In a world for of ‘I’s’, very few look at the ‘we’s’. Here are some couples that have taken the ‘we’ from personal to professional and have grown stronger together. They have loved each other, fought for one another and risen above it all to succeed as partners made in heaven
Smashing Cleaning Services LLC
Leny Day from Philippines and James Day – British/ Welsh, own Smashing Cleaning Services, a multi award winning company that started modestly as a villa window cleaning company almost 11 years ago back in 2004. Leny started it with four family members from the Philippines. Out of a family need to earn some extra money, Smashing Cleaning was developed into a multifaceted internationally certified, specialistcleaning company.
Leny came to the UAE in 1986, met her husband James in 1994 and got married in 1996. They then relocated from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 2000. “After having our villa windows cleaned for AED 600 in 2003 I thought I could do it better and cheaper. So I started Smashing Windows Cleaning Services with AED 100,000 of my savings and four family members while my husband continued to work for another company. In 2004, we were only five people with me doing all the marketing, dropping flyers, driving technicians around, doing the operations, office work, day-today management and the school run! All on me with my husband’s support, but I would often take my children with me (after school) for companionship and help while dropping flyers,” she states.
From that, they grew to cleaning large roadside billboards, water tanks, kitchen exhaust chimneys, pipeline disinfection, post-construction cleaning, beach and lagoon cleaning and much more. “In 2009 we had 12 employees and today we have nearly 60 employees, multiple industry achievement awards, certified professionals, and a turnover of around AED 10 million. My husband joined the business about six years ago to give it the technical strength and business processes that we needed to ensure a profitable business built on complete customer service and satisfaction,” she adds.
As for the rest, it is 101% support of family, children, communication and understanding. With regards to managing the home front she is candid, “Living together can be hard enough! Living and working together can certainly be a recipe for disaster. Be aware that it is difficult, and it takes a lot of understanding. I am lucky that my husband is very understanding and knows that I am always right! You never leave work. We are together 24 hours a day. When we are in the bathroom, when we eat, when we sleep, we talk about work! There are limits, but be prepared for that, and try to engage in nonwork related activities together. We recently went to a superb Casino in the Philippines, a large facility with wonderful marble floors,and we spent one hour talking to the floor maintenance crew, watching their work and procedures, we even took some selfies with their equipment. Now that was a holiday.”
As for final words of advice, Leny says, “It helps to have clearly defined roles in the business and not cross over. Do not override the others decision, especially in public and in front of staff. See the bigger picture, you are building something from nothing, it will have teething problems and you cannot do it alone. Communicate; make joint decisions, right or wrong because when it’s wrong, you are both at fault, not one. And when it’s right, it’s so right and it feels twice as good.