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Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Happy Cleaning sends crews of two and three people to job sites. Co-owner Kwang Williams, center, is joined by Carmen Mendoza, left, and Lupe Gaytan in cleaning the family room at the Williams home.
Business Spotlight

In 10 years, Happy Cleaning has grown to have 150 active clients

Mark and Kwang Williams are owners of Happy Cleaning, a Fort Wayne home-based business.

Happy Cleaning

Address: www.happycleaninginc.com

At a glance: Provides residential and commercial cleaning services

Employees: Nine

Annual revenue: $250,000

When was the company founded: 2003

Biggest accomplishment in the past 12 months: The home-based company is celebrating its 10th anniversary. While it struggled a bit during the first few years, it has grown to 150 active clients. In 2012, the business experienced a 25 percent sales increase from the previous year. Many of the company’s customers have a household income of $50,000 and up. About 80 percent of the client base is residential. The majority of new business comes by way of referrals. “We do have two vans with our name on it, but most people learn about us from their friends,” said Mark Williams, co-owner of Happy Cleaning, who runs it with his wife, Kwang. “Dual-family incomes have resulted in people just not having time to clean their homes. We run into the same dilemma ourselves.”

What was your biggest mistake in operating this business: Not adding to the company’s management sooner. Looking back, the business owners also would have delegated authority more often to free up time for strategic planning.

What are the key challenges facing your business or industry: Dealing with the tremendous growth on the residential side of the business. Another test is empowering others and trusting them in order to grow the management staff.

What is your strategy for staying ahead of your competition: The company’s overhead isn’t high, so the Williamses say they are able to beat competitors’ prices most times. “We’re not trying to get rich,” Mark Williams said. “We’re just trying to make a living like everybody else.” Kwang Williams said she is proud that most of her business’s more than 100 customers have been with her from the beginning. “That means a lot,” she said.

What resources have you found most helpful in running a business: The Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center. Mark Williams also credits his administrative experience in the Army with aiding in bookkeeping, recruiting employees and customer relations.

What are your growth projections for the next five years: 5 percent to 10 percent

What is one thing about your business that people might not be aware of: The business chooses to work in teams of two or three people to lessen the time at a work site.

If you weren’t running this business, what would you be doing: Kwang Williams would have a position in the restaurant or hospitality industry, and Mark Williams said he would be in business management.

Source: Kwang and Mark Williams, owners Compiled by Paul Wyche, The Journal Gazette Business Spotlight profiles small businesses that are at least three years old and have 100 or fewer employees. To recommend a business, e-mail the name of the company and the name and phone number of a contact person to pwyche@jg.net or fax to 461-8893.

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