In an industry dominated by franchise businesses, Josh Salley and the A-1 Cleaning & Restoration crew are proving a small business cannot only compete and survive, but succeed.
“It’s kind of like Crisp’s Dairy Treat competing with McDonald’s. It can be tough,” Salley said, smiling as he mentioned the longstanding locally owned restaurant.
Ashland attorney Kevin Lett and financial planner Randy Rhoades said the A-1 team answered the call after an unfortunate incident at the office they share at 324 20th St.
“We had a fire Dec. 15. I turned my phone on and I had 15 missed calls from Randy. When I got the news my heart just sunk,” Lett said, just before Rhoades recalled the scene that awaited. “It was wet. It was black. It was a mess.” As the project recently wrapped up, Rhoades and Let said Salley responded quickly, provided a thorough estimate and delivered on the promise of renewed life for their offices.
Salley said A-1 Cleaning & Restoration is entering its 13th year in business. Born and raised in Lexington, Salley moved to Ashland after meeting his future bride at Morehead State University. At 19 years old, Sallie said he was detailing cars for a living and accepted a job doing cleanup and restoration work for one of his clients.
“One of my customers started this company and I went to work for him. Later on I bought him out and later I bought out his brother,” he explained, noting the company now has seven employees and works with a pool of subcontractors who provide things like plumbing, HVAC or electrical work.
“One thing I like about it, it’s always something different,” he said. “It is not just staring at the same four walls every day.”
Salley said his customers “never” want a property restored to the way it was before a fire or other problem.
“It is a chance for them to make the changes they always wanted to make. It is an opportunity to do that,” he said. ”They can finally get rid of that old wallpaper or carpet and upgrade a little.”
Even when people do want to make changes at their home or office, Salley said his company is typically called upon when clients least expect to need them.
“Nobody is ever prepared for it. It is a stressful time and people have time concerns,” he said.
With jobs lined up for the foreseeable future, Sallie said his small business has come a long way, and earned every inch of its good reputation.
“Oh, for the first six or seven years we struggled, but as the insurance adjustors came to know us and that we do every job well ... it has gotten so much better. If they know they can rely on you it can really make life easier,” he said.
For more information about A-1 Cleaning & Restoration, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (606) 928-1336.