Meet Rob Singletary, owner of Alpine Waste Solutions
Finding Your Business Path
Despite having a dream to become a pilot and getting his pilot’s license at 16, Rob Singletary decided not to make it his career. Concerned that his hobby would become a chore rather than enjoyment, this entrepreneur decided to find a different career path. Singletary remarks, “I didn't want to become like the person who loves to cook and opens a restaurant; only to realize they hate to cook for the restaurant. I didn’t want to lose my love and enjoyment of flying.”
Rob Singletary started as an entrepreneur while still in college. He saw a need for regular maintenance and minor renovations in the home he was renting while living off campus. He decided to approach the owner to barter his skills and labor for rent; and so began his career as a service provider for property managers. During his senior year of college, Singletary contracted with the owner of the rental property and negotiated a purchase option on the home. After graduating, he had decided to sell that option to someone else – however, the investment created a little bit of a nest egg for him.
“It wasn’t a ton of money, but it compared to a year’s salary as a new graduate. It gave me the freedom to take time to think about what I wanted for my career path,” explains Singletary.
After college, he went on to pull together several investors and they purchased student housing of their own. Singletary credits this first venture as the catalyst to his entrance into this business arena. It was during this time that he heard about the business concept of doorstep trash collection at high end (class A) apartment communities.
“At first, I couldn’t believe that people would pay money for someone to move trash from their front door to the dumpster,” Singletary remembers. “However, I soon realized this is a service that a lot of high end apartment communities like to offer to their residents.”
Creating Your Business Niche
When Singletary saw this market among property management companies, he decided to start a business to fill that specific need. Jokingly, Singletary says, “I didn’t grow up dreaming about picking up other people’s trash. But, it was such a great business idea that I couldn’t pass it up.”
At that point, Alpine Waste Solutions was born. Since 2014, Alpine has been focused on providing phenomenal daily customer service through doorstep trash removal. Immediately after meeting with property managers about doorstep trash collection, Singletary began to see the need for daily, simple grounds maintenance services for these same properties.
“On most properties, the on-site maintenance team is dealing with bigger issues and simply don’t have the time to do the little things that take a property to the next level. The landscape company is only on-site once a week at most, so they can’t do it either. “ Singletary continues, “I saw the need for someone to pick up cigarette butts, dog waste, etc. on a daily basis and started to offer those additional services to my customers.”
Benefits of Small Business Ownership
Alpine went on to further expand their services by providing labor for apartment turns. Singletary acts as a general contractor of sorts by offering in-house many of the needed services for a turn. He was able to take away the headache for many property managers of scheduling different service providers back to back as they come in do work during an apartment turn.
Singletary, as a small business owner had the ability to create a niche where he saw a need. Flexibility and agility allowed him to pivot his original business plan to include simple grounds maintenance and apartment turns for his customer base. This fact immediately separates him from other companies who offer similar services. Furthermore, the seven-day a week services that Alpine provides truly puts them on a different level.
In addition to having the ability to create a niche and pivot the business to meet a need, small business owners can choose what will benefit the business the most. Singletary notes that owning his own company gives him the freedom to do things his way. He is able to focus on the things that are most important to him.
“I’m a big believer in hiring smart and investing in your employees. Being the ‘boss’ allows me to do this on a very personal level, and however I see fit,” states Singletary.
When asked about one piece of advice he would share with a new business owner, he explains, “There is no substitute for action. In most cases, I’ve found that over-thinking an obstacle can be equally as ineffective as not thinking about it at all. Problems will always spring up. Don’t run from them; attack and defeat them.”
Creating Excellent Customer Service
This philosophy of action and attacking challenges head on has been a large part of the success of Alpine Waste Solutions. Singletary credits a hard work ethic, a competitive spirit and a desire to provide the best customer service possible as the driving force to the achievements his business has seen. Alpine Waste Solutions has a strong commitment to excellent customer service. Singletary focuses Alpine’s customer service efforts in three main areas.
1. Over Deliver
As a small business, you have to over-deliver every single time. Every interaction with customers is an opportunity to wow them. Larger companies can undercut a small business on price simply because they can afford to lose money on some contracts.
“I can’t [undercut my competitor’s pricing], because every contract becomes food on my table. So, I have to deliver customer service that is more exceptional than my competitors,” indicates Singletary.
Having satisfied customers with whom you have a good rapport is essential for every small business. When you are small, references are an extremely important piece of sales and marketing. Without strong references and loyal customers, it becomes hard to grow.
2. Grow Responsibly
Of course, every small business owner wants to expand and provide more services to more customers. But, growing and adding services at a responsible pace is what allows small businesses to maintain the excellent customer service that made them successful.
3. Personalize all Customer Communication
The best way for customers to know they are your primary concern? Singletary feels that, “All communication should be personalized – every single time.”
With personalized communication, each customer knows they are a priority. When a small business personalizes all emails and other forms of contact, it helps develop customer loyalty.
Technology boosts Customer Service
One way that Alpine Waste Solutions achieves all three of the above, is by utilizing technology to optimize communication and customer service. “Even though I hire the best people and compensate them well, I found that I needed to incorporate technology,” explains Singletary. “My employees and I are so busy that we need real-time feedback.”
Singletary especially likes the mobile solution provided by SERVUS. “I’m so glad I found you guys. SERVUS makes all the difference; allowing myself and my employees to be on the same page with all my property managers and their maintenance people. I don’t know how Alpine would grow without a platform like SERVUS.”
Many small businesses realize that utilizing technology not only helps with efficiency in running the daily operations, but also in keeping real-time communication and collaboration possible among many members of internal and external teams. This in turn, allows productivity to increase and leads to greater customer service.
Support Other Small Businesses
Creating a support network of other strong customer focused small businesses works to enhance your own business.
Singletary comments, “I’m glad I found SERVUS – I especially like that SERVUS is local for me and I got to meet directly with the CEO. I like to work with other small businesses because typically customer service is as important to them as it is to me.”
If you have any questions about the services provided by Alpine Waste Solutions, you can reach Rob Singletary at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 665-7949 .
If you would like more information about how SERVUS can help you create customer loyalty as a property manager or service provider you can contact us at email@example.com or by phone (844)-473-7887.