Meet Inez Arevalo, Owner – A Cleaning to Remember and this week’s Featured Woman in Business. Here is her story:
Tell us about your business. A Cleaning to Remember is a residential cleaning company serving Ft Bend and Brazoria Counties in Texas. We provide detailed interior home cleanings and for those moving in or out of their homes. Our clients range from busy working individuals to retired or disabled individuals who need help cleaning.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place? We hired several different cleaning companies to clean our home, I assumed that their way of cleaning was the way cleaning should be but I was wrong. The bathroom shower glass door was always left with soap scum spots and when I was looking for a replacement door online, I stumbled across instructions on cleaning the glass door with vinegar. Since vinegar is easily and readily available, I decided to give it a try and it worked. That is when idea to start a cleaning company first entered my mind. Owning a cleaning company to me means that your home will be cleaned the way I want my home to be cleaned.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why? My daughters, I started the company when they were still babies and it was a stressful at times but I want them to see women can be business owners, that if you want something, you can achieve it. It’s important to me as a mother to be a good role model.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? My biggest accomplishment was getting through the first year of obstacles and challenges. There were times I wanted to give up and close down, thinking it was too stressful, time consuming and hard. However, the number of recurring clients has grown immensely and makes me realize how we clean makes clients happy. There is a lot of competition in our area and it makes me proud to know most of our clients are loyal to us or return to us after trying others out.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers? My husband likes to say ‘the sun shines for everyone’ and repeated it several times to me when I started the company. I was envious that other cleaning companies had lots of clients, lots of employees, nicer websites but my husband said not to worry about others, the sun shines for everyone. Don’t worry about competing; focus on your own goals is what I’d like to pass on to the readers.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business? Most of our clients find us through local online ads which are actually free and our company vehicles draw attention on the streets too. Our logo and colors (violet and pink) are eye catching.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? Treat your clients with care; get to know each one personally because they are allowing you into their home and personal space. Being mindful of their belongings and treating clients like you want to be treated is very important.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? Do not grow comfortable and stop marketing, it’s essential to be up-to-date with new marketing techniques, social media updates and attend new events.
Do you have any new projects coming up? A Cleaning to Remember has been given the opportunity to also do commercial cleanings and will be focusing on growing in that area.
What do you do for fun/relaxation? I like to read mystery novels at night, reading has been my escape since I was a little girl, reading makes me forget about any pressing issues at the moment.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year? Gaining more clients and maintaining the current ones. Growth is essential to any company.
You want to write a book on … taking action to achieve your goals. If you want a new car, a nicer home, a better job, your own business, it can be achieved through hard work. You cannot expect someone to knock on your door and give you what you’ve dreamed of, you have to get up, work hard and go for it.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? There’s plenty of life quotes regarding living your life to the max, living each moment as if it were your last, etc. As cheesy as it may sound, if you sit and think about it – you only live ONCE, if your dream is to have your own business, stop day dreaming and do it. Start small but the point is to START.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)? www.acleaningtoremember.com, email: email@example.com, www.facebook.com/ cleaningtoremember/