By Alyssa Schnugg
About six years ago, Ryan Nicholas was struggling to find a successful career that not only paid the bills but just felt right.
“I had a few smaller businesses that I started that weren’t successful and I needed money,” Nicholas said. “I had no real marketable skills but I could cut grass or clean gutters so I decided to try cleaning houses.”
He set out fliers, named his new business Simply Clean Oxford, and got a few jobs cleaning homes. He learned as he went, asking his clients for feedback and changing the way he did things to constantly improve.
“With their feedback, I learned how to do it and do it well,” he said.
Six years later, Simply Clean has cleaned about 20,000 homes and employs 24 people. Nicholas is co-owner with his wife, Sarah.
Simply Clean offers basic house cleaning services and deep cleaning for rental turnovers or just homes that haven’t been cleaned in a long time. They offer biweekly and monthly services. Clients can book and manage appointments from any device on the company’s website. The company also offers gift cards people can purchase for loved ones.
Simply Clean Oxford vets each of its employees with a three-round interview process and thorough reference checks before a training and probationary period.
For Nicholas, Simply Clean was a chance for him to become a successful business owner and he wanted to help others who struggle with finding a good-paying job, especially due to past addiction issues.
“Once upon a time, I had a drug problem and I got cleaned up and have been involved in the recovery community locally on and off for several years,” he said. “I knew from experience it’s hard to find a good job when you’re in recovery. But there’s a hidden talent pool there. People who are very capable, hardworking people, but they have a hard time finding jobs.”
Nicholas offers people in recovery a chance to have a job. They must be clean for six months and actively working in a recovery program.
“It’s not something we advertise but it’s not something we hide,” he said. “We fully trust our staff. It’s not only been good for businesses, it just became a good thing to do.”
Simply Clean Oxford also uses plant-based, nontoxic cleaning agents so customers never need to worry about harmful chemicals being used in their homes.