Cary, NC – Mark England represents a significant group of people in Cary. He’s a one-time tech worker who decided to leave the corporate world and start his own small business.
His venture is called AdvantaClean. “We clean up hurricane damage, meth houses, smoke, fire, water damage, sewage spills, mold, air ducts, radon and smoke,” Mark said. He started his business nine years ago. “We were the eighth AdvantaClean franchisee.”
I’ve known Mark for years – we’re friends from the YMCA (8 AM geezer shift). We hired Mark to clean out our ducts when we sold our house this Spring.
A Trend: Tech Worker to Small Business Owner
Mark wasn’t always in the Environmental Cleaning business.
“I have a Bachelors and a Masters in software development,” he said. “I just got tired of the corporate world; wanted something of my own.”
Mark’s journey is part of a larger trend in Cary: former tech workers who lose enthusiasm or get pushed out of their corporate jobs. Some hit the bricks and get another gig. But many decide to leave the corporate life and start something of their own.
More Than a Job
I asked Mark why he didn’t buy a frozen yogurt franchise or fund the next wunderkind startup.
“I wanted to do something to help people,” he said.
Mark explained that when disaster hits, “people are in shock. It can be an emotional, stressful time.”
“My first job is to give people some sense of security,” he said. “They want to know what needs to be done and how to get things back under control.”
Mark said that trust is important and customers want to feel they are getting good advice.
More about AdvantaClean
AdvantaClean of Cary/Apex has five to 10 workers, depending upon workload.
Mark said Summer is their “busy time” and their service area stretches across the Triangle and down to Sanford and Fort Bragg.
What’s the worst job?
“Meth houses are just awful,” he said. “A lot of times you just have to rip out the whole interior – floors, walls, everything.”
AdvantaClean does commercial and residential work. “Smoke, water damage, duct cleaning,” he said. “Just not chemical or oil spills or asbestos.”
Story and photos by Hal Goodtree.