ENTREPRENEUR // Sharon Auck
LOCATION // Lenexa
FOUNDED // 1988
EMPLOYEES // 10
Sharon Auck grew up in an environment in which the aspirations of women weren’t much of a consideration. Women, she said, were defined by the men in their lives.
That turned out to be true for Auck — but probably not in the way people expected.
Auck said she was working dead-end jobs in her 20s before she helped a man set up a new cleaning company. Auck did the bookkeeping, ordered supplies, ran the crews and more.
“I did all of it,” she said. “I had to teach myself. I didn’t have a college degree.”
But Auck didn’t approve of the way the owner conducted business, and she quit after less than a year. The company’s biggest client approached her and asked her to continue providing service.
“It had never occurred to me to have my own business,” said Auck, owner of Fresh Approach Cleaning Professionals LLC. “That first contract was pretty big. That was my big break. I lived off that money, invested back into my company and slowly got my name out there.”
Auck participated in Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2014 and ScaleUP! KC in 2015. She said those experiences provided valuable mentoring and helped make her business more efficient. She said 2018 was her company’s best year yet with 25 percent growth.