As the founder and CEO of 1 Stop Maintenance, Brett Finkelstein has spent over a decade building a facilities maintenance company capable of efficiently providing its services on a worldwide basis. Mr. Finkelstein founded his company in 2004, nearly 10 years after first entering the industry upon completing his degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With his educational background in business management and his many years of firsthand industry experience, Mr. Finkelstein has created an exceptional company that now includes offices in North America, Asia and Europe.
A native New Yorker who splits time between the company’s corporate offices in Manhattan and its many other offices across the globe, Mr. Finkelstein has managed to stay true to the personal leadership style he has consistently employed since he founded the company more than a decade ago. This approach has helped establish a corporate culture that values the contributions of all team members and motivates all employees to live up to the high service standards Mr. Finkelstein has set. A highly functional and efficient organization, 1 Stop Maintenance reviews all aspects of its prospective client’s operations in order to develop services that are ideally suited to meet each individual client’s needs.
Mr. Finkelstein is a world traveler who enjoys taking advantage of the many opportunities in which his business endeavors allow him to experience new cultures and broaden his base of knowledge, and it is quite common for the founder and CEO of 1 Stop Maintenance to return home with new insights regarding how to improve business operations. As an entrepreneur who understands how to achieve sustainable growth on a large scale, Mr. Finkelstein’s company is in an excellent position to achieve great things for many years to come.
Where did the idea for One Stop Maintenance come from?
I spent close to 10 years working in the facilities maintenance industry and worked in a lot of different roles. This allowed me to develop a unique perspective on how to build a successful business in the industry, and it was only a matter of time before I founded 1 Stop Maintenance.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It might sound funny, but it really depends on the time zone. I travel so much and find myself in so many different places that I have to be very flexible with my schedule, but I do have a lot of help to make sure my daily meetings and appointments are arranged in a way that allows me to use my time as efficiently as possible.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I don’t know that I have a specific process, but I can say that I like to let an idea incubate in my mind for quite some time. I’ll make a note of it in a file I keep on a flash drive I carry with me so I can return to it when I am ready, but the idea is constantly developing somewhere in the back of my mind. Once I feel like I have a solid concept outlined, then I really start to make the idea whole so I can present it to other members of the executive staff.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m really excited by the growth that has been occurring in the international markets, particularly since we timed our expansion efforts so perfectly so that they would work in conjunction with the economic growth we observed.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I tend to be patient and calculating when it comes to entrepreneurship, and the lengthy planning process I employed before founding 1 Stop Maintenance was really beneficial in ensuring both our immediate and continued success.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I grew up near Oyster Bay and worked with some of the local fishermen there when I was still very young. It was hard work and long hours that started before the sun came up, and there was certainly a scent that stayed with you for quite some time after the workday ended. I did learn what can be accomplished with such an unbelievable work ethic, but I wanted to be sure that I applied my efforts more efficiently.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I spent almost 10 years working for someone else before I ventured out on my own, and I really feel that I was ready long before that. Other than that, I think I would have looked to expand to the international markets on a much larger scale than we initially did.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am always trying to learn something new, whether it is a new language or concept. I truly believe that you will never become complacent if you are always seeking and applying new information.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Adding our international offices has really driven our growth on quite a large scale, but we utilized a thorough planning process that involved a great deal of research before making the move to expand internationally.
10. What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I feel like I was far too tentative in the early going, and I really limited our service offerings with the goal of being really great at the few things we did offer. This was a mistake, and we quickly realized there was no reason why we could not offer comprehensive services that still met our high standards.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Facilities maintenance services is an industry that is growing at an exponential rate, so even though I might be courting competition, I would recommend developing a business idea that takes advantage of the rapid growth that the industry is currently experiencing.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I took a few of my international clients to Yankee Stadium for an afternoon game this past fall. They were all big soccer fans — they called it football, of course — but they knew quite a bit about baseball and the Yankees. It was a beautiful day and the Yankees got the win, so it was definitely money well spent.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We have software that we developed in-house to track the efforts of all of our offices and ensure that we are meeting and exceeding the needs of our clients on a consistent basis.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There are so many great books that provide amazing insight into effective leadership strategies, but I have been consistently amazed at how the advice of Lao Tzu in the Art of War has endured for centuries and is still applicable to many issues common in the corporate world of today.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
At the risk of revealing the depth of my Yankees fandom, I was always impressed by Joe Torre’s run as manager in New York. Working for a volatile and demanding boss in George Steinbrenner while managing some of the highest-paid players in baseball and dealing with one of the game’s biggest media markets, Torre was a calming presence who always seemed to remain above the fray in order to focus on getting the most out of his players on a daily basis. There are not many people who can succeed in those circumstances, so I always appreciated the efficacy of that calm leadership style.