I firmly believe that you are set for the stars if your job is an example for all the rest to follow.
After a night of cheerful celebrations, excessively loud countdowns to midnight, and seemingly endless firework barrages, the New Year has finally arrived. Parties aside, what makes this festivity truly special is the fact that it gives every human being on the planet a chance to start fresh. It’s also the time when we reminisce about our most notorious achievements and failures, learning valuable life lessons along the way and heading towards the bright future ahead with renewed energy, passion, and goals. And also a great moment to feature our next cleaning hero on our list – Ivan Stoyanov.
Ivan has been with us almost from the very beginning and is a specialist in all-around cleaning jobs, ranging from end of tenancy and window all the way up to carpet cleaning. As a seasoned quality control operative, he is entitled to a fairly large team of 20 hard-working individuals. Some of them are still in training, while others are already lending him a hand in management and a wide range of other tasks. During all the years in which he worked at the company, Ivan has also given hundreds of people the essential know-how needed to deliver an impeccable, fantastic service.
When I first started out working at the company, we had to rely on plain buckets and mops, as well as apply a whole lot of elbow grease to get the job done. And, at the time, we only had two other quality control operatives who are still working with Fantastic Services as we speak.
It all began when I stumbled upon an ad for a job as a carpet cleaner while surfing through different internet forums for people living in the UK. Eager to undertake my new venture, I arrived in the UK and immediately signed up for training courses, provided by a franchisee. Unfortunately, said franchisee dropped the idea of opening new team positions shortly after and my little adventure was about to come to an abrupt end.
Luckily for me, back then Fantastic Services were still searching high and low for new and promising quality control officers. My personal trainer decided that I was fit for the job, so he instantly recommended me for the position. I managed to prove myself at the interview and I was immediately hired. The next 3 months of training and the subsequent 7 months of full-time workload were one of the longest periods of my life, with nothing but a tightly packed re-cleaning schedule to remind me of the passing minutes and hours. I wasn’t very adept at English back in the day, but during the whole working process, I somehow managed to grasp the needed terminology to the point where I eventually became the customers’ favourite sweet talker (he grins).
One busy year of re-cleaning later, I became an individual Carpet Franchisee. However, I grew so attached to my previous work that I decided to also train any newly-hired quality control operatives in the art of cleaning.
My main focus at the moment is shifted on my teams and their performance. I firmly believe that you are set for the stars if your job is an example for all the rest to follow.
Ivan also answered what makes Fantastic Services fantastic:
Being fantastic – this is the idea which the company has always had and has always worked for during its development. Life is filled with ups and downs, but from what I observed so far Fantastic Services has always remained true to providing plenty of young people with an opportunity to develop an impressive range of skills. It’s fantastic that our humble beginnings didn’t stop us from becoming a leader on the market.
Let me tell you a story which perfectly illustrates where we started from and what we achieved in the years that followed. I and another colleague were going on a re-clean mission in the coldest of weather. The car heating system was not cooperating in the slightest and the windows kept fogging up, obstructing the view ahead. The situation was pretty dire as the chilling cold and blurred window prevented us from driving by the rules. However, missing the booking wasn’t an option, so we had to endure the worst two hours of our lives until, on the way back, the car broke down and we were forced to wait for a full 8 hours before someone could arrive to our rescue and tow our car.
It is fantastic that even with these circumstances in mind, we still kept pushing forward to arrive at our current state. Looking back, I’m glad that I never stopped improving and that I have made my fair contribution towards the brand’s development.
Oooh, I had so many of those that I don’t know where to begin! But since I already rewind the clock with the talk about my initial days at the company, I will give you yet another example from those early years.
I was still being trained by my first supervisor and we were headed to my inaugural solo re-clean job. My colleague kept an eye on the van, while I went ahead and started showering the customer with politeness. She asked me to clean a lot of stuff and, since I always thought that being flexible and accommodating is the key to success, I readily obliged. The hours went by, but the work never ended. That is until my now furious supervisor informed me that we were going to be late for the next appointment.
Shivers went down my spine when I sensed that he was genuinely mad, so I asked him to come upstairs and get me out of this pickle asap. After having a little chat with the client, she said she would let me go in just a couple of minutes. This situation, however, repeated itself again and again at least three more times, with my colleague coming up and the customer asking for just a little bit of extra time. Her final request was to clean the space behind the sink where all the pipes were located. As you may have already guessed, the spot was the size of a finger. Nonetheless, I valiantly tried to reach behind the pipes, accidentally scratching my hand in the process.
The blood stained everything in my vicinity and shattered what little remained of my attempts to remain professional. The client was furious and so was my supervisor, who had already reached the boiling point and was determined to end our service then and there. So I turned to the client and said: “Look, I shed my blood for you and fulfilled my duty, the least you can do is let me go.” And just like that, as if this phrase had suddenly hit an invisible switch, she let us both go and we had a good laugh about it in the end.
We posed the question of what advice would Ivan give to the current and future partners of Fantastic Services:
Don’t reach the state where you have to literally spill your blood for the customers just to get things done, it is more important than you may realise (he laughs). Always look for ways to improve your work and keep your skills sharp as perfection is something that the modern customer not only wants but actually expects from you. Give your best every single day and things are bound to work out in your favour.
Unfortunately, ever since I started working with Fantastic Services, my personal time has always been in woefully short supply. On the bright side, I am thrilled with my team and with the opportunity to work with them every day. There were many recruits that joined or left our ranks in the meantime, but these changes are all part of the grand picture and I can only be happy to have worked with some of the most incredible young people I’ve ever met.
Whenever I manage to get a small window of time just for me and my interests, I dedicate it to Fantastic Lions FC! We are an amateur football team, comprised mainly of people from my job, gathering together when we are off duty to kick some ball and stretch our legs. Even though there hasn’t been much time to play lately, it’s still fun when we actually do manage to show up on the grassy field to play a game or two. All in all, you could say that we stick together in both good and bad, just like any “normal” family would.
As this interview is nearing its end, I would like to express my eternal gratitude for my wife’s support. She has been my partner in crime for quite some time, but she is now also helping me grow my franchisee business by taking care of things while I am away.
We at Fantastic Services are just as glad for all the efforts that Ivan has put into developing some of the services over the years, and would like to wholeheartedly thank him for the interview and all his hard work!