When you own and run a small business, you are a “CEO” as in “Chief Everything Officer.” After all, you are responsible for all of the functional areas of the business including sales, marketing, finance and accounting, customer service, human resources, research and development, production, and distribution. And you need to be competent in at least the majority of them to be successful. Often that last part is a tall order however. It’s why many small business owners turn to the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for assistance.
Danylle Almas and Rosie Heim are the owners and operators of Kalani Kleaning Services, a residential and commercial cleaning company in Lake County, Florida. They deliver a superior service because, as Heim says “we care for our clients’ homes the way we care for our own.” As a result, they’ve been running their business for seven years and have built a satisfied and loyal customer base. But, as good as they are at making their customers happy, they were not very good at managing their finances.
“We’re really good at cleaning, customer service and all the front end work,” says Almas. “But we’re not numbers people. We call ourselves ‘Not-business women.’ We’d gotten to the point where we were desperate. We were in a financial mess. When we suddenly found ourselves over-drafting our checking account, that was our sign. We needed help.”
Almas and Heim tried everything they could think of to straighten out the business. They read books. They hired a private, for-fee business consultant. They went online for webinars and blogs. It all helped a little, but not enough; Kalani Kleaning’s financial picture was still deteriorating.
It was then that they turned to the FSBDC at UCF – Lake County and its consultant John Doramus for no-cost, expert business consulting and seminars. “We basically cried when we found out what the FSBDC could do for us and that it was free,” Heim remembers. “We had an experienced and knowledgeable consultant who could really see our business for what it was and lead us, and all at no cost to us.”
“We don’t feel like we can take credit for where our company is now,” continued Almas. “John and the FSBDC came in and gave us a road map at a time when we were ready to call it quits. He showed us light at the end of the tunnel. We didn’t know what step to take next, but he did. He built us a growth plan and we’ve stuck to it by meeting with him, monitoring our progress and managing our goals.”
“Since we started working with the FSBDC, we’re not bouncing checks anymore,” Danylle Almas says with a laugh. “Far from it. We’ve increased our client base by 30%, our revenues are up 80% and we’re preparing to hire our first employee. We’ve purchased a business model and rebranded, both of which will help us expand and scale the business. The FSBDC’s help has been like a miracle for us,” concluded Almas.
For information about Kalani Kleaning Services, please visit www.kalanikleaning.com.