Jim Wu: A Clean Break
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
SUNNYVALE — Soon after moving to the United States from China at the height of the tech boom, Jim Wu secured a steady career as a software engineer. However, as more and more corporations started moving their operations offshore, he began looking for an opportunity that would offer better job security. The next thing he knew, he was running a house cleaning business. “When my wife, Becky, and I started looking for a business to purchase, we wanted to find a service company, mainly because they generally have lower inventories,” he explains. “It just so happened that one of our friends was selling her cleaning business, and it ended up being a perfect fit.”
Today, as owner of Optimum Cleaning Services, Jim says he enjoys the social interaction his second career entails. “It was a big shift to go from almost no customer interaction to dealing with people every day, but I really like talking to our customers, especially when I can offer help. One customer even sent us a thank-you note that said our service saved her marriage!”
A resident of Saratoga (where he lives with Becky and their children, Justin, Erin, and Victor), Jim expresses his appreciation for the temperate Bay Area climate. “You can’t get weather this nice anywhere else,” he says. “When I first came to the U.S., I worked for a consulting company based on the East Coast and went to their headquarters for two weeks of training in December. It was so cold, and when I returned to California, I was glad to be back.”
Outside of work, Jim spends the bulk of his time with his family. “I like the fact that I have control of my schedule because it enables me to devote enough time to be with my kids,” he affirms. “We like swimming, hiking and taking occasional camping trips to Yosemite.”
In regard to his professional career, Jim says it’s important to find a balance between operational efficiency and customer service. “As a business owner, I want to see things running efficiently, but at the same time, we’re in a service industry, so I understand that the customers’ needs are the number one priority. I think it’s easy for a company to go to either extreme, so I always want to strike that balance between keeping our business profitable and our customers happy.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he’d do some extensive traveling. “I would probably plan a tour of Europe or something. Right now, with the kids and the business, we’re somewhat limited in how far away we can travel, so it would be neat to have the freedom to see more of the world.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco 49ers.
Q: Coffee or tea?
A: Coffee for on-the-go, tea for leisure time.
Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
A: Yahoo.com for news, stock market updates and email.
Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
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A: Christmas—the family is together and everyone is happy.