The cleaning business started last year by a pair of University of Dallas freshmen is still operating, while its two co-founders keep coming up with different initiatives for the future of the business.
The entrepreneurs, sophomores Patricio Healy and Raphael Bernardo, began with a simple observation – the freshmen dorm rooms around them were messy.
“We saw what kind of service or product was missing or in which way we could improve the lifestyle of the students at UD,” Healy said. “After brainstorming and bouncing off ideas, we decided that there was a great need for cleaner dorms – the students just had very messy rooms.”
That insight led to the birth of the dorm cleaning service known as R&P Express Cleaning Service, which has been running for a little over a year.
Despite the obvious need for such a business, Healy acknowledged that running it has not always been easy. As he said, “It is difficult [to] begin something from zero.”
But the two sophomores have not given up. Instead, they have learned to shift their business model and to change their marketing strategy in response to successes and failures. For example, they began offering a freshman semester subscription plan at the beginning of this year: four cleanings per semester at $59 plus tax. The subscription base soon became their biggest source of revenue.
The co-founders have plans for expansion and improvement. For example, Healy said they are currently looking at the possibility of providing corporate cleaning services to businesses in Las Colinas and Irving.
Healy remarked that even though the UD community “has very low spending capacity, it’s a good thing to start here and then branch out.” He believes that untapped opportunities remain for other UD students.
He said “the opportunity cost of starting a business in college is so low that it’s worth putting in time to develop business initiatives.”
“Not only do you learn many things about business, but it can also lead to business opportunities outside of the UD community,” he added.