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image Abdi Rezaei, owner of Sharp Cleaning

HOUSTON - When life handed him lemons, Abdi Rezaei made lemon cleaner. After the business he started with a friend didn’t pan out as he had hoped, Rezaei took the lessons he learned and established a completely different business, Sharp Cleaning, in 2011.




    Although starting and running the business was initially difficult, Rezaei wasn’t afraid of putting in the effort. After moving to the United States from Iran in 2001, Rezaei worked in several Houston restaurants, and along the way met many of the people he would recruit to work for Sharp Cleaning.
    “It takes a while,” Rezaei admits. “I tell everyone it’s not as easy as you think it is. Every person who wants to see what kind of human they are or how capable of things they are should own their own business. It was pretty hard. Now eight years later, although it hasn’t been easy, we have made it through our obstacles.”
    Working in Rezaei’s favor is his predilection for problem solving.    
    “I like challenges,” he says. “My biggest challenge is that I’m dealing with 15 to 20 employees per day and also our customers. I do a lot of commercial post-construction cleaning including banks, Chick–fil-A, medical clinics, clothing stores like Adidas, a North Face in The Galleria and Victoria’s Secret in The Woodlands Mall. After Hurricane Harvey, we’ve done a lot of post-construction residential as well. I have many clients from outside of Houston that have pro-jects in Houston and they call up and I do the cleaning.”
    In addition to managing his employees, he also manages his customers’ expec-tations of what “post-construction cleanup” really means.
     “I think people think that cleaners can do magic!” he says. “Some things left by previous contractors cannot be removed by us. So in post-construction, even though we do the cleaning, get the dust out and get the space ready, we can’t get paint off of the floor that has been sitting there for the project’s last six months. This is a misunderstanding some people have. I try to see a job before I start and I try to be frank with people before I put my hands on it.”
    Rezaei says his entrepreneurial spark didn’t ignite until he was an adult, but that it is perfect for his current life stage. Now that he has experienced the perks of business ownership, he says he doubts he’ll work as an employee again.
    “I’d rather work for myself,” Rezaei says. “This business still allows me to do the things that I want to do. If I want to get a day off I can do that. It’s not a store that I must have open every day.”
    Rezaei hopes more days off are in the future.
    “My goal is to not work that much!” Rezaei says with a laugh. “I want to be able to find assistance where the business can manage pretty well so I don’t have to worry. I want to be able to do the marketing and things that I want to do besides managing the business. I’m still kind of struggling with that.
    “I think every business owner’s goal is to get their business to the point where they can sell it for a good amount,” Rezaei continues. “This is my goal, and then I will start something else. Honestly, I don’t know what’s in store; I might do something different, but on the other hand, I may do something service-related.”
    Whatever he does, don’t expect for Rezaei to use his lemon transforming skills to make a frozen treat.
    “I might do catering events, event planning, or remodeling houses – but I’m not going to change and open an ice cream shop,” he says. “I don’t think that’s something I want to do!”
    Service provider Sharp Cleaning is located in Houston. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net