YJ Cleaning and Maintenance LLC Founder Willie Jones became a member of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce for the exposure and the opportunity to meet other local business owners. Here, he shares about his Hartford-based business and the importance of networking.

When did you open your business and how has it evolved?

WILLIE: I opened May 16, 2016. It was just me in the beginning, I basically started the business out of the trunk of my car with a little bit of cleaning equipment. Now, I have four trucks and 15 employees. Also, I started by cleaning small mom-and-pop businesses. Expanding my network made it easier to grow.

Any advice for others who want to start a business in the Hartford Region?

WILLIE: Just do it. You’ve got to start, you can’t procrastinate. Don’t be afraid to fail because you never fail. You just go onto the next thing and then you learn from your mistakes.

One of the fears that holds people back is thinking they have to know everything. You don’t have to know everything. And you can always find somebody to help with the things you don’t know. Network and learn from others. That’s how I really grew, by meeting people and learning from them.

Read the entire interview at the Hartford Chamber of Commerce