Today we are introducing you to Fiona from Sorensen Cleaning, a small business that can meet all your cleaning needs as well as works closely with NDIS customers to offer community access support.
For Fiona, starting her own small business was a solution to balancing looking after her son and financially supporting her family. Sorensen Cleaning offers all types of cleaning services. They also offer support to NDIS customers to help them with their daily life and enable participation in their community. This includes taking them to medical appointments and bringing them their groceries during COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne. Today, Fiona has 18 employees which mark a level of business growth beyond her wildest dreams.
“Richard helped me with plenty of financial and business planning. It’s great to have a mentor who knows what they are doing. It was very helpful to have him around. I have worked with organisations that tell me they are here to support me, but then we have two phone calls, and then they stop replying. But with Richard, he’s always responsive and books in meeting with me.”
My business is Sorensen Cleaning. I offer cleaning and support services, and it started three years ago now. We do all sorts of cleaning including, trauma cleans, end of lease cleans, general cleans, and commercial cleaning. We can do pretty much all types of cleaning; not much is beyond us these days.
Additionally, we work closely with NDIS to help clients do day-to-day tasks with the support side of things. For example, picking them up and taking them to an appointment. During COVID-19, we picked up a lot of groceries and medicine for clients and spent time with them because sometimes they get lonely.
Starting Sorensen Cleaning
I always wanted to help people, and this was a way to do it. Before contacting Many Rivers I was winging the business! I had no idea about many things to do with the business that I am so glad I found out about now!
Before that, I had an ANZ Bank traineeship, and when that finished, I was put on a casual contract. My hours dropped suddenly, which wasn’t enough to support me and my son. I did all sorts of odd jobs. I did a little bit of cleaning with another company, but they weren’t supportive of me trying to balance work with being a single mum. That’s when running my own business became an idea!
I went into business for the flexibility and the income. I wanted to support my family while also being able to look after my son. We have 18 employees now. At the start, I thought it would just be me. I never thought I would be employing people!
Working with Many Rivers
Richard helped me with plenty of financial and business planning. It’s great to have a mentor who knows what they are doing. It was very helpful to have him around. I have worked with organisations that tell me they are here to support me, but then we have two phone calls, and then they stop replying. But with Richard, he’s always responsive and books in meetings with me. He has been awesome support all through COVID-19.
Richard put me in contact with other organisations in his network that he thinks will support me. He told me about Indigenous Business Australia, who contacted someone who helped me build my website.
I also received legal support from one of Many Rivers’ pro bono legal providers, Minters Ellison, for my service agreements. I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for Many Rivers. Richard is a legend.
The paperwork side of it and insurances that I didn’t even know about. Luckily, we worked through it, and that is all sorted now.
Business growth, and not just customers! When I first started, I had a terrible car that would always break down between jobs. Now I have my own work car. I never thought that I would reach this point.
Because I have employees working for me, I can stay home with my son if he is sick and not worry about losing money. I still love going out and doing work for my customers. Recently I hired an admin lady too to help me out with that side of my business.
I have a lot more flexibility so I can balance family time with work.
Expanding probably. I want to do a bit more commercial work because it opens many more doors. They are less likely to cancel because of COVID-19 as they have a requirement for extra cleaning.
Thank you, Fiona
Thanks, Fiona for sharing your business journey. Your story will inspire people who are looking to take their next step towards creating their own business. If you would like to stay updated with Fiona and her journey as a small business owner, follow Sorensen Cleaning on Facebook or Instagram.
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