Jennifer Young: A Natural Entrepreneur
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
REDWOOD CITY — After years spent at the bottom rung of the corporate ladder, Jennifer Young realized that if she wanted to achieve professional success, she’d need to find her own way. “I think I’m just an entrepreneur by nature,” she says. “Working in the corporate world, I knew I had the potential for bigger and better things, but I found it very hard to move up and get the managerial experience I was looking for. Eventually, I decided to try to do something on my own.”
Rather than start a business from the ground up, Jennifer decided a better move would be to open a franchise of a larger business. “By opening a franchise, I knew I would receive the right guidance to help me get started and be successful.” After researching different franchise opportunities, Jennifer decided upon Elite Pro Home Cleaning. “Not only was there a low cost of entry, but I also saw house cleaning as something there would always be a need for and that couldn’t be replaced by technology.”
Since launching Elite Pro Home Cleaning in 2003, Jennifer says the experience has been both enlightening and rewarding. “I feel like I got my MBA in life experience,” she laughs. “It’s taught me how to do sales and marketing, as well as how to manage employees and deal with customers. With the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from starting this business, I’ve been able to start two additional businesses.”
A resident of Belmont (where she lives with her husband and business partner, Josh, and their boys, Jacob and Jayden), Jennifer says she appreciates its close proximity to her extended family. “My dad was born and raised in San Francisco, and although I grew up in Sacramento, we would often drive to the city to see family. Even while attending UC Davis, I always knew I’d end up back in the Bay Area, because I loved it so much.”
Outside of work, Jennifer stays busy with a variety of pastimes and activities. “For me, spending time with my family is number one, whether it’s just Josh and the kids or our extended families,” she says. “Josh and I are also big sports fans—we love the San Francisco Giants and even play fantasy football together.” Additionally, Jennifer has a passion for learning new things, particularly in relation to her entrepreneurial endeavors. “My kids will tell you, ‘Mommy just likes to work,’” she laughs. “I’m always reading new things and attending business or real estate seminars—it’s just fun for me!”
In her life and career, Jennifer attests to the rewards that come from patient perseverance. “Today we have a loyal customer base and a reliable staff, but it took a lot of time and effort to get to this point,” she explains. “There were times when I thought about quitting because it was so frustrating and challenging, but something inside me just kept pushing me forward. Over time, we continued to learn from our mistakes and find new ways to improve upon our methods, which led to greater success.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Jennifer says she’d redirect her entrepreneurial efforts toward educating young people. “I would really like to develop an educational program that teaches kids how to manage their money. That’s something that isn’t taught in school, but I think it’s a fundamental component of success later in life. If we could teach kids to develop wise financial habits at a young age, it would help them avoid a lot of mistakes.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Dog person. We have a yellow lab named Bailey.
Q: If you could immediately master a musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The piano.
Q: Reality TV or documentaries?
A: Reality TV.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Christmas—I love spending time with my family.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Fresh fruit.
Q: Do you collect anything?
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A: Handbags and purses.