Then starting Texas Home Help Services LLC a year and a half ago, Ingrid Klein’s goal was to get 100 clients in the first year.
With her business, Ms. Klein, 28, provides everything from house cleaning and lawn and garden care, pet and house sitting, to helping people pack and organize their things, doing laundry, grocery shopping, assisting with garage sales, helping with weddings and other events, providing elderly companionship, cooking and seasonal tasks, such as wrapping Christmas presents, hanging lights or raking leaves.
Texas Home Help Services now offers corporate accounts for help with rental properties, home builders and other businesses, she said.
After losing a job because she declined to relocate to Florida, she spent months substitute teaching during the days, waitressing at night and being a nanny on the weekends. After looking for work for more than a year, Ms. Klein was often told she was overqualified for the full-time positions she sought. So she decided to create work for herself and came up with the idea for Texas Home Help Services.
Ms. Klein met with SCORE representatives in April 2011, a month before launching her business, for help.
The East Texas Chapter of SCORE is part of a national nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of the small businesses, according to information from www.easttexassmallbusinesscounseling.com.
SCORE volunteers gave her marketing and other ideas and have since helped her launch the second location in Nashville on Feb. 1, which has grown to 45 clients and 25 contract workers, she said. Nashville Home Health Services LLC, is owned by a franchisee and Ms. Klein gets a percentage of client memberships. The same will happen when Oklahoma Home Help Services LLC launches Monday.
“They’re telling my story,” Ms. Klein said.
They are independent contract workers whose hours depend on the clients.
Residential members pay $25 a month while corporate pays a $35 monthly fee, plus $10 an hour for the work they need done. An individual pays $50 for a one-month membership, while corporate pays $75 for one month’s help.
Ms. Klein said she could never have imagined her business growing so much in such a short time.
“I never imagined franchising,” she said. “I never imagined being so involved.”
She has joined Leadership Tyler, the Tyler Executive Women Network, the Better Business Bureau Incubator Program, and has visited several chapters of the Business Network International and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce events.
She said receiving the Client of the Year award from the East Texas SCORE Chapter was a surprise. “It’s a huge honor. My parents are coming in from Canada for it,” she said Monday, adding that it is a huge deal for her, considering how much her parents sacrificed to help her get to where she is today.
Ms. Klein led a mission trip last summer with 37 teenagers to Santiago, Chile. She said since hers is a phone-based business, clients may not know she is standing on a mountain in Chile while setting up someone to come mow their yard.
“I don’t see a reason why this wouldn’t be a good company in any location,” Ms. Klein said of her business. “I’d like to see a franchise in all major cities and Canada.”
For more information, visit www.texashhs.com. Ms. Klein can be contacted at 903-883-6444 or email email@example.com.
If you know of a professional woman or business service in Tyler you think should be highlighted in this column, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 903-596-6289.