Lessons from a Father: The Silva Approach to Commercial Cleaning Training

As patriarch of the family, a father plays a pivotal role in paving the way for their children’s success. They often embody a sense of love, support, and guidance, hoping to lead their family toward meaningful and prosperous futures. In the case of Tony Silva, not only did he contribute to the well-being of his family, but he also gave them the necessary tools and knowledge to sustain a long-lasting family legacy. 

In 1993, Silva opened Silva Building Specialists, a company specializing in commercial cleaning for the greater Houston area. Silva’s goal was to create a business that his family would be proud of and continue for generations to come. Today, nine members of the Silva Family, spanning three generations, hold executive roles in the company. 

After Silva passed away, his son, Tommy, took over as president of the company and has continued to build on his father’s legacy. While Tommy Silva admits that his father’s approach to business was “old-school,” the lessons and guidance he and his siblings received from their father are invaluable. 

“My father owned and operated the business for 30 years. In the last couple of years, after he passed, I’ve taken over the business, using his approach to increase growth,” says Tommy Silva. “Growing up, he guided all of us through the ranks in the janitorial world, instilling in us a mind for business.”

Over the years, Tony Silva taught his children and family the secrets to building a successful business, lessons that the Silvas still incorporate in their day-to-day business strategy. Below, Tommy Silva shares his father’s lessons that have helped write the company’s success story.

Build A Loyal Customer Base

Tony Silva previously held a prestigious position at a Fortune 500 janitorial company. After he retired, he had old friends and clients requesting his high-quality cleaning services. This led Tommy’s father to open up Silva Building Specialists. Over the years, the company has gained an extremely loyal following, with the average customer working with them for ten years.

“We have established relationships with our clients by understanding their needs and providing professionalism and integrity,” Tommy says.

Uphold High-Quality Service Standards

Silva Buiding Specialists have cleaned nearly 10 million square feet in the greater Houston area, leaving their mark on iconic locations like high-rise buildings, hospitals, libraries, museums, and sports stadiums. Their dedication to excellence and use of top commercial-grade equipment set them apart from the competition.

“We use all state-of-the-art equipment, battery-operated devices, AI technology, and all brand-new vehicles,” he explains. “We also hold an array of certifications, including being a small business minority, HUD certified, FEMA certified, and City of Houston certified.”  

Prioritize Training & Experience

The Silva family’s connection to the commercial janitorial world dates back generations, with each member learning the business’s ins and outs from an early age. Tommy’s journey into the world of commercial cleaning began at the age of 13, a time when most kids were just discovering their interests.

“My earliest experiences involved riding on top of a buffer for weight when most kids were riding a big wheel,” he recalls. “Janitorial services have always been at our family’s core.”

Tommy’s father always encouraged his children to pursue education and training in the business and janitorial world, helping to set them apart from the rest — and one day, successfully take over the family business. 

“My father subjected us to extensive training, as evident from the various courses listed on my resume,” Tommy says. “These courses ranged from the Tiffany etiquette course to featuring notable figures like Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, and Dale Carnegie from the past.” 

Create A Trustworthy Team

Tony Silva always put an emphasis on the family aspect of the business. He believed that his family’s strength would equate to his business’s strength. As the company’s president, Tommy is supported by a team of dedicated family members who each contribute their unique expertise. The Silva family includes nine members actively participating in the company’s operations, from vice presidents and general managers to CEOs and marketing experts.

Additionally, the company has a team of 300 employees, including professional cleaners. Regardless of the spaces they’re cleaning, these high-level professionals can create a peaceful and clean environment.

“We invest in our team through sound wages, job training, safety training, and by providing them with the tools and products they need to do the job right,” says Tommy. 

As Silva Building Specialists looks to the future, Tommy envisions an approach that combines his father’s old-school values with cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships. The company hopes to expand beyond the Houston area, focusing on cities like Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. While The Silva Family’s vision for the future is nothing short of ambitious, the legacy of their patriarch’s success and tradition will always remain at the forefront of the business.