Emilia Nordquist dreamt of improving the old-fashioned practices of the cleaning industry and wanted to promote a corporate culture where cleaning professionals and their expertise is appreciated. Then a happy coincidence happened, and Emilia met Sofokus. Soon her vision of a revolutionary challenger in the traditional field became clear. Mintti Siivous was born, a new kind of cleaning company that puts people and responsibility at the heart of its operations and strongly utilizes digital solutions. But how exactly did Mintti turn from a one-woman’s ambitious vision into a blooming growth company? Read and find out.

Mintti Siivous, founder Emilia Nordquist

The cleaning industry needs a revamp

Emilia had worked in the cleaning industry for years, and the tiring challenges that often occur in the industry finally lead her to becoming an entrepreneur. Emilia saw that there was plenty of room for improvement in nurturing sustainable customer relationships, quality of work, and the well-being and professional pride of the employees. She was also worried about the vast amount of chemicals used in the industry and the environmental impact they cause.

At the same time, as this thought process was stirring in her mind, Sofokus was looking for a new cleaning service, one which would be flexible, modern and reliable. This is where the mentioned happy coincidence occurred. Emilia’s desire to reform an unprogressive industry and the values she envisioned for Mintti aligned perfectly with Sofokus, and soon the enthusiastic entrepreneur found herself sparring with Sofokus’ founder Teemu Malinen. Once it came clear that the values and ideas of Emilia and Sofokus fit more than well together, a joint cleaning startup was set up.

Mintti Siivous – born amidst COVID

The situation of 2020 changed radically the startup’s direction late March, and starting a business began to feel quite risky. These worries were discussed and considered from different perspectives, and finally it was jointly concluded that there is a long-term need for a company like Mintti. This case also underlined the fact that an uncertain global situation forces us to make considered decisions right from the beginning.

Mintti Siivous was founded in close collaboration between Emilia, the other founders and Sofokus. Emilia knew the needs of her clientele thoroughly, while Sofokus is an expert in understanding digital business and knows how to build a growth company. Sofokus has a venture program, Push, that has been set up to support the creation and acceleration of joint ventures like Mintti. The basic principle of the program is to invest significant amounts of digital business knowledge and provide the startup with seed-stage or pre-seed-stage capital. Shared values and a hard-working attitude on both ends are keys to success in a joint venture.

Casting the foundations for business requires design thinking

Even though establishing an Ltd. is a quick and mechanical action, it is preceded by a heap of things that need to be planned carefully. With the founder group, Sofokus facilitated a workshop where values guiding the actions of the company were recognised, and the mission and vision for Mintti were formulated using different exercises.

The brand was formulated as follows: local, responsible, humane, modern, professional, brave. With a visual design, the brand was further polished: distinctive, memorable, a bit rebellious, high-quality. Sofokus also facilitated a name-giving process, generating 105 name candidates for the startup. Finally, the name Mintti Siivous won unanimously (fun fact: it was someone from Sofokus who came up with the brilliant name).

The value created by Mintti Siivous was also crystallised with the help of the Golden Circle model by Simon Sinek

Background. In the cleaning industry companies tend to use all kinds of toxic chemicals without questioning if they’ll be harmful to people or pets. We want to develop the industry by selecting cleaning agents that are safe but achieve the desired level of cleanliness. Members of the personnel are professionals who care about who they work with and in what conditions. We believet that customers want something more than a bland service provider that is selected based on price alone.

  • Why? We believe that more responsibility is needed in the cleaning industry, whether it’s about personnel, customers or the world around us.

Background. We develop the skills and knowledge of our staff so that employees will grow into experts of the field. We regularly ask each of our customers for feedback (NPS) and develop our operations based on it. We want to delight our customers. We expect our staff to be energetic, proactive and have a customer service attitude. In return, we offer a physically active job, a competitive salary and a community of like-minded people in the most modern Finnish growth company of this field.

  • How? We invest in the development of our staff’s expertise, excellent customer service and the utilization of digital technology.

Background. We focus on the basics: efficiency, cleanliness, the right equipment, reasonable pricing, active quality control and continuous development of operations – all on human terms. We are openly proud of our expertise and the quality of our work. We offer home and business cleaning services.

  • What? We provide responsible and high-quality cleaning services for businesses and individual customers.

When the basic strategic elements and productisation were clarified, Sofokus implemented a brand image for the company, as well as a suitable website that acts as a catalyst and support for the business.

Takeaways from the first year of operation

At the beginning of the year, Mintti Siivous was only a bunch of ideas in our heads, but now it has grown into a fast-growing company that receives a significant number of new contacts from both households and businesses through customer testimonials. The company’s monthly turnover has already doubled during the first year of operation.

In the end, it’s people who are at the heart of all business. Customers have stated the following about Mintti:

  • We got hooked right from the first try.”
  • It’s made our job a lot easier when we don’t have to clean the place ourselves after a hectic workday. We know that in the morning when we return, we will be greeted by wonderfully cleaned facilities and get to work from a ‘clean table’.
  • It’s an indescribably wonderful feeling to come to a clean home that someone else has cleaned with care. Admittedly, in a family with children our home doesn’t stay in order for long, and without regular cleaning, we would be a lot lazier in organizing things back into their places. 

Mintti is also actively looking for new modern-minded people to maintain growth without compromising on quality. If the story of Mintti appeals to you, do not hesitate to contact Emilia.

Final words, but the beginning of the story 

 Mintti Siivous is a story about how a small seed of an idea can grow into an industry innovator with the help of courage, strong trust and seamless cooperation. Stay tuned, as we will certainly keep you updated about Emilia and Mintti’s journey of becoming the most fascinating changemaker in the industry.