PK Property Services
When Paul Beckfeld started PK Property Services in 1997, he already had experience cleaning and maintaining commercial properties, but he was certain he could do it better than other existing companies. “I had an idea that I would call on single tenant office facilities and try to provide not only cleaning services but also supplies. Then we found out we were pretty good at providing all kinds of other services like lawn care and snowplowing, light maintenance, plumbing, and any number of things,” said Beckfeld.
Like many start-up owners, for the first few years, Beckfeld found himself juggling multiple roles as his business started to grow. “I had a couple of ideas, then got a couple of customers. I was the janitor, sales guy, accountant, and controller. I hired my first employee after about four months and it just kind of took off,” said Beckfeld.
For the first few years, he was putting in 18 hour days, six days a week. After five years, he had grown his company to 20 employees.
PK Property Services now employs 225 people (130 are hired employees, the remainder are contract) and is headquartered in St. Paul. The company tailors its services based on the needs of the customer, providing a single cleaning, landscaping, and maintenance solutions for commercial property owners throughout the Twin Cities and beyond.
About ten years ago, a bid at an auction for his kids’ school changed his business.
“My kids went to Totino Grace and [North American Banking Company CEO] Michael Bilski had given away a round of golf at Hazeltine and I won it at the auction,” explained Beckfeld. “I called to claim my gift and he said ‘I heard you own a cleaning company. Why don’t you come over and we’ll talk.’ And I started working with him right then and there…I liked Michael right away.”
“When I met Michael, my business was probably ten years old and it was doing just ok. I realized if I just do what Michael does, my business will grow and I’ll be just fine,” said Beckfeld.
Beckfeld hit some bumps in the road that could have derailed his business. Misplaced trust in members of his team created unforeseen problems for his business and led to many sleepless nights. He credits his relationships with North American Banking Company CEO Michael Bilski, AVP Michael Ostergren, and Retail Bank Manager Carmen Jastrow for helping him through the tough times.
“When I needed it, they stepped in and helped me out. I laid out what I needed and they told me what I needed to provide," said Beckfeld. “Along the way, they kept me informed and I had what I needed in about four days.”
Today, Beckfeld says that PK Properties has grown 30% in the last year, the largest period of growth for the company. His son Andrew has joined the company and has brought in new ideas to continue this growth. The acquisition of a management company has helped ease the burden of running his company, while bringing new energy to the organization and setting a path for the future.