Personal Touch celebrates 20th


20thIt hasn’t always been easy, but for Fayetteville’s David and Alesia Sanders, the road to building a quality business, based on sound principles, has been very rewarding.

Twenty years ago, the couple took a childhood dream and made it a reality, launching Personal Touch Carpet Care here in Fayetteville. It was a leap of faith.

"I was working at night, and she was working at CVS during the day," recalls David, describing their frustration with being on two such different schedules. "We finally agreed to quit our jobs and start a new business.

"At first we were doing janitorial work, and then our daughter came along," he continued. "We started working less at night and realized how much we enjoyed that time together … It was a conscious decision that I start going to schools and gaining my certification in all the areas that would make me a highly trained professional in the area of cleaning and carpet care."

Owning his own business was a childhood dream come true, he said, adding that he and Alesia’s parents provided a positive influence, encouraging the couple to reach their goals.

"If we were going to be in this business, we were going to provide quality service and treat customers the way we would like to be treated," David said. "That was the wisest decision we’ve made … We stay on top of our business, learning new techniques and undergo regular training to keep our certifications, and we go the extra mile for our customers."

The teamwork the couple brings to their business is reflected, too, in their complimentary roles. Alesia provides secretarial services, organizing and coordinating jobs, and helps with customer service, while David is out on jobs more. The company also employs part-time helpers, who assist David.

Over the past 20 years, Personal Touch has gained its share of recognition for going out of its way to ensure fair and honorable business practices. It became the first small business to win the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award in both Tennessee and Alabama. It was among the top five of 100 businesses nominated for national recognition by the BBB.

"When you build up a reputation of trust, people are more relaxed with your company meeting their needs," he said, adding, "and that makes you feel good. Also, I like what I do – a lot of people don’t – and that’s a privilege that I think comes across in my work.

"In the 20 years we’ve been in business, I can’t count how many cleaning companies have come and gone in Fayetteville. I’m not happy that they’re not here any more, because competition is good, but it does help me to continue to improve myself, to continue to seek ways to provide a better service.

"One of the important things I’ve realized is that you’ve got to have employees who have the right attitude," he added. "Yes, we want to grow, but we don’t ever want to grow so big that we don’t take proper care of our customers’ needs."

The couple also believes in sharing their beliefs for the benefit of local youth. Plans are currently underway, he said, for him to meet with high school and junior high students and discuss such subjects as ethical business practices, what employers are looking for in employees and the hard work and sacrifice associated with being an entrepreneur.

"The awards are nice to look at, but we can use the things we’ve learned to help others," he said.

In celebration of their 20th year, Personal Touch will host a community mixer with the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce on April 14. The mixer will be held at First National Bank in Park City from 7:30 until 9:30 a.m.