Spring is on its way and what better way to bring in the season with a good house cleaning haul! Now is the time more than ever to support black businesses, and keeping the wealth within the community. Over the past few weeks, I’ve got a chance to sit down with this young man to hear about his passion for entrepreneurship, and how he plans on helping the City of Brotherly Love through mentorship and community enhancement.
Not only has he created a vision for himself, but he has also created a lane to help those who truly need it the most. Without further a due, here is what Jonathan Williams of Chestnut Hill Cleaning Company had to say.
Tell us your name, where are you from and what do you currently do for a living?
J.W: My name is Jonathan Williams. I’m from Philadelphia and currently, I do commercial cleaning and run an after-school program for kids from as young as 6-13 teaching them how they can use the skills that they have already to start and run their own businesses.
Are you happy with your current job title, could you do your job for the rest of your life without getting bored? If not, what would you’d rather be doing?
J.W: Honestly, I love my job and I could do it for the rest of my life I would just continue to expand on both businesses. If I wasn’t doing this I’d rather be traveling the world or riding my dirt bikes and relaxing with family and friends.
How did you become involved with Chestnut Hill Cleaning?
J.W: I would say I officially started my business when I was 16 handing out business cards on Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill telling people that I do house cleaning, but even before that whenever it would snow I would shovel in the area and give people my number and we would get calls back so that’s what prompted me to get business cards and start doing house cleaning.
How does your company differ from other cleaning companies in the area?
J.W: I don’t want to be wrong but I believe I’m the youngest person in this area with a cleaning company and also everyone on my staff is also young and we keep completive pricing as a part of our business strategy. There are some other things but I can’t tell you everything because then they’ll be on to us.
How would your service or product benefit your customers or people around you?
J.W: Our slogan is let us bring peace and tranquility to your life and that’s exactly what we do for our customers. Even our recommendations repeat that idea people always say that we help them out when they really need it and do a great job.
What is one of the first things you do when you wake up in the morning? What is the last?
J.W: The first thing I do when I wake up check emails, read CNN and get ready for the day I don’t waste any time getting the day started. I’m usually exhausted by the time I get in but every night I make it an objective to read at least an article a day and this is something I’ve been doing since high school. I like to read Forbes and CNN, and after doing it for so long now it’s like second nature and whenever I get bored in the day I’m reading. I hate reading books though it’s weird.
Who depends on you?
J.W: I wouldn’t say anyone depends on me but my employees definitely look forward to payday.
Whom do you depend on?
J.W: I depend on a group of people I have a person for just about everything and I appreciate them all without them I couldn’t go anywhere but if I had to pick a few people I’d say my mentor to business James Mitchell who is a vegan chef who took me under his wing and taught me business while I worked in his restaurant.
J.W: Also Dante, Nina, and Noah I won’t explain everyone’s role but just know if I’m there they’re nearby helping out. Finally but most importantly my mom she is always there for me whenever and is my biggest inspiration.
I know we talked briefly about an afterschool program that you help organize? Tell us more about it. Where is it located, and how do you all plan to help the youth this year?
J.W: I started the program about a year ago to teach kids business. As a kid I always was interested in making money and always tried to find ways not having someone to show me how was always a big problem so I figured there is someone else out there that might be in that same situation or be inspired to want to learn more about business after seeing someone else do it. We use sports and activities and tie them into how business works.
J.W: We have a program located at the Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center at 22nd and Lehigh with our eyes set on getting more locations throughout the city. In the coming year, I’m hoping to have more guest speakers at our programs and open the horizons of all our student’s whether in business or just on life views.
What advice would you give to others who may be interested in doing your line of work, whether it be starting a community program, or starting their own company?
J.W: I would tell them to jump and don’t be afraid to fall even if you fall you still jumped and no one can take that away from you. By that I mean just try and give it your all and things will fall into place and if they don’t you have nothing to be embarrassed about. Also never be afraid to switch your game plan it won’t go how you think it will ever.
What kinds of problems do you face on a day to day basis regarding your business/program? How do you normally handle the problems that come your way?
J.W: I have general problems that I think all small business owners have, finding employees, keeping up with paperwork after a long day at work and just keeping track of a busy schedule. I try to stay calm I have a tendency to get anxious because I like perfection but I have to remind myself no one is perfect.
What practices or routines do you do daily to keep you up in spirits?
J.W: I love to ride dirt bikes it takes everything off of my mind people know I’m not answering the phone when I’m riding. It just takes so much focus and knowing the high risk the only thing you afford to think about is the bike and if you don’t you will be reminded of the bike or the ground.
Any advice you would give your younger self?
J.W: Stop getting so frustrated stay focused everything is coming to you that your working for
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
J.W: It means the literal definition risk taker. I’m ready for the risk who’s next.
For cleaning inquires and business opportunities, you can follow Jonathan on Facebook!