on Yahoo (back when you had a Yahoo page as your home page).

Well, it actually started sometime before that. I was made redundant from my role as Production Manager for Spring Valley Beverages and was offered a spot back at my old workplace as a contract supervisor until they closed down (both owned by Bonlac Foods – no longer around, just part of history).

So I did what I thought you had to do, I set up a company called Roy Darvan Pty Ltd, printed cards with “Director” under my name and entered the world of self-employment for the next nine months.

Roy Darvan Clean Maintain Restore cleaning business

Then that factory closed and without any Plan B, I was suddenly driving buses to keep food on the table.

Not to be stopped, I started marketing myself under the banner of “Production and Systems Management” and offering my services to help write procedure and policies.

The reality is I didn’t have any form of marketing plan or any sales structure, so I was part of the “failed to plan equals plan to fail” business category.

What did this mean in the real world?

I kept driving buses.

I couldn’t get traction with the procedure writing thing. The irony is today, it’s easy to find a procedure consultant, so I’m just comforting myself in saying that I was “ahead of the times”.

Some months later after paper delivering, pizza delivering and more bus driving, I wound up getting a fulltime job answering phones for the local CFA regional office. Roll forward another four years and working for the Government was really starting to get up my nose, so I started looking for businesses that were for sale.

The local Novus franchise looked good but what he was asking didn’t. So, gave up on that and found a local shop owner ready to retire.

I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, so I can’t say too much. But while I was doing my due diligence, I rang the owner and asked if I could chat to his accountant. The owner rang me back later to tell me a meeting was arranged for the following week. While he was on the phone he told me “another party was interested”.

No big deal, I thought, after all I was meeting his accountant in less than seven days. Three days later, the “other party” had signed and plonked down a deposit.
So, I found another job managing the buses I used to drive. Fast forward another 12 months and I was getting itchy again.

That’s when that eyeball caught my eye.

It took me to a website which spruiked “mattress sanitising”. My first question was “How do you sanitise a mattress?”

Long story short – we got the cash together, purchased a license with a company called Health Protect International, I gave notice and flew to the Gold Coast in late Jan 2008 for ‘boot camp’ – three days of fairly heavy sales training.

After working out my notice with the buses, our first paying job was Saturday 15th March 2008.

Quickly learnt that not a lot of people want their mattresses sanitised. But we were regularly asked about carpet cleaning – and this was the theme with other people within the HPI network. This lead to HPI offering carpet dry cleaning which was quickly taken up by almost the whole network.

Things were a lot happier with carpet cleaning as part of our sales pitch as it was much easier sell.

Anyway, as time went on a few things happened, or to be more accurate – didn’t happen.

The growth and expansion didn’t happen, the GFC came along and the supply of work via the network wasn’t enough.

After struggling along for a few years, the business name was due for renewal and I decided that something had to change. At this point I was operating independently of the network and was offering different services.

So Clean Maintain Restore Pty Ltd was registered on 20th January 2017 as brand new company with brand new logo, new bank account and I also made the jump to running it all in the cloud, using a product called ServiceM8 to handle the bookings.

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