Its my pleasure to introduce Steve Papale and his business Slip Solutions of Illinois. Steve and I are working together to make your facility safer. I recently sat down with Steve and discussed his company, his personal passions, and why he chose to start this business.
Q: Steve, Tell me a little bit about yourself:
A: Hi Wes, after almost 30 years in the financial services industry I found myself looking for a new business in 2015. After looking at several franchises and other businesses I came across a company that makes a product to reduce slipping on floors and bathtubs. After doing some research I was amazed at the injuries and damage that was done each year due to slip and falls, both at home and in businesses. I then did a bunch more research to determine the best product and purchased a distributorship toward the end of the year to provide our service. Away from work, I managed to attend and then graduate from bible college in 2017 and am currently a fellow at the CS Lewis Institute in Chicago. I have two boys ages 20 and 18, both in college – boy does it go fast! I am also a mentor to a young man in the Big Brother/Big Sister program.
Q: Very interesting, tell me what prompted you to try something new at this phase in your life?
A: Most of my career was spent as an options trader and that business has changed quite a bit – much more of a tech business. I think I was just ready for a change. I also needed a business where I could be home for my kids before and after school when they were younger so I was looking for some flexibility.
Q: Steve, you mentioned you were amazed at the amount of injuries due to slip and falls. What did you find?
A: I found out that slip and falls are the # 1 cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants and public buildings. I also learned that this was the leading claim for Workman’s Comp. Then to add to insult to injury, the cost of a claim averages north of $50K, per claim!
As I investigated further, I realized that this was a very real problem for not only the folks getting hurt but the businesses where the falls occurred as they could be found legally liable for these injuries. I knew that people my age (60) and older were the most vulnerable, whether at work or home, and I felt this was a great way to reduce health risks and save companies money.
Q: I like the way you think. Tell me about the process of getting starting in this industry, from scratch it sounds like?
A: Yes, it was a new adventure for me! After I purchased the distributorship, I had some training and knocked on doors. It happened that one park district just had a slip the week before so they had me treat a test area. After a couple weeks of seeing it did really make a difference they called and had me treat their pool deck and locker areas. Things just built from there from word of mouth and more knocking on doors. The Park District Risk Management Agency then put us through the ringer so to speak and then endorsed Slip Solutions of Illinois as the solution for slip issues to all member park districts.
They even subsidized some of cost since they are the ones writing the big checks to settle when someone slips in one of the member districts. We then got on the YMCA approved vendor list and got an endorsement from Regan Scientific, a manufacture of floor friction testing equipment. Last year Daltile, the leading tile manufacture started offering our treatment in selected markets. We also are recommended by Thermal-Chem, a leading manufacturer of epoxy and floor coatings, to their installers. All endorsements came after independent testing.
Q; It sounds like you really did your homework and were very strategic about your investment and quality controls. I know there are many companies attempting to “sell slip and fall prevention”
A: Yes, there are other companies and even over the counter products. It’s a growing business. However, our treatment is a bit different and has been around since 2003. Further we manufacture it ourselves, never white label it. Many others are made oversees and companies put their own label on. Many are more aggressive and can damage the floor or be dangerous. It may be a cliché but we really do care and I am very grateful for all our customers. We stand by our service and completive pricing. Our repeat business and long-term relationships point to that.
Q: That approach is essential! It that exact mentality that made me want to work with you! Tell me how is your business today?
A: Currently we have over 30 commercial and a few residential customers from park districts to YMCA’s to hotels to industrial to office space and restaurants. Since most business owners simply want business as usual without the worry of lawsuits, we are able to come to the site, evaluate and test the surface to determine if it meets industry coefficient of friction standards.
We then can recommend a solution and even treat an area to show just how effective our solution will be. Customers than can monitor it for as long as they want to see how it compares to the untreated floor. Most treatment requires no downtime so the area can be used and cleaned as normal.
Q: What else should people know about you and your business?
A: Slippery floors and bathtubs are dangerous and can be corrected. We are in the safety business. If anyone has a concern give us a call and we will come out and run a test and come up with a solution. This is for anyone who has a floor or bathtub. We are here to help. We are trying to put those yellow “Slippery When Wet” signs out of business?
For further information please see our website at www.slipsolutionsofillinois.com or contact us at 720-261-2206 and visit www.wesleykingconsulting.com and contact Wesley King at email@example.com and 224-698-0828.