '09I think its great that someone is providing this service. And even better that insurance can cover it. I'm sure that with the loss of a loved one, the last thing the family wants to do it fork out $1,000.00 on the spot. It's also great that you treat your employees so well, as this isn't a job just anyone could do. Congratulations, and good luck in the future! With continued marketing, I'm sure you'll get many new clients in the coming months!Feb 6, '09This seems like a very interesting job. I never heard of it. Could you send me some more information?Feb 7, '09Last edit by sirI on Feb 7, '09Feb 7, '09Oh gosh...I saw this article, and I thought, "well, hey, this may be something different."
My jaw literally dropped open...yes, it is a very, very needed service. It's easy to forget after "CSI" handles the job, that someone has to clean that up.
Glad to hear it's a company with compassion...but I have to tell you, I just couldn't do it.
bowingpurFeb 11, '09The Samuel L. Jackson movie is what got me interested in it to begin with. I then explored the possibility and found there was a need and I could fill it.
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