Mid-Shore SCORE helps small business succeed

Eric Trice and his business, Absolute Pressure Cleaning, sought and took advice from Mid-Shore SCORE to help the business succeed.

CAMBRIDGE — SCORE is a volunteer, nonprofit entity dedicated to the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide.

SCORE Mid-Shore provides confidential, free advice and mentoring to the small business entrepreneurial community. It helps to establish and grow small businesses, plus enhance overall business operations.

Through the guidance of Mid-Shore SCORE experienced mentor and senior executive in health care Ed French, a relatively new small business, Absolute Pressure Cleaning in Cambridge, was able to succeed.

Eric Trice said he started Absolute Pressure Cleaning out of necessity.

As a young auto mechanic, Trice was feeling “tapped out,” with the potential to earn only a few extra dollars per hour if he were positioned at the top of the business, he said. When his 20-year-old friend at the shop was killed, Trice said he realized life is too short to feel tapped out. Within a few days, he tried doing something different.

He first attempted creating his own construction business.

“It didn’t take me long to realize I hated it,” Trice said.

His brother-in-law, a farmer, suggested Trice washing trucks. With a little help and all the necessary equipment to get started, Trice saw potential in the part-time business.

He needed a reasonable prospect toward full-time sustainability, however, and he reached out to Mid-Shore SCORE after learning about it on Facebook.

French said Trice is a “self-starter (with) entrepreneurial spirit, a hard worker.” In summer 2015, French started coaching Trice on components of business planning, such as the development of selling skills and a marketing plan.

Trice sold off the residential division of the business in November 2018 to focus fully on commercial truck washing.

Trice said he made difficult financial decisions when starting the business, such as prioritizing financing the business over his personal needs.

“I was all in. It was my only option,” he said. “I was determined to do what I had to do to make it work.”

Trice said the biggest takeaway from Mid-Shore SCORE “was a ton of clarity.”

“I didn’t know how to move forward, what steps to take and in what order,” he said. French “gave me the roadmap to where I needed to go in order to take those next steps.”

Acquiring new commercial customers entails knocking on doors, making phone calls, introducing yourself and a little bit of word of mouth, Trice said. The company offers free cleaning demonstrations on commercial trucks, with an estimated 75% to 80% close rate.

“We always let the work that we do sell the job,” Trice said.

SCORE mentors ensure small businesses have a value proposition.

Trice said the company offers a “bioclean system,” and is the only contractor in Maryland or Delaware that can use it or even has it. Such a system allows the business to be much faster than competition, washing tractors in six minutes with a pH neutral soap and rinse.

French has spent his career as a senior executive in health care. He is a publicly traded company CEO and senior executive with responsibilities in diverse enterprises. He has started many small businesses, pilots his own airplanes, authored books and led seminars nationally sponsored by 12 state hospital associations and state nursing associations.

For more information about Mid-Shore SCORE, go to midshore.score.org or call 877-572-0735.

For more information about Absolute Pressure Cleaning, visit its Facebook page @absolutepressu reclean.

@Kayla_StarDem

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