Honored by the EDC-VC
To say Carola Buhay, owner of Fantastic All Care, Inc. in Oxnard is industrious, is an understatement. When she came to the United States from Peru 13 years ago, she ironed clothes and cleaned homes for a living. In 2009, she started a house-cleaning business. Wanting to take it to the next level, she contacted the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
Since 2012, SBDC advisor Rose-Lise Obetz, a sales and marketing specialist, and SBDC financial advisor Pat Sweeney have provided Buhay with ongoing consultations and mentoring to expand her business.
Obetz advised Buhay to focus on the commercial sector and to specialize in cleaning commercial kitchens for restaurants. Buhay additionally diversified into outdoor cleaning services, including parking lots and landscaping. Today, her clients range from large corporations and hotels to a government location.
To support these new target market segments, Obetz helped Buhay with her marketing and sales efforts with social media and networking.
On the financial side of the business, Sweeney reviewed Buhay’s client contracts, coached her on hiring practices and negotiating with her customers and employees. He also encouraged her to incorporate her business as an LLC.
With SBDC’s help, and the hard work of Buhay and her staff, Fantastic All Care’s, Inc. revenues increased more than seven-fold, to over $500,000, by the end of 2013, and grew her business to seven employees.
Not content with the status quo, Buhay is looking to the future. “I am thinking about expanding into the commercial moving business, maybe acquiring a truck,” said Buhay. “Cleaning and moving are a nice ‘fit.’”
She has the confidence to further expand, thanks to the SBDC, she said.
“My SBDC advisors helped to build my confidence and convinced me that I can do anything I set my mind to.”