Small Business Feature: A chat with Stacey Barrass from Goddess Cleaning Group
Goddess Cleaning Group was founded by busy solo parent Stacey Barrass. After becoming a single mum more than 8 years ago, Stacey attempted to find cleaning work on a part-time basis. Finding it extremely difficult for cleaning businesses to accept her offer of 3 days per week she decided that she would take her attention to detail, strong work ethic and can-do attitude to clients directly.
Using her Human Resources and Executive Administration background, Stacey has drawn together a professional team that share her vision and approach to bring you a quality cleaning service focused solely on you and your requirements.
From those humble beginnings to a team of fourteen, Stacey is forcing her way through this industry to turn it on its head. She is creating an environment where her team members are celebrated for their hard work and not looked down upon due to the current ‘cleaner’ mentality.
Her focus is on the employment of other women from disadvantaged backgrounds and those emerging from similar unsavoury relationships and situations. Stacey aims to fill their confidence cup, build their self-esteem and encourage them to start creating their own life with positive changes.
Domestic Goddess is turning the cleaning world upside down, tell me some more about the business you have created?
In the past, the cleaning industry has had a very low level of ‘job’ respect. The role of the ‘cleaner’ has always been viewed as somewhat diminished in importance. We have started to make a change in this perception. A good ‘cleaner’ is quite easy to find, however, a ‘fantastic’ cleaner is harder to find. Our desire to disrupt this industry by providing the best of the best to ensure that our clients return home at the end of their day to enjoy their time without the need to clean or tidy is what drives us forward
We have implemented a training program that ensures all of our Team Members are trained to ‘our’ highest of quality levels and our independent audit processes allow us to provide feedback to clients on an on-going basis. It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep the dialogue open with our clients and team members.
Traditionally ‘cleaners’ are employed on a casual basis and their hourly income is quite low (without many of the remuneration benefits). We employ almost all of our ‘Domestic Coordinator’s on a permanent basis and they receive all of the benefits that come with that. Everyone is treated like family, with respect, open communication and we all maintain an open ear to all feedback. This is the only way forward for us as a company.
You are a sole parent, you run your own successful business and you manage to completely kick-arse at life! How do you do it all?
I am a hopeless morning person, I love my sleep. Rarely ending my evenings prior to midnight or 1.00am, I am therefore rarely out of bed before 7.00am (usually only if one of my boys turns the kettle on, they know the offer of a cup of tea will entice me into the morning light).
As a mum, I don’t always get everything right. I have made late-night runs to the supermarket to buy milk and bread, walked around with hair unwashed for days and missed giving my boys money for the father’s day stall at school. I diarise as much as possible. My Kikki K family wall calendar is my savior for remembering birthdays/excursions/free dress days etc for the boys.
Professionally, being organised is a high priority. My phone holds everything I need at a touch. Appointments, reminders, calendar entries and TO-DO lists all have alarms linked to them. Some days it will all come together with a skip in my step and a cheeky air punch and other days I feel like the ringmaster at the circus. Often my busiest days lead to the most rewarding.
Worst case scenario, when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I make myself a cup of tea, breathe times ten, find a sunny position outside and give myself ten minutes to take stock of what I have already achieved. Allowing myself time to reflect on the small wins often gives me the greatest sense of achievement (Thank you Mr Ellis!). Long days and longer nights.
‘It is what it is!’ And: ‘If you cannot change it, find another direction and move on!” I try to find the best in every situation.
What has been the most rewarding thing that has come from running your own business?
The most rewarding thing that has come from this business is being able to employ women who have come from domestic violence and disadvantaged backgrounds. These women and their children have suffered enormously and our main aim is to increase their self-esteem, fill their confidence cup and get them back on their feet.
Allowing these women to earn themselves an income, an opportunity to re-connect with the community, increase their communication skills, learn time management, problem-solving and leadership skills are all imperative to helping them break that cycle. We are building this company to ensure we are in a position to offer at least four more women that opportunity this year.
What advice would you give to young people who are wanting to start their own business?
My advice would be ‘just do it – start by putting one foot in front of the other’. Surround yourself with passionate, happy, caring people who will see your vision and be open to sharing their experiences and knowledge with you. Most importantly, back yourself, if you are passionate about your product or service, it will shine through from the very beginning. Be yourself, always!
For more information about Stacey and her business, check out Goddess Cleaning Group.