Directors' Circle: Sharmin Messer, Clean Feeling

Mum, business owner, blogger – Sharmin Messer is one of those wonder women who always radiate positive energy and are just fun to be around! During the week, she is a Director at Clean Feeling – a domestic and commercial cleaning business run alongside her husband Paul. But on weekends, Sharmin and her friends tour around our countryside as The Hungry Travellers – finding the must-do experiences in our backyard and promoting the hard work of our local tourism operators.

Why did you decide to start your own business?
At 16 I started my first business in the UK with my boyfriend Paul (now husband), importing performance car parts from China and selling them on ebay. It was an immediate buzz! I was hooked and played around with a few small ventures between jobs. Fast forward 9 years and Clean Feeling was unintentionally born through necessity and frustration. After a huge first year of growth it became very apparent that there was a need for a professional service in the commercial sector and the decision was made to restructure into a company.

If you could start again, what’s something you would have done differently in your business?
It’s cliché but nothing really. I’ve made so many mistakes and in retrospect each one has taught a valuable lesson that has helped some of the better decisions in business and in life. If anything, taking strategic planning more seriously would definitely have been beneficial. Even just putting thoughts to paper and checking in with it to stay focused.

How do you think you’ve changed since running a business?
Starting off as part of a husband and wife team with no responsibilities, I had so much fun living and taking huge risks. Now with 20 team members, risks are much more calculated and thought through which generally has meant better decision making. I’m a glass half full gal and still see the best in everyone, but these days I have much less tolerance for time wasters! What hasn’t changed is my grit, determination and dreams to make big changes and get stuff done.

How do you create an awesome work environment, to attract and retain staff?
We start with a vision that others can get on board with and an in-depth recruitment process. We’re not just scrubbing and disinfecting, we’re giving clients a feeling of security and peace of mind, that can only come from a team who genuinely care. I always make sure to thank my crew, appreciation is one of the greatest motivators for all of us.

What are some strategies that you would recommend for making the best use of one’s time?
Do it if it feels good now or will add value to your future. Anything else is a waste of time. And make it easy for yourself to succeed; I tried to learn how to swim but realised I just hate swimming, so instead I focus on getting better at running, which I enjoy. It’s similar in business, don’t do it if you hate it, find a way to remove it, change the process or delegate it.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ha, everything at some point, I never had just one thing. From a vet to an actress and everything in between, but it always comes back to filming and presenting documentaries. Growing up with back to back David Attenborough probably didn’t help.

What is the best advice you have received recently, and still follow?
Just do the next thing.

Give a shout out to three local businesses.
Spannerman - We use these guys to service our vehicles. They’re changing the game and bringing a new level of service to the motor industry that’s so rare.
SST Mowing - After an accident last year that resulted in him losing a leg, Ron from SST Mowing not only recovered but came back to his business more dedicated than ever. Ron and his team are our go-to gardening crew.
Proactive Accounting Solutions - They do what the name says! With no financial background whatsoever, Andrew has been a lifesaver and the best person to turn to whenever we need help and advice.