Growing a start-up business can be tough. You need to get the word out to the people who need your services, and that’s not always easy. That’s why Omar Herrera, owner of The Maid Pros residential cleaning service in Woodbury, N.Y., is thrilled about winning a new Ford Transit Connect.

Herrera is one of five grand prize winners in Ford’s “Connect with Connect” contest. Winners will receive a customized Transit Connect, the versatile new van that debuts in February 2009 at the Chicago Auto Show. With a cargo capacity of 143 cu. ft., compact maneuverability and efficient 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, it’s the perfect vehicle for small businesses on the go.

With a customized Transit Connect, Herrera said, customers will know who he is and what he does. “The Transit Connect, really, will be like a moving billboard,” he said. “And it’s a professional image, which is what I want to convey – just like the big franchises. When I’m parked at a house, people will know why I’m there and what I’m doing. If I go shopping, and leave it parked at the mall, people can see the number and remember the name.”

Having a vehicle that fits his specific business needs will make his life much easier, as well.

“I’m using my own vehicle now, and it’s my only source of getting around,” Herrera said. “I have to fit in all my cleaning solutions, all my tools, and then I have to unload it every night. I wanted a van, but not too big of a van – the Transit Connect is perfect.”

Herrera has big plans – expanding his business, adding more staff. The Transit Connect, he said, will help pave the way.

“I’d like to get to the point where we could do 50 houses in a week,” he said. “I could see myself getting a fleet of vans – maybe 6, 8 or 10 of them – and then run this like a franchise.”


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