One of my personal goals is really to help the other entrepreneurs in the Philippines become successful at what they do. I’ve always believed that those who really want to be entrepreneurs need to be given the same opportunities given to huge companies. In this blog, I intend to help entrepreneurs, especially mompreneurs, by promoting their services. I recently made a shout out on my instagram account (follow me at http://instagram.com/mommyginj) that I am looking for more entrepreneurs that I could interview and whose services I can write about.

Today, I am proud to publish this interview with my friend Renz Alcantara who is also a member of the WAHMderful Life community. She is the proprietor of CMDA Home & Office Cleaning Services, which I think will be useful for busy moms like us who plan to outsource these household work. One of the tips that I always say during my talks is that we should accept the fact that we need help — from our husbands, from parents and from people around us. Even if we want to do everything by ourselves, it’s just humanly impossible! 🙂 These cleaning services of Renz will be a huge help. But, let’s start by getting to know this lady.

Renz Alcantara, the mompreneur behind CMDA Cleaning Services

Renz Alcantara, the mompreneur behind CMDA Cleaning Services

About Reena or Renz…
My family and friends are fond of calling me Renz. I’m a Mom of 2 beautiful girls and 2 feline boys. My girls are Peaches, 6 years old, and Luzy who just turned 2 months old. My rowdy furry sons are Ted, adopted from PAWS and Peanut, who Troy and Peaches rescued from the streets. Before CMDA, I have been working online since 2008. While my forte is Search Engine Optimization, I have honed different skills being a virtual assistant. I am a proud WAHM (work at home mom) and everyday I am thankful for being one. My ultimate goal, together with my equally hardworking and supportive husband, is to provide a stable work for honest and hard working Filipinos and give them and their family opportunities of a better quality of life. The good people who are working for us are treated as family and partners in providing quality service to our clients.

Interview with Mompreneur Reena Alcantara of CMDA Home and Office Cleaning Services

Ginger: Hi Renz! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for Mommy Ginger. First of all, can you tell us what your business is about and how long have you been doing it?

CMDA Cleaning Services Logo

Renz: CMDA cleaning service is about the people we work with and maintaining the quality of service that we provide to our clients. The concept came from my Mom and then my husband and I decided to start and try it out. We offer deep cleaning services on homes and offices, post construction cleaning, restaurant kitchen sanitation, stay out cleaning service, and post event cleaning services. In less than a year, we’ve managed to grow the business with help from both sides of our family and amazing people who came to work with us.

Ginger: Who is your target market?
Renz: We cater to commercial offices, condominium owners, houses, schools, restaurants and any other spaces that our clients want to be cleaned and sanitized without the hassle of buying industry grade solutions and cleaning equipment.

CMDA Cleaning Services 3

CMDA Cleaning Services 2

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?
Renz: My Mom first thought of the concept and I decided to move it forward. Being a clean freak myself, I have set high standards of cleaning on both residential and commercial spaces. I am easily turned off with even a small smudge of dirt in our wall.

CMDA Cleaning Services 1
Ginger: As a mompreneur, were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue this business? 
Renz: The biggest obstacle was hiring trustworthy and hard working cleaners for the business. But with God’s grace, we were given the perfect partners who love the business like we do. Second obstacle was the money to start the business. Being young parents, we were concerned about risking whatever savings we had in starting a new business but again, support from our families poured in and their confidence in us gave the final push.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think a Mompreneur should have when starting their own business?
Renz: Be a know-it-all. When it comes to starting up your business, make sure you know everything there is to know. Read, learn, ask, those were the most important things I did when I was just starting the business.

– Be ready to multi-task. As a business owner, a mother, a wife all rolled into one you are bound to wear two or three hats all at the same time. Keep your sanity by mastering the art of multi-tasking. I would also want to mention, know when to asking for help and delegate to maximize your time and potential.

– Dream big- the realization of your dreams and your visions start with having one. And then make baby steps to attain the dream.

Ginger: Any unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as a Mompreneur?
Renz: There were plenty of lessons I learned the hard way like when a client didn’t pay for the service claiming they were not satisfied of the service even though they saw their place a week after our cleaning service was rendered and her helper and driver were there to check our cleaners and even signed a waiver saying all is well and satisfactory.

There was also this one time we had to do a repeat cleaning to a small condo because the owner complained and again, her helpers were there watching over our cleaners and again signed the waiver. The helper even made up stories about how our cleaners were when it really didn’t happen. But what can you do when you want your clients to be happy?

Also, unforgettable moments were when we started getting calls from celebrities and high end condominiums! I remember thinking of going myself so I can see the celebrity and her/his home. Teeheee.

Ginger: haha! But, yes, as mompreneurs, sometimes you have to learn these things the hard way. Not all days are bright and sunny. So what advice can you give to other Mompreneurs?
Renz: There are no small or big dreams, the most important thing is you have one and you’re working hard to achieve it. Believe and you shall see. Treat your employees well, they are your front-liners and always remember that they represent you and your business.

Ginger: Yes, I agree. Employees should be treated well, especially if they really show that they care for the company. As a company in this day and age, what are the tools that you use for your business?

Renz: The most important tools in my marketing my business are my laptop, my mobile phones and the Internet. Most of my clients know about our business through websites.

Ginger: So, what we can pick up here from Renz is that even if you business is a traditional service like cleaning services, digital marketing still plays an important role in growing your business. Thank you Renz for being our guest today. I hope a lot of our readers here get to avail of your services.

CMDA Home & Office Cleaning Services
Website: http://cmdacleaningservices.vaprostaff.com/ (temporary URL)
Email address: cmdacleaning@gmail.com
Mobile Number: 0917-5092768
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CMDACleaningServices
Landline Number: 994-4688 | 470-0415

As a work-at-home-mom or dad or single, sometimes, it’s just nice to have your own workplace out of your home. It’s so funny that during the time I was working in an office, I would wish to go home so that i could work without distractions (to avoid meetings). Now that I work from home, I want to look for a place that I could call my own office. I know that I really opted to work from home so that I could be with my daughter. But sometimes, you have to realize that you need some “me” time, too, or at least time to catch up on deadlines!

There’s this work concept that emerged a few years ago. It’s called co-working. Co-working is basically paying for shared space for your business. You could think of it as the co-working company subletting the space to various small businesses. Why do they do this? It’s to help ease the burden of paying capital or operating expenses.

Conference Room 2

Various coworking spaces have sprouted in the Philippines. I signed recently signed up with vOffice Philippines. vOffice has 25 locations in Asia. They have 3 locations in the Philippines and 2 of them are in Bonifacio Global City (which I love) since it’s near my home.

These are the pictures of their office at One Global Place at Bonifacio Global City (across Mini-Cooper showroom; building has a UnionBank branch at the Ground Floor).

Conference Room

The Conference Area

Office Pantry-2

The Pantry

Waiting Area (1)

Seats on the left are seats that you can use anytime to meet with people. The room on the right is the conference room which you can book. That other room to the left of the conference room are private spaces that you can rent out per month for your own company.

EntranceThat meeting room with the blue door is where I took this photo…

Some Me-time!

Some Me-time!

The VOffice Philippines locations are really very impressive! What i like about it too is that they have 4 AFFORDABLE PACKAGES that entrepreneurs and small businesses can choose from. They have the silver, gold, gold plus and platinum packages for their Virtual Office Plans.

The Silver Package is at Php 1200 per month, Gold is at Php 2640 per month, Gold+ is at Php 2880 per month and Platinum is at Php 3320 per month for their Mavenue Building – Penthouse Level location (7844 Makati Avenue, Makati). For the locations at Bonifacio Global City, the rate are: Silver Package is at Php 1400 per month, Gold is at Php 2960 per month, Gold+ is at Php 3200 per month and Platinum is at Php 3600 per month. Still not bad, right?

Screenshot from the vOffice Philippines Website

Screenshot from the vOffice Philippines Website

FULL DETAILS of the package: CLICK HERE

I’ve been to other virtual offices and co-working spaces and what I love about vOffice is that:

– They are located in places where it’s easy for your guests to find. If you plan to meet with business partners and prospects, you won’t have a hard time telling them where the location is.

– The buildingswhere vOffice are located are very safe and secure. In both places in BGC, the reception area of the building requires you to present your id when entering the building. Since this will be my office, obviously, I want where I work to be a safe place.

– When you enter vOffice, you are always warmly greeted by the receptionist.

– Whenever you book meetings in the conference room or the meeting room, the staff always offers if you want coffee. Coffee is also free flowing! You need not spend money for coffee every time you have meetings.

– They can handle your calls and messages are forwarded to you. I have yet to try this service but my friend who is also a member tells me that he enjoys this service.

– They have Wifi!

Entrepreneurs, like moi, will love a place like this. Honestly, they have one of the most affordable packages that I have seen plus they are in a really, really good location.

For inquiries, just visit their site by clicking on the banner below! Let me know if you’ve already joined, so that we can have a “working day meet up” at vOffice Philippines.

PS: Get two months FREE Membership when you tell vOffice that Mommy Ginger (Ginger Arboleda) referred you 🙂 Click on the banner below to get the FREE  MONTHS!

voffice-ph05

There are more and more personalized products released right now in the market. Coming out with personalized products make your customers feel that they are special and that you really thought about them. A personalized approach is effective especially if you want to build a relationship with your audience. See, even Coke came out with the personalized bottles!

Personalized Coke Bottles

Speaking of personalizing things, my daughter now loves to watch herself on this personalized videos that I play on our TV screen (sometimes on my laptop). I am at awe on how people can be so creative and how they came up with an idea like this. This service, which I recently got to know about is about creating personalized cartoon videos with your baby as the “star” of the show, with the goal of educating your child with each episode. This is something like the greetings that they have in Baby TV (if you do get to watch that channel). This service is from www.See-Mee.com. I received a copy of my daughter, Zeeka’s videos and these videos are so cute! Check these out!

*Click on “Playlist” to see more episodes.

What I like about the videos is that it teaches my daughter different lessons per episode: finding shapes, spotting the differences, making choices, etc. The graphics are very colorful and vibrant that it really holds the attention of Zeeka (my daughter). She always giggles and laughs when she watches herself.

See-Mee

For international buyers, meaning if you have Paypal or a Credit Card, you can go to this site (SEE-MEE.COM) and you can order there. The packages are at:

You Tube/Watch Online Package $9.95
Download Package $19.95
Customized DVD/DVD Label $49.95

The good news is that the videos are also available for those who are here in the Philippines without Paypal or credit card. For Philippines Buyers (which was how I got the videos), all you have to do is email a clear photo of your child (preferably a close-up shot) and they will send you the videos once done. You can choose from these packages:

YouTube/Watch Online Package
Price: P700.00
This includes…
– 12 personalized episodes starring your child!
– Total duration: 60 minutes (5 min. per episode)
– Specially designed with educational experts to entertain and teach pre-schoolers
– Get instantly a personal web link to watch all episodes on the See-Mee site
– This link will be available for two years. During this time, it can be accessed without limits.
– Personal hyperlink to share movies on Facebook, Twitter, blogs…
– Access your movies on any device that is connected to the internet
– No registration required!

Download Package
Price: P1,000.00
This includes…
– 12 personalized downloadable MPEG movies (1024×576) starring your child!
– Total duration: 60 minutes (5 min. per episode) / Total filesize: 1.2GB (100MB per episode)
– Movie files will be ready after 5 working days
– Specially designed with educational experts to entertain and teach pre-schoolers
– Watch the episodes on any device: PC, tablet, smartphone, …
– Upload very easily your MPEG files to streaming video sites like YouTube
– Extra: a personal web link to watch all episodes online on the See-Mee site

Other Additional Services:
Burning of Video to DVD (with plain label) — +P200.00
Additional DVD copy — +P100
Shipping fee — +P60 for MM, provincial rates for outside MM
Personalized DVD (coming soon) – with Personalized Cover and Disk Label

For orders from the Philippines, you can visit the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/personalizedbabyvids

You can also send an email to: info@tweenselmom.com

For more details, check out this blog post from TweenselMom.

I’m thinking that this service will be great to be given as giveaways during birthday parties or to be played during these events. I wonder if they can eventually make a video with various characters. It will be fun to make if you have more than one child.

Let me know if you have videos made, too!

August is Breastfeeding Awareness month. After sharing the event on Hakab Na!, which I heard was successful, I’d like to share this news to those who are planning on breastfeeding. During the time I was breastfeeding, this book really helped me a lot by giving me the inspiration and the motivation that I needed to continue on breastfeeding. The book is entitled Breastfeeding: A Journey Worth Taking.

FB cover_Kindle Free download_Aug 1-3 2014

This book is actually written by my good friend and author, Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag. The good news that I’d like to share is that she released the Kindle version of her book! Way to go, Teresa!

A lot of moms from various fields have read this book. Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, who is a consultant for the Medical City’s Lactation Unit says, “Teresa inspires readers with her own breastfeeding journey: her perseverance, strong faith and unwavering love for her children made her overcome the challenges she encountered. She imparts helpful and practical tips from breastfeeding positions to nursing wear and even collaborated with other mothers to share their own breastfeeding stories. All breastfeeding mothers can certainly relate to this book. I’ve already kept a copy in my clinic for all my patients to read.” She has breastfed all her three children.

Author headshot with caption_TeresaGDumadag

Teresa is the first Filipino to author and publish a book on breastfeeding on Amazon. And guess what?! It became an Amazon Best Seller in 2 categories (Motherhood and Child Care) during the 3-day free book promotion last Aug 1-3.

Teresa breastfed both of her sons for at least two years each, discusses breastfeeding basics in her book as well as her own breastfeeding story that was replete with challenges. She also features stories of triumph over breastfeeding challenges by moms from different walks of life — stay-at-home moms, work-at-home moms and moms working outside the home.

This book project by the author was sponsored in part by the following breastfeeding-related businesses: MomBabyFabric, Indigobaby, Mamaway Philippines, Elin, First Vita Plus Natural Health Drink, Latch a Babe Nursing Wear, Mama.Baby.Love, Mama Chows, Medela Moms Inc., Mommyfide PH, Mommy Matters, Moringana by Organics Asia, Sweet Pea Nursingwear and Zalor Massage Services.

 

BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking can be downloaded for free by Amazon Prime members and can be purchased for $9.99 by regular Amazon.com customers. The paperback edition can be purchased through its Facebook Page or by sending an email to teresa@fulllifecube.com. Like BREASTFEEDING: A Journey Worth Taking on Facebook via https://www.facebook.com/BreastfeedingJourneyWorthTaking.

For more information about the book, please email teresa@fulllifecube.com.

Just wanted to share our recent trip to Early Learning Center. I thought that this store only contained toys, but I was surprised that I found these products.

My first scribbler from ELC

Mimi Artist to teach your 18 month old about art!

My first brushes and stampers from ELC

Easy grip stampers from ELC

My first crayons from ELC

Aren’t these the cutest? I’m not the most artistic person in the world. I don’t think I have any skill “at all” in drawing, so that’s actually one of my frustrations. I hope Zeeka can be better at art than I am, so I want to start introducing arts and crafts at an early age. I know that she may be a little too young for the Kokokru Workshop that I shared yesterday, so I was really pleased to see these products from the Early Learning Center!

Since we were there, Zeeka took the time out to check the toys on display…

How do I turn on this thing?

How do I turn on this thing?

Hmmm, what should I play?

Hmmm, what should I play?

Charge!!!

Charge!!!

Bye for now!

Bye for now!

Do you think that teaching your child art early on is important? What are your thoughts on this? Have you seen these products from the Early Learning Center?