Marcela Sandoval launched Marcela’s Cleaning Service in San Diego over 14 years ago. She had been cleaning houses on her own and continued to attract more and more business. Finally, her husband James and she read an ad in the local paper selling a cleaning business, so they took it over and bought out its accounts. From there, Marcela began hiring a team to clean and now focuses on growing the business and handling the administrative side. She has a team of four people who she trusts to do a great job with her clients’ homes.
One difficulty that has arisen over the transition from being an individual cleaner to running a cleaning business is having to educate clients about why the cost of cleaning is reasonable. “Customers sometimes think that we shouldn’t charge what we do, asking us how we can charge so much. When I was on my own, it was ok to charge less, but there are bigger costs that come from running a business.”
Her favorite part of the job is being able to provide employment for her staff. “People depend on us,” she said. They try hard to retain the same employees, and when necessary they advertise on Craigslist or in Spanish newspapers for prospective staff. She recognizes that her job is to keep looking for more work to keep them busy, knowing that they will be reliable with a steady income.
Marcela discovered training videos late in the game and they changed her life. “Nobody showed me the way to clean, and it would take me forever to finish one home. I wish I’d known there was an easier way to clean. Many years later I found the videos. We show the videos to our employees and then work with them.” She recommends the videos from the team at Rags to Riches.
Marcela and James believe in giving back to the community as well, and are active participants in Cleaning For A Reason. “It’s nice to help, and it doesn’t take much for us to go and help them out a little. We’re still a very small company, but we can make time twice a month to help patients without breaking our budget.”
When I asked her to share a story of something unusual that had happened lately, Marcela mentioned that a guy stopped her in the street. But it wasn’t to get her business card, it was to get the phone number of her attractive employee. (She declined to provide the information.) So watch out if you hire someone really pretty!
Need a high quality cleaning service in San Diego? Check out Marcela’s Cleaning Service.
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