Quiet Sweep, Ltd. is one of those U.S. all-American success stories of steady incremental growth in a bustling market. For over 14 years, Steve Dekelbaum’s team, including his wife Robin and son Zach have served Rockville and the greater Maryland, D.C., and upper Virginia area. The family business grew, got hit hard by the Covid pandemic, resumed growing strong after the public threat subsided, and has recovered over the past year. Dekelbaum has focused on municipal contract pavement sweeping in the heavily populated market, a strategy that has proven exceptional — if you’re as good at it as Steve and his team are.
We interviewed Steve Dekelman in late January of 2020 for the February issue that year, and…
Then Along Came COVID…
Quiet Sweep Operations Manager, Zachary Dekelbaum, son of owner Steve Dekelbaum, recently shared some great updates for NAS magazine about how things have been going at Quiet Sweep since early 2020.
Zach is the Operations Manager and newest member of the Quiet Sweep top leadership team. Here he talks about the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the business — an impending economic shock to the country that was still unforeseen in February 2020. That was only a month before the economic shutdown occurred, when we originally interviewed Steve and shared the Quiet Sweep success story with our readers.
The Road Back from COVID to Normal
When Covid hit our area, it affected us very badly. We were able to continue working, due to being essential workers, but we still had to make a lot of changes within the company. We lost business because property management companies had to cut costs. We had to let some employees go, which made us short-staffed. But, if we had kept them on, the company would have gone under.
We are still recovering but we’re starting to revive the business and transform it back into the exceptionally thriving company we were before covid. We have 50 employees now, and we clean more than 80 shopping centers each night. We run about 6 to 8 street sweepers per day on highways, streets, and on milling and paving job sites for asphalt paving companies. We have another 6 to 8 parking lot sweepers going out 7 nights a week.
Zach finished his business degree and now works full time at the family business. As the Quiet Sweep LTD Operations Manager, he oversees street sweeping, parking lot sweeping, and the bulk trash removal service. His mom, Robin, does the bookkeeping with QuickBooks and other admin work. His dad, Steve, communicates with area property managers and city officials who handle municipal service contracts.
Steve has expressed that one of the things he likes about his family business is building it together with his wife and son.
Quiet Sweep Services Updates 2023
Quiet Sweep goes the extra distance to provide top-quality service. For example, instead of the standard one-person occupant, every Quiet Sweep sweeper truck is manned by both a driver and a driver’s helper. We provide these very popular services, among others:
|What’s In?||We do commercial bulk trash removal, which goes hand-in-hand with parking lot sweeping. Managers of properties naturally prefer to have the same company that cleans their shopping center lot to also handle removal of any illegally dumped items or trash from tenants. So, we provide bulk trash truck visits for about 60 properties per week.Quiet Sweep LTD continues to provide various other exterior maintenance services in addition to pavement sweeping, including portering services.The company also brokers trash bag supply and products for melting surface ice. These reduce customers’ costs by a large margin, and help makes Quiet Sweep an even more convenient one-stop-shop for commercial parking lot maintenance needs.|
|What’s Out?||We are no longer involved with snow removal, because the snow in Maryland has significantly decreased over the years and it’s no longer cost effective to get equipment ready for the winter season when no snow is occurring. We are also no longer involved in pressure washing due to its environmental impacts.|
Quiet Sweep LTD Becomes a Sweeper Dealer!
Since Covid, we have entered the sweeping market for milling and paving companies. But, we ran into some problems purchasing new sweepers. None were readily available or the lead times were too long. We were able to find a sweeper manufacturer in Canada called Merit Sweeprite.
We did our research and found that they have almost zero presence on the east coast of the United States. So, we reached out to them and talked to them about their products — the Sweeprite S2 and S3. In that conversation, we asked if they had any representatives or dealers on the east coast and they informed us that they didn’t. We saw a perfect opportunity and decided to go for it.
We asked if they had any interest in having a dealer on the east coast and they fell in love with the idea. After some more discussions and a trip up to Canada to meet the whole Merit Sweeprite team, my father, Steve, and I formed a new company called ZnS Platinum Sweeper Sales.
This created a perfect, direct link for Quiet Sweep to purchase new sweepers and also be able to showcase the sweepers on the east coast, and create a bigger presence for the Merit Sweeprite team.
Upgraded Sweeper Trucks for Quiet Sweep
Quiet Sweep currently has 2 Sweeprite S2s. Zach explains that these are non-CDL-required sweepers that Sweeprite manufactures. We have a third sweeper truck to be delivered in the next week or two. As well as a fourth one soon to be put into production. The third and fourth S2s will have blue-colored bodies.
That is where Zns Platinum Sweeper Sales comes into play as the east coast dealer for Merit Sweeprite sweepers. We plan to utilize the new S2 model to its fullest potential. This means it will be driven around to showcase the new blue sweeper that no one in our area has ever seen before.
Zach says he is interested in seeing how many eyes it catches and how many questions will start to get asked. He explains the sweepers are usually white, so having the blue ones will be enough to catch someone’s eye. He reasoned, people in the industry may be surprised to see a Sweeprite S2 or S3 because they practically have zero presence in our area. Our goal is to completely change that.
Sweeper Trucks that Yield a Branding Bonus!
The Quiet Sweep team have certainly proven adept at catching the right kind of attention for the company. In addition to the exciting and unique new blue sweeper trucks and other great brand-building strategies, today, Quiet Sweep LTD still displays its bold, imposing logo on its website homepage at http://www.quietsweep.com/. Back in 2020 when we first discovered it, the logo seemed to us to starkly contrast with a concept of a quiet kind of service business.
The logo is a huge ferocious-looking bulldog with a dangerous-looking spiked collar. It seems to say, “We’ll attack your sweeping needs!” So, why have such hyper-exciting brand imaging matched with the message of quiet sweeping, i.e., tranquility in service delivery? To grab attention — just as it is still doing.
GPS Tracking Still Rules Sweeping Tech
There are the usual great benefits that modern commercial pavement sweeping company owners expect from GPS tracking technology. Those include generally smoother operations because of tracking vehicles’ functioning, speed and idle time monitoring, and much more.
But the Dekelbaums have more fully utilized this technology for generating new business. They encourage sweeper drivers and other field services employees to submit reports from customers’ sites to management that help generate new business.
The workers can transmit photos with the reports showing large trash items, for quickly dispatching workers for pickup. This enables customers to bypass having to deal with such fundamental clean-up necessities and produces revenue for Quiet Sweep.
Advice for Market Entrants Based on Quiet Sweep LTD
Steve Dekelbaum told us a few years ago that though there is competition in his market area, he feels in his element serving numerous municipalities and state administrations. So, finding a market in which you’re comfortable can lend much to long-term happiness as an entrepreneur in the pavement sweeping industry. Also, Steve Dekelbaum has made a lot of the right choices over the years. Making good choices is skill with which a hard-working entrepreneur can go far. He switched to the pavement sweeping industry at an opportune time, picked the right business to buy and rebuild, chose all the smartest ancillary service channels to shore up revenues and stay maximally competitive, and more.
In this updated article about Quiet Sweep LTD, we here offer our NAS magazine wisdom for newcomers to the industry based on the Dekelbaum success story. First, have the vast range of skills Steve Dekelbaum has brought to his enterprise, and constantly demonstrate the inspiring level of commitment and steady management for growth that Quiet Sweep represents.
For questions about the Sweeprite S2 and S3, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org