A goal of $1 million in revenue may sound like a dream, but for two Fairfield students, it could be a likely reality.

Spiffy Cleaning Co. is a student-run home cleaning business led by Danielle Oteri ‘25 as President and Ben Moccia ‘25 as Chief Executive Officer. They run four services: Spiffy Clean, Super Spiffy Clean, Move-In/Move-Out Clean and Post-Construction Clean. 

Moccia summarizes these services as a “regular recurring clean, a deep one-time clean, Move-In/Move-Out clean and Airbnb turnover.” 

Oteri and Moccia launched their business in the fall of 2023.

I want it to be an example…that you don’t necessarily need to do the ‘ABCD’ track that they teach you throughout high school. You can start a business in college and grow.

President of Spiffy Cleaning Co. Danielle Oteri ’25

They both shared an interest in starting a business, and Moccia suggested that the best way to make money was by cleaning houses. The demand for home cleaning services increased after the COVID-19 pandemic, so he suggested that they dive into the cleaning world. 

Moccia realized that he did not like the idea of working at a bigger company due to his experience as a finance major. He had a small landscaping business during high school and his first year of college, which led him to the idea of starting a cleaning company. 

The two of them had always thought about starting a business, and they wanted it to be something simple that they could build upon and make money doing right now. 

During winter break, we spent 60 hours a week building our website, developing marketing and advertising strategies and hiring employees. Now, I would say we’re in our ‘hard launch’ era, with employees, marketing and advertising plans.

CEO of Spiffy Cleaning Co. Ben Moccia ’25

Oteri remembers her mother cleaning houses when she was a child. 

“I could visibly see the difference [that] she was making in people’s lives when they would come home and be so excited about it,” she said. 

Oteri further shared that she got to know the community in a close-knit way from her mother’s involvement in the service business. As a result, she felt passionate about cleaning. 

She also wanted more out of college and thought that this was just the challenge that she needed. 

“I want it to be an example…that you don’t necessarily need to do the ‘ABCD’ track that they teach you throughout high school. You can start a business in college and grow.”

In the span of a year, the two have already made substantial progress in developing Spiffy.

“It started with Danielle and I cleaning homes by ourselves as a sort of tester or “soft launch,” said Moccia.

There are a lot of late nights, nights of no sleep, early mornings, etc. The other day, I had eight hours of cleaning and then I had to write a six page paper, but to me, it makes it worthwhile.

President of Spiffy Cleaning Co. Danielle Oteri ’25

“During winter break, we spent 60 hours a week building our website, developing marketing and advertising strategies and hiring employees. Now, I would say we’re in our ‘hard launch’ era, with employees, marketing and advertising plans,” he continued. 

Moccia is studying finance and Oteri is studying English with a concentration in creative writing and a management minor. 

According to Moccia, his finance classes have helped him to create loan agreements, as well as financial models to project where the company will be headed in the future. His interest in business has always been present in his life, leading him to become a finance major.

As for Oteri, her management minor has helped her with team building and communication.

“In terms of English, I’ve had to write up the operating agreement between Ben and me…what the company’s going to look like, what percentage we each own, what are our procedures and policies.”

She shared how her business writing class with Professor Chris Dibiase helped her with professional writing, and her communication skills help as she runs the social media and marketing posts. 

Balancing classwork and running a business can create a busy schedule for anyone, and it’s not different for these two students. 

“It’s created an interesting learning curve for sure,” said Oteri. “There are a lot of late nights, nights of no sleep, early mornings, etc. The other day, I had eight hours of cleaning and then I had to write a six page paper, but to me, it makes it worthwhile.”

Managing a company also means your school life and work life often overlap. Moccia commented that his phone always has to be on in class, and that there have been several times where he’s had to step out to take calls.

“We emailed every professor on campus about Spiffy, and everyone was very understanding about our workload.”

Both will be living in Fairfield over the summer to keep Spiffy going. 

“As of right now, we’re in residential, moving into Airbnb, and then moving into commercial,” Oteri said. 

As far as their goal with commercial cleaning, Moccia said, “That is more of an idea right now…we haven’t planned for it yet.” 

Looking to the future, the team plans to “see where it goes,” and will ultimately make the decision to sell Spiffy or maintain their positions upon graduation.

Moccia has been working hard trying to navigate business with students living on the beach as the landlords begin to mandate cleanings. 

“If we end up going commercial, that probably would not be for at least another year,” Moccia said. 

They are currently focusing on residential clients and their goal is to get to $1M in revenue each year with 200 clients. 

“Most clients are biweekly and an average clean is 150 to 200 dollars…it will take a few years to get there but it is not out of the ballpark,” continued Moccia.

He shared that they have approximately 20 leads a week and they are closing about a third of them.

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