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2013 Forty Under 40: Michael Crafton

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“The first impression you get when you meet somebody is when they smile. My fiancée and I, our grand goal is to fix kids’ teeth who can’t afford it. Because if you don’t have a good smile, I think you’re behind the 8-ball immediately.”

Age: 32

Owner, 360 Services


Michael Crafton and his friends from Indiana University had grand plans after graduation: They wanted to be Mark Cuban.

A year later, during a night out in Broad Ripple, they agreed to quit the corporate jobs they’d taken and start a business cleaning restaurant exhaust hoods and grease traps. One of Crafton’s friends had done that kind of work during his school breaks and boasted that his boss was a billionaire. (“Which I realize now was a complete lie,” Crafton said with a laugh.)

So the next day, Crafton resigned. “I called my buddies from the parking lot,” he recalled, “and said, ‘I quit my job, let’s do this.’ And they all said, ‘You’re crazy. I didn’t think you were serious. There’s no way I’m quitting my job.’”

Crafton forged ahead, though. He’d never cleaned an exhaust hood and didn’t know anything about the business, had no management experience and barely got through accounting. But he could sell. So he went on the Internet, familiarized himself with the exhaust cleaning process, then took to the streets. He’d clean at night and sell during the day.

It took two years to get his company, 360 Services, rolling. Now he has 51 employees, offices in Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne and New Albany, and had annual revenue approaching $4 million last year.

Not only is the business a success, but Crafton gives work to a number of people who, because of criminal records or past substance abuse problems, can’t get hired elsewhere. He takes pride in being a good employer, paying some workers $30,000 to $40,000 a year in an industry where $8 to $10 an hour is the norm.

“When people see that this is a good place to be and we take care of them and they can come to us for hardship-type situations and they’re being rewarded,” he said, “they’re not going to do anything to screw things up.”•

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  • Well Said!
    Beth, you could not have said it any better.
  • Way to go Crafton
    Way to go Crafton! So proud of you! - Satisfied customer at Small Blessings Child Development Center and ReachMore Peer!
  • Kudos to Michael and his wonderful team
    I have had the privilege of working with 360 Services as a partner for the past 6 months and can't thank Michael and his team enough for their warmth and professionalism. I wish the team Good Luck in their future endeavors.
  • 360- High Integrity All Around
    We at BioSweep have had the honor of partnering with 360 Services and Michael for several years now on regular specialty subcontracting work. His whole operation from Sales & Service to Admin is top notch. A story like this proves that hard work, talent and commitment pays big dividends.
  • Awesome Company
    I had the privilege of working with 360 Services in Accounting for 3 years and can tell you that it is an Awesome company from the inside out! There will never be another company that cares more about their employees and customers!! Michael Crafton is not only the creater and owner of 360 but the heart of it as well!
    • Congratulations
      Michael, Thanks for sharing your story. Your determination and beliefs are inspiring. Congratulations.

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