Dennis Jenkins, Jr. of ECC Talks About Competition, Working with Former Athletes and Franchising

Dennis Jenkins

Commercial buildings in the United States are getting bigger at a rate that’s outpacing the increase of their number. According to the US Energy Information Administration, in the years between 2012 and 2018, the total commercial floor space in the US grew by 11%, while the number of buildings grew by 6%. That same year, there were 91 billion square feet of commercial floorspace in the United States, and the tendency was to rise. For businesses like Dennis Jenkins, Jr.’s Executive Commercial Cleaning LLC, which deals in commercial facility management and cleaning, the situation presented a lot of opportunities.

Jenkins started Executive Commercial Cleaning LLC (ECC LLC) back in 2017. He got into the field of commercial facility management and cleaning after facing some challenges finding the right management services for the properties he owned. “The companies I was hiring weren’t providing me the service I needed for my properties,” Dennis Jenkins, Jr. says. “I was talking to other business owners who owned commercial buildings, and it turned out that none of these companies were giving their customers what they needed.”

Armed with the knowledge of how a decent facility management and cleaning service should look, Dennis Jenkins, Jr. decided to found Executive Commercial Cleaning LLC. He’s been fortunate to be able to work with his family, as his brother is also a part of the business. “The business culture we were fostering early on was about family and competitiveness,” he says. The market can get crowded, and seven-figure yearly contracts are fairly common in the industry, so Jenkins had to work hard to stay on top of his competitors.

One of the areas where Jenkins saw a great opportunity to differentiate ECC LLC from the competition is reliance on technology. Besides being a noticeable way to show the company is being invested in, it’s also something that other companies aren’t doing to the same extent as Dennis Jenkins, Jr. “We’ve been running robotics on most of our accounts for the last four years, and it’s drastically improved our services and visibility,” he says. “I would say for sure that it has been what sets us apart from our competitors.”

The added benefit of working with robotics and automated systems is that it reduces reliance on human, manual work. The machines they’re using, Jenkins explains, can take care of sweeping, dusting, waxing, and all the floor work. Floor work alone accounts for roughly half of a commercial cleaning job. “A person only has to make sure the machine does the tasks well,” he says. “Because robots are less expensive than people, it allows us to create savings we can then pass on to our customers.”

The people the business tends to hire, however, are usually former athletes. They contribute to the competitive company culture Dennis Jenkins, Jr. has been building. It’s the mixture of trying to top one another, coupled with being supportive and knowing how to have fun while doing it that makes Executive Commercial Cleaning a company that feels like a very competitive family. Plus, athletes have plenty to bring to the business in terms of mindset and focus. It’s one of the reasons Jenkins found that businesses generally like to work with athletes. “We build that drive as athletes, and it doesn’t go away as you transition through life,” he explains.

For the past couple of years, after creating a business model that’s proven to work, Dennis Jenkins, Jr. and his team at Executive Commercial Cleaning have been working on getting other people to jump on the proverbial wagon and take up their franchise. Jenkins, having his strong morals and faith-driven desire to help fellow human beings, opted out of creating a franchise model that will bleed the franchise dry. He took a very different route, which saw him first determine that the model he built his business on, the same model he’d be selling, is viable.

Dennis Jenkins
Dennis Jenkins, Jr.

“I know that franchises tend to underperform, so I took my time making sure we got everything right with ECC first,” he says. “I want the people who purchase the franchise to see the growth and performance that they’re looking for. I want them to be successful.” To that end, Jenkins and Executive Commercial Cleaning have developed dedicated teams that work with franchisees to make sure that they know how to market their services, place ads, and sell. The costs are structured so that, the better the franchise performs on its own, the lower the franchise fee. “It’s my job to make sure that they get to the 3% fee, which is as low as fees get with us,” says Jenkins. “So, we’re there to help, but we want them to be self-sufficient, as that’s how they’ll be the most profitable for themselves.”

Dennis Jenkins, Jr. would be the first person to admit that the way he got to where he is today wasn’t what he was expecting. After retiring from a promising football career due to an injury, his road led through construction and real estate to providing property management services and helping people start their businesses. A man of faith who says he never leaves a door open, Jenkins likes to say that he’s willing to go wherever God is directing him. And wherever he gets to, he makes sure to affect people positively.

Written in partnership with Luke Lintz

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