Beth, the owner of My Adelina Cleaning Services, migrated from the Philippines to Australia with her four children in 1995. Her first husband had passed away and Beth wanted to do the best for her children. “I brought my children to Australia for a good life and a better education,” Beth explained.
Beth first moved to Albury to be close to her sister.
As a non-smoker and in reasonable health, Beth had emergency coronary heart by-pass surgery in 1995 and discovered she had 80% blockage of her main artery.
In 1997 she moved to Canberra to provide better educational opportunities for her children and a larger community to interact with.
Even though Beth had a degree from the Philippines in teaching and midwifery, in a scenario all too common for migrants, she couldn’t find work.
“When I was still recovering from my heart surgery, I did a course at CIT in Business Office Administration,” Beth said.
The CIT suggested to Beth that if she did voluntary work, she might gain work through references.
Beth did voluntary work for the United Nations for over two years and then at the ACT Volunteering Centre. At the same time, she tried to look for a paid work related to her overseas qualifications.
The ACT Volunteering Centre placed Beth with the Motor Neuron Disease Association “They told me that if I worked there for three months they would pay me!” Beth laughed, “I worked with them, I think for six months, I did not receive my wages because they told me they can only pay the rent.”
The contact at Motor Neuron Disease Association was Tony Murdoch (now Beth’s husband).
Shortly after Beth started, Tony went overseas for a trip around Japan.
“When Tony left the organisation I didn’t have much to do so, in 1998, I enrolled at CIT and did a Business Office Administration Certificate 111 Course,” Beth stated.
Even though I was recuperating from my heart surgery, I was determined to look for a paid job in relation to my overseas qualifications, and because my Disability Pension was not enough to live on.
By 1999 Tony and Beth were a couple. A friend of Beth’s sister had moved to Canberra and was working in a hotel. Beth got a referral for an interview.
“The manager took me on and assigned me to someone to help me to become a ‘room attendant’ – I thought this was a ‘meeter and greeter’ – instead, I had experienced it was cleaning rooms, making beds, cleaning toilets and bathrooms with only 30 minutes to complete each room. It was indeed hard work,” Beth explained.
Beth worked at the Brassy Hotel and the Hotel Kurrajong.
After a while, Beth started cleaning homes through an agency.
“I got a few jobs as clients were asking for me directly through the owner of the business,” Beth said proudly.
Because Beth doesn’t drive Tony would drive and assist her.
“This is how Tony learned how to clean Tony and I both don’t like cleaning – but we found out later we are very good at it,” Beth mused.
“I thought I can do this by myself and earn more than $11 an hour.”
So in 2004 Tony put fliers on community notice boards in shopping centres stating: ‘Wanted: Houses and Offices to clean’.
“I started working for myself. I found it more relaxing with no pressure not working for someone else. I was happy because it helped me to supplement my Disability Pension and pay for my medical expenses.”
Beth decided to do a course in cleaning. The course convener said she didn’t need to do the course but that she should register her business.
As my husband advised, “I wrote down lots of business names I could think of on a piece of paper. Then, I decided to Google search these names but they were all taken. So, finally, I decided on ‘Adelina’, the name of a suburb where I used to live in the Philippines.
“Unfortunately, ‘Adelina’ was already taken by a winery in Margaret River, so they settled on ‘My Adelina Cleaning Services’.”
Beth registered ‘My Adelina Cleaning Services’ in 2009 as a sole trader. In 2011 they became a partnership.
In 2010 Beth and Tony took on some staff when they went to the Philippines for four months when Beth’s mother passed away.
Beth says that many of her clients are very loyal.
“We have many clients that have been with us before we registered the business,” Beth stated.
My Adelina Cleaning Services provides a range of services, including cleaning: offices, end of lease properties and private homes.
“We are very good at cleaning. If you invite us to your premises, we can determine it’s condition and the level of cleaning required. We do a comprehensive honest assessment of each premises,” Beth explained.
My Adelina Cleaning Services use vinegar, bicarb soda, essential oils and microfiber cloths and mops for cleaning their client’s premises.
“We clean thoroughly because we are concerned about our clients’ health, their cleaning needs and the joy of coming home to a fresh and clean environment. Cleaning with natural products assist in reducing allergies,” Beth said.
Beth says every residence has a different level of cleaning required and this is why we quote by the job not the hour. We like to build long term relationships with our customers. “We emphasise and encourage open communication, because communication can make or break the relationship between a cleaner and client,” Beth outlined.
“Our objective is to clean for people so they have the time to spend on things they like to do and with the people they love.”
Beth and Tony are intent on growing their cleaning business and expanding to the South side of Canberra if they have enough staff. “Also, one day we can pass the business to one of the members of the family,” Beth said.
Beth is grateful for the support she received from Lighthouse Business innovation Centre when she started the business and was rewarded for her hard work when My Adelina Cleaning Services were a finalist in the Clean and Green Category in the ACT Canberra Business Point Awards in 2011.
Beth and Tony would also like to thank their clients, staff and the community for their cleaning referrals.
So what is My Adelina Cleaning Services’ secret for success?
“I think the secret to success is being trustworthy, reliable, thorough, following client’s instructions, having open communication and exceeding client’s expectations.
“Our clients end up saving money and having the freedom to spend more time with family or doing the things they enjoy,” Beth concluded.