Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alejandra Guzman Cadiz, CEO of Clean for Good, located in Toronto, ON, CA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Clean For Good is a Social Business led by an immigrant woman who noticed the need for an ethical cleaning approach in the GTA area. My business focuses on providing an excellent cleaning service at a fair price. We offer regular, deep, move-in/out, post-renovation, and office cleanings to homeowners, businesses, condos, and Airbnbs; at the same time, we provide flexible schedules to our staff, making sure they have a work-life balance. We also fund community workshops and activities for our staff members to connect them with brighter career opportunities, such as: connecting them with colleges and/or ESL classes. Specialists leaders provide workshops to give advice on Career, Financial, and Life planning so our work partners can ultimately use our company as a stepping stone only while they increase their skills to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. We simply Clean it For GOOD!
Tell us about yourself
I moved to Canada in 2015. As every newcomer in Canada, I had ambitious dreams for a better future, so I started working in the cleaning sector to save up money for school; during this journey, as a subcontractor working for other cleaning companies, I discovered a lot of unethical practices in the cleaning industry such as: below the minimum wages and bad or unfair working conditions. I saw myself and other newcomers like me vulnerable to predatory practices in the industry. Thankfully, within one year, I saved enough money for school to get into my dream Career: “International Development,” where I learned a lot of what I am really passionate about, which is Human Rights and Social Justice. Later, when I got out of school, I was able to execute Management roles in different non-profits in Ontario, which gave me the knowledge and network to start up my own cleaning business. Based on my experience, I decided to make it social entrepreneurship that would focus on providing meaningful and fair employment to newcomers while still offering the best price-quality to the clients. What motivates me every day is the story of each amazing person that joins the company whether it is a client or an employee, and the different stories of success and progress.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been tripling up operations and staff during the pandemic in 2020-2021.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, one of the hardest things was the strong decisions that I had to make with work-life balance. At some point, I had to leave the security of having a full-time job because I believed in my idea and made the personal sacrifices to push my entrepreneurship forward. I definitely gave up some precious time in social life or trips to focus on my entrepreneurship for the first two years.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
The first thing is to follow your call/dreams. It is brave and always a good idea to do something here than thinking in the future, “What would have happened if I started that business….”
The second is to be perseverant. Nothing good comes the easy way. The more perseverant we are, the better the business will do.
The third is always to prioritize people! Not only your customers, but I am also talking about your business team. Profit and success are important, but they all come with the efforts of the people working with you and the ones choosing you as a company, so don’t forget that.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
"All people are entrepreneurs, but many don’t have the opportunity to find that out." - Muhammad Yunus
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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