It was people—more specifically, people being treated well—that sparked Caleb Schutter’s entrepreneurial journey. What he learned along the way? Creating incredible employee AND customer experiences doesn’t happen by mistake. What made the difference and got him closer to his vision of a people-centric business where everyone thrives? Finding the right franchise fit.
The beginnings were simple. In Caleb’s words:
“I saw a lot of people in the area not treating their employees very well. And I thought ‘Hey, let’s start up a business that actually looks at the front line guys and can take care of them and have a two-way relationship.’
A couple of side hustles and attempts at intentional small businesses later, Caleb found himself stumped, bumping up against knowing how to create the systems he needed to start a business well. It might not be everyone’s next thought after countless hours of self-teaching and attempts at sorting out the details, but in this case, Caleb’s lightbulb moment was ‘Let’s look at a franchise!’
The established (and successful) systems of a franchise answered the ‘How am I going to do this?’ question – and armed Caleb with the skills and confidence to kick off his business ownership and get opened ASAP. And why Shack Shine? It was the perfect pairing of Caleb’s past experience—moving water and air for manufacturing companies where some of the processes he was responsible for involved cleaning—and his desire to launch and grow his business inside a proven set of systems, with the support of incredible coaches and subject matter experts available to help when the need arises.
Learning that Caleb’s a big people person (chalk it up, in part, to his time in sales in corporate America where he was a constant contact + support system for his customers from beginning to end), he’s most excited about the team he’s going to build. That, and bringing Shack Shine into more homes and more home-maintenance plans and budgets across West Michigan. He’s got all the local Shack Shine businesses in mind:
“If I’m doing well, then I know Ann Arbor over on the east side is going to do fantastic, and the guys down in Chicago are going to do great too. A rising tide raises all boats.”
While Michigan has its reputation for being on the cold (read: really cold) side of things through part of the year, West Michigan has some unique quirks that set it apart. Like:
Did you know it’s got a ‘Medical Mile’ that’s known for medical manufacturing (in fact, the yellow stretchers used by the NFL for injured players are made right in Kalamazoo!).
And, Kalamazoo is also the beer capital of the world with the most microbreweries in one town!
There’s more to the area—obviously—yet when it comes to random facts that could win you a question or two in Jeopardy, you’ve got these two facts in your backpocket! (Caleb says ‘You’re welcome!’)
Outside his Grand Rapids Shack Shine business, Caleb’s passion for people extends to his family of four; where active living, soccer, other side businesses and a personal practice in jiu jitsu make up time he spends solo and with his wife and kids. ANd inside? He’s shooting to be the best business owner and employer he can be – and to take his business beyond one city; aiming to serve all the way from Kalamazoo to Traverse City.
Looking for a great team to grow your own career with? Or, seeking some home services in the Grand Rapids and surrounding area? Reach out to Caleb and his team here – and be sure to say hey if you see him out on the soccer field when the weekend rolls around!