‘I started a cleaning company with mops and buckets at the age of 18 – last year I made £5M’

To exclude, to expel:

Wealthy Rachael Flanagan, 34, from South Wales, founded the company as a teenager after failing her A-level business course in school – she now has 320 employees.

Rachael Flanagan
Mrs Bucket’s Rachael Flanagan wrote her business plan on the Business Studies level exam instead of answering the questions

A woman starting her own cleaning business with a mop and a bucket when she 18 years old earned almost £5 million last year.

Cheap to Rich Rachael Flanagan, 34, from a family of steelworkers in South Wales, founded the company as a teenager after failing A-Level business in school.

Sixteen years on, Mrs Bucket (pronounced ‘bouquet’), now employs 250 people and has won a string of prestigious contracts, including cleaning up the Wales Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

She explains how while she A Level Business StudiesShe spent two hours writing down her business plan instead of answering questions.

She said: “Now I know it was really wrong but I just wrote it, then when I got my A-level results, I remember standing there thinking ‘I got a U, I won’t get in. college but I don’t care because I want to start my own business’.

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Rachael has been to Downing Street twice for a St David’s Day party and to meet former Prime Minister David Cameron as a proud representative of Welsh business.

“All my friends said – ‘what the hell, what are you going to do, we’re about to merge and you’re going to be the cleaner?’

“They think I’m crazy! I just want – well, watch this space.

“What I find difficult is – were they serious about me when I started doing commercial cleaning – I am still in my 20s – still young – if you have an offer from a woman 25 years old compared to a 45-year-old man who has been cleaning all his life – who would you choose?”

But outfitted with just a mop and a bucket – she says she doesn’t even own a vacuum cleaner to begin with – she took on all the starting chores until she She works regular house cleaning 60-70 hours a week.

A successful business decision early on to start recruiting and training other employees to work with her helped the business start to grow to new heights.






Rachel with husband Daniel Stanley and children, Spencer, 2, and Sophia, 5

She said she decided to give up actively cleaning herself and focus on growing her business after winning the top prize at the UK Young Entrepreneur Awards in London.

She explains: “I’m in a room at Claridge’s – totally out of my depth but that’s really good for me because I’m like ‘wow’ – all these entrepreneurs, I’m youngest person in the room and right behind. and everyone clapped and stood up and cheered and I remember thinking – wow, I just need to believe in myself more and more so that’s what I do now. “

Her career has led to some unbelievable opportunities.

She was personally selected by the Prince of Wales to attend the 2014 NATO summit in Newport, attended by world leaders including Barack Obama.

She has also been to Downing Street twice for St David’s Day parties and met the former Prime Minister David Cameron as a proud representative of Welsh business.

Mrs Bucket made more than £4.5m in 2021, its most successful year yet.

She lives in Gower, near Swansea, with her husband: Daniel Stanley, a men’s mental health coach and former army commando. They have been together since they met at a party when she was 19 years old.

They have two children, Spencer, 2, and Sophia, 5.

Tuesday is International Women’s Day and something Racheal is behind for sure.

She told The Mirror: “The growth of International Women’s Day over the past few days into a force for equality and change has been astounding.

“In many ways, I know I’ve been very fortunate to run my own business because I believe women are still being held back at the highest levels.

“No one else will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.

“Anything and anything is possible if you believe you are capable of achieving your goals and dreams.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/i-started-cleaning-firm-mop-26409387 'I started a cleaning company with mops and buckets at the age of 18 - last year I made £5M'

Fry Electronics Team

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