“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” -Galatians 6:14
Thank You JESUS!
First, we’d like to start off by thanking God for this opportunity to steward His business. What an honor it has been to show Gods love through a small family owned and operated air duct cleaning business. It’s been quite the journey up to this point and we are far from done!
Before Amber’s Air Duct Cleaning
In late 2019, I (Aaron) had been let go from a job that I worked for 6 years. In this particular job we cleaned carpet, tile & grout, upholstery, cars, air ducts, and even did some restoration work. I was not only a technician, but I did the majority of marketing, advertising, scheduling jobs, and much more. To be honest, I had the opportunity to oversee and run that business. I put my heart, soul, and gave this business everything I had, but sometimes God has bigger plans for us.
After departing, I was left with so many feelings, but I knew who to run to, Jesus! Although I did not understand why or what I was going to do, I couldn’t lay down. I had worked so hard and come too far just to come that far. I immediately started working on my resume and I believe God told me to put together a business plan. At this point, I didn’t know what business, but I’m sure it didn’t mattered what business I chose because I was doing what he told me to do!
After praying about it, one night while in the car with my wife I had told her my idea of starting a business. Let me tell you, that’s one way to overwhelm someone. Keep in mind, we didn’t have “extra money” to start a business. We talked about it for a while until the question came up, “What business would you start?” If my memory recalls, we brainstormed together a few ideas, but air duct cleaning was the most fascinating and logical one because I had experience.
My wife Amber, was and has been my biggest supporter. Although she was overwhelmed with starting a business with no money, she believed in me, but it did need to make sense to her. So, me having experience cleaning air ducts she felt most comfortable with this idea.
Let me not lead you astray. Upon researching and learning more about industry, I began to find out that the company I worked 6 years at was cleaning air ducts incorrectly and using underpowered equipment. I now knew, what equipment, process, and method were the most effective. Upon my research and doing a S.W.O.T analysis I then began to put together the business proposal/plan. Do you remember me telling you, “we had no money,” but we were trusting God would make a way if this was truly what he wanted for us.
The next part was tough to say the least, it was time to present my idea and business plan to others to see if they wanted to be apart or help. I talked with 2 individuals about it and it was a quick no. I felt a little discouraged, but I was trying to be optimistic and giving up wasn’t an option. One night, I’m not sure exactly how my mother in-law and I got to talking about it, but she said “I’d like to take a look at it.” Need I say more, here we are, she said “YES.” Now I’m use to being told no, but when she said yes, I’m not sure if I was more scared than happy.
In the Beginning
It was time to start putting Gods plan into action, but fear and doubt were creeping through the back door. I specifically remember driving one day and I was talking to God, asking him “are you sure I can do this?” The feeling and thoughts of not deserving this opportunity lead me to question Gods plans for me, but I’m sure I’ll never forget Gods response, “You were made for this!” I began to weep tears of joy and confidence, like a super natural strength ignited inside of me.
We brainstormed business names for a few days, but most were already taken that we liked. Lord knows I wanted to name it “Aaron’s Air Duct Cleaning,” but it was common for a man to name a company after himself or use his last name. I prayed more about it and it became really simple, but my wife, Amber, was skeptical about the name I was going to suggest. I told her, I want to name the company after you, “Amber’s Air Duct Cleaning.” She was a little resistant, but I was positive this was the name that God chose for His business.
It was almost like it was all laid out, the logo was easy, but it’s very symbolic as it represents our family. If you just look at it you may not see it the way we do, but if you look closely it’s a mother duck protecting her little duckling’s, and we have 5 children. You may be asking yourself the same question I and others have, “Where are you?” Well, I could be the house or the circle. I picked the house, and God is the circle (Shield of protection).
Big purchases were being made, I was putting together our website, figuring out a scheduling software, and we still faced a lot of adversity along the way. Although, we had our investor, but money was running out. The company I worked for previously found out that I was starting my own business and didn’t handle it well. It’s not necessary to go into detail, but lets just say it was really ugly, but God told me to keep going forward.
The day I spent $12,000, I literally wanted to throw up, it wasn’t my money, I borrowed it, and I had to pay it back. At the same time, I knew, I needed the right equipment to clean correctly or why do it at all!? This $12,000 was spent on our air duct cleaning machine, gas powered compressor, and other equipment.
We easily went over our what our my mother-in-law invested, so my wife took out a bank loan for us to purchase the work vehicle. Finding a work vehicle (Chevy Express Van) was no easy task as we searched all over the State of Michigan, until God put one right in front of us right here in Lansing, Michigan. The gentlemen we purchased the van from knew my aunt and he was a man of God. In addition, we needed to get vinyl on the van to let others know who we are and what we do.
Between common sense and wisdom from God, I needed to work, make money while I was still putting everything together, and that’s exactly what I did. Did I mention, I had already hired someone to help with answering phones and to do some internet work? Off I went to work for $11 an hour, roofing in the winter time, while paying the person I hired $13 an hour. Even up to this point and after GOD seen us thru and didn’t let us down.
Pandemic & Wedding
I get cold chills just thinking about the Pandemic. So many lives were lost, the division amongst people were at an all time high, and the people that have worked their whole lives were losing their business. Here we are just starting our business 3 months before a pandemic. To be honest, up to this point I had not given God this business, but the unknown of what to happen, I had too. No doubt, I should’ve given him this business from the beginning, but it was just another reminder why I needed him.
I definitely questioned God, “Why would you have me start this business only for it to be taken down by a pandemic,” but God is bigger then the pandemic. It’s almost like he was waiting for me to say I trust you God. That’s exactly what I did, I put it all on him, and tried to remain obedient to what he was telling me.
A few months before the pandemic we were up and running or should I say crawling. As most know, starting a business is a process and has growing pains. I was finding us a few jobs a week and I was a one man crew for the first couple months. Starting a business is not easy, neither is cleaning air ducts by ones self. It didn’t take long till I needed help and God put someone right in my path. This young man quit his job, took a chance, and started working with me. His name is Justin Dunn and he still works with me to this very day.
Business was picking up a little, even in the midst of the pandemic. I believe it created more awareness to indoor air quality more than ever and it helped most people were at home. We were going wherever God sent us and he definitely sent us outside of our radius that we wanted to travel, but we went without question.
Did you know that my wife and I were engaged at this time and planned on getting married August 1st of 2020? Of course you didn’t know, but we did and there was a time where we didn’t know what was going to happen. To be more specific, we just got off the highway by Jolly & Dunkel, Amber was expressing her worries financially, and concerns about what our wedding would look like in the pandemic, and believe me I shared similar feelings. I didn’t have an answer for her, but I reminded her that God will come threw, and he will create a way.
Not too long after the “financial worry” conversation business took off in the middle of a Pandemic! God heard us and provided when it was time. So not only did we start a business 3 months before a Pandemic, business was taking off, but we were getting married in a Pandemic! God is so faithful and I was able to give my wife the wedding she wanted, she deserved.
Back to Business
We took our our honeymoon and now it was back to business. The business didn’t skip a beat while we were gone, jobs were coming, and we were growing! It had got to a point where we were getting booked out close to a month at times. Not to mention, it was still Justin and I working 6 days week.
There came a point where Justin needed some time off and I needed to give him that for all his hard work. What now though, jobs are still on the schedule, it’s just me, so I started searching for someone to help for the week he was going to be gone. Of course I prayed and God delivered a man by the name Daniel. Daniel caught on quickly and wanted to be apart of Amber’s Air Duct Cleaning, but I wasn’t sure we could afford him and give him the hours he needed.
So now we have “The 3 Amigo’s” and we were busy! We rotated giving each other a couple days off a week, but we still faced the problem of people not wanting to wait 3 weeks to a month for us to clean for them. Only God knew that this business, His business would grow this fast! It was time to invest!
All in Again
God spoke to me, “it’s time to do it again.” I took all that we had, bought more equipment, and another van. Not long after this we purchased a trailer and upgraded to the strongest gas portable air duct cleaning machine along with our electric portables.
I give God all the praise and Glory because He separated money from my heart. I could’ve been content or even complacent and held on to every dollar, but it’s not my money. Gods vision was bigger than mine at least the timing of everything.
So in the beginning, I made mention of the company I worked for and briefly how it ended. I stayed in contact with an employee that was still over there and he had got his brother-in-law Joe a job working over there, but one day I received a text asking if I had room for Joe because he was being treated poorly.
There was no doubt in my mind that God wanted Joe over here and without hesitation I extended a position to him. Joe expressed he wanted to put his two weeks in and at least have a full year in at this company. I respected his decision, to me it was admirable that he still wanted to be respectful to them and it meant something to him to say he was with them for a full year.
He wasn’t done!
Working 6 days a week, only 4 of us, and the business growing we needed more help. I reached out to my cousin Manuel Gutierrez who I knew was a hard worker and humble. As the same with Joe, he had a job, but put in his two weeks noticed when offered him a job here at Amber’s Air Duct Cleaning.
Not even a year went by and we still needed help. After talking to Justin who I trust, he had a friend who he trusted. This young mans name is Chad Watts. Chad is a hard working young man who quickly caught on and has learned so much.
Now We’re a Family