Before Gleem – Before Becoming an Entrepreneur
I graduated from the University of Leicester with a first class degree in BSc Economics. Ironically, I did so well because I was finally somewhere without pressure to perform, giving me a drive I’d never experienced before. This was very different to the Joe that had blagged his way through school – barely working – and who lucked his way into his first choice university even though I’d dropped 3 grades on the entry requirements (4 grades after I returned from my gap year).
In the final month before my exams I witnessed my friends performing a juggling act: revising for the most important exams of their lives AND applying for any and all graduate schemes that they could. I just didn’t know why! I knew l wasn’t ready for the world of work, so I focussed on doing well in the exams and fortunately it paid off.
Once I had my results, I jumped on a plane to New Zealand in time to watch the All Blacks winning the World Cup on home soil. I spent a year living in hostels and a van, working and travelling. I saw some beautiful things, learnt the value of a hard day’s work (vineyard labour) and about sales (turns out, I’m a pretty capable door to door milkman).
Once New Zealand was over, I was back in the UK but found myself with itchy feet. South America was my next calling and I spent the best part of a year teaching English, working in zoos and an animal refuge, as well as looking after orphans. It was an eye opener to life in less-developed countries – previously I had only seen places as a longterm tourist, and hadn’t given back to the less fortunate.
Like most, I have many travelling stories so please feel free to ask me if you’re interested: the monkey refuge in the Amazon basin, being held up at gun point in Bolivia, and 10 days trekking in Morocco with French people (I speak very little French!), are a few of my favourites.
Gleem and Its Links To Charity
As someone who’s long believed in the importance of charity, especially after time spent volunteering in Bolivia – one of the poorest nations in South America – I knew I wanted my company, Gleem to have philanthropic connections from the start. This began last year, when I decided Gleem would team up with ‘Frank Water’, a charity which ensures that safe drinking water reaches those in India unlucky enough not to be able to count it a basic right. I’m aware my company consumes a lot of this resource due to the industry in which it operates, but am also conscious that others are not so lucky to have ready access to clean sanitation. Therefore, I am extremely proud to say that 1% of profit made helps Frank under the ‘Gleem of Hope’ campaign.
Similar to Gleem, ‘Frank’ is local to Bristol, yet have managed to assist an incredible number of people an astonishing 5600 miles away: 250,000 individuals and counting! However, the charity strives to do more and reach the 784 million who still lack this lifeline – with their simple but effective ‘FreeFill’ initiative selling reusable bottles to help raise funds and further Frank’s cause overseas. With the growth of the company, I wanted to develop Gleem’s commitment to the campaign, so this Thursday, as part of the 1000th clean (*self-congratulatory pat on the back*) I went to donate some of Frank’s refillable water bottles to one lucky customer. In this way, I hope we can do our bit as a company: spreading the valuable message as to the importance of humble H20 and the conservation of other precious resources, like plastic. As Gleem continues its growth across the UK, it will remain resolute in its support of such worthwhile efforts – watch this space for future philanthropic plans!
If you have any other questions about Frank’s campaign, visit www.frankwater.co.uk, or alternatively chat to them on Twitter @frankwater
Alternatively, if you have any questions for us at Gleem, give us a ring at 0800-808-5544
The Beginning of Gleem
How I’ve started a cleaning company and what you need to know about starting a new cleaning company.
We are Gleem, and I am the founder Joseph Edwards. Gleem is a 2 years old cleaning company that is providing quality domestic and commercial cleaning services in Bristol and Bath.
It sounds simple, and when people hear the industry in which I decided to start my company in, it doesn’t sound particularly inspiring, but I promise it is much more interesting than it first seems!
We have focussed on growing ourselves utilising the internet and social media via Facebook and Twitter and have so far found mixed success in our efforts in terms of response rate, interactions and inevitably sales.
We have decided to do something different, and we are doing it in the form of posting weekly on this blog. We are going to talk about the difficulties and challenges a startup faces in its journey to becoming exceptional. We plan to share everything on our journey to £100,000 in monthly revenue.
In short, we at Gleem will learn a lot – and hope you will too!
We will try to be very transparent, give you insights about how we have started and what you should know before starting.
Please feel free to interact, comment on and share our posts with anyone you think may be interested in the startup story, small businesses, the aspirations of a young company, or just cleaning in general.
We would like to make clear that we won’t be using this blog as a sales opportunity: it is more a way of tracking our clarity in vision and product market fit.
We hope you enjoy the journey with us!
Joe & the Gleem Team