Maria Elena is the quintessential multitasking entrepreneur. As a student of the NYU nursing program and a single mother of two young children, Maria Elena owns and operates a residential cleaning business based in Westchester County. Her clientele have been mostly residential clients in New York City.
How did Covid impact her business?
Maria’s business was severely affected by the public health restrictions imposed to control the spread of Covid. The business from residential clients contracted by 58%. She quickly realized that she needed to pivot her business, diversify her service offerings and utilize resources more efficiently to remain viable and profitable.
How did TAP help?
TAP consultants Regina Altaras and Becky Schamis worked with Maria to expand her business beyond residential work to commercial cleaning. They did a competitive analysis and developed a marketing plan to rebrand the business and expand to this new sector. The consultants developed a website plan, to include online reviews to optimize for SEO and business credibility. They also recommended creating a business profile on home service websites, such as Angie’s List and Yelp, as well as local B2B business organizations in Westchester. To enhance her brand further the consultants suggested adding certifications such as Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise and Green Clean Institute Certification.
Where is she now?
As a result of TAP’s engagement, Maria Elena is more confident to advance her business. She updated her business cards with a more professional look and is focused on allocating resources more efficiently. She is trying to tighten her geographic area to reduce travel time by focusing on fewer buildings but increasing the number of units cleaned in each location. She is also delegating employees to execute cleaning jobs that she previously did herself. Her revenue is up by about 30% from last year, and she has added 7 new residential clients. While she still plans to expand to the commercial sector, that focus will wait until the fall when businesses are fully reopened. In terms of promotion, she’s been using social media channels to market her brand and plans to develop her website later this year. She also hopes to get some of the certifications TAP suggested and collaborate with online platforms to expand her client base.
Maria Elena believes TAP helped her advance her business by offering a new perspective and giving her the incentive and tools to change her operations. Those tools combined with her business savvy and “can do” mindset will propel her to more success in the future.
163,735 total U.S. businesses have closed since the beginning of the pandemic,1 but StepWISEnow is not one of them.
Meet Molly Roffman, Founder and Director of StepWISEnow
Molly Roffman is a New York State Physical Therapist who specializes in fall prevention and balance training. Molly’s experience rehabilitating patients who sustained fractures inspired her to develop StepWISEnow, a balance and fall prevention studio. The goal of StepWISEnow is to help older adults live more active and independent lives by providing fitness classes.
Why did Molly need the help of TAP?
When the pandemic began, many small businesses were forced to adapt. StepWISEnow transitioned their in-person classes to online. Molly came to TAP needing help with messaging and marketing tactics, as well as social media. In addition, she wanted help acquiring clients, increasing cash flow, and ideas on how to adapt during COVID.
How did TAP help Molly and StepWISEnow?
Immediately, TAP consultants, Susan Berman, Kyra Chenoweth, and Betsy Weiser reviewed current marketing efforts and used brand analysis to guide changes to the website and other communications. They also utilized competitive analysis to determine where Molly fit into a saturated market and how she could focus on her niche to get results. The team analyzed her financials and created a model to optimize Molly’s time and earnings. The pricing options for classes and memberships were re-evaluated to ensure steady income and profitability. The consultants also analyzed StepWise’s customer base and recommended strategies for retaining clients, re-engaging those that lapsed, and acquiring new members. Lastly, TAP served as a sounding board as Molly worked through obstacles posed by COVID-19.
Where is she now?
Molly is still working hard to improve StepWISEnow. She is researching and testing out multiple platforms, such as Vimeo, to expand course offerings. Molly also plans to re-decorate her studio, including painting the walls and floor as well as purchasing new studio lights. In addition, Molly has started thinking about merchandise for her company and enrolled in classes to expand her knowledge.
Source: 1 Yelp Local Economic Impact Report (Sept 2020)
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