Listening to an inner career calling can be uncertain and difficult, but the feeling can also be undeniable. For Robert and Alesia Knight, their steadfast commitment to faith steered them on their entrepreneurial and faith-based journey over a decade ago.
The couple began In God’s Hands (IGH) Cleaning, LLC, in January 2011. The company provides commercial janitorial services, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, floor care, and currently employs 13 individuals.
Prior to starting IGH, both Robert and Alesia were employed at Iowa State University, living comfortably with a salary, health insurance, and retirement. But it was not enough for them. They knew that their calling was to minister to people directly. Robert stepped away from his job at the University in July 2010 without a clear career direction, but they had faith that one would be presented to them.
In November 2010, a business owner asked Robert to buy a pickup truck and a snow blade. After speaking with Alesia, he agreed and In God’s Hands Outdoor Services was born. The company transitioned into commercial cleaning after one winter and they have been a staple in Ames since that time.
As the name represents, the Knights are clear about their faith and their commitment to their employees and clients. A pastor at his core, Robert begins each shift meeting with prayer and team building before they disperse to the job sites.
“We love the Ames community!” said Robert. “We raised two kids here who both have obtained degrees from Iowa State University. The best thing about the Ames community is the people, and the opportunity to serve.”
As much as ministry is at the core of their business, so is their desire to grow their business. The Knights were recently accepted to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Through the program, participants gain practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and employee management that can immediately be put into action. In addition, they receive the tools and professional support to develop a strategic and customized growth plan that will take their business to the next level.
“The opportunity to be a part of 10,000 Goldman Sachs was recommended through the Ames Chamber of Commerce. We completed the application and interview process and were accepted as participants,” said Robert. “Alesia and I are praying that our experience with 10,000 Goldman Sachs will allow our business to move to another level of service to care for people, our customers, and our team.”
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program
In partnership with each of Iowa’s 15 community colleges, including Des Moines Area Community College, the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program provides business owners the tools to develop a customized business plan for growth with topics covering financial statements negotiation, marketing, employee management, and more. The 12-week curriculum is delivered in person and online – all at no cost to Iowa business owners.
304 Main St.
Ames, Iowa 50010
Phone: (515) 232-2310
About the Ames Chamber
Centrally and conveniently located in the heart of the Midwest and Iowa, Ames is known for its healthy, stable economy, flourishing cultural environment, and the world-renowned Iowa State University.
With over 700 members, the Ames Chamber of Commerce strives to make Ames a better place to live, work, and do business by strengthening the economic vitality and the quality of life in the Ames community.