Veteran’s Small Business Week is November 4-11. Monday, November 11, is Veteran’s Day. Veteran-owned businesses contributed 5.8 million jobs, payroll of $210 billion and annual sales of $1.2 trillion to the overall economy, according to the Small Business Administration.

Demetria Miller, a U.S. veteran and owner of Elite Custom Cleaning Services

Demetria Miller, a U.S. veteran and owner of Elite Custom Cleaning Services

Demetria Miller spent five years in the United States Navy where she learned what “shipshape” really means. In her first few years in the service, Demetria was assigned to jobs that required meticulous cleaning standards—standards that formed the basis of her company Elite Custom Cleaning Services.

She attributes her years in the service to providing her with the right skills to start the business. Through her time in the military, Demetria personally learned about perseverance, and professionally, she learned about attention to detail and the importance of teamwork. Those values are crucial in the armed forces, and can often be the difference between life and death, she says.

After Demetria returned to New Orleans, she completed her business management degree from Dillard University and worked in financial services for a few years, but Hurricane Katrina made her re-think her work and her passions. Through a seminar with her church, The City of Love, Demetria made three important realizations: 1) she loved helping people, 2) she was good at cleaning and organization, and 3) a market opportunity existed to provide residential and commercial cleaning.

A friend at her church pointed her to Good Work Network, and she began meeting with a business counselor who provided her with a development plan and helped her make network connections.  Demetria recognizes that starting a business has been a challenge, but says she’d never go back.

“With Good Work Network’s help, I’m a lot further than I was,” Demetria says. “It’s been hard work, but it’s worth it.”

Elite Custom Cleaning now counts many residential customers among its client base, as well as large commercial contracts. In 2013, Elite Custom Cleaning maintained ESPN’s administrative offices during the Super Bowl.

Demetria says the company is opening a Baton Rouge location in January 2014, is expanding its maintenance department, and hopes to open a Houston office by the end of next year. Eventually, Elite Custom Cleaning will provide franchise opportunities and add property management to its services.

Elite Custom Cleaning Services

(504) 222-6425