Top 10 most inspiring women in the greater Delaware valley 2016
Day 8 – Angela Kovall
Why We Chose Angela Kovall
“Angela is a ray of sunshine. Always beaming, she makes it her mission to know and help the people she meets along the way. (Apparently we went to the same high school!) She is is the inspiration for changing how I approach marketing — think not what people can do for you but how you can people. She is an excellent teacher on spreading feelings of goodwill and increasing others self-esteem. Angela genuinely wants to see people succeed and I find that energy to be absolutely contagious. She is wonderful to have in your corner. I can’t say enough positive things about her. Simply, she makes you feel good. Please meet Angela below.”
Tell us how it all started. Why? What’s the story?
Everything was going so amazing in my life! I had just married the man of my dreams and we were on our way to Egypt and Jordan for our honeymoon. Then, out of nowhere, I found out I was pregnant with my first child! We freaked with joy and fear as many do with the news. I knew my crazy, current work schedule wasn’t what I wanted or dreamed of when I finally decided I wanted to become a ‘mom.’ I longed for a something I could call a career! Something I could put my stamp on and something that was more!
I met Jessica Loveland, the Owner of Country Clean, at a women’s bible study through a mutual friend Bethany Reynolds and she was great! We have children the same age and share lots of the same passions! I began cleaning for her part time to make some extra money for my family, but still stay home with my children, and my passion for her company grew! She decided to become more of a silent owner and Bethany took over most of the lead role in running the business and occasionally she needed some help here and there with a few events and then some paperwork and it eventually would lead to us working side by side running the business together!
It was a dream job! Especially doing it with some of my closest friends and having a quality, ecofriendly product that is safe for the environment was amazing! I loved networking and marketing , talking about the company and finding new, creative ways to grow the business! I had the freedom to be home with my children and also run a business! Jessica is a wonderful owner and she understands the business and is a wonderful resource and she also trusts and respects what I have to say! Everyday I learn something I didn’t know and I can introduce that into the business. I love helping people stay organized and helping busy overwhelmed people, and families find more time in their lives for themselves, their family and activities.
Bethany has since moved on to home school her children and now it is just myself as the Director and Jessica , and our amazing professional cleaners we have that care about their clients! We truly have built a fantastic team together. It gives you a sense of accomplishment when you help build, grow and watch the business the customers and employees reach their full potential as well. I enjoy all the connections and relationships I am building and friendships I am making. For instance, Jane Clark of Teakettica, is a fabulous women for making me feel so wonderful and humble for wanting to honor myself and my company! I remember the first networking event I ever attended was the Wonder Women Tea Event at the Blue Hen Bed & Breakfast. I was very nervous! How would I represent my company? What would these ladies think of me? What am I suppose to say? What do we talk about? WilI know all their questions? Then I saw Jane and her fresh hot red hair and modern urban dress and I thought, I feel so much more comfortable now! She helped give me a sense of comfort that helped me fall in love with networking and meeting new people!
I have grown up in the community that I run the business in and it is very important for me to have a quality product and something that I can back up fully! I stand behind everything and I think that is so rare with so many businesses anymore. I love that so many people I network with do the same and I love that I can recommend them and they do the same for me!
“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” -Yvon Chouinard
What is your biggest success so far?
I never had a job where I was able to see something from start to finish before. I love making this connection with the customer. Either from marketing the company via social media or at a networking event, with a sign or just by someone knowing me from the area. Then speaking to them on a more direct personal level about why they need this, what is going on in their lives that they want the service.
My favorite is when I sign someone up that REALLY needs the service because they physically cannot do it themselves. As a sufferer of a chronic illness myself I know first hand how it feels to be in pain and to help someone or provide a great and loyal service that can help someone that cannot do things that others may take for granite is amazing. For a while a couldn’t get out of bed. How many of us take that for granted?
What is the biggest challenge in your industry? What are you doing to deal with that?
I would say the biggest challenge in my industry is competition! Competition is fierce – there are many small companies competing for both residential and commercial cleaning contracts. Barriers to entry are low as there is very little expensive equipment needed and little to no training required for employees – so new competitors spring up all the time
I recently took a weekend training class by the famous Sharon Tinberg of ‘Rags to Riches Success Made Easy.’ I was recertified in our College Of Residential Experts( C.O.R.E) Training program and I am currently retraining all of our current employees to make sure we can keep our standards high and our quality the same. We use green products highly rated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and top rated ecofriendly cleaning products. We are licensed, bonded and insured and we perform thorough background checks on all of our employees. We also have been in business almost 6 years and we are members of Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI). We have been part of our Small business library program and I teach declutter and green cleaning classes there, we are members of our local chambers and belong to Top of the Bay Womens Group, Wonder Women Tea and Cecil Area Moms in Business.
We are professional, loyal and trustworthy!
What advice would you give to a business owner starting out in your industry that you wish you would have known going in?
It is estimated that the average cleaning company loses up to 55% of their customer base every year due to poor service. As one business owner states – good work goes unnoticed for years, but a bad job gets you fired immediately.
I would rather have one full time employee that is willing to be with you and follow your ethics and business model than 5 part time employees that are only willing to a part time job!
What don’t most people realize about you or your company?
I think what people do not realize is that we are a GREEN company and that we have a nonprofit aspect of the company called ‘Cleaning For A Cause.’
If a non-profit wants to sign up with us, not with our cleaning services, but just with us as a partner then we will promote them on social media and attend their events, donate mini cleanings to them possibly and even offer discounts to their clients. If a clients signs up with us and wants us to give back to that non-profit we will donate 10% of their cleaning back to that non-profit! We are currently partnered with such programs like; YMCA Cecil Country, Food Back of Delaware, Good Cause, Freedom Hills Therapeudic Riding, Promise in Sight and more!
We love giving back to the community because the community and people have given so much to us! We also take part in many other volunteer programs such as Camp C.A.R.E for children with disabilities, we sponsor the Chesapeake City Races, and donate to the Blood Bank.
Coming up tomorrow is day 9!
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