After her marriage had broken down, Angela quit her long-term job.
With a young child to look after and with no one else to look after him, she found she could no longer do the hours required.
She could not afford to be on a pension, and had no idea what she was going to do.
She had looked on every job site, and all of them required weekend work or late nights, which were all impossible with a young child.
A friend invited her to 'Come clean my house and I will give you $50'.
An extra $50 a week was a great start but she knew she wanted more – she just wasn’t sure how to go about it and where to start.
Which was when Angela came across the NEIS program and completed the Certificate 4 in small business management in 2016.
The NEIS program has been delivered by APM Employment Services since February 2020. It was previously delivered by Konekt Employment.
From 1 July 2022, Self-Employment Assistance replaced the NEIS program.
“When I started this course, it was so I could better myself, learn something new, and hopefully find a way that would set me on a new and exciting path,” Angela said.
It wasn’t easy.
“I hadn’t been in a classroom environment in years… I hadn’t had to do assignments in forever it was a scary thought,” she said.
“But the support I got from my business mentor was amazing, he helped me every step of the way, gently pushing me further, giving me confidence and answering my silly questions….”
Angela said it was the best thing she had ever done.
“In doing the course I learnt about the step-by-step process of starting a business and how to keep it moving forward. I learnt how to find other resources to better myself and my business, and the most important thing was although I did not know much when I started, I knew I could find the answers I needed. I learnt that I could succeed, that if I wanted this I would succeed.”
It was a great deal of hard work.
“I literally started my business of cleaning houses with a mop and bucket, a vacuum and a few cleaning products I had purchased from a supermarket,” Angela said.
“I already knew my personality and confidence was going to help. I started a website and cleaned all day and worked my business at night, I was always focused on why I was going to be different to every other cleaner in this town, and how that was going to help me succeed. That was the beginning and then it became Josh, Ashlea and I working together, every day, more work coming in and a team that worked harder.”
Today, Angela now has 15 staff working for her. She focuses on keeping both her staff and her clients happy.
“I understand the key is the balance between keeping my employees happy who then go out and keep my clients happy,” she said.
“I employ some people with special abilities, who have helped my business grow as well. They get self-worth and confidence and experience from working for me, and in return they put their energy and hard work into working my business and helping my business grow.”
Through a great deal of hard work, and through the support of the NEIS program, Angie’s Domestic Duties is now in the top three cleaning businesses in Toowoomba.
Due to her support of people with disability, Angela also recently won the Outstanding Employer Award at the Disability Awards of Australia 2018.