The Story Behind Carlton Cleaning

August 26, 2021

Warren Buffett should know a thing or two about business, he has after all amassed over $100 billion over the years, so he must be doing something right. Anyway, I came across a quote from him recently and I thought I’d share it with you:

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.

Think about that for just a minute. At Carlton Cleaning I believe that we have a good, strong reputation for the way we operate, the way we handle clients and the way we look after our staff. It took us slightly longer than the 20 years to gain our reputation but we got there and it’s massively important to us now.

However, much I’d love to take the credit for our good reputation, I’m afraid I can’t, not on my own anyway. You see Carlton Cleaning wasn’t started by me, Lewis Dutson. It was started by someone quite extraordinary and remarkable you might say … my best friend, my mentor but most important, my dad, Martin Dutson.

Martin Dutson started the business in 1985 and he built it up into something very special. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and sadly passed away on 3rd July 2016. The whole family were obviously distraught, myself in particular. 

I suspect I was subconsciously trying to escape what had been happening in the run up to his passing and I started not taking care of myself during that period. I certainly stopped being the happy go lucky person that I usually was. I was drinking too much and spending even more and the true cost of all of this was that I started to feel like I didn’t have much to live for … that’s quite a price to pay.

Four days after the death of my Dad and at the relatively young age of 23, I found out that I’d been left 100% of the business and that I was now the new Managing Director of Carlton Cleaning.

Of course, this meant that things had to change rapidly. My decision to continue with the business was an incredibly difficult one because I had no experience of the industry and being thrown in ‘at the deep end’ was a very lonely and demanding place to find myself. 

Today, I still run the business and my main focuses remains exactly the same, growing the business, supporting local companies and being a respected employer. Carlton Cleaning has undergone a significant re-branding and we’ve improved the service dramatically while holding onto the same values, purpose and determination that my Dad instilled within the company all those years ago. 

Carlton Cleaning is now a proud, family run business, employing my brother as a completely driven Finance Director and my Mum as a dedicated client liaison manager and critical friend to the business. With the foundations that this business has built since 1985 and the driving force of the team, Carlton Cleaning will always offer the very best service and standards with client care at the centre of everything we do.

For the last five years I’ve talked about making my dad proud by continuing his business but maybe now’s the time for me to start saying that Carlton Cleaning is my business and it’s a successful business … I actually think that my Dad would have been even more proud of me for being able to say that.