Startup Spotlight: The Clean Team
07/20/2014 7:00 PM
07/21/2014 4:00 PM
The Clean Team
Concept: Book a maid online in under a minute. Schedule the day you want and pay online through a simple booking process. Customer care agents are available before, during and after your scheduled cleaning. You can hire The Clean Team for a one-time cleaning, or choose a discounted weekly or monthly plan. The Clean Team also specializes in vacation-rental cleaning and management.
Story: Co-founders Koby Assaraf and Glenn Weiss have now successfully built and launched three property-rental ventures together, and they created The Clean Team because they recognized firsthand just how difficult it is to find a professional and reliable cleaning provider in South Florida. Assaraf, who began his career working for Oyster.com, takes the lead in The Clean Team’s sales and marketing efforts. Weiss, a licensed CPA, handles the company’s finances. With a keen focus on quality cleaning, technology and customer service, The Clean Team has grown quickly. “Our product is a clean home, and our tool for accomplishing this is a diligent maid. One of the main differentiators between us and our competition is the years of experience our maids have working in the hospitality industry as hotel room attendants,” Assaraf said. The co-founders believe the business model can be replicated in other markets.
Management team: Koby Assaraf (co-founder); Glenn Weiss (co-founder); David Raskind (business development).
No. of employees: 25
Financing: Initial $85,000 in self-funding; customer revenue has funded the business since then. Planning to raise $350,000 to propel further growth.
Website and phone: www.wearecleanteam.com and 305-842-3622.
Recent milestones reached: Achieved sales of $450,000 in year one and are on pace to reach over $1 million for year two. Launched interactive website and implemented management software, which has enabled the company to service many more clients with better customer service. The Clean Team recently renovated and moved to its new 4,500-square-foot headquarters in Wynwood.
Biggest startup challenge: Staffing and systems. The Clean Team doesn’t subcontract work out to other cleaning companies or independent cleaners as some national competitors do. “We found that managing an in-house staff of maids provides us with better oversight and control over the quality of the cleanings we provide,” Weiss said.
Next step: Building brand exposure because there are still many condos, homes, offices and vacation rental companies that aren’t familiar with The Clean Team. “We are setting out to capture 25 percent of the market in the next 18 months,” Weiss said. Social media marketing and online advertising will be the initial focus, followed by person-to-person sales through meet-and-greet events at residential buildings, he said. “A crucial sales route for us will be creating an affiliate network to help promote a natural flow of referrals. Creating relationships with property managers will be essential in promoting our growth here in Miami,” Assaraf added.
Advisor’s view: “They’re both natural entrepreneurs, always up to something innovative. This concept struck me as a pretty cool way to modernize the way people handle upkeep for their home. I loved that something challenging like cleaning your home could become fun and easy using their online system,” said Jess Alpert-Goldman, a PR and marketing consultant who has been involved with Clean Team since launch.
“Brand development is what will set them apart from the competition. The service industry — especially cleaning — is still pretty primitive … what differentiates them is their technology, that’s the initial hook. Backing their tech with their high-level of customer care will create the brand trust needed to succeed.”
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