Scale Up! Twin Cities graduate, Anna Tsantir, is the owner of Two Bettys Green Cleaning Service
In 2006, with thriving, but demanding careers in office and retail settings, Anna Tsantir and her business partner, Sam, decided to get back to their roots as studio artists. The next year, rather than falling into the ‘starving artist’ stereotype, Anna and Sam set out to find something that would allow them to have the flexibility to spend time in the studio, but also making a living for themselves. Out of that desire, Two Bettys Green Cleaning Service was born. Two Bettys provides high-quality, eco-friendly cleaning services, while also providing employees with flexible schedules to help them balance studio time with their job. “We know that for most of our employees, this isn’t their reason for living,” says Anna, “And we support that.”
What started as a two person operation ten years ago, has now grown into a robust business with 105 employees serving over 1,500 clients. Initially, Anna and Sam were self-taught entrepreneurs, relying on their own research and mentorships to create and run their business. This worked well for the first six years until tragedy struck the Two Bettys team in 2013 and Sam passed away.
Anna was left as the sole-proprietor of the now fully woman-owned business. She quickly realized there were some large gaps in her knowledge base. “Sam was in charge of the back of the house and I the front. Finances were never my strong suit and I never had to pay much attention to it,” admits Anna. She knew she needed more than what her own ‘DIY entrepreneurship’ approach could provide. In 2014, she reached out to Carla Pavone, a Two Bettys client and WomenVenture board member, who recommended the Scale Up! Twin Cities program to her.
By participating in Scale Up!, Anna gained better knowledge of small-business finances, as well as effective management and responsible growth techniques. “I feel a great responsibility to my employees to know what I’m doing as a business owner,” says Anna. “Scale Up! provided the resources and empowered me to be able to do that.” Anna also gained a community of women entrepreneurs who act as an ongoing support system for each other. “The community is amazing. I’ve gotten so many ideas, referrals, and references from the other women in the group. It’s been a great networking experience.”
As she looks to the future, Anna feels confident that Two Bettys is prepared for exponential growth. “Growth is great, but it’s also really scary. You can make a wrong move just like that,” states Anna. “WomenVenture has given us [Scale Up! participants] so much and it’s comforting to know that I’ll always have the resources to look back on as we continue to grow.”