Aziza Hana graduated from Rutgers with a degree in nutrition but has fallen in love with her job at 10BucksARoom, a cleaning business servicing the New Jersey and New York area. Aziza keeps the business running smoothly from the office while owner/operator Maany Silva is out in the field delighting customers with excellent service. Maany started 10 Bucks A Room over five years ago and the first franchise launched in Virginia recently.
Maany immigrated from Brazil at age 18, looking for the chance to start her own business in the land of opportunity known as the U.S. Her mother was an expert cleaner, and Maany, who bonded with her mother over a shared love of cleaning, is now an expert in her own right with over 20 years of cleaning experience. She noticed that other cleaning companies had an extremely complicated pricing model, and realized that she could launch a business with a much more straightforward strategy. Maany figured that charging that flat rate per room would cut out the unnecessary time and energy involved to create an in-home estimate.
As the owner, Maany still goes out in the field and cleans every day. “She works extremely hard,” said Aziza. Occasionally, Aziza will join her and has been impressed by seeing the system that Maany uses to thoroughly and efficiently clean the client homes. “It’s interesting to see exactly how she cleans. We really take our time, since the cleaning quote is based on rooms and not on number of hours.” Aziza laughed and said that the day after she helped clean she did sleep longer than usual to recover from the effort. “If you’re not in shape, watch out!”
They have to be efficient, handling over 2,000 clients in five years with a team of five cleaners. The company does residential cleaning Monday through Saturday and commercial cleaning on Sundays. One of the most effective ways to stay on top of their volume is to keep communication channels open with the client, asking questions about whether or not to move or touch things. This also assures a happy customer who gets exactly what they ask for in a cleaning.
Maany’s favorite part of the job is being able to help clients and get to know them face-to-face, watching their families grow. “It’s a very intimate kind of career, you see them every week.”
Aziza found her job through her brother, who does a lot of the graphic design work for the company. “I really like what I’m doing now—marketing, PR, and social media. We just touched on that a bit in my undergraduate studies. I enjoy learning something new every day,” she said. Currently working on her masters in health administration, she sees synergy between what she’s studying and what she’s learning with hands-on experience at the helm of the cleaning business. “Creating a healthy space and a healthy mind and body is all connected.”
The crew have two branded cleaning vans and Aziza will sometimes roll around town on weekends to help advertise with the mobile billboard. “It’s very eye catching. When I stopped for gas, people were coming up to me and asking for business cards.”
One of Aziza’s favorite things is connecting with customers. “When you listen to them and hear what they’re going through, you create a connection and they respect you so much more. One customer’s dog had just died and been cremated and the ashes had just arrived. We discovered that we had the same breed of dog. The next time she called to make an appointment, she let me know about her vet making a donation in her dog’s name.” In fact, this relationship building is one of the key areas to success.
When they’re not making sure New Jersey homes in their area are as clean as possible, Maany loves hanging around her cats and Aziza hikes and enjoys spending time with her dog. If you’re in New Jersey and looking for a high quality cleaning service, check out 10BucksARoom.
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