Regalado in English means free, but for Ricardo Regalado, as his last name is, the success of his Rozalado Cleaning Service did not come for free. He had to be a visionary, determined entrepreneur, get a certified minority company and struggle to grow along with his wife, Marley. And they did it.
By Annabel Rocha
Under the weight of dissatisfactory corporate jobs, and the desire to dictate their own future, Ricardo Regalado and his wife, then-girlfriend, Marley, took a leap of faith, left their careers and decided to create their own business in the cleaning industry.
Ten years later Rozalado Services employs over 500 employees in twenty-one states.
“Our family-based and minority culture is what has given us that necessary grit, passion and relentless work ethic to compete with larger industry contractors,” said Regalado, whose business originated with only five employees, all relatives. “The impact of my family, culture and exposure to hard work is what truly helped with our growth.”
As founder and CEO, Regalado takes pride in his company being a jack-of-all-trades type of business.
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“We are a single source solution for all of their facility maintenance needs from cleaning to floor care to handyman to general maintenance and even supply ordering,” he explained.
The company is now a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) commercial cleaning contractor, although Regalado prefers that his company’s work to speak for itself.
“We do not like to lead with us being a minority contractor, I actually prefer to show clients that we are a better choice by how we operate, how we innovate and how we truly differentiate how the future of facility services is going to be for commercial clients,” he said.
This businessman hasn’t stopped with just running a successful company, he is hoping to shift the industry. He developed Route, a digital operating system for cleaning businesses to network, manage and grow through one digital platform.
“The cleaning industry is a very fragmented industry. Small business owners struggle to grow and compete with the larger contractors. My goal and vision is to give them an edge and move the needle on using technology and community and leverage both to win,” said Regalado.
As a Latino business owner, Regalado recognizes the barriers the community faces, and hopes to inspire others to pursue their goals.
“[My dream is to] truly show our Hispanic culture, and the other cultures, that even though you don’t come from a certain pedigree or background or experience, that with relentless work ethic, passion, and a good-hearted attitude, that anything is possible,” he shared.
Rozalado Services has transcended these barriers many minority-owned businesses face, being named in numerous “Best Cleaning Services” lists and ranking in Inc. 5000’s “America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” list. He also was selected as a Latino 40 under 40 in Negocios Now and outstanding people under 40 in Crain’s.
Despite the recognition and accolades, Regalado’s sense of success comes from the effect that his work and his company has had on the people around him.
“My greatest satisfaction is that we are able to positively impact the lives of all of our Rozalado team members as well as our clients’ team members. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity this industry has given my friends, family and team.”