Apr 24, 2024 | Leadership | 0 comments

Alejandro Saucedo’s Success Through Grit and Grace

Leadership | 0 comments

Deb Ammerman - Small Business Showcase Magazine

Eleni Owens

Alejandro Saucedo’s Success Through Grit and Grace

Q: Alejandro, could you share what inspired you to start Indiana’s Elite Cleaning?

A: I’m a third-generation professional cleaner, and my greatest inspiration has been my grandparents.  They were originally migrant field workers, but they were offered the opportunity to leave the harsh conditions of that world through janitorial work. They showed me that cleaning could create a better life and that it could be a serious career. I even dressed as a janitor for career day in kindergarten. Their legacy inspired me to follow in their footsteps and create Indiana’s Elite Cleaning. I saw a gap in the industry for a one-stop cleaning solution, and I knew that I could innovate the industry to fill that gap.

Q: What is it that makes your company so innovative?

A: For starters, we’ve removed the need to work with multiple vendors to achieve full-scale cleaning, but it’s much more than that.  We’re a Certified Minority Business Enterprise which puts us in the unique position to be able to work with larger corporations as a diversity supplier. Beyond that, we aim to lift the Latino community and other minority communities along with us. We can accomplish this by subcontracting work to minority businesses. Our partnerships with companies like C Garcia and Associates, Minnis Consulting, and Fozo Construction have been key because they share our goals to foster economic growth and support for minority businesses.  Together, we can make a serious impact.

Q: Can you talk about some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them?

A: One of the biggest challenges was reaching our target audience as a new company. We’ve only recently completed a full year in business, so we aren’t well-known in the industry yet. Fortunately, we were able to overcome this by consistently delivering exceptional service and building strong, authentic relationships with our clients and partners who support us and appreciate the value we bring. Additionally, obtaining working capital is difficult for any new business because banks want to see you make it past your second year before they help provide that capital.  We were able to overcome that hurdle through the City of South Bend’s revolving loan fund.  We’ve been offered the opportunity to submit a proposal to the Indiana Toll Road to clean their travel plazas.  This would be a major project for us, and it would create economic growth for our region, without the funding through the City of South Bend, we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

Q: Have you had any major turning points in your business?

A: I feel like I’ve had nothing but turning points so far. I started Indiana’s Elite Cleaning in October 2022, and we landed our first major commercial contract within four days.  This was made possible through partnerships with the University of Notre Dame’s Innovation Lab who helped define and develop our business strategy and NIMBA who’ve been instrumental in helping us obtain major contracts. We obtained a grant through the City of South Bend’s Minority Business Development Council in January 2023 which helped us purchase our fleet and all the equipment we needed to become what we are today. I was asked to put a proposal together for the Indiana Toll Road ten months into business and I’ve had a tremendous amount of support in making that happen. My success is proof of the tremendous amount of support for minority businesses in our region.

Q: How do you see your business impacting the community and future entrepreneurs?

A: Our goal is to be more than a service provider; we want to be a force for positive change. By partnering with local organizations and businesses, we’re contributing to the local economy and helping pave the way for future minority entrepreneurs. I hope to mentor and inspire others to see that with faith and hard work, it’s possible to overcome any obstacle.

Q: Looking forward, what are your goals for Indiana’s Elite Cleaning?

A: Beyond expanding our services, I aim to deepen our community impact. This means not just offering jobs but also creating pathways for others to grow and succeed. I want to help demystify the process of bidding on large contracts and encourage other minority entrepreneurs to aim high.

Q: Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those from minority backgrounds?

A: In all honesty, being an entrepreneur is not for the weak. To succeed, you must hold onto your faith, be resilient, and never underestimate the power of community support. Opportunity is available to us all, but we have to have the strength to go after it. It’s about believing in your vision and being willing to work tirelessly for it.

A Legacy of Grit and Community Impact

Hearing Alejandro Saucedo’s story unfold has been truly inspiring. His dedication to transforming both the cleaning industry and his community shines brightly. Indiana’s Elite Cleaning is a testament to Alejandro’s hard work and vision and gives hope to aspiring entrepreneurs. For those interested in the services of Indiana’s Elite Cleaning, I encourage you to explore their offerings at www.indianaselitecleaning.com.  

Written by Eleni Owens | Photos by Gary Riggs Photography

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