Clean Bees Homekeepers Cleaning Up!
When Katie Straubel moved from Florida to Colorado in 2001, she took a job doing house-cleaning to make ends meet. Eight years later, she earned a history degree from CSU, while continuing to work in the cleaning industry. Today, she is the proud confident owner of Clean Bees, a Northern Colorado cleaning company with 35 employees and over $1M in annual sales!
Katie says “I worked in the restaurant business, and learned customer service. Our clients find us, because they want to own their time, not clean. Our ideal customers are dual-income homeowners in their 40s and 50s. When pricing jobs, we consider the frequency, size, and scope of the home. In 2020, I want our managers spending more time in the field to better understand our customers.”
Katie worked on two critical areas, recruiting/training/retaining staff and learning how to pay herself. She comments on her employee “secret sauce” – “I respect the trade, and genuinely invite them in like they’re family. We’re not so big that we can’t have connection. We hug them, and hold them tight.” Katie built a management team, including a general manager, office manager, sales manager, and trainers.
“My accountant Paul Matonis (also an SBDC instructor) said I needed some financial help, and I relied on the SBDC”. SBDC consultant Andrea Grant met with Katie for one-on-one sessions, to better understand her accounting information. Katie says “I’m super-grateful for Andrea. She’s caring, sincere, a wealth of information, and really trying to help out people.”
Three years ago, Katie joined the LoCo Think Tank, a growing peer-to-peer advisory group, that’s also been supportive.
When asked about her 2020 hot list, Katie says, “I’m looking at some org-chart tweaks, but my worry level is nothing compared to what it used to be. I have a sense of peace that I didn’t have for so long. With my stress level down, I think more clearly.”
Outside of Clean Bees, Katie gardens, raises chickens, and hosts dinners with her partner and ten-year old son.