Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

[Interview] Cindy Dayman, Founder of Take Time Home Cleaning & Lifestyle Services

Cindy Dayman is the founder and owner of Take Time Home Cleaning & Lifestyle Services, a multiple award winning, full-service Winnipeg cleaning company established in 2009. With a team of over 40 employees, Take Time Home Cleaning happens to be the largest residential full service cleaning company in Winnipeg, and a company well known for providing an excellent employment opportunity for staff.  Whether cleaning staff or administrative staff, employees at Take Time Home Cleaning earn competitive wages. Employees start at $17 per hour and go up to $23 per hour plus benefits. Take Time Home Cleaning employees also receive full benefits.

In addition to home cleaning, Take Time Home Cleaning offers other services, such as window cleaning, carpet and upholstery cleaning, real estate cleaning, property maintenance, and handyman services.  Experienced in commercial cleaning services as well, the company’s client roster includes the Winnipeg Goldeyes, Maple Leaf Foods, Kiewit Infrastructure, Energy 106 and Hot 101, among others.

In January this year, Take Time Home Cleaning won the Top Choice Award for Top Cleaning Company in Winnipeg and surrounding areas for the third year in a row.  Certainly, Cindy Dayman, the company’s founder, appreciates this accolade, but says the recognition is especially meaningful because it is authentic and comes directly from clients.  Clients vote for the company because they sincerely mean it and are in no way coerced by the offer of a free or discounted clean.

In speaking with Cindy, she noted that many people struggle with finding the time for cleaning. Hiring a cleaning service removes that burden and frees up time for people to spend with family and friends and doing what they want to do. If you’re one of those people, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaning service. Of course, in a city the size of Winnipeg, there are several options.

Cindy points out that a simple Google search won’t always produce the best results. She suggests scheduling an estimate. She also suggests those interested in a cleaning service go directly to cleaning companies’ websites and find out the answer to a couple of key questions, such as are the cleaners employees or independent contractors? She believes that it’s important that a house cleaner is an employee, as they will be held accountable if something goes wrong. She also suggests asking if the cleaners are bonded and insured and are staff covered by Worker’s Compensation in case the cleaner gets injured in your home. All of these concerns are covered with Take Time Home Cleaning.

We spoke to Cindy Dayman about her company and approach to running a business.

First off, why did you want to establish your own cleaning company? As an entrepreneur, what was the original inspiration?

Cindy Dayman, Take Time Home Cleaning: I like work and accomplishment.  I retired from a very demanding career. But I knew that I wanted to have a project following retirement.  I also wanted something that would be creative and that I could grow.  

Also, as a mother of four and a grandmother of two, I know how hard it is for families to get everything done. And cleaning is a hard one because it’s time consuming and not many people WANT to do it. People are tired on the weekend; they want to be relaxing, spending time with their family, and recharging their batteries.

Why do you think Take Time Home Cleaning has been so successful in Winnipeg? Are there any particular qualities that stand out in your mind

Cindy Dayman, Take Time Home Cleaning: I think we’ve been successful because our whole philosophy is to put the customer first. As soon as you start focusing on the money, instead of the person, things don’t work out. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

This is a very people-oriented service. You’re there to help them improve the quality of their life. That’s your purpose. So, you must be able to customize the service for each client. If you’re more focused on the money, then you are not going to be able to provide a customized service. I think people could see that we were serious about providing a quality, reasonably priced, customized and hassle-free service because our operations demonstrated that.

Functionality is also very important. We were very organized. We had great marketing materials and we followed through with our promises. Many companies now book jobs over the phone (and we also do on rare occasions). This is almost always an example of “making it about the money instead of the person”.  Booking this way is easier and less expensive for the business. It is a cost saving measure for the business but it is not best for the client or the cleaner.

There are so many unknown factors when you book over the phone. The potential for problems to occur is much higher such as: time estimated inaccurately, cleaning details missed, concerns about pets, just to name a few. We focus on hassle-free service. So again, it’s about the client not the money. We’ve always wanted to meet the client in person, discuss our service offerings, do a walk-thru and customize their service. This works out better for everyone: client, cleaning staff, business.

For those new to the city, how do people choose a reputable house cleaning service?

Cindy Dayman, Take Time Home Cleaning: First do a Google search. So, as soon as you type in “house cleaning winnipeg” or “residential cleaning services winnipeg”, it will come up with a list of cleaning services.

The thing is that you only get a part of the picture when you’re viewing the Google reviews of a particular service. So another avenue to explore is to simply call prospective companies up and ask them specific questions and determine if they are reputable based on their responses.

But, I think the most important thing is to book an estimate. This is the very best way to determine the best company for your needs.

As a business person and someone who has led Take Time Home Cleaning for almost a decade, do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business?

Cindy Dayman, Take Time Home Cleaning: Yes, do a lot of research. Number one, do your research because entrepreneurs may think they’ve got a great idea and go to the expense and the work of getting it set-up. But, if there aren’t people who want to buy your goods or services, that would be a huge waste of time and money.

So, research thoroughly, survey people who don’t know you because your friends and family are likely to tell you what they think you want to hear.

I’m also very big on visualizing and walking yourself through a potential endeavor. People might have a good idea and there might be a demand for your service, but it’s just too much, too overwhelming for you to deliver. You would then want to reconfigure your idea to make it more doable.

What’s your approach to the work-life balance equation? How do you make time to relax when you are busy running the company?

Cindy Dayman, Take Time Home Cleaning: My family of course is my main motivation, but I have always loved to work and accomplish things. That is my enjoyment in life. I retired from a very demanding career but I always knew I would go on to start a project that I could grow and be creative with. It is very satisfying to know that what I started is making a difference in the quality of my client’s lives. I am also very proud of the fact that I can offer a superior employment opportunity to my staff.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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