From a successful career in sales and business development, Kelly Ward started her business in order to fit around her expanding family. With a new baby and young daughter, her husband’s two small children also joined her family in 2008.
Anyone who has seen Kelly speak, or seen her on YouTube, will know that she is full of energy, incredibly driven and not a typical stay-at-home Mum. Yet she sacrificed her safe corporate career and company car to start Mrs Mopp cleaning and laundry services. Explaining the catalyst for starting her business, Kelly said she felt like ‘Mrs Mopp’ so she might as well get paid for it!
Although the business was only meant to be a stop gap, with glowing recommendations and more business then she could handle, 4 weeks later Kelly took on her first employee.
Cleaning for individuals and companies, recruiting and training new cleaners, fitting in networking in the day and using all her past sales and marketing experience in the evening, her business grew and grew.
By 2012 she employed over 30 people in two companies but felt that she was working incredibly long hours from home and not making much money. Something that led her health to suffer.
While she was off work, she started to write down all the processes, training manuals and job descriptions with a view to selling the business. Eventually she employed Judy Edgerton as Operations Manager to help her concentrate on selling the business.
With Judy managing the staff and business and Kelly concentrating on the business development and marketing side, the business grew by 67% in just one year.
Kelly now feels she is running the business rather than the business running her and she shared some lessons she had learned along the way:
- Focus – on what you really want from your business, don’t make yourself unhappy doing what you think you should do. It may take a long time to figure out but when the plan becomes clear, take a step backwards and concentrate on achieving that goal.
- Find your Why –why are you really doing this? Is it a hobby or to make money? For the status or to help others? Find your motivation. (You can do the exercise here – http://vitals.lifehacker.com/do-the-why-exercise-to-find-your-deepest-motivation).
- Be true to yourself – don’t ignore your instincts, intuition or personality. Stop listening to gurus and expert and start listening to yourself. Try to be proactive and implement a series of actions to move your business forward.
- Concentrate on your strengths – you can do anything – but not everything. Think about your worth and if you can outsource ‘cheaper’ jobs such as sales, marketing, HR or accounts.
Kelly has carried on learning new skills such as web site design, social media marketing and video production which she developed for Maid in Business. An online resource and information centre to help the niche sector of other cleaning business owners. Kelly’s next goal is to create paid for content and E-learning courses for Maid in Business. With her energy and enthusiasm I have no doubt she will succeed in whatever she chooses to do.
Join Us At Our Next Meeting For A Guaranteed Warm Welcome
Thanks again to our brilliant network leaders Lena Churm, Sandra Owen and Kim Gilmour for making our networking meetings friendly & inspiring and you cannot help but have lots of fun with Lena around! Whichever networking group you love to be a part of, we are all ladies in business together, who can learn from one another and support one another in ways only networking can so. Telford & Wrekin WiRE meet at the Marches Growth Hub at the University of Wolverhampton Telford Innovation Campus on the third Thursday of each month at 9.45am. Blog written by Kim Gilmour – Connect Consultancy