|Single mothers overcome obstacles to start cleaning business.|
Many people come to ASSETS programs because they have an idea, but no business. But Eve Allen and Kim Duszynski came to ASSETS Toledo because they had a business, but no idea about how to run one.
Allen, 31, and Duszynski, 32, own 2 Helping Hands, a residential and commercial cleaning business. Two years ago they left a large home cleaning corporation, due to dissatisfaction with wages and the general working environment. "We were pretty unhappy there," Allen says.
By every conventional business measurement, it was the wrong decision. For one thing, both are single mothers-Allen has four children under age 13, Duszynski has one aged 11. Neither had a reliable car in a business that requires driving from home to home. And getting a loan? Forget it, what with debts of about $20,000 between them. And to top it all off, two days after quitting her old job Allen had to have surgery, which put her out of commission for a few weeks.
But one thing that is much harder to measure is heart-and of that, they have plenty. "I've never thought our business could fail," says Allen, with a steely determination in her voice. "Sure, there were obstacles-we're single moms and our credit isn't good.
"But failure just isn't an option."
To get started, they borrowed $800 from a customer, using the money to buy a car and some equipment. Soon they had more customers and were making more than they had made working for someone else. They paid off the loan by cleaning the lender's house.
But there was still one problem: They knew how to clean homes, but they had no idea about how to actually run a business. "We started backwards," says Allen. "We had a business, but didn't know about all the things you have to do to operate it."
Fortunately, they realized they needed help. There was another business training program in the city, but it was too expensive. "When we learned about ASSETS, and how cost was tuned to income, we knew it was for us," says Duszynski.
The result? "It changed our lives," says Allen. "If we hadn't gone we never would have learned all the things we needed to do to make our business successful."
Among the key lessons were sessions on finances and taxes. Allen recalls crying during some sessions, partly from fear because of all they were doing wrong, and partly out of relief that help was available.
"Now, thanks to ASSETS, we know what we are doing."
The two are being mentored by Frank Ulrich and Richard Grieser, who belong to the Northwest Ohio MEDA chapter in nearby Archbold. Ulrich, who retired as a vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sauder Manufacturing, and Grieser, a farmer, have helped them deal with financial issues such as cash flow, keep accounts and taxes.
"They really impress me as people of personal integrity and commitment," says Ulrich. "They have a goal to succeed, despite the odds."
Their ultimate goal is to one day be able to hire other single moms who need employment. "We're looking forward to the day when we can help others in the same position as us," says Duszynski.
In other words, in the future the only homes they want to clean are their own!
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|Jesus Avila III|
Owner of JA Metal Polishing, L.L.C
I'm Jesus Avila III and my wife is Tammy Avila. We own JA Metal Polishing, L.L.C. a silver polishing business. When we first moved to Toledo we had not a clue on how to operate a business. So during our beginning years we had serval unanswered questions. One day my wife stumbled across the brochure for ASSETS Toledo; and she immediately enrolled.
Sinse that day we have benefited greatly from the program. The benefit to network with other students is a great opportunity. The office staff at Assets is great and has given us all the support needed in assisting us as we grow. The number one benefit that we received from ASSETS Toledo is the prayers of the staff and our fellow students.
JA Metal Polishing, L.L.C
521 East Oakland, Toledo, Ohio 43608
Phone: (419) 476-0787
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Owner of Odella's WashLand
"ASSETS made the difference in the success of my firm. As a reinforced business in operations about a year, I had begun to develop bad habits - take short cuts. ASSETS helped reinforce positive business practices and stopped me from going further down the road to bankruptcy."
Odella's Wash Land
539 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio 43602-1021
Cell: (419) 410-6458
Fax: (419) 381-0187
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2200 Jefferson Ave. - 1st fl, Toledo, Ohio43604
P: 419.251.9870, F: 419.243.8002
Our Mission is to assist self-motivated individuals in Northwest Ohio who have a personal vision for self-employment and small business initiatives, but limited resources, by providing hands-on-training, peer networking, and support network and capital.