How this Chicago company went from 2 to 20 employees this summer

August 24, 2015

[ibimage==50881==Large==none==self==null]

(photo by Matthew Thompson)

One of Chicago’s fastest growing startups lives by a pretty simple motto.

At OfficeLuv, they don’t cut corners. They clean them.

That philosophy has served the cleaning and supply management company well. After their launch in March, they’ve experienced an accelerated growth most young companies only dream of. Since April, their employee headcount has climbed from two to 20.

CEO and co-founder Chris Hartman said that growth, much like their motto, has everything to do with the company’s focus on structure — on working and growing with intention.

“We knew going into it that structure is paramount to growth,” Hartman said.

The company spent its early months cementing what would become the backbone to its operations: training programs for its cleaning team members. Only after they’d onboarded the best talent they could find did the company start to worry about customer acquisition (a group that today includes esteemed Chicago companies like SpotHero and GiveForward).

Now, the company delivers an office cleaning experience powered by both a polished troop of team members and a streamlined tech platform that automates the office management process.

“The minute we put structure into place, we knew it was the defining process for recruiting,” Hartman said. “That’s where we began to see a lot of traction.”

OfficeLuv is one of the first startups unveiled by Paul Lee’s newest project, a startup factory called Roniin that aims to connect the knowledge and resources of Chicago’s most seasoned entrepreneurs with the unyielding enthusiasm of up-and-coming tech stars.

Hartman’s company raised $800,000 in seed funding in May. Despite their expeditious success, OfficeLuv is committed to fostering a top-tier culture for their team members — all of whom are W2 employees.

“We have a culture of inclusion, and we want everyone to know that we’re working together to build an awesome company,” Hartman said. “We ultimately want everyone on the team to be able to share ideas, share ways to innovate, share ways to be more efficient. I think one of the only ways to really do that is to have everyone feel included and be motivated to grow — not only the business, but more importantly, their careers.”

Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Email us via [email protected].