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VOL. 123 | NO. 175 | Monday, September 8, 2008

Entrepreneurial Spirit Leads Williams To Create Cleaning Business

By Rosalind Guy

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READY TO IMPRESS: Catrina Williams last year started StepN2Mpress, a residential and commercial cleaning company. -- PHOTO COURTESTY OF CATRINA WILLIAMS
StepN2Mpress
Founder: Catrina Williams
Opened: September 2007
Phone: 251-8582
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, always wanted to work for myself, even when I was working for other people.”
– Catrina Williams
Founder, StepN2Mpress

By the time she was 24, Catrina Williams knew she did not want to work for someone else.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, always wanted to work for myself, even when I was working for other people,” she said. “As I got older, I became more and more motivated. And by starting young, I can make sure that in the future I will be able to provide jobs for family, friends and others.”

After several conversations with a friend, Williams decided the best type of business to start would be a residential and commercial cleaning company. She started StepN2Mpress last September.

Road to success

Once Williams decided she wanted to open the cleaning business, she applied for and received a business license. After obtaining the license, she began advertising her services by passing out flyers and making cold calls to businesses.

Through StepN2Mpress, Williams offers residential cleaning, maid services, move-in/-out cleaning, office cleaning and apartment cleaning.

Williams said all her efforts have begun to pay off.

One of the first businesses to call after seeing her flyers, Home Health Care of West Tennessee, recently renewed its contract with her.

“I started off with a small office building,” she said. “And now they have renewed my contract to clean the 10,000-square-foot office building.”

Shortly after obtaining her license, Williams approached management at a few East Memphis apartment complexes and offered her services.

She offered a first-time free cleaning, and eventually landed a contract with the Emerald Point Apartments off Hickory Hill Road.

Williams prepares vacant apartments for new tenants.

When Williams was trying to come up with a name for her business, she said she was looking for something unique, something that would make her business stand out.

That has proven to be a smart move on her part, because she said “it’s very hard to get business. It’s a very hard market with a lot of competition.”

Tough road

As a cancer survivor, Williams attributes her can-do attitude to those experiences that reminded her of the tenuousness of life.

Before her second birthday, doctors at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital had discovered Williams had a germ cell tumor growing in her lower abdomen.

She underwent surgery to remove the tumor and spent nearly a year undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

But even after the chemotherapy treatments, Williams said she was required to see doctors regularly because having the tumor had made her more susceptible to getting another form of cancer. She also said she experienced some setbacks up until the age of 18, which kept her going to the doctor.

She said she’s been cancer-free since the age of 18.

Though Williams said she’d like to bring in more employees down the line, right now it’s just her working at the business.

Word of mouth and a promise to go above and beyond for clients has helped Williams steadily gain new clients.

Eventually, she said, she hopes to gain enough clients to “become a big corporation that offers many different services and products.”

“I’m taking it one step and one day at a time,” Williams said. “I hope that my humbleness and patience will pay off in the long run.”

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