How a Side Gig Turned Into a Successful Business

Keep it clean

Florida-based entrepreneur, and owner of Keep It Clean Property Services, Nicholas DeGennaro has worn many hats over the years, telling us, “I’ve been a glass-blower, a chef, a butcher, and a carpenter.” But his latest business venture started out by chance.

“I was working for a company that did pressure washing at an apartment complex and one day the property manager asked me to go around and collect the trash because their regular company hadn’t shown up. I took my pickup truck and went around to all 350 units until everything was collected. What started out as a fill-in gig quickly became full-time because the other company was so unreliable.”

DeGennaro wasn’t content to stop there though, explaining, “the guys I was working with weren’t ambitious, they weren’t actively trying to get jobs. That’s when I decided to start my own business.”

Keep it clean owner

DeGennaro saw an obvious need in the market for a trash valet service and that’s when Keep It Clean Property Services was born.

“A lot of people pay big bucks to live in apartment and condominium complexes but they don’t have the same access to garbage removal as homeowners,” DeGennaro explained. “Homeowners get to leave their trash at the curb, but in these apartment complexes typically everyone shares one dumpster that they have to take their trash to, and it can be really inconvenient. My company comes five days a week, rain or shine, and we collect the trash right from their doorways.”

But, as most entrepreneurs can relate to, getting a business off the ground requires sacrifice and Keep it Clean was no exception. DeGennaro described the changes he had to make in his life, saying, “at the time I just had a baby, I had just bought a house and money was tight. You can’t really do anything to cut your car payments or your mortgage so I decided to cut my personal expenses as much as possible. I cut out everything possible. I quit my Netflix and Hulu subscriptions and stopped going to restaurants. The cheapest thing to buy at the grocery store was pasta and spaghetti sauce, so that was what I ate every day just to afford the startup costs.”

But for DeGennaro it was worth it. “I would do it all over again for sure. Though, to be honest, I don’t ever want to eat spaghetti again!”

In addition to making personal sacrifices, DeGennaro’s advice for other entrepreneurs is, “to quote Cal Ripken Jr., ‘just show up.’ Showing up to get the job done is half the battle.”

For many business owners, commercial insurance can be a roadblock, finding constant difficulty when trying to learn about policies, getting quotes, and making sure the right coverage is in place. But for DeGennaro, thanks to CoverWallet, insurance was the missing piece he needed to make his business successful.

“For me, I didn’t know what to do about the insurance portion of the business so I Googled ‘General Liability’ and found CoverWallet. Finding CoverWallet was such a relief because very few people understand what my business does and what my insurance requirements are. I called CoverWallet while I was driving and the agent got me everything I needed before I was even home. I had been trying to get insurance for months so I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I was so relieved to have everything sorted out I actually pulled over and cried.”

Thanks to CoverWallet's fast and easy service DeGennaro was able to launch his business on July 15 of this year and hasn’t looked back since.

You can learn more about Keep It Clean Property Services on Facebook and on their website.


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