A case study led by Reina Valenzuela, Head Coach of HETP and LETS at SHCCNJ

Executive Summary

We all witnessed how an unprecedented world event such as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way businesses operate. Amidst the chaos, Cinthia Rodriguez-Soto saw opportunities to grow by offering new services and targeting new market segments. This case study shows how Cinthia tapped into the network of the Chamber #Familia, how the HETP and LETS programs prepared for the challenges ahead, assisted her through expert business counseling and supported her with a strong community. Cinthia found synergies among competitors, HETP & LETS alumni, and Chamber members with the same level of commitment and work ethics, giving her the confidence she needed to form strategic alliances.

The Challenges

At the start of the pandemic, Dust Busters’ serviced mostly residential clients. Understandably, people canceled services during the shutdown. Retaining clients was priority number one, but reaching out to potential commercial clients became the next goal. Cinthia quickly updated her value proposition for the commercial sector, offering professional steam carpet cleaning, post-construction clean-outs, and disinfecting and sanitizing facilities for small and large businesses alike.

These changes in Dust Busters’ business model presented new challenges:

-Communicating with 90% of residential clients to keep them informed, reassuring them that safety measures were followed.

-Pursuing commercial and corporate clients involved developing comprehensive service packages, pricing strategies, and submitting bids.

-Hiring new team members was difficult because workers were afraid to go back to work. Finding the right partners and forming alliances to help with new projects meant building working relationships with competitors.

How SHCCNJ helped Dust Busters

Cinthia completed HETP and LETS between January and June 2020. These programs offered Cinthia the knowledge, skills, tools, support, and resources she needed to reach her goals.

She took full advantage of all the benefits of these programs:

-Classroom sessions helped Cinthia understand the differences between market segments and buyer personas. She learned the power of communicating her value proposition to each type of buyer through traditional and digital media.

-During the training, Cinthia learned how to build her business’ competitive advantages to stand out during COVID-19 and beyond. More importantly, she learned how to price her work and manage her finances to be more profitable.

-The coaching program gave Cinthia individual business counseling:

*Program coach, Tatiana Orozco, assisted her in the creation of a marketing plan CPA.

* Joshua Zorrilla helped Cinthia with her financial reports and projections.

*Attorney Rosemarie Moyeno Matos assisted her with contracts.

*Head Coach, Reina Valenzuela helped her with a business plan and proposals.

The SHCCNJ #Familia provided information and resources regarding COVID-19 programs for business owners and a support network throughout the pandemic.

In addition, the HETP and LETS programs foster a sense of community, leading to collaboration and partnerships, and enabling Cinthia to build strategic alliances.

When I first started HETP, I thought that I knew everything they were going to teach. It turned out that from every class there was always something new to learn. After 9 years in business, I finally have a clear path to grow my business”

The Results

Cinthia’s focus, dedication to her clients, and commitment to growing her business paid off. By the end of 2020, Dust Busters was thriving:

-Obtained new commercial contracts. Among the new clients are Toyota Galaxy, VA Hospital in Lyons, VA Valley Apartments, and various locations of TLE Day Care Centers in New Jersey.

-Solved the shortage of team members by forming alliances with HETP alumni Millie Salguero (Millie’s Cleaning Services) and Gladys Vonglahn (Gladys’ Cleaning Services). They are collaborating with special projects and large contracts.

-Received a grant through NJEDA.

-Grew clientele by 36%.

-Increased annual revenue by 22% .

-Retained 80% of residential clients.

“I learned how to communicate to my clients the importance of having a reliable cleaning company sanitize and disinfect their homes and commercial spaces; detailing what we are doing differently to keep everyone safe.”

Dust Busters LLC is a woman and minority-owned company, offering professional services with trained and certified technicians. From home to office, commercial carpet cleaning to post-construction, we’ve got you covered. We know that selecting a cleaning company you can trust is an important decision. We are insured, reliable, and dependable. We’ve been in the cleaning business for more than ten years. It’s what we do and we do it well. Just ask our customers!

Cinthia Rodriguez-Soto, CEO