In 2014, Iris Bertino, a single mother with three children, was fired after returning to work after a brain surgery. In the face of rising financial hardship, Bertino decided that keeping the family afloat meant taking advantage of one of her strong suits, cleaning. Not only did she like to keep things tidy, she was also interested in cleaning formulations since the 1980s when she worked as a quality control inspector for pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies.
That’s why Bertino launched Abra Cadabra Long Island Home and Office Cleaning because of her skill set and her corporate experience, including working at Cohens Optical as a turnaround consultant for poorly performing stores.
Since then, 53-year-old Bertino has stopped scrubbing the client’s kitchen floor. Instead, she manages cleaning work using three contract workers and, if necessary, manages the other 12 to 24 people seeking one-off sporadic work. She has teamed up with other cleaning companies to do large-scale commercial and government work.
Prior to the pandemic, Abracadabra’s client roster contained approximately 20 residential and corporate clients weekly, monthly, or biweekly, and 100 one-off gigs throughout the year. As a result, the company recorded annual revenue of over $ 250,000.
In 2017, Bertino incorporated her business as Abracadabra LI Cleaning, and 18 months ago, the company serving central Nassau and the East End now has Miller Place headquarters (2 desks, 300 square feet of space). ) Has moved. Previously, Bertino’s car doubled as her office.
Newsday told Bertino about the impact of the pandemic on her business. The conversation has been edited for clarity and length.
How did the pandemic affect your activities?
It has fallen sharply since March, and with its second closure in October, the business is now one-quarter. I had contracts to clean the subway with 8 to 24 cities and government buildings in Nassau, but the government’s money was exhausted. On the residential side, we still have 10 stable clients with us, and we do 100-200 one-time jobs throughout the year, including deep cleaning, maintenance and disinfection.
How do you protect workers and clients from infection with each other?
Everyone wears a mask, and when you’re at home with your family, when you’re downstairs, your family goes upstairs, and vice versa, so you can go out without seeing anyone. So we do not contaminate each other. The client provides us with mops, vacuum cleaners and brooms.
Are there any other special steps?
Our workers spray paper uniforms with smart touch disinfectants and remove and destroy the uniforms as soon as they’re done. Gloves, masks and goggles are provided and are constantly changed. Workers measure body temperature and use an oximeter because low oxygen levels may be the first sign of coronavirus. You will also have a COVID test every two weeks.
How do you charge it?
For housing, I rate my work in three ways. Hourly, square feet, or flat rate, dollars based on regular chores, occasional work, and scale of work. The customer chooses a payment method. For commercials, I follow standard rates. This depends on the type of building, risk, construction or maintenance, but starts at 10 cents per square foot.
What does Abra Kadabra not clean?
It’s unrealistic that people want us to clean up after pets such as floor urine and debris that need to be dealt with by homeowners and dog walkers. These are the body fluids of pets and it is not known if the pet is vaccinated. Workers may also be allergic to pet hair. It also does not clean the fireplace, which is best left to a chimney sweep because of dirt, dirt and toxicity.
What do you like most about the cleaning business?
It helps keep people healthy and reduce family conflicts regarding various household chores.
What is the origin of your company’s name?
I wanted Magic, the name of the dog that died, but I was always happy if he made me happy. But I didn’t want to confuse my company with entertainment services.
Yes, disinfect, but this cleaning service also promotes family harmony
Source link Yes, disinfect, but this cleaning service also promotes family harmony