If you were to design a business from the ground up to glorify God, what it would be? What would it do?
This is something I've been thinking about a lot, and I don't know that I have a great answer yet.
But I think that providing for the needy – in this case, providing them the jobs they so desperately need – is a fantastic start.
Bill Fuchs runs a property cleaning service, and has been doing so for the past 11 years. He enjoys providing support for men in his church, whether it is giving them rides or just going out for coffee.
In this interview Bill talks about how he uses his business to give jobs to people who need them, and more.
What is your business?
Our business is Max 7 Cleaning and Property Services Ltd. We provide property services to property managers and condo board members.
The services includes common area cleaning, outdoor maintenance, repairs and maintenance, security, and oversized garbage removal.
We have been in business for almost 11 years.
How did you get started?
I was working for a not for profit called The Mustard Seed.
My first two contracts were the offices of the Mustard Seed and a school, which I was able to get the contract for since I knew the facility manager.
Can you explain a bit about your faith journey?
I came to Christ when the woman I was dating invited me to a Women's Aglow meeting. The meeting was for the women and their spouses.
After we came to know Christ, we began attending church. After a few months, I went on to bible school.
During the interview process we listen to the skills but also the needs
Over the years I have been involved in caring ministries with our local church.
In the past few years, my main ministry is providing support for men going through a difficult time. The support can be just coffee together or prayer or rides to the hospital, etc.
Do you think of your business as a ministry?
I do think of my business as a ministry. The ministry comes from providing jobs for people who may not otherwise have a job.
I also make sure that the business has a ministry by ensuring that I take the time to provide excellent service that people can depend on and that makes their lives easier.
I will also listen to people. At times, it is appropriate to pray with them or offer other kinds of support.
Does providing jobs to people who need them affect your hiring process?
I don't think it affects the hiring process. It is rather the people I look for or choose.
My first step when I need someone is to ask people I know if they have any suggestions. If not, I advertise.
During the interview process we listen to the skills but also the needs. Some people are unable to find work since they were homeless or are new to Canada, but they still have good skills and are willing to learn.
What are some ways in which you run your business differently than someone who is not a believer?
Our business logo is Max 7, and the 7 has the reflection of a cross. I deliberately chose this logo.
The Max represents my decision to provide service to the maximum (best) of my ability. The 7 and the cross represent God. I am working to do my very best under God.
It also means things like treating people with respect, honesty and integrity. I believe God asks us to live out our faith every day in how we run our businesses, the kind of service we provide, and the way we treat people.
Should we grow businesses or keep them small?
I believe that a business should be what the owner feels they want and what they feel can best serve God. The size of the business depends on the owner's choice under God.
Do others in the church mistakenly believe you are in business only to "get rich"?
I have not encountered anyone in the church who thinks I am in business to get rich. Maybe because I choose to use the business to serve others in the church.
As an example, I used my trucks to help the church move when they moved into a new building. I will volunteer my services, such as lawn care, to seniors who need help.
Have you ever seen a conflict between serving profits and serving God in your business?
I believe that God has called us to support our families, our church, and our society. If we have the skill to develop a successful business, we should use that skill to serve God.
We can serve God both through the staff we hire and in wisely using the profits to serve God's kingdom.
Keep in mind that business owners do not get paid vacation, paid sick days or pension, so business owners need to ensure they are wise in how they handle their time and their money.
Does your desire to provide jobs to more people change the way you view business opportunities?
When we hire staff who are good, we can only pay them for the hours worked, so we will look for more work that we can give them. Our company is cleaning large common areas so it is labour intensive.
However, my experience at former companies has shown me that when a company invests in new technology, they need people to run that technology. It is a different skill set. I think people should be trained in the new skill set if possible.
Do you struggle with the ethics of selling and marketing? What has helped you with this?
I have not struggled with the ethics of selling and marketing.
I ensure that my marketing and selling clearly demonstrate my ability to service the client. I am offering a service that my clients can depend on, that makes their work lives easier.
Is there a time when you really had to rely on God for something? When you have had to make a "leap of faith"?
Starting a business is a leap of faith. You begin by investing money and time without knowing if you will be able to successfully support yourself.
How do you think about work/life balance?
Work/life balance is a challenge when you own your own business. It is easy to work all day and then come home and work all evening on paperwork.
I keep Sundays free from work as much as possible. I also take time to ensure I am at important events in my family's life.
What habit have you developed over the years that you think others would benefit from having?
I try to start everyday by reading my bible.
Communication is important both for staff and clients. I ensure I respond to emails and phone calls immediately. In my business, I need to ensure I invoice promptly and ensure I pay my staff and my suppliers on time. Cash flow is important.
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