1 – Q) Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A) Brenda’s Cleaning Personnel, Inc is a housecleaning agency serving homes in the S.F. Bay area. Our office is centrally located in San Rafael, Ca. We’re insured for our customers’ peace of mind. We offer full-service house cleaning, and we’re happy to ensure that your home is clean and tidy after we’ve finished. Since 1977, our company has made an effort to build relationships with our customers. How? Through providing excellent service and positive experiences. Plus, we know how to work with your schedule to accommodate busy lifestyles.
2 – Q) Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A) The owner, Brenda Stadnik has owned the business for 44 years. She also works as a project manager for various real estate projects. She has built the company on policies of honesty and responsibility. Lasting in an industry for 44 years takes unfailing commitment.
3 – Q) What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
A) The idea for the business came about via a friend’s suggestion that owned a moving company. As a moving company owner he was often approached to find cleaners for move out and move in jobs. The idea stuck and Brenda’s Cleaning Personnel, Inc was born in 1977.
4 – Q) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
A) First, understand that he/she must be the hardest worker in the business. Has to be the one who stays at it, no matter what situation needs to be dealt with. Second, respect is key. Establish long-term relationships. Show every single customer and worker complete understanding and respect. This is essential for the establishing long-term relationships needed in any successful business. Third, above all, pay everyone his or her due in a timely and efficient manner.
5 – Q) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A) Number one is patience. Every single person has their own point of view and with patience you can understand the other side. Number two is the ability to take action, taking necessary action quickly is important. Number three; tell the truth, no matter what. It’s painful sometimes to say what really happened but it’s also going to relieve the situation when the facts are on the table. You can do it with kindness.
6 – Q) How many hours do you work a day on average?
A) My average workday is 10 to 12 hours often 7 days a week. However I do schedule blocks of downtime, like an afternoon off.
7 – Q) To what do you most attribute your success?
8 – Q) How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A) Primarily our most successful marketing has been through coupons. Customers love discounts and a chance to get to know a company before they commit to your services.
9 – Q) Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A) Funding capital came from personal funds and we have never taken loans or money from investors.
10 – Q) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A) Show up everyday; never fail to open your doors for business.
11 – Q) Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
A) Of course like every business owner I’d like to see our company continue to grow over the coming 5 to 10 years and that is what we work for each day.
12 – Q) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A) Airbnb. They filled a niche idea and in 13 short years they accomplished over 1 billion guest accommodations.
13 – Q) How important have good employees been to your success?
A) There is no success without excellent workers. The people who represent your company are face to face with the customer and what they do and say matters a great deal.
14 – Q) How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
A) Actually I’m pretty patient. If an idea is being implemented, I’m very likely to stay with it unless it proves that this is not worth pursuing. Things take time to come to fruition and we need the resolve to see things through.
15 – Q) What motivates you?
A) I have a lot of people who count on me. That’s what motivates me. I cannot disappoint them. I have customers who need the support of our service in their homes, busy moms and families, working parents, elderly who cannot take care of their homes anymore. And the cleaners, they have families to support, mouths to feed, they cannot get enough customers in the door without our help.
16 – Q) What are your ideals?
A) The most important ideal I pursue in business is to make sure that both the customer and the worker are certain they have been treated with fairness and given quality attention at all times.
17 – Q) How do you generate new ideas?
A) I generate new ideas by problem solving. I like to lay every possibility on the table, no matter how unrealistic and then work backwards from there to come up with an idea that works.
18 – Q) How do you define success?
A) Success is when you find peace in yourself.
19 – Q) How do you build a successful customer base?
A) By listening to the customer. That means every customer. No matter if their purchase is very small or very large. Behind each one who speaks out another 10 customers have the same considerations. When customers bring something to your attention, it’s the best marketing advice you could possibly get. Take it!
20 – Q) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A) Making my own decisions about running the business. Having the freedom to implement my ideas and the team to do it with.
21 – Q) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A) My most satisfying moment comes when I know I’ve helped someone. Whether it’s a customer or a worker. Helping means so much when given while it is needed.
22 – Q) What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
A) Entrepreneurs carry the responsibility for the entire company in every last detail daily, while workers have primarily the job at hand to be concerned about.
23 – Q) What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
A) Our culture is caring. Every one here knows that. The customers know we care and anyone working with us knows we care and feels free to bring their concerns.
We established this tone because caring is human nature, everyone needs it. When faced with the choice to care or not to care, there is only one choice, care. And why? Because at the end of the day what matters is how you treated the people in your life, not what they paid you or did for you.
24 – Q) In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
25 – Q) If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A) Act faster as things changed.
26 – Q) How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A) It gave me the freedom to be available to my family and adjust my working hours accordingly.
27 – Q) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A) Fear comes when there is lack of trust. I avoid dwelling on fears.
28 – Q) How did you decide on the location for your business?
A) It’s a local service for the region I live in. I lived here prior to the business opening.
30 – Q) Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
A) Yes, it’s called work ethic.
31 – Q) If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
A) In recent history it would be Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I’m very impressed with her life.
32 – Q) Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A) My customers and the people who work with me have been my greatest inspiration in business. They keep me going
33 – Q) What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A) Last year I read The Power Bible by William Beteet III and Brendon Lemon. It was very inspiring.
34 – Q) What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A) Once I had a client making a very large purchase. I let it get the best of me, I thought I was clear in my communication but in reality I overpromised and under delivered. I’ll never forget that
35 – Q) How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
A) Prevent mistakes by eliminating promises. Let people know you will look into it and when you have solid information, then you can deliver it. You can do a lot for damage control. It is best served by making sure the other party feels they were treated fairly given the situation. Then if they hire you again, deliver well and prove that you can do better for them.
36 – Q) What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A) In my non-work time, I love spending time with my family for dinners and outings. Family vacations together are a favorite. I love to work in the garden. Plants give so much to the environment of the home and yard.
37 – Q) What makes you happy?
A) I’m happy when all is well. I find the normalcy of life satisfying.
38 – Q) What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
A) Time is the sacrifice I’ve made. Sometimes we have to show up, like it or not. Convenient or not.
39 – Q) If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
A) I’d ask : If you could do it all over again would you?