Simone Tsigolis ventured into the world of high-wealth executives with a vision – to create Jetlag Remedy, a luxury cleaning brand.
The name ” Jetlag” encapsulates the promise of offering pristine homes to returning executives. The path wasn’t without obstacles, especially when COVID-19 disrupted plans. Still, Simone’s unwavering dedication, influenced by her successful mother, persisted in her quest to craft harmonious living spaces and deliver exceptional 5-star customer service.
In the past three years, Jetlag Remedy’s ascent has been nothing short of remarkable. Simone’s aspirations extend far beyond financial success; she’s on a mission to grant time-starved high-wealth executives and busy families the gift of freedom. Recognizing a market void, she introduced a specialized ‘return from travel’ service, providing everything from gourmet meals to meticulous cleaning and laundry management. With a devoted team of over 45 professionals, Jetlag Remedy now extends its services across the East Coast of Australia, covering NSW, ACT, and Queensland, with expansion blueprints underway. Their acclaim is underscored by being named finalists at esteemed events like the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards and the Northern Beaches Local Business Awards.
Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey’s early days, Simone recalls her recognition of a niche in the market. She identified a demand for personalized cleaning and housekeeping services designed to accommodate the busy lives of parents, much like her own. She envisioned Jetlag Remedy as a means to offer mental freedom to time-pressed Australians, spanning from high-wealth executives to families.
“I identified a gap in the market for bespoke cleaning/housekeeping that could fit around my schedule as a mum to two children.” Initially tailored as a bespoke service for travelers, it encompassed cleaning, meal preparation, and laundry management. Yet, when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the landscape, the company adapted by placing greater emphasis on traditional cleaning services.
“Originally established as a bespoke service for travelers, our company pivoted during the COVID pandemic to meet the growing demand for quality, traditional cleaning services.”
Simone and her team’s hallmark is their unwavering dedication to meticulousness, proactivity, and effective communication. They pride themselves on addressing the often-overlooked details that make a significant difference.. “We are thorough, show initiative and good communication and strive to do the little things that would often be overlooked by others. Our comprehensive cleaning process is built on a foundation of attention to detail. Our dedicated cleaning teams have consistently transformed even the most cluttered spaces into immaculate homes, as highlighted by before-and-after photos that showcase our meticulous approach. Moreover, our clients often praise us.
Simone and her team’s success can be attributed to several key factors. First and foremost, their shared passion for their work sets the foundation. Whether it’s cleaning, space transformation, or interior design, they all share a genuine love for what they do. “We provide an onboarding process that includes our online learning academy which is video based with relevant translations. This helps those whose English is not their first language. Our onsite training and quality checks are crucial to our success. We have a dedicated admin team to support our onsite team all day and outside of business hours. We pay well above industry standard as we believe the work, we are doing is quite transformative and like to ensure everyone is working from a place of happiness (i.e. not working just for the money).”
Simone and her team have surmounted several pivotal challenges. They recognized the significance of effective staff recruitment and revised their processes to ensure that only the best candidates made the cut.
- Recruitment of staff: This was particularly a challenge when borders closed in 2020-2021. Staffing is the backbone of most companies. We realised that we needed to put more effort into our recruitment from day one. Establishing proper processes such as Zoom interviews, reference checks, police checks etc. ensured that only the best would make the cut. We pay our team well above the industry average because we believe that it is physically taxing on the body – happy staff means happy clients!
- The cleaning industry is overly saturated with new/short-lived businesses: We all know that every home wants the same housekeeper for years and to build rapport with their cleaner. Sadly, in this industry, turnover is higher than others which is why we work with our clients to ensure booking notes are thorough and detailed so that the next person who takes over the house knows exactly what the previous housekeeper was doing.
- Payment Solutions: Late payers can kill any business and at one stage we had over $30,000.00 in outstanding’s at any one time. I decided to implement a new payment method and convert all our existing and new clients onto a direct debit payment method whereby payments were taken day of service. This means that it has freed up a lot of my team’s time in chasing late and overdue payments. We acknowledged introducing established clients to new processes can be more challenging than onboarding new clients with the new terms and conditions from the outset, with 5% of clients choosing not to store payment methods on file. Despite this, we firmly believe this was a necessary step to ensure business success overall.
Essential tips for women starting their own businesses
As a successful entrepreneur, Simone imparts invaluable advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs:
- Believe in yourself: Confidence is the foundation of entrepreneurship. Believe in your abilities and your vision. Recognise that you have the skills and determination to make your business a success.
- Identify Your Passion: Start a business in an industry or field that you’re genuinely passionate about. This passion will sustain you through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship – even if this means you pivot 360, just start somewhere!
- Build a Strong Support System: Surround yourself with mentors, advisors, and a network of like-minded individuals. Seek guidance and support from those who have experience in business, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I would not be where I am today if I didn’t have a business coach and an amazing financial adviser.
- Adaptability is Key: The business landscape is constantly evolving. Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances, pivot when necessary, and seize opportunities as they arise.
- Balance Work and Life: I must admit, I am still trying to find the balance – it’s easy to become consumed by your business. Remember to maintain a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout and maintain your overall well-being. I know now that every six months I need to take myself away to recoup and recharge the batteries.
- Outsource: Surrender the white flag and accept that we simply cannot do it all. Hiring a cleaner or a nanny or ordering a dinner box to help alleviate the mental load really helps. As women, we tend to overcommit to everything which leads to burnout. Everyone knows we can show up as better people if our own cup is full.
“Entrepreneurship is filled with challenges. Being resilient and learning to bounce back from setbacks is crucial. Stay true to your vision, be open to learning, and have the confidence to pursue your dreams. Your journey will be uniquely yours, and your determination will be your greatest asset.”