Growing the Elite Sweeping Company in KC 2024

What’s so unique about the Elite Sweeping Company, Inc., in Kansas City, Kansas? Well, the business has sustained its long-term success on consistency in service quality for over four decades. And, yes, that is a huge achievement by any standard. That track record puts the Elite organization in the class of exceptional providers in the commercial pavement sweeping industry. But, that’s not the focus of this 2024 report. Here, the question should be — what is most unique about the structure of this interesting business? 

NAS featured Elite as our Spotlight business over five years ago in the August 2018 issue. The company operates in the medium-sized urban market of Kansas City. David and Debbie Dearth, veterans of the sweeper equipment sales industry, founded Elite in 2005 as a family business, along with their son Casey and his wife Julie, who share ownership of the company. That’s different. 

We talk with many sweeping business owners throughout the US who have family members engaged in their businesses at some level, from yard and fleet cleaning to admin support to driving, to mechanical assistance, to managerial positions in the shop, office, or field. However, very few we’ve met have advanced a young son or daughter to a partnership status with an ownership stake and one of the top leadership roles while the parents are still so highly active in the business. 

Elite Progress Since 2018 – Casey Dearth

When we spoke with the Dearths in 2018, they liked their business model and their expressed primary plan going forward was to stay on the course they had set for Elite. But, they were clearly flexible. Their exceptionally ordered system and the great agility it afforded them was one of the organizational character traits that most inspired us to share their story at that time. They continue to emphasize their ability to deliver the KC area’s most responsive service to meet challenges and provide the most practical solutions for customers.

Most of Elite’s accounts are with large retail companies, property management firms, and large sporting events services. A significant percentage also comes from national account managers contracting to local sweeping services. Additionally, Elite provides sweeping services for all Kansas City Chiefs events and Sporting KC soccer events.

Casey Dearth joined his parents as an owner in the business with strong automotive mechanical skills. Over his years in the company, he has become an experienced pavement sweeper mechanical repair shop leader as well as a highly capable business leader in the Elite enterprise. Casey’s wife Julie came in with impressive administrative skills, developed through her former experience in the insurance industry. 

The fully-rounded family business management group has continued to build their strong customer base largely through word-of-mouth advertising. They have increased their team size accordingly. Today, Elite has about 25 employees. 

Elite’s revenues are over 90% from pavement sweeping. But, per David’s earlier (2018) comment on the company’s services, “We do what our clients ask for. We strive to take care of our customers the best we can.” As a result, the Elite portering, power washing, window cleaning, sign replacement, lock repair, and other maintenance services have led to customized service packages tailored to meet each client’s specific needs. 

Top Quality Service in the KC Sweeping Market

Elite’s service area reaches far beyond the KC metro diameter to Lawrence Springs KS, St. Joseph, MO, and Raymore MO. Demand for the company’s service is highest in the spring. Volume stays steady during the remainder of the year all the way through the winter. 

From late fall to mid-spring, the company is especially busy because it is one of very few parking lot sweepers in KC with equipment that can pick up the salt and sand from the pavement. In the Midwest, sand and salt deteriorate poorly managed parking lots. Debbie has explained that the level of detail the Elite team applies provides much longer-lasting protection for clients’ properties, and that performance sets the company’s service apart in quality. 

Ensuring Profitability in the Pavement Sweeping Industry

Elite’s pricing policy has not been relaxed since we originally spoke to the principals in 2018. As David explained back then, “We’ve got to hold our pricing. With paying employees, you’ve got to stick to your pricing.” In fact, since COVID, the company has undertaken to trim its customer rolls and streamline routes to help further ensure the long-term profitability of all the revenue segments.

We have long-term relationships with the majority of our customers. We’re still growing every year. If a certain property management group adds a couple of new properties, we grow with them. So, over the past five years, we’ve grown. But, instead of just trying to grow, we’ve also been focused on weeding out unprofitable accounts. Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about the pricing and the profitability of it. We’ve had a lot of accounts that we were losing money on. Most of our business is contractor work. So, even though payroll has increased tremendously, I couldn’t increase my prices for 3 years in many cases. 

What we could do to make up for it was cut some business that we were not making a profit on. That meant changing our routes, but it was worth it. We were able to make most routes more efficient. Doing that allowed us to prevent sacrificing our quality of work just to keep customers that we were losing money on. We don’t want to cut a customer short just to maintain the business with that company. After all, our name is on that service. 

Building the Elite Brand in the KC Region 2024

Debbie emphasized Elite’s professional image in 2018. She said the company upgrades and maintains the trucks, washes them weekly, and maintains attractive signage on them. She explained that these measures collectively help customers have greater confidence in their service and validate their decision to contract with them and that the pristine equipment seen working on their property becomes, in essence, an asset to the customer’s own business. Other outstanding features of Elite’s service include: 

Unparalleled Responsiveness: The company is one of the few service providers in their area that can respond as quickly as they do. When a customer calls, the Elite team can send a team member immediately. This incomparable response time distinguishes the Elite organization in the area and the industry. 

Double Coverage: Elite dispatches two workers in each truck. Most companies send just one. By double-teaming, one worker can drive and run the sweeper while the other blows out the corners and picks up debris on the property. This ultra-efficient method boosts quality and productivity – the time-proven combination for building a great brand.

State-of-the-Art Technology: All Elite drivers are equipped with the latest iPhone versions to accommodate national Apps required by some corporate dispatchers. (In 2018, Elite workers were experiencing the typical issues with those Apps. Per Casey, since then, many of the kinks have been worked out.) Elite also has the latest GPS tech, The trucks have dash cameras facing outward for remote monitoring by Elite headquarters. Plus, cameras providing video of the truck interiors ensure comprehensive information for validation. Casey appreciates the tech evolution. Now, with AI, we can do so much more to provide superior assurance of optimum customer satisfaction. 

Casey, as the resident tech aficionado, spends time managing the company’s IT, cameras, and other business support technologies, and he stays up to date on advancements in the kinds of tech the company uses. 

Looking at Elite’s 10-Year Plan a Half-Decade Later

The Elite owners said in 2018 that they were pretty happy with the business’s growth rate of around 10% to 20% per year up to that time. They were bypassing some opportunities for others that made more sense in terms of long-term growth and sustained profitability. For example, instead of public street sweeping and meeting the frequent requests for construction site sweeping, the cost vs. benefit rationale did not support their objectives and goals as well as their existing commercial property service model. Further, the Elite business owners have made it a theme of their company management to prevent unprofitable pricing practices and customer commitments in their business.

Elite’s Evolved Industry Insights – 2024

Today, in January 2024, Debbie notes that things are still going very well for their KC sweeping business. We’re still the Number 1 sweeping company in Kansas City. Her insight from 2018 on how to succeed still holds true, of course: If you do good work, do what you say you’re going to do, and show up on time, that’s what it’s all about in a service business. 

Asked in 2024 about what he’s learned over these five years about being a part of a family business, Casey’s response is largely about the efficiency benefits of the clear division of labor among the management team members. 

As a young new entrepreneur reflecting on what he’s learned about being a leader in a family business, Casey is more introspective. It really is just communication, talking with each other, backing each other’s decisions, not stepping on each other’s toes. For example, if I need to make a decision, I can trust in our communications and my dad knows I will do the same when he makes a decision.

When asked what he’s learned about success in the commercial pavement sweeping industry in the past five years, Casey offers straightforward big-picture insights. We’ve been in it long enough that we’ve worked for many, if not most businesses, who use sweeping services in town. They know about us. Most new accounts come because they’re not happy with the service they’re getting from another provider. 

We focus on the point that you get what you pay for. In a service business, time is money. We try to help people clearly understand how much time we will need to spend on their property. We can do it, for example, one day or seven days per week, in 10 minutes each time. But, we recommend the actual number of minutes it takes to do a quality job, and then they decide. 

Basically, we’re just telling them how it is. At the end of the day, everything turns on the money. It’s this much per minute, and the question is, “How many minutes do you want?” By pushing this time-based pricing model, we can show people exactly what they’re getting for their money.

What more should be added to a pavement sweeping service business update from a young entrepreneur in leadership of a thriving business? The Dearths have been attending to successful company culture, retention, quality management, and branding for over four decades. Plus, they’ve kept pace with technologies, and their still growing. 

Casey Dearth has come to the management of a family business that is well prepared for change and meeting the challenges of the next decade under his generation of leadership. He has already well learned that success in the commercial sweeping industry is about good management of communications, overall efficiency, superior quality, and practical pricing.


For more information about the Elite Sweeping Company, Kansas City, KS, call 913-207-2967 or visit


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