After 15 years in pharmaceutical sales, Pat Claybrook decided it was time to execute on the dream of owning her own business, which she’d had since coming to the US from Trinidad as a child. But she had not yet decided what that dream would look like.
“Then came a flood of colleagues complaining about the shortcomings of their office cleaning staff,” says Pat, who finally started a cleaning business in 2005. “I kept hearing about the need for better commercial cleaners so I bought the best equipment. I did my homework. I went online, connected with the New Jersey Small Business Development Center and got free counseling, and then I started Jidan Cleaning.”
Pat dedicated her free time to Jidan, but in 2010 after five years in business, she had secured enough guidance and revenue to enable her to commit full-time to making her own entrepreneurial vision a success. Jidan Cleaning provides full-service commercial cleaning for offices and other businesses within the Northeastern tri-state area of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
In the last three years, Jidan Cleaning has grown to over 48 employees, bringing in well over $1 million in annual revenue. But the last few years haven’t been pain-free.
“I always used my own money until about a year ago,” said Pat. “We’re paid net-30 but you know, that doesn’t always mean the payments roll in on time.”
And as Jidan Cleaning grew, its sales contracts grew larger, requiring more cleaning products and a larger staff to provide service. Pat had a hard time bridging the time between payroll and when payments came in from customers. Pat’s multi-year annual contracts made it so she could virtually guarantee revenue to the banks, but she found it difficult to get a good loan.
“At one point we had nine buildings in nine different town that needed cleaning, and I had to have people in the pipeline ready to work. So I got a couple of loans with OnDeck, then another with Quick Bridge Funding. I was using them for small loans of $10,000-25,000.”
Pat’s accountant told her the small loans that demanded big and fast returns were not going to help her succeed, and that she needed a line of credit to sustain her projected growth. But two banks said no.
“One bank offered $50,000, but I saw that as only a bandaid. I was past the point of needing a loan that would just get me through the day.”
Pat got in touch with Lendio, which acts as a matchmaking service between small businesses and lenders. Lendio helps businesses find the type of loan best suited for them and quickly referred Pat to Dealstruck.
“One of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners is finding the capital they need to grow and thrive,” said Lendio founder and CEO Brock Blake. Lendio takes pride in helping companies like Jidan Cleaning grow. “DealStruck has a great loan product and is a strong loan option for our business owners. Our relationship with DealStruck is one of the ways we help business owners like Pat Claybrook live the American Dream.”
Within hours of filling out an online form, Pat received a call from Dealstruck promising to put her in a loan that was right for her business. The Dealstruck line of credit was based on Jidan Cleaning’s accounts receivable. It offered flexibility within reason, so Pat could run her business day-to-day.
“But the unique thing is that Dealstruck also approved an 18-month term loan that saved me thousands of dollars per month in the loan payments I was making on the Quick Bridge loan. The combination of the line of credit and the term loan increased my cash flow exponentially, basically allowing me to buy money cheaper and use it to my advantage.”
Dealstruck’s offers both term loans and lines of credit and together, the two loans offered Pat’s small business a broader range of financing options than other lenders and was able to meet her specific needs.
“I need to hire a consultant to help me secure government work, and I’ve identified the perfect candidate for the job. I plan to use Dealstruck as my single source of funding. Within 30 days they increased my line of credit! I could see me going back to them again and again. For now, I’ll enlist Dealstruck’s assistance in making a strategic hire that will help us to continue our rapid growth.
“I’ve had nothing but a positive experience with Dealstruck. Everyone has been great to work with. Their biggest asset is that they look at each business’s situation and put each one in the right loan that works for the business, not just them. This working capital we received from Dealstruck allows me to cover payroll and equipment as I need it, on time. And these days, covering the thousands of dollars it costs us to prepare to service a large new account is no problem, thanks to Dealstruck.”
Pat plans to accelerate the growth of Jidan Cleaning by purchasing a building in the next year. She will store equipment there and rent unused space to other businesses.
But Pat’s passion isn’t just revenue growth. She employs ex-offenders to get them off the street and into a job that will provide them security.
“At first I wanted to secure my own financial security. Now I’m driven to help others fulfill their dreams or change their situations through gainful employment. Just as Dealstruck helps entrepreneurs thrive, I want to give others an opportunity to succeed.”