Crewcare franchisee divides time between commercial cleaning and lawn mowing

Pradeepa from Crewcare Pradeepa from Crewcare
Pradeepa from Crewcare

Q&A with Crewcare Franchisee Pradeepa Gunarathne

We sat down with franchisee Pradeepa Gunarathne, who was originally from Sri Lanka, to learn how he divides his time between his Crewcare commercial cleaning business and his Crewcut lawn and garden business.

What made you decide to join Crewcare?

Not long ago I started working for a different window cleaning company. At some point, I wanted to start generating my own income. All the expenses I had for that window cleaning job didn’t pay off, so I had to look for other ways to generate extra income, so that’s the reason why I started a Crewcare franchise.

Why did you choose Crewcare over another cleaning company?

I just came to New Zealand and I started a Crewcut franchise. I do gardening and lawn mowing as well. I did more research and went to a few places, talked with people, and finally decided to go with Crewcare to start a cleaning business. I just had a good feeling about it. Cleaning is the same everywhere, but management of a cleaning business isn’t the same in all places. The professionalism in the head office stood out the most for me, especially dealing with supervisors like David, Hana, Susan.

When did you start running your business? Is it your main job?

I’d say, like, a year and a half ago. Now I’m working in here three days a week and Crewcut is my other thing. I wouldn’t say Crewcare is just my supplementary or side job. They’re actually both equal. I do about the same hours but recently I’ve been doing a little more hours here.

Where are most of your Crewcare clients located? What types of businesses do you mainly look after?

It’s all in the main city if we’re talking about income. But for the number of sites, they’re mostly in Nelson Street, so definitely Central Auckland. I have other sites in Onehunga, East Tamaki. I moved to Browns Bay recently; before that, I was based in Mount Wellington. So I’m already asking one of the supervisors to maybe change a site for me because the travel is becoming more difficult. Regarding the types of businesses, I do gyms and office spaces mostly.

Do you use eco-friendly or organic cleaning products?

I think all the ones Crewcare provides are at least eco-friendly or environmentally friendly. Clients don’t ask eco-friendly or organic products but they probably know the products we use before they signed a contract with us.

What are the benefits of a Crewcare franchise?

For now, I am really after the flexible hours. Sometimes, I go in early in the morning and sometimes I’ll do it at night or during the weekends. Actually, it depends on the roster, but for the most part, it’s flexible.

What do you think your sort of best skill in the business is?

The main thing is honesty because the job requires it. Another one is time management, otherwise, you won’t be getting the sites you want.

Do you have anyone who helps you?

Not actually, but last Christmas time, I did some window cleaning and it was a big one so one of my friends helped me. In the future, I might tap someone to help me. And that’s in my business plan — to grow the business some more and get more sites. I maybe need to hand over some sites and maybe that one site that eats up my time because it’s too far.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My hobbies these days? I spend a lot of my time with my son. I got a little boy, three years old. That’s been keeping me busy. That’s my hobby these days.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt since joining Crewcare?

Actually, before I joined, I don’t have any methodical cleaning knowledge. So I learned a lot from Hana and David. And actually that’s good for my experience as well. So yeah, the biggest learning is on the training and the operational side of things.

If you were talking to a friend or someone that was interested but has never done this job before, what advice would you give them when they come into this kind of business?

My main advice is that you need to be smart and hardworking. And have a lot of commitment, because we can’t go on sick leaves and we can’t have sick days, so not a lot of days off. We have to clean no matter what happens — the weather, our personal problems, vacation — we sacrifice a lot.

Do you have any other things you want to add?

I’m really happy about the staff and the help they provide in Crewcare. I’m really happy about the operational stuff.