In the below interview Robert Garritano, British born entrepreneur and Founder of Twinkle Clean, shares his ambitious plans to turn his quality-focused cleaning business into a leading franchise – featured on startups.co.uk
Where did the idea for your business come from?
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.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was working as a project manager for a large American corporation before I started Twinkle Clean.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, especially since I took part in the SHELL Step scheme, which provides project-based work experience opportunities with small and mid-sized companies.
How did you raise the money?
I used my own personal savings along with a direct loan from Start Up Loans, which is a government initiative programme that provides funding, mentoring and support to entrepreneurs.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Competition has been the biggest challenge as the market is fiercely competitive but we overcame this by offering a superior service in terms of quality of cleaning. Another issue has been managing cashflow but getting guidance from friends who are accountants and talking to other entrepreneurs (and watching Dragons’ Den) has helped.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Go for it! Don’t let the research, numbers and business plans overwhelm you. Even if you write a five page business plan to start with and only do a 12 month forecast, you can always update them as your business grows and as you need more funding.
Also don’t be afraid to ask other entrepreneurs for advice – most businesses owners love to talk about their successes (and failures!).