Twinkle clean is a fantastic Start-up Direct funded business founded by British born entrepreneur, Robert Garritano which offers professional cleaning services in London. With such tough industry competition, Laura Campbell of Startup Direct spoke to Robert about his start-up journey and how he separates his cleaning business from those of his competitors.
1) Hi there Robert. Where did the idea for your business come from?
Always an interesting question to answer. The idea for Twinkle Clean came from my past experience with other cleaning companies! After constantly receiving a service I was unhappy with, I thought it was time to change it.
2) How long have you been going?
We will have been trading for almost 3 years now! We took out our Start-up Loan in 2014 (you must have been trading for less than 2 years to receive a government Start-up Loan).
3) What was your biggest challenge?
I think my biggest challenge was managing cash flow properly and making sure the business is well financed to run on a day to day basis. I imagine most young entrepreneurs will struggle with this initially.
4) How much funding did you receive from Startup Direct?
We received a £5000 loan from Startup Direct which was used for the initial startup costs of my business.
5) How important has mentoring been to your business?
Vital! As a young ambitious entrepreneur you think you can do it all yourself with little or not help from anyone else. It’s your business and you know best. The mentoring support from Start Up Direct really helped me stay focused on achieving my short and long term objectives.
6) Is there anything you wish you’d known when you first started your business? Do you have any words of wisdom to other startups?
Too much to list here but the main thing I would say is believe in yourself and never ever listen to the naysayers. Go for it. More is lost from indecision than wrong decision.
7)How do you separate your business from that of your competitors?
With so many cleaning companies out there (a Google search for cleaning companies in London returns over 17.8 million results), it is vital you maintain branding continuity and your service is backed by quality reviews. We focus providing a high quality service that is appreciated by customers. We track our reviews to ensure that this service remains at this high quality and make sure that any flaws in our service are quickly remedied. With cleaning everyone in customers homes, we understand the need for professionalism and respect and make sure this ethos is actioned by all staff. We use Google+ for our reviews which is user friendly and reproducible.
8) Where do you see your business in 3 years?
We’re moving towards offering the customer a wide range of services under one roof and I see this developing even further over the coming years.
Thank you Robert for talking to the Startup Direct team. If you are interested in applying for a government Startup Loan for your business click here.