Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Spt-Oct 2015 Contents 60 INCLEAN September/October 2015
When Burgoyne celebrated 21 years in
business in 2014 she held a celebration,
inviting those who have supported her.
On the Lindsey's Cleaning Supplies party
invitation she listed her frst order (Mervyn
Back of Back Cleaning); her frst big
customer (Colin Reed of The Pickwick
Group); and her frst big order (Chris
Crocker of the former Tempo Services,
who calls her The Trolley Lady after she
was able to deliver trolleys to Adelaide,
Melbourne and Sydney in the very early days of her business).
The fact she not only remembered but publicly recognised her
earliest professional relationships speaks volumes about Burgoyne as a
person, and how she runs her Brisbane-based business.
"I adore the people who have worked with me and supported me and
I truly appreciate it," she said. "They've all meant so much to me."
Clearly the reverse also applies, with supplier and customer comments
from the milestone 21st celebrations including; “It is no ﬂuke that you
have thrived and prospered" and "[they] have the highest reputation in
the industry". All in all, it's not bad for someone who started her highly
regarded business quite literally in her own backyard.
By 1993, Burgoyne had already gained valuable industry experience,
starting as a receptionist for General Sanitation in the Brisbane suburb
of Newstead. As the business was onsold she worked for organisations
including Multiclean, Minuteman and Hako.
Eventually she was approached to work for Sheraton Chemicals
(which became Alliance Technology), and started the janitorial
portion of its Brisbane business.
“After about fve years, they decided to get out of janitorial and
move into product development for chemicals," Burgoyne recalled. "I
would have always had a job but instead I saw it was an opportunity.”
So she saw an accountant, bought a computer (at the time she
wasn't sure how to use it), consulted a female friend who part-owned
a cleaning company (she told Burgoyne to go for it) and began a
business on her own from home, reselling cleaning supplies.
"I had two young children so I swapped my car for a ute, and used
to run around and see customers and load up the ute and drop off
products," she shared. "I don't know how I did it actually."
Burgoyne’s experience with machinery, janitorial and chemical
companies held her in good stead from the beginning. "I'd made a lot
of contacts over the years so I popped in and saw them," she said.
"I had to sell myself, probably a lot harder than others, but I was
quite taken aback that I did get support. I was put on a three-month
trial for a few companies to see whether I could do it -- and I accepted
the challenge," she exclaimed.
To get the Lindsey's Cleaning Supplies name out there and convert
contacts to customers, Burgoyne needed to prove herself and did
so through knowledge, superior service and ﬂexibility. “I had to be
different if I was going to survive so I was available 24/7, and I still
am to my customers today. I didn't mind running around -- I was
trying to build up the business."
After fve years of being fnancially prudent and reinvesting into the
business, Burgoyne felt she could afford to rent a business premises in
the inner-Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills. “When I frst moved here
I brought up all my stock in about two ute-loads; it was everything I
had in my shed," she shared. "I was given some shelving and bought
pallets -- they threw in a forklift too -- and it still works!"
That forklift has been kept busy for more than 15 years now, with
Burgoyne admitting she doesn't know how many ute-loads it would
take to clear the premises today. From the start she says she had no
aspirations to take over the world. As a single parent with school-aged
children she did not want government support, but simply to be able
to continue to pay off her home "and keep my kids fed".
"I want to succeed but I know my limitations. I don't have
a massive huge truck, I have a little truck. I have a different
approach," she admitted.
That approach has paid off and Burgoyne pinpoints a number
of elements for her success. One is the ongoing, strong professional
relationships she enjoys with customers and suppliers. “Even if I’ve lost
their business I still have relationships with those people," she remarked.
Success has also been driven by some critical factors: her six-person
team of staff, many of who have been with the business for years;
Burgoyne's membership over the years with the Building Service
Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) and the National
Cleaning Suppliers Association (NCSA) -- including being a former
Burgoyne also pays credit to the buying group RapidClean (she has
been on the board for more than fve years); her wealth of knowledge
and, above all, her availability to her customers. "I can open my doors
and get stock any time of the day or night," she stated. "You can't do that
with a big company because they've got their own processes involved."
She remembers that apprentices would often work as night
cleaners to supplement their income until tax penalties were
introduced for second jobs. Another industry change she has
witnessed is the increase in competition, with big companies such
as Staples and Bunzl moving into cleaning supplies. Burgoyne also
believes the industry is underquoting and being squeezed, like other
"I went to a meeting where the forum was informed that the only
savings on buildings was the cleaning costs... I also think there are
a lot of workers out there who are not earning the money that, in
comparison, was paid years ago,” she reﬂected.
Burgoyne has never felt being a woman has worked against her,
even though in the early days she would often be the only one in most
meetings or events. Many more women are involved in the industry
today, which she sees as a positive.
She remains passionate about the cleaning industry, and offers some
wise advice; "Listen to the customers and have a point of difference,"
she stated. "Work out how that point of difference can become
something great and bank on it."
Women in Cleaning...
Fostering genuine connections ensures
ongoing success for Lindsey Burgoyne
It has been an impressive jour ney for Lindsey Burgoyne, starting her own cleaning supply business 22 years ago and growing
it to become a well-respected Brisbane institution. She talks with INCLEAN jour nalist, Jo Cooper, about the opportunities and
decisions that saw her become a successful business woman, and why strong professional relationships are so important.
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