Q 1. 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.
Ans: We are Rocket Maids, a Premier Los Angeles Residential Cleaning Referral Agency. I know that sounds like a mouthful but it’s quite simple. We refer customers to our roster of carefully selected, experienced Independent contractors. We have an easy booking platform that takes 60 seconds to make a booking, you pick the service that you need, time/day and then our lovely Contractors show up at your door, on time, with all the supplies needed ready to work!
Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I was born in Russia, and I studied Rocket Science at University (literally). After graduating I started working at a major international bank for it’s Russian Division as a systems analyst and later became a project manager. So my background is mostly technical and in IT. I have also worked in the Travel and Hospitality industry for a few years after moving to Canada in 2011.
Q 3. 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?
Ans: We moved to Los Angeles and I wanted to get back into working as a systems analyst and landed an offer from a major financial institution, however I decided to turn it down because I wanted to start my own business. I saw a reddit AMA post about this guy who started a cleaning company and how he grew it. The post was very detailed and kinda spawned a revolution in the cleaning industry, from a mom&pops kind of company to a modern and more convenient service.
Q 4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Be patient, nothing happens overnight.
Don’t hire the wrong people out of desperation. They can cause more damage and headache than good for you and your company.
Don’t overthink it.
Q 5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Be open-minded
Q 6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: Well currently it’s tax season so it’s a little bit crazy right now! But usually not more than a few hours a day currently. We have an assistant who handles most day to day operations while I focus on longer term strategies, such as SEO and expansion into new territories.
Q 7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: To me and my Husband
Q 8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: Our main source of leads has been Google Ad words, even though it is not perfect and is very complicated to set up (we’ve spent hours on the phone with them tinkering with various sides of our campaign) but it is one of the only ways out there where you can get an extremely well targeted, mass scale campaign. We also get a few customers now and then from Yelp, we have a 5* Yelp rating and often get enquiries from Yelpers.
Q 9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans: This business has a very low start up cost, we put in about one thousand dollars up front, to pay for things like business licenses, website, email, phone, booking system etc and the first month’s advertising budget. We ended up making that money back in the first month!
As we went on and the business grew considerably in the first 6 months we started to reinvest our profits back into the business to fund our marketing department and search engine optimization. As far as opening new locations is concerned it is much like starting up another business just like the previous one, so a meager $1000 will do it.
Q 10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: Learn to delegate, you can’t do everything yourself. Value YOUR time, it is probably better spent on things that can’t be delegated to someone else.
Q 11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: Expanding into different cities/countries (CANADA!)
Q 12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: Costco, fair prices and fair labour
Q 13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: In our business having the right people is key. Not only do they need to be excellent at cleaning but this is also a service industry and customer service is extremely important, whether face to face at the customer’s home or on the phone.
Q 14. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: I rarely give up if I think I’m right!
Q 15. What motivates you?
Ans: People that don’t believe in me and trying to prove them wrong.
Q 16. What are your ideals?
Ans: Right, Liberty, Opportuniy, Equality
Q 17. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: They come and go, we think it over for a bit if it seems plausible and doable we look into it, if not then we don’t. Nothing special really no system in place
Q 18. How do you define success?
Ans: Setting goals and achieving them.
Q 19. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: Do a good job the first time and be consistent, one customer at a time
Q 20. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: Being my own boss! I could never again work my ass off for someone else
Q 21. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: Getting the first few booking was a thrill and very exciting time. Quitting my full time job to pursue my business full time would be another one.
Q 22. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: Need for stability and adaptability, an entrepreneurial mind is ok not being comfortable but most people do want to be set for life kind of thing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way for everybody as the world is changing too fast and some people can’t adapt quickly enough.
Q 23. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: We are a small and we don’t really have a culture per se but as a business owner I appreciate honesty, professionalism, and teamwork.
Q 24. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Q 25. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Not much to be honest, I have the skills I need to run businesses because of my past experiences.
Q 26. How did you decide on the location for your business?
Ans: WE live in Los Angeles and we wanted to start our business here
Q 27. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: I don’t think there is a formula but hard work is definitely in there and good people skills, you can’t do everything yourself, you need to talk to people and make them believe in you.
Q 28. If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Ans: Lomonovski – a Russian Scientist
Q 29. What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
Ans: Anna Karenina
Q 30. How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
Ans: Communication is key in any business but particularly in ours. Make sure that vital information is communicated swiftly and accurately. You can’t assume that people will read your mind
Contact : Irina Nikiforova
Address : 5700 Sepulveda Blvd, #522
City : Sherman Oaks
State : CA
Zip : 91411
Phone : 818-208-1698