Not a Crap Idea: Qstodian Platform is Well-Positioned to Keep Developing Ingenious Solutions for a “Boring” Industry

For the St. Louis startup community, the story of Hoffman’s journey through entrepreneurship and the decisions behind the pivot from CheckTheQ to Qstodian should serve as an important reminder that the customer really is king. It’s no great secret —we all know that instinctively— but it’s the secret that a lot of first-time entrepreneurs forget.

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Qstodian is a two-part system that incorporates easy-to-install hardware and software to improve restroom management, which has undergone thorough beta testing in St. Louis. Installing Qstodian closes the feedback loop between a business and its patrons, whilst demonstrating a stronger commitment to customer satisfaction and cutting maintenance costs too.

Through Qstodian’s sensor-based technology, businesses are able to track the usage of restrooms in real-time. The end-to-end solution means that businesses can receive direct customer feedback about restroom cleanliness and track trends and changes in restroom usage.

Moreover, their approach surfaces other non-visible behaviors from restroom users, which can provide more insight into how customers interact with the facility and how they should be staffed. With more accurate data of restrooms’ historical usage, venues and facility managers can improve their allocation of existing resources and time to ensure that operations are moving as efficiently as possible without compromising a guest’s experience.

In discussion with EQ, CEO of Qstodian, Adam Hoffman, explained why his company has pivoted from solving visible problems to less visible ones. Yet, there’s more to the decision to pivot: the startup has also identified an almost hidden market where the Qstodian platform can operate as an interlocutor to two major industries.

All of which is to say that ChecktheQ’s pivot to custodial services management and rebrand to Qstodian, is not a crap idea (excuse the pun!). It might actually be genius.

Indirect Management

As we’ve already explained, one of the reasons why managing public restrooms is a Sisyphean task is because the current practice of scheduled cleaning can only predict needs, but cannot respond to them in real-time without a feedback mechanism. However, another reason that it’s a complex issue for venues to manage is in the industry’s operational structure.

Counterintuitively, restroom cleanliness is often not managed by building owners themselves. Instead, the task is outsourced to custodial services companies who supply cleaning staff, which means there are two parties involved in the effective management of a building.

That’s important, as it would suggest that Qstodian has identified a two-sided market opportunity where no one else was looking. In this case, buildings need a way to manage their custodial services supplier and custodial services suppliers need a way to measure and prove the value of their work.

Where there is a two-sided market, a technology platform can play, which means Qstodian is able to pursue further ongoing opportunities that require a go-between to improve operational efficiency. It also maximizes the company’s ability to deploy a solution and creates a new sales channel.

New B2b Sales Channel

Whereas CheckTheQ could only sell to venues, Qstodian can sell directly to custodial services management companies who intend to differentiate themselves in the market. Which should be expected: every company in every industry is looking for an edge, even those that hitherto probably never imagined “disruption” was possible.

See the genius now? Qstodian thus offers them a strong competitive differentiator and market edge, which in turn will facilitate the introduction to venues, deployment of the solution, and visibility, exposure and adoption of the product.

What was refreshing in talking with Hoffman, was just how candid he was about where such genius came from. Essentially out of nowhere; all from simply listening to customers.

“This is an example where I think entrepreneurs need to be willing to learn on the fly, and then listen to the marketplace. Because I didn’t even think about those third party cleaning companies as a stakeholder in the whole equation, when we first made the pivot,” he said.

“But then in just the first couple weeks since we’ve been launched, the feedback we’ve been getting is, ‘Hey, we actually do exist; we’re a big stakeholder. And we’re incredibly excited and this could be a potentially lucrative opportunity.”

For the St. Louis startup community, the story of Hoffman’s journey through entrepreneurship and the decisions behind the pivot from CheckTheQ to Qstodian should serve as an important reminder that the customer really is king. It’s no great secret —we all know that instinctively— but it’s the secret that a lot of first-time entrepreneurs forget.

Qstodian is ready to help you challenge the assumptions you and your customers have about how you’ve been maintaining your restrooms. To find out more about this product and how it could be useful at your venue, visit the Qstodian website http://www.qstodian.co.