Your Name: Cristina Antochi

Business Name: Team 2 Clean, a domestic and commercial cleaning service

Type of Business: Cleaning services

Business Location: Takeley, United Kingdom

Twitter @team2clean

Reason for starting
I came from Romania in the UK with my husband to build a better life. We have worked for another cleaning company for about 6 months. During this time we saw that that company was getting a lot of referrals on our back as we were good cleaners. So we decided to start on our own and have our own cleaning company and give people great service for less. In 8 months we were fully booked with clients on the waiting list so we decided to bring teams to help us with cleaning, In only 4 years, we now have 23 teams of 2 people (husband and wife) giving a great cleaning service to our customers.

How do you define success?
Success is doing something you love, helping other as well and giving a great service to your customers. Success is also about being a model for others and inspire other to do the same thing as you. I think I have accomplish that and I am helping a lot my cleaners and my clients through a good customer service.

Biggest Success
The whole thing is a big success for me, coming from another country, building up my business, bringing people from Romania, training them, helping them get better salaries, and building the customer base that we have is all a great thing. I left home at the age of 19 in pursuit of a better life. Now in my 20s, I have my own successful business, with 23 teams of 2 working with me, having around 600 clients and going forward.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
The biggest challenge I had was dealing with people. I didn’t thing it will be that hard- I was trusting people way too easily, I was helping them as much as I could, I was getting involved and personal in absolutely everything I was doing and I did get hurt big time. But I have learned to be more business like, to mind my own business, to be more careful and learn from my mistakes. I am more strict now with my staff, they know the barrier between friendship and work, I still help them a lot but up to a point. Regarding the client, I have learnt that you cannot please everybody, we are trying our best all the time and we are telling them from the beginning what is doable and what not in their time frame of cleaning.

Who is your most important role model?
I think my husband is- he really is the greatest man I’ve ever met. He is very calm, thoughtful, wise and he demands respect naturally. He was and still is behind me all the time. When the times were rough he made me feel strong, laugh and get over it easily. He does know a lot of theory but he’s rubbish at practice- here is where I came into place. We do make up a great pair and this in why our business succeeded.