Twinkle Clean Limited: Roberto Garritano
After receiving bad service personally, Roberto Garritano shares his ambitious plans to turn his quality-focused cleaning business into a leading franchise
Name: Roberto Garritano
Company name: Twinkle Clean Limited
Number of Employees: 8
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 04/04/2014
Tell us what your business does:
Twinkle Clean offers professional cleaning and maintenance services to domestic and commercial properties.
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.
How did you know there was a market for it?
I did extensive research into other, similar types of companies operating in London and used the feedback they had received.
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.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
It's very simple; we sell our professional cleaning and maintenance services to domestic and commercial property owners.
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 was your first big breakthrough?
Our first big breakthrough was landing our first big contracts with several leading London estate agents.
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!).
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In five year's time we want Twinkle Clean to be London's leading cleaning and property maintenance company with franchises all over the UK.