I started cleaning houses out of the trunk of my car the year my son was born. I quit work to have a baby and had no intentions of going back to work full time. Childcare was expensive and I wanted to be home. But it wasn’t long before I felt the need to supplement our income, so I posted an ad in the local paper to clean houses. I cleaned solo for eight years (had two babies by then and both were in school). When I turned 30 I realized I didn’t want to still be cleaning by time I would turn 40. I made up my mind to get out of the field and turn my cleaning job into a cleaning business. That was long before Google and the internet. You went to the library if you wanted to learn about an industry.
Within a year I was out of the field completely and growing my business. Within seven years we grossed a million dollars in annualized sales. My company, Buckets & Bows Maid Service, is one of the largest independent maid services in the country. We have over 40 employees, and over 500 customers. If you count our one-time customers in a year, we service over 700 accounts each year. I know what it takes to get out of the field and to grow a business from the trunk up! It takes more than just hard work. I know a lot of very, very hard-working people who have tried unsuccessfully for years to get out of the field. So what’s stopping people from getting out of the field forever? Why do some people find themselves still cleaning year after year, despite their efforts to hire and train their replacements? Few people grow past three to five employees on their own, and then their profits are so low they might as well go back to cleaning. Or they never grow beyond their solo venture and burn out trying. Here are somethings you must do in order to get out of field and grow your business:
- Abandon Perfectionism – as a cleaner you developed a perfectionistic standard. This works great when it’s just you and you are getting tons of referrals and you are in demand. You win more customers than you know what to do with and they all think your work is amazing. The problem is when you try to grow and expand it becomes impossible to train your staff to clean like you do, to be “perfect”. The result is frustration. Replace “perfection” standards with standards of excellence. That’s much more obtainable.
- Fire Some Customers – if you’ve chosen to get out of the field and you’ve hired and trained your first employee, most of your customers will warm up to the idea once they see there is no other option. If you have a customer or two that insists that they only want you to clean their home, don’t feel guilty, let them go. To give in and continue cleaning is to undermine your own opportunity for success. Replace that customer with someone who will know up front that your staff will be cleaning, not you.
- Charge What You’re Worth – if you don’t charge enough for your service you’ll never be able to pay workers to do the cleaning. Shop your professional competition’s rates (the franchised cleaning businesses) and charge accordingly. If they can get the higher rates for service, why would you charge 1/3 less than they do? Aren’t you worth it? If you clean as good or better, why are you so so cheap? Undercharging for service is one of the top reason small businesses don’t make it.
- Hire Slow, Fire Fast – if you hope to get out of the field you have to get really good at hiring quality people to work for you. Take your time, do a thorough background check, and offer through training. If you discover within a week or two that you’ve made a mistake, correct it fast. You can’t train a bad person to be a good employee. You can only train a bad cleaner to get better at cleaning. If your new worker has dependability issues or integrity problems, it won’t get better. Cut your losses and start over.
- Follow A Proven Method – the best way to succeed in business is to know what works, follow it to a T and don’t change it! Do you use two-person teams? Three-person teams? One-person teams? Do you know why you do what you do? Don’t react to what’s going on in your business, plan how the business will operate and stick to it. Know why you do everything you do. Operate from a position of profit and ease of operations. Stay focused and follow a plan, don’t get side-tracked with every “crisis” that comes your way.
I have the privilege of teaching other residential cleaning business owners how to get out of the field forever and how to grow a successful and profitable cleaning business. My 40+ hour course, THE NEVER CLEAN AGAIN UNIVERSITY, is unique–there’s nothing else out there like this course. If you are interested in getting out of the field forever and growing your residential cleaning business please take my OWNER’S SURVEY now. Once you complete the survey, please send me an email to set up a free consultation: [email protected]
Here is what some have said about my course:
Where do YOU want to be 12 months from today? What steps are you taking to insure you reach your goal? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome–that’s insane. If you want to change your life and change your business you have to do something different, and do what works. My proven system will give you the answers you’ve been looking for. How bad do you want it? You could be out of the field and managing employees in 90 days………if you want to. Do you believe in yourself? If you do, contact me and I’ll help you.
I look forward to speaking with you! CONTACT ME NOW: OWNER’S SURVEY