SAN FRANCISCO – Sergio Rosales was waiting tables at a restaurant when he got the inspiration to break into a totally new industry. “Actually, it wasn’t my idea,” he clarifies. “I had a co-worker who was always telling me we should start our own business. One night, while we were cleaning the restaurant after our shift, he said, ‘Why don’t we start cleaning houses?’ Next thing you know, we started a small house cleaning business on the side while continuing to work part-time at the restaurant.” Later, Sergio and his wife, Ana, started their own house cleaning business under the name S.O.S. Cleaning. “We got the name from one of our clients—a real estate agent who always called us at the last minute.”
Today, Sergio says S.O.S. Cleaning continues to live up to its namesake. “We get a lot of calls from people who are in a bind and can’t find anyone to help them, so we take a lot of pride in being able to ‘save the day.’ When you bail someone out of a tough situation, they really appreciate it. Often, we’ll get a nice ‘thank you’ note from them, so it’s really rewarding.”
Originally from Mexico, Sergio came to the United States more than 20 years ago and resides today in San Francisco with Ana and their two children, Diego and Karina. Outside of work, Sergio devotes the bulk of his time to family activities. “I’m definitely a family guy,” he affirms. “We enjoy spending time together on the weekends, going to church and to dinner, and just relaxing at home.” Sergio also likes to get his kicks by playing soccer with friends.
In regard to his professional career, Sergio espouses the importance of honesty. “Due to the nature of house cleaning, honesty is probably the most important thing for our business,” he explains. “There has to be a lot of trust for a customer to let you into their home, which is why I only hire people I can trust. I think our ability to build trust with our clientele is the main reason our business continues to grow.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Sergio says he’d find something to keep himself occupied. “I’m the kind of guy who likes to keep busy. Even when I’m home on the weekend, I often find something to work on around the house. So, even if I retired from house cleaning, I’d probably get involved with something else. Maybe I’d help other people who want to start a business.”