Rachael Wainwright set up Marshalls Commercial Cleaning in 2010 after deciding she was ready to take the plunge and be her own boss.
In the years since setting up the business, Rachael has grown it to employ several members of staff and built up a strong client base. Now, after receiving support from Business Northumberland, she is looking to solidify Marshalls Commercial Cleaning's reputation and grow the team further.
The idea for Marshalls Commercial Cleaning came out of the blue, but it didn’t take long for Rachael to gain a strong customer base.
“One day I was cleaning my grandma’s house when I had a eureka moment and thought I should start a cleaning business” she explained. “You can start it with just a mop and bucket and some cleaning products. So that’s the road I went down, I put some adverts in the local paper and soon enough the phone started to ring.
“After a while I would get recommended and the work would start to roll in. Initially it started with houses and offices, but I started to get a lot of recommendations from existing clients. At one point I was cleaning a client’s grandma’s house, mum’s house, daughter’s house, friend’s house, daughter’s friend’s mum’s house - and it’s been like that since day one!”
When she broke her collarbone and was unable to drive or work for six weeks, some of Rachael’s clients had started to hire other cleaners temporarily. She saw this as an opportunity to move her business into commercial cleaning and quickly won a contract with a nursery.
Along with her husband Sean, Rachael decided that in order to grow Marshalls Commercial Cleaning she should be spending more time working on the business and less time working in it. “We knew we needed to get a member of staff in to clean the nursery” she said. “It was going to be a lot easier to get staff in than for me to keep doing it myself, so we got a member of staff in and we’ve never looked back.”
With new members of staff on board to take over the cleaning work, Rachael and Sean had more time to work on growing the business and winning new contracts. After someone recommended Business Northumberland, the pair found a range of courses to help them with management and marketing.
Rachael said: “There were some courses I thought I would benefit from like learning about the managerial side of things and dealing with staff.
“There were courses like the search engine optimisation courses up in Haltwhistle and Hexham, which really helped us to improve our website.
“Sean was good with technology but the information and support he got from a couple of the courses was pivotal. After he made some changes to the website the phone started ringing within 24 hours and we were being noticed by bigger companies like housebuilders.”
Sean explained: “We did a lot of technical courses through the website around marketing. We did a finance one too, which helped us with funding and learning about capital investment.”
But even after attending Business Northumberland’s courses, the pair have received ongoing support from the team. “Even if we wanted to ask a quick question, we can just put it out there” said Sean. “We don’t even have to go to wait for a course or send an email. We can just send a message through the Business Northumberland Facebook Group, they’re all so friendly and they love to help us do what we do!”
Case Study developed in partnership with BQ.