written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Antoine Thomas, aka Papa, is a true Fredericktonian, born and raised here. He attended TJ High School where he played basketball under Coach Tom Dickman. Now he’s raising his own children here.
Quincy is eight years old and “has the potential to grow to be 6’10” — that’s what the doctors are saying. He’s tall for his age like I was when I was growing up.”
Papa says it’s too early to tell if he’s inherited the athletic genes but he’s looking forward to playing football. “He played basketball last year and he did a good job. He wants to continue to play sports so I’m excited!”
His younger son, Landon, just turned three and “every day is his birthday. He loves everything!”
Antoine loves spending time with his kids in his spare time. Being a family man is “what makes me happy. I try to enjoy life through them because they’re my future.
What ATQ Cleaning Company Can Do For You
1. “We’re a professional cleaning company with expert know-how when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing commercial, industrial and residential accounts.”
2. “When business owners delegate cleaning duties to office staff, moral can sink.” It takes time away from their other tasks and they aren’t likely to care about doing a proper cleaning job.
“That’s where we come in. Allow us to do what we do best. Take the pressure off the staff and the moral can continue to grow.”
3. Respiratory irritants such as dust and allergens are expertly removed from the environment.
4. As a professional cleaning company, ATQ can keep your business stocked with paper towels, toilet paper and other essential items.
5. Professional residential cleaning means less sickness inside the home. Expert commercial cleaning means less employee absence from illness and higher productivity.
Antoine’s Path To Entrepreneurship
He was employed by Biotech when they were being bought out. “They were having layoffs. They told our Dept. that we weren’t being laid off. Then, on the day of the layoffs, two people in our Dept. were missing.”
Antoine had already been through the layoff experience a few times during his career and he started to worry that it was going to happen again. So, he told himself, “I have to have a plan B.”
A few of his good friends, like Jason Lee, had already started cleaning companies. He had the urge to follow that path and “the rest is history.” That was in 2009 and he hasn’t looked back!
In fact, he’s now branching out an already wide array of cleaning services by adding carpet cleaning. “I do commercial carpet cleaning as well but I now do residential carpet cleaning in houses, apartments and townhouses.”
The expansion is paying off. “Its actually been very successful this summer. I’ve had a lot of business and I’ve been very thankful for the opportunities that have come my way.”
The Biggest Challenge Of Entrepreneurship
Antoine recalls, “When I first started, I couldn’t get any opportunities in Frederick, believe it or not.” Verizon was just moving to Virginia and he was offered the chance to service their two offices there — one in Dulles and the other in Manassas.
“Just starting, I was very hungry. So I said ‘yes, of course, I would love to!'” He worked that account for the first three or four years. Then, more work started to come in.
“I got business in Rockville and Germantown. I still didn’t have anything in Frederick.” But he never gave up! “I just kept working at it and working at it.”
It finally paid off. “Over the last couple of years, I got a significant amount of business in Frederick.”
Advice Antoine Would Give To Himself If He Could Start Over
“I wish I had started the business earlier. I have very good success now but I believe that at a time when the economy was very good, I could have had a lot more business.”
He adds, “And, I probably could have had a good amount of business in Frederick alone. It probably would have made me a better contender in the market of commercial cleaning.”
Antoine continues, “Even though I’m now very successful, I just think that my name is not as well known as other cleaning companies right now. But, the word is getting out so I’m very excited.”
A Time When ‘Papa’ Knew He Made A Difference
“Actually, that would be three months ago when I branched out. I had several calls from local businesses inquiring about my services and I thought — wow, I’m really starting to be known in my community.”
“It kind of blew my mind, ” he humbly admits. “When I first started back in 2009, I never thought I’d have the success that I have today. This last year has been amazing business-wise for ATQ Cleaning.”
Antoine Is Not Giving Up His Google Calendar or His GMail
For this busy entrepreneur, “Google Calendar is a must! I set a lot of reminders for myself so I won’t forget things. It’s very helpful!
Actually, he has forgotten things and Google Calendar has been there to remind him and keep him on track. “It’ll pop up on my phone!”
And, he relies on GMail to stay in touch with his clients. “I get a lot of feedback and information from them through GMail.”
Antoine points out that “A lot of customers are busy. They don’t have time to talk over the phone like in the older days. GMail keeps me in touch with everybody so we can make sure that everything is taken care of.”
A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback
Antoine highly recommends this inspirational read by best-selling author Dr. Willie Jolley.
“Every morning, you’ve got to be ready to go. That’s what I live by.
“Every day is a new opportunity. That’s the way I look at it. I get up every morning and say ‘what can I do better for my business to help somebody else’s business?’ ”
See What Clean Really Looks Like With ATQ Cleaning
Get in touch with Antoine Thomas, aka Papa, today for a consultation and a free quote. No cleaning job is too big or too small and all jobs are scheduled at a time that’s designated by the client. “Our service is to serve you!”
Appearances make a lasting impression — make sure yours is a good one!
* Commercial * Industrial * Residential * Carpet Cleaning
Content Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #066: Eric Verdi Interviews Antoine Thomas