Latinas in Business Member, Gladys Vonglahn, shares how the COVID-19 pandemic pushed her to adapt and reinvent her cleaning service business.
Adapting and reinventing her business post-COVID
Gladys is the owner and founder of Gladys’ Cleaning Service LLC, a professional commercial and residential cleaning service with more than 18 years experience in the cleaning industry. Originally from Chile and a first generation immigrant, Gladys came to the U.S. to make a difference in the cleaning industry and positively impact the lives of others.
At Gladys’ Cleaning Service, their core values are integrity, honesty and excellence. “We take care of our clients’ as our own, leaving a legacy to our future generations,” says Gladys.
Since March 2020, Gladys and her team have had to work hard to adapt to the changes in the cleaning industry brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had to be resilient and implement new cleaning protocols to stay in business and make sure we are safe,” Gladys says, “Not only for ourselves, but also to give confidence to our clients requesting our services.”
Their biggest obstacle initially was that almost 95% of their clients were in the residential sphere. This made it difficult to continue performing their services when statewide lockdowns began. Gladys and her team stopped working for a week and during that time Gladys realized that she needed to adapt now and hear the needs of the market. She also realized that there was now a tremendous need for cleaning services in the commercial market, an area she had been working to tap into for years.
With not everyone able to work remotely, commercial spaces were now in most need of reliable cleaning services to keep their employees safe and healthy. Gladys was able to meet this need in the industry by repositioning her business to cater toward the commercial market.
“The main lesson of this situation is that we have to listen to our clients’ needs and adapt our services to satisfy the existing needs in the market. These obstacles make you strong and help you to go to the next level,” says Gladys.
Despite the setbacks brought on by the pandemic, Gladys says she is so happy to have the opportunity to expand and grow her business.
“We are so proud to be an essential job. Before the pandemic people took the cleaning industry for granted and did not give them importance until having a clean and disinfected area was a priority for everybody. Now, owners of businesses and corporations need our services to keep their employees, clients, and facilities clean. Thanks to the pandemic people now value our job!”
“Dream bigger and dare to do”
This ability to adapt and reinvent is one of Gladys’ strengths as a Latina business owner. She is resilient and has always loved a challenge. She believes every day is a new opportunity to positively impact the lives of others, whether that be by giving them cleaning solutions, blessing them with a job, or just sharing her story to motivate them to do something extraordinary.
“God gave us unique abilities to each one of us to succeed in life,” she says. “My main message to other Latinas is trust in God, believe in yourself, do not let people tell you what you have to do, hear your entrepreneur voice and have your own experience. Even if you fail you gain an experience. You will be more prepared for the next adventure. Life is not easy but it is good to live it with integrity, honesty and excellence.”
Gladys encourages other entrepreneurs to always keep sight of their mission and vision as if it were the first day they decided to be in business. As with everything in life, there will be struggles and obstacles, some as large as a global pandemic, but with resilience and the ability to adapt, anything is possible.
“Dare to do,” says Gladys. “Work harder and be determined to take your business to the next level not only because you want a profit. Do it as a lifestyle to leave a legacy behind for the next generation. Dream bigger, be visionary and eager to fight for your success in whatever you do in life!”
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