For years, Greg Winter’s brother asked him to go into business with him.
“I finally bit the bullet,” he said.
Last August, Winter started Advanced Concepts Carpet Care – a brother company to the one of the same name that is owned by his brother, Lance, and located in upstate New York.
The company his brother owns has been in business 30 years.
“Lance bought the company about 11 years ago, and he’s quadrupled it,” Winter said.
The business that opened in Waupaca last year is owned by Winter and his wife, Michelle.
He and Michelle moved to the area in 2006 because they wanted to be closer to her family. She grew up here and is a registered nurse for ThedaCare At Home.
They have two sons: 12-year-old Mason and 9-year-old Joshua.
What spurred Winter to go into business were two things: the economy and his belief in the product.
His detail-oriented personality and past managerial experience also played a role in his decision.
“I just think I can be successful because of my concern with customer service,” Winter said. “I thought if I treat people the way I want to be treated, I can’t see why people wouldn’t be happy.”
Customer service is Winter’s top priority.
“I get excited about helping people out. I love when someone really appreciates what you did. I get a lot of self-satisfaction. The ultimate compliment is when someone says they will refer me to anybody,” he said.
Advanced Concepts Carpet Care cleans carpet, furniture and upholstery, using a truck-mounted system and biodegradable cleaning solutions.
Winter is a Bane-Clene certified technician who does both commercial and residential work. Other services he offers include stain removal, spot dyeing, anti-allergen treatment, emergency water extraction and carpet and furniture protectors. He also cleans oriental rugs.
He believes in being honest with his customers and in educating them about the importance of having their carpet or furniture cleaned.
“My dad taught us growing up, ‘Do it right, and do it once,'” Winter said. “And, if you believe in something and in your product and what you do, do what you say.”
The planning for the new business began about a year ago.
Winter had just undergone rotator cuff surgery, which meant he could not do any heavy lifting for six months.
He called Fox Valley Technical College to find out if it offered any classes about starting a business.
“I found out about the E-Seed class, and it was starting in less than one week,” he said.
The class helps those who have already started a small business or who are considering doing so to develop a business plan.
Winter signed up for the class and found it beneficial.
As the owner of a new business, he said the most difficult part has been getting his name “out there.”
He worked and trained with his brother and says that before he gives an estimate, he visits the house or business that has contacted him about his services.
“You’re looking to build a relationship with the customer and trust both ways and to charge a fee that corresponds with that,” Winter said.
He wears booties on his feet when doing his work and also leaves booties for the homeowners.
“When I go into someone’s home, I’m treating their home like I’d treat my home,” Winter said.
Two to three days after he completes a service, he follows up with the customer.
People often spend a lot of money on carpeting for their home or business, and he says it is important to maintain that investment.
Winter can be contacted at 920-857-0019.