Sara Jones, Owner of Bricks & Bubbles
By Lisa Abelar
Sara Jones, owner of Bricks & Bubbles, a Florida-based commercial janitorial services company, needed guidance. As the owner of a company that specializes in cleaning event space, luxury office spaces and coworking spaces, Jones met new obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The services her company provides were in demand, but that demand was spotty, as some office buildings went remote and others doubled-down to keep employees in the office, safely.
While working with the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre, Sara received valuable coaching from her mentor, who helped guide her through an operational pivot that allowed her to introduce a new, timely service at a time when in-person contact had paused — virtual walkthroughs. During that same period, Sara was able to secure a contract from a local client that needed her services for six locations.
“It was a huge shift for us, which was good,” Jones said of introducing virtual experiences to her business.
Her growth, however, didn’t stop there. With the help of her coach, Sara was able to successfully navigate a difficult staffing problem and promote two team members allowing her to focus more on serving clients, mentoring her staff and securing new business.
“Sometimes you just need another set of eyes to see that your problem isn’t as difficult to solve as it may seem,” Sara said, noting that her weekly coaching sessions with her WBC mentor were exactly what she needed to keep moving forward. “Having that someone to bounce ideas off of and to hear feedback from was really important even more so because you weren’t getting any interaction with people in that regard. Knowing I would be held accountable, in a positive way, to things we had spoken about was just a really good, positive way to keep myself accountable.”
While the pandemic presented its own unique set of obstacles for Jones, who launched her business in 2017, it also continued to challenge her mentally as a person who constantly questioned her effectiveness as a business owner. It’s why Jones viewed her WBC’s Mastermind Group as a game-changer. Not only was the group uncharacteristically financially accessible, but it offered her the type of peer support she wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise.
“It helped to keep going,” Jones said. “If I didn’t keep going and would have quit and got a job I could do at home, I could have just done that and this wouldn’t have been here.”
Had she quit, it would have suspended the legacy Jones was trying to create in her father’s shadow. Her dad worked his whole life in the janitorial industry, and his experience made Jones realize that the people in that industry were not seen for the real value they provide — which became crystal clear with the onset of a global pandemic.
Now? She’s researching how to expand to new locations, a vivid contrast from the way she felt a few months earlier, when she considered the possibility of falling back on her degree in public health, epidemiology and disease control.
“It’s been really great,” she said. “I wanted to see a change in the industry where our employees are appreciated and thanked regularly. It was kind of an experiment, but so far it’s worked.”