Starting a new business can be stressfull.

I have to apologize. I started writing about one specific-topic and then I started to veer a bit to the left touching on another issue. So I’m sorry if my direction seems off. I just realized after I started writing that this was turning into a touchy subject for me.

So be kind regarding my lack of structure.

Before I decided to start Bosque Bio-Cleaning and Janitorial, I had called around to all the listed companies looking for open positions. I wasn’t looking to start a business just yet. I just wanted some hands- on experience to build on. So I just googled “crime scene cleaners, Albuquerque NM” and went down the list.

The first few numbers I called were located in the state bet they didn’t have any opening at that time.

So I kept calling.

The next two told me they did have openings but not in the regular sense.

“What do you mean, “In the regular sense”?

They went on to tell me that they were out of state (the first one was in M.N. and the second one was in T.X.). But they offer the option to become affiliated with their company for a fee (between $400-$750). That includes all the chemicals needed for the job, business cards and flyers and they would teach me how to promote the business in my area.

They said I would become they’re contact in the states (I found it funny how both companies insisted that they didn’t have anyone else in the state and that I would be able to control the entire market of N.M.).

I asked them, “What about training or certifications?”

“You wouldn’t need them since your working under our information.”

Yeah, that’s a HUGE NO-NO. Like $7,000-or-more-fine huge.

“We can teach you everything over the phone. And once you’re all set we can start sending work your way immediately!”

The red flags were whipping in the wind at this point. They both insisted that they had plenty of work to offer.

Yeah, hell no. It didn’t sound right. I just wanted a job in the field so I could develop experience. I wasn’t looking to take all that on.

So I kept on, calling down the list.

The next few referred me back to their websites, which all stated they covered New Mexico. But after looking further, they were actually located out of states. How do you cover the area if you’re 12 or more hours away? Well, here’s their process.

They buy up all the domains, set up all these generic pages and link them back to their toll free numbers. Someone in need calls them, they refer it to some local contractor they have in the area and that person does the work under the websites company information.

Is there any guarantee that the person that shows up for the jobs is properly trained? Maybe?

Any guarantee that they’ll use the proper cleaning supplies or methods? Maybe?

So it’s a risk. My suggestion, always go local.

There’s plenty of qualified companies out here, or in any state that can provide a thorough, positive experience. Crime-scene cleaning is a needed thing. We all know that. Tragedies happen and there is a need for someone to deal with it. But besides a need, there also seems to be a lot of greed in this industry.

In all reality, all you need is some OSHA certification, a general janitorial business licenses (in most cases-depending on the state) and some great advertising and them BOOM, you have a trauma cleaning business. So with our relaxed regulations, it’s open for people to over-charge, lie regarding experience and use extreme scare tactics.

Here are a few tips for someone dealing with a traumatic cleaning situation.

(I understand that the likelihood of the person not being in an emotional state to be pretty low. But as a professional in this field, I still need to make my recommendations.)

  1. Check out the company (Google is a great tool).
  2. Ask if they’re certified in the state (in California and Florida there’s additional Certifications that apply).
  3. Ask if there’s a guarantee for the services provided.
  4. Ask if they provide photos and a verified letter (some call it a re-occupy certification letter). It’s basically a statement from the cleaning company explaining what was done, how and if it’s been decontaminated for safe re-entry.
  5. Do they offer a quote?  Whatever you can get in writing always helps. Especially for the insurance companies.
  6. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask question. Some in our industry, I hate to admit it, use some pretty rough tactics. You’re the boss, we’re there to help you. Not bully you.

Ok I’m done ranting. It just bugs me that good local help is ousted by larger groups. It shouldn’t be about how much advertising you can pay for, but the honesty of the work you can provide.

Why isn’t there more people doing Crime-Scene cleanups?

Everyone is attracted to money, and you can make a lot of money in this type of business. But it’s a hard job to perform. Not everyone is capable of being able to stomach cleaning of body waste, human remains or wiping down the walls to an extreme scene.

Physically, it’s draining. Being in a non-breathing coverall’s for long extended hours, while wearing a face mask, you can dehydrate before realizing you’re thirsty. And mentally, and this is from my stand point, when you walk in to a scene that you would normally see in a horror flick, it’s hard not to get freaked out. Not to mention the thoughts of what happened. Not playing private detective is impossible your first few jobs. Honestly, it’s better not to know. And that’s eventually the test. Being able to separate the crime from the actual job at hand.

I had a friend that introduced me to the field a while ago. Good, honest, straightforward guy. He stated the obvious about what needed to be done in the room, how and the process to do it. Never gave me info about what occurred, how it occurred. All of that didn’t matter. It was a job and that was it. That’s what I strive to be like. Because if you can separate the emotion of what occurred, whether it was a suicide, murder, accident, you can see it clearly as what it simply is. An extreme hazard that needs to be neutralized.

That’s why your there right? To clean it up and make it safe for others. To allow the process of healing to begin, to allow the ability to move on.

When I walk into a situation that needs attention, I analyze the area in a basic question format.

  1. Where’s the need?
  2. What needs to be done?
  3. How do I want to address it?

Sounds simple right? But it works.

And I’m not trying to minimalize the trauma that occurred. Some of the scenes are heartbreaking and so severe that you can’t help but wonder “what happened?” But in this type of business, the further you can be from the reason of why it occurred, the faster you can begin the process of decontamination.

And like I said before, that’s the biggest test.

Anyone can learn to clean up a crime scene. It’s like any other cleaning except there’s additional steps, more risk and more methods. But what’s stopping everyone from trying this type of work is the scene. The story of what occurred. The human connection to the environment surrounding the scene. That’s what stops people cold.

Being able to separate one from the other is tremendously hard. Nurses, doctors, police, EMT’s, counselors, 911 dispatch operators, and dozens of others. They all learn how to separate their role from the emotion to the situation. But for some it’ impossible. And that’s why this business profession is so rare.

But maybe that’s good?

Sure, this field could use more regulations. I’ve ran into business’s that don’t have the proper training, certifications, equipment. The skills needed to be a cleaner in this type of work are not the kind you can learn from a video on YouTube. I’ve seen mom and pop cleaning business’s that offer “Trauma Cleaning” but can they insure that it will be done correctly?

So I think there’s change that’s needed on both sides, public and industry. Things that can be done with stricter enforcement of rules and regulations. But I better stop there because that’s a whole other rant.

I’m always happy to answer question from people interested in the field. I’m by no means an expert but I’m always willing to help.

Link to my business Facebook page.

Crime Scene Clean-up.

What did you think of when you read the title? Images of dead bodies and blood everywhere? Crime-Scene tape and bio-hazard suits? An imaginary stench of a rotting something? Well, to be honest the smell is strong but resembles more a pungent-sweet smell (depending on the situation and surroundings).

Honestly, it’s not as scary as it seems. 

   I’ve been doing these type of cleaning for a while and you become adjusted to it. Not to lighten the situation. Someone did either die or had a very traumatic experience. But as the cleaner you’re not involved in that. You have one mission. To clean

   I’ve always had a thing for this type of work. Been running my own janitorial biz for years now, mostly private stuff. But this type of cleaning, I would research online only to find not much info out there for the person not already involved in the business. Lots of pages out there giving you info but not sure about their honesty. I mean, where would you go to apply for this type of job? Is there special licenses or permits needed? Do I need a degree? I would look online every few months hoping to find a job posting or some way into the industry, but never having much luck. That was until a few months ago.

   I was working at a call center where we would take tech support calls. It was an easy job. They hired everyone, regardless of their skill or experience. And that’s where the trouble started. I had an idiot of a manager. And after realizing I couldn’t handle being under a complete fool, I quit, signed up for a trauma cleaning course and started my new path. This is what I call the honeymoon stage.

   I had researched a few places that did courses, most of them were several thousand, dollars and out of state. Just overall too expensive. But I did find one company that really seemed legit in a sea of possible scam artist. The thing about this line of work is that you need to be trained in how to handle these type of clean ups. You can’t just hit it with a bottle of cleaner and wipe it off. There’s several stages. Different situations require different attention and methods. Also, equipment wise, there’s different things that are needed, specific things. Not to get too disgusting but wiping up old blood as oppose to fresh is totally different, not to mention the dangers involved. Every cleaning I go to there’s real danger. Hepatitis, HIV and that’s just naming a few. Like I stated before, you need to be trained how to handle the situation.

So back to my story,

   I took my savings and invested it in myself. Spent a week watching videos, studying and researching. And after 8 days I had my certificate. Bosque Bio-Cleaning and Janitorial started on Oct 1 2015. Situated in the Breaking Bad state of New Mexico. Seriously the worst and best decision I’ve ever made.

Worst because I didn’t think it through.

   I didn’t take into account the time it takes to build a name, to get jobs, start actually providing services. Its been hard, I’ve been broke and I’ve had to swallow my pride several times.

And its been the best,

   Because it was absolutely amazing to take such a huge step and feel nothing but confidence in myself that I will accomplish something. That I will succeed. That feeling of total “I can do this” is amazing. 

   So I have my business cards, started a Facebook page, passed out flyers and contacted local business. And now the hardest part. Waiting. I can’t drop off flyers on people’s car windows. There’s a certain type of respect that you need to have when offering your services. I don’t want to personally wish that anyone ever needs this type of service, but if they do, I want them to know I’m available. There can be competition and others may not handle the situation so sensitively as you do. But that’s all a part of the process. 

   So my advice to anyone looking to start in this type of field? Accept that you’ll never be 100% ready. That’s what experience will provide. And you won’t have any unless you take the risk.

   Excited? Yes. Nervous? Freaking YES. But it’s on my own terms.