Today we’d like to introduce you to Cherron Covington.
Cherron Covington, owner of Covington’s Consulting & Services, LLC, is a Black woman/military spouse-owned business. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., who was suppose to be a statistic; who has been a single mother, unemployed and homeless. In 1994 she started her cleaning business, No Ordinary Kleaning, specializing in commercial construction final cleaning. She hires homeless veterans and those released from incarceration, providing transportation and a meal as they worked. In 2003 she employed as many as 45 individuals to work on three Better Jacksonville Projects and obtained her first federal contract (Mayport Medical Facility). The project went so well the Small Business Administration wrote a story on her business.
She received an award from the Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (branch of the NMSDC), for employing so many people in that population. In 2007 she created an environmental services program, became an authorized OSHA trainer and in 2008, opened S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Training Academy for Another Chance. Cherron provides employment training in three industries and a business ownership program creating LLC business owners, construction final cleaning and janitorial services. In 2015 Cherron relocated to Dallas, Texas. In 2017 I changed my business to a Texas based business, obtaining my LLC and later in the year received the minority certifications with HUB and NCTRCA. In 2018 I had received 111 credit hours towards a paralegal degree while waiting to get started with business in Texas. I participated in DART’s Small Business Academy in September of 2019 and received my first contract with them in December of 2019. The contract allowed me to add something new to what I do as I assessed buildings for structural damage. I completed looking at the buildings just before COVID-19 officially shut everything down.
In August, I applied for a grant, thanks to VR Small of the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center, and was awarded $20,000 from LISC Local Initiatives Support Corporation in a partnership with LOWE’s. This grant allowed me to purchase an SUV for my academy, tablets, hotspots, cones, flags, the stop/slow paddle and all materials to give my first class. VR Small the Veteran Women’s Enterprise Center, accepted me into her Next Level Business Transformation program and it was just what my business needed. The NLBT program took my business into the 21st century in so many ways. It made it so I could give my first Highway Maintenance program to four individuals at no charge to them. The hotspots and tablets allowed them to have the internet where they were located. The graduated on December 8, 2020 as certified flaggers.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No it has not been a smooth road. God let me start my cleaning company in 1994 on unemployment with $250, while living in Atlanta, GA. I got started with small jobs and then moved my family and business to Jacksonville, FL in 1998. I received my first state contract and really learned a lot regarding construction final cleaning. I had to find employees for the contract, I had no money in place, but found out construction companies can give you a loan up front up to $5,000 and then take it from your invoices, per billing. When God gave me the business, He said provide transportation and a meal, so this was hard in the beginning as the money was not there. I did learn after my business was over five years old that I had crossed the mainstream, meaning I was still in business as a Black owned business, I was grossing an extra $50,000 a year, where most small Black businesses only gross $50,000 a year.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Covington’s Consulting & Services, LLC provides consulting, training and services, in OSHA safety, employment training and cleaning. Covington’s Consulting & Services, LLC is the umbrella over my two dbas, No Ordinary Kleaning (provides commercial construction final cleaning and janitorial services) and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Training Academy for Another Chance (employment training in three industries, Highway Maintenance, Environmental Services, Warehouse and business ownership program all eight weeks long). I am an authorized OSHA trainer in OSHA General Industry, OSHA Flagging, and OSHA DOT Hazardous Materials. In Florida I was known for construction final cleaning. Since being in Dallas, TX I have pushed my training as I can do that myself, before having to hire more instructors. I am set apart as I can hire and train my own employees. Each entity has it’s own brand, COVINGTON’S CONSULTING & SERVICES – “Bringing it all together into one atmosphere!” No Ordinary Kleaning – “Your ‘pet peeve’ is ‘our’ pet peeve!” S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Training Academy for Another Chance – “Teaching them to fish to eat for life!” I’d like readers to know that we provide quality services in all we do. The training is provided to underemployed, unemployed, ex-offenders, veterans and the homeless; in the previously mentioned industries . We enhance skills they may already have, as well as give others a trade and the certifications and certificates needed to become employed in industries that pay more than minimum wage. Our cleaning company gives quality service that doesn’t just clean the facility but we care for the facilities.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
When you’re seeking a mentor, it should be someone who is familiar with the industry you provide services in, or has a business in the same field. When it comes to networking, go to networking that will have buyers that buy what you do. You must know what you do, not all you do, but what you are selling at the network. If I participate in a construction networking, I talk about my construction final cleaning and the OSHA safety classes. If I participate in a networking where other entities are there looking for training for their clients, I discuss my training programs. If the networking has to do with consulting and helping to create training for various areas needed that is what I talk about. Ask God He will guide you.
- $500 Business ownership program-8 weeks
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.covingtonsconsulting.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/new_beginning_55
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Covingtons-Consulting-and-Services-LLC-106584254018111
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CCsenvironment
My granddaughter, Nyohmee Covington took all the pictures but one.