Today we’d like to introduce you to Emmanuel Onate.
Emmanuel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Campus Cleaners started in 2016 at Arizona State University, as a company for the students, by the students. Our vision was to provide a service that gave back some of that valuable time nobody ever has enough of in college. We chose to focus on home cleaning, on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning simply because just like most everyone else, we dreaded all three.
In April of 2017, Campus Cleaners officially incorporated as an LLC in the state of Arizona. It was an incredibly exciting moment for us as a company. A lot of long hours went into the development of the business plan and our vision for “Campus Cleaners 2.0” as we called it internally. When that first phone call came in through our newly established business line, we knew it was real. We began with only about 3 jobs in the first month, but by May we were getting bombarded with phone calls as the college move-out season was upon us.
The experience was a multitude of emotions at once. We were excited because, well, people were actually calling us and giving us a shot! We were humbled, because let’s face it; I don’t think anyone dreams of scrubbing floors and cleaning windows a couple months after earning their Bachelor’s Degree… but hey, there I was, scrubbing away. I gained a true respect for the industry and the work that goes into this field. But don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was not alone in it either. My business partner at the time dedicated just as much time as I did, and my family truly stepped up when I needed the help. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I won’t bore you with sales numbers, logistics strategies or marketing campaigns because if you are thinking about your own business, you’ll be seeing more of those than you want to pretty soon. A lot has happened in a short amount of time. I like to think we move quickly, and in today’s market, there really is no other option. You blink, and you get left behind. Competition in our industry is fierce and we don’t see it getting any easier, but we’re also very confident in what we bring to the table. In the last 10 months, we have been fortunate enough to experience rapid but sustainable growth.
We have established partnerships with vendors and contractors who are experts in their respective fields and thus we have been able to provide the best combination of quality and affordability to our clients. As of today, we are in the middle of growing our network of cleaning techs even further, expanding our area of service to all of the Phoenix metro areas and working on a couple of big partnerships we hope to talk about in the near future. I am also currently developing our phone app and plan to release it later this year!
During this time, my original business partner Trent decided that he would be taking a different path in his professional career and is doing very well for himself today. He still refers jobs to the company whenever he can and likes to hear how the company is doing. After taking the reins myself, I knew that I would still need plenty of help, so I decided to bring two new members in. Our new VP, my younger brother Ivan, was there from the beginning and never let me down when the company needed him. Our Adviser and Social Media Expert Pima has also been an indispensable asset to the company from the first day we talked business. Thus, Ivan and Pima are now also part-owners of Campus Cleaners.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We’ve had a few. I don’t sleep much these days, but I tell myself I’ll make the hours up in a few years. Again, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I didn’t go to school for Business Management. I didn’t even do Marketing. My degree is in Communication and my real passion is in Graphic Design. So, I guess it’s needless to say, I had my work cut out for me.
Our struggles in the early days were of the common sort: Legal questions, technicalities, contracts, marketing strategy etc. These are all things that you expect to struggle with when you start a new business though. At the end of the day, I can’t sit here and complain about those. There were bumps, but we cruised over them with relative ease. The answers are out there, you’ve just got to find them. And by that, I mean, of course, Google them and make a lot of calls.
However, our greater struggles were a lot more challenging to overcome, because there simply is no solution for not being able to be in ten places at once. Lack of time was and sometimes continues to be our biggest challenge. It’s a bit ironic since time is essentially what we’re providing to our clients right? Coordinating cleaning times and picking up/dropping off laundry from our clients at times that work for them is not always easy for us.
There just isn’t an easy formula or strategy for working 40-50 hours a week at your day job and working another full-time job at your own business. Its still not easy, but there is a sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with knowing that somehow you still get it done. In my case, an average day goes like this:
I speak to vendors and lawyers during on my commute to work; I return customer calls and inquiries on my breaks; I assign cleaning technicians and laundry runners to jobs on my lunches. When I get home, I work on just about everything else. Weekends aren’t really a thing. You get the idea.
To conclude, yes, we’ve had challenges, but no more than the next hard-working company in my opinion. I made it through 20-page essays I put off until the night before in college; this is easy.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Campus Cleaners – what should we know?
So how exactly do we help you work less and live more?
Campus Cleaners is an on-demand home cleaning, dry-cleaning, and laundry service. Basically, you can think of us as an “Uber*” service for your clothes when they get dirty and don’t want to take themselves to the laundromat.
For laundry and dry-cleaning: You schedule a pick-up time that works for you. We pick up your items and get them cleaned and pressed by our professional contracted laundromats. We contact you and schedule a time to drop it off clean and folded. That easy.
As for the home-cleaning: You schedule. We clean. You relax. Easy right?
We pride ourselves in being a company founded by ASU alumni and students, and our core values reflect a thing or two we learned through our college careers. Succinctly:
-Be Honest and Reliable.
-Respect other’s time.
-Keep it Simple.
What sets us apart from your everyday cleaning company is the level of attention we devote to our clients. And we get it, anyone can say that. But I can assure you, we make sure that as a company, we live by it. Our cleaning services always include a mid-cleaning check up with our clients to make sure that we are meticulously paying attention to every request they may have. Our on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning services notify our clients by text every step of the process and we go the extra mile to adjust to their schedules for pick-ups and drop-offs.
I can confidently say that our prices are very affordable. We were broke college students once and we know the struggle. We also reward our loyal clients by offering recurring discounts and referral bonuses frequently. Some of our customers end up with free services just by referring friends and family to us after giving us a shot!
Campus Cleaners provides more than a service. We provide a customer experience that is simple, secure and affordable.
*Campus Cleaners LLC is not affiliated with Uber in any way
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Above all, it wouldn’t be possible without God putting me in a position to pursue my dreams. I’m very thankful.
After that; Ambition. It almost sounds like a bad word. But hear me out, there’s no way around it. You NEED to be ambitious to succeed, especially in business. It is the characteristic that allows me to compete at the highest level in whatever I do. It drives me forward and I believe it’s what drives most of the people I look up to. I mean, my role-model Elon wants to take us to Mars. If that’s not ambition, I don’t know what is. And yes, I did buy one of his Boring Co. flamethrowers in support.
However, no personal quality or characteristic can compensate for what my support system does for me. My girlfriend Haley and my entire family have been there for me throughout this whole thing. I owe a great deal of my success and motivation to their unwavering support.
- Home Cleanings start at $74.99 for apartments and condominiums
- On-demand laundry is just $1.49/lb and we’re currently offering free pick-up & delivery
- On-demand dry cleaning starts at just $9.99 per item picked up & delivered to your door
- Website: www.campuscleaners.org
- Phone: 4808089664
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org