This article was formed from a live talk given by Courtney Wisely at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.
This summit showcased over 40 cleaning industry experts who shared their success stories so that other owners like you can learn from their experiences.
Improve your cleaning company today by watching replays of all of the talks at maidsummit.com
About the presenter
Courtney Wisely is the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at ZenMaid and is the owner of Magic Maids in St. Louis.
Courtney not only holds considerable roles in these companies, but she also spends her time helping others improve their home cleaning companies at Rescue My Maid Service.
She’s known for creating strategies, growth plans, coming up with fresh ideas, support for staff, clients and she does so much more.
The best thing about her is that she does it all because she is a genuine person who really loves to help people. Due to this giving nature, Courtney has decided to share how her scheduling and automation techniques have made life in the cleaning business, much simpler.
#1. The art of handling your Maid Service’s internal processes
Automate your home cleaning business everywhere possible.
Scheduling and general follow-up communication should be automated. These aspects of your Maid Service are small individually, but they build up.
So, if you are still having to make individual calls from your private phone or texting, it’s time to let some of those old habits go.
This wastes valuable time that you could be spending with your family or on cultivating a great brand for your cleaning business.
Plus, this doesn’t set up the divide you need between cleaning client and service provider and it will lead to blurred boundaries.
As you scale up, you will experience other problems too, so the last thing you need to worry about is changing a system you just opted into.
It’s important to find software that will be efficient, easy to use and has the ability to grow with your company.
Be sure that the software you choose is constantly being updated: you want to be working with a company that innovates.
Organize your Maid Service’s documents digitally
All of the different documents that you keep on hand for hiring or quality checks, guidelines, etc. should be set up neatly in your computer.
Disorganization can throw a real wrench into your system, slowing your progress.
Keep all of your documents together in a Google Drive folder so that you have easy access.
Send groups of documents such as quality checks to cleaning clients on an automated basis, so that you can check-in more periodically, not just in the beginning.
Another set of paperwork you may want to automate is your “welcome packet”, the collection of documents you might send to a new customer with a greeting and prices, etc.
You can also send over your guidelines automatically when a customer books.
Automating these will help you to stay connected, continue to build rapport, and be more aware of the satisfaction of your cleaning clients.
Revamp the internal vibe of your Maid Service
Do your internal processes function well for your business?
Observe and improve the way that you are doing things internally in order to grow your business.
You need to have an abundance mindset. For most of us, this requires us to alter the way you are thinking about money.
When we have the antonym, scarcity mindset, we treat our dollars like they are all we will ever have, and it stops us from looking at the long-term.
Long-term thinking is what we need in order to succeed, to be willing to ride the wave and grow over time.
Along with your internal thoughts, check out your internal systems.
Which ones do you have automated, and of those, which are working for your home cleaning company?
When you have the proper systems in place, your Maid Service will run much smoother and your shoulders will feel lighter.
ZenMaid works as a great tool in many areas of your Maid Service, but there are a number of other great automation tools you can use.
Canva, makes your brand assets, ad visuals and social media posts look beautiful.
Zapier connects different software together with ease and allows them to communicate with each other.
Actually, ZenMaid has a Zapier integration so we can communicate with your other tools and streamline your operations.
As your Maid Service grows, having software systems in place that can interact and share information makes automating your cleaning business much simpler.
Then there is MailChimp, which assists with automation and email marketing campaigns.
Additionally, you will want to track your webpage and the visitors to it with Google Analytics.
If you are not good with data and statistics, no worries, this is something you can delegate to someone who is.
You should enjoy working on the improvement of your Maid Service, positivity promotes drive and success. So do all of the things you want to do and outsource the rest.
#2 . The fun financial part
Let’s discuss one of the 3 things you don’t talk about at dinner: money.
First, KPIs are key performance indicators, a group of numbers that analyze and track how your business is doing as you move throughout the month.
You’ll be able to see how many recurring customers you have and what you should expect to make in the month ahead.
Involve your team in the growth of your cleaning business’ numbers.
Get opinions from cleaners as well as cleaning clients on what should be done to improve your numbers as you learn more about how they change.
Involving the cleaners and office staff in your productivity changes also helps with turnover rates.
By taking stock in what is important to them, you will know how to make changes before a cleaning client decides to leave your company entirely.
Some clients will still leave no matter what you do, but as long as it is under 5% of your cleaning clients, you’re good.
If the percentage is higher, then address the issue immediately.
Pay close attention to your percentages
You should know where every dollar is going, especially in the beginning.
Calculate costs at least quarterly, but it’s better to do them monthly so that you can get into the habit of awareness in all aspects of your Maid Service.
A great way to allocate funds is to have a healthy and appropriate percentage going to each section of the business.
For example, you could use:
- 55% towards payroll and employee satisfaction
- 15-20% put towards overhead such as cleaning supplies, office supplies, and other bills associated with your cleaning business
- 10% should be used just for marketing
- 20% can be allocated for your salary
Although most owners don’t take a paycheck the first year, you certainly could but it might be better to put it back into the cleaning business for now, particularly in marketing as this is how you find more business.
It is important to assign money this way so that you can get in the habit of sectioning that off so that it is available when needed.
Finances should be a priority
Properly structured finances are important so that you do not find yourself in a desperate situation.
It allows you to provide quality pay to keep your cleaners and staff motivated.
Once you figure out your percentages though, they should stay the same as you grow.
Your overheads may end up changing over time depending on how you go about expanding your business, but you still should have its fluctuations recorded.
Also, if you have enough work, you might be able to spend less in the marketing portion of your fund and maybe put that towards an expanding overhead.
Be sure to have someone keep track of your finances as they change so that you don’t overstretch your wallet.
#3. Marketing, ads, and networking for your Maid Service
Marketing should be the number one area you are trying to invest in.
It’s not as simple as just babbling to coworkers or making posts on Facebook.
In fact, the best way to gain customers is with great marketing, and there are so many ways you can do it!
It’s all in the ads
Start trying to put more money into your advertising to get your name out there and in the view of the community.
You’ll find that the investment was worth it.
Let’s say on average you spend $250 to gain one cleaning client.
Each of those cleaning clients is worth $3000 a year.
There is an obvious return there, you get it.
Be cautious with how you are spending your money on advertising though.
Facebook paid ads don’t always work the way that you think that they will.
Plenty of people find themselves losing money on these ads, but there is a way to go about them that has the potential to be a bit more profitable.
You can also start out a bit simpler and create ads on Canva to share with your networks online.
No matter what ad style you choose, your Maid Service will need a web presence.
Get yourself a WordPress webpage and insert all of your plug-ins so that it can be easily shared throughout the interwebs.
If you aren’t tech-savvy, use Lynda.com to learn all about WordPress and pretty much anything to do with all things technology.
Get your whole website done to the best of your ability if you can afford to get it professionally done, do because it is totally worth it.
Actually, even if you do it yourself, have someone fix it up when you can afford it because you’ll be happy you did.
Within your website, you can track how people interact with it.
Pay attention to the pages they stay on and the pages they leave. Monitor and see what your ideal clients are looking for.
It’s not always what you think it will be.
Just follow your analytics and that will help with branding and honing in on your target market.
Once you figure that out, it all gets much easier to understand because you have a more specific cleaning client in mind.
Network your heart out
As much as it is possible, you need to be networking.
Talk proudly about your home cleaning business and engage in conversations that can bring about positive changes for it.
Then start joining different places or clubs where you can build these sorts of connections throughout your community.
Join the city’s Chamber of Commerce, it isn’t always cheap, but it is effective.
Or if you don’t like to jump right into things, join a group that cares about something you care about and like to do.
If you’re just starting to interact on a grander scale in your community, it can be intimidating. Start small so that you can get used to meeting and talking with groups of people like this, and if that is too much then start out by joining online groups.
Once you pick a group to start with, socialize and talk about your business. This is a very natural way to engage with others about the great cleaning services you offer.
A little about the art of the follow-up
Tracking and following up on leads for cleaning clients is absolutely crucial.
People forget, they get distracted and your Maid Service will be lost to them if you don’t remind them you exist.
Get the emails from people you interact with in your networking, advertising, and marketing ventures.
Market to these people until the end of time.
Say hello and offer specials.
Let them know that your Maid Service is always there just waiting to clean their home.
If someone isn’t responding or scheduling right away, continue to follow up using different media.
Try a few types of attempts before you catalog a lead as cold, maybe after something like 2 phone calls, 2 messages, and 2 emails.
After that, you can sort them into a more periodic check-in list.
#4. Hire well and keep good company
Hiring is a whole entity in itself.
Start off on the right track from the beginning with your new hires.
When you have a phone interview, pre-screen with a few questions such as:
- Are you over the age of 21
- Do you have a licensed and insured vehicle?
- Are you able to work Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM?
- Can you pass a drug screen?
- When we run your background check, what will we find?
If they are able to check these boxes, then that passes them onward without you having to waste time on a candidate who may not meet basic requirements.
These sort of screenings also reduce the number of cleaner walk-outs or no shows, and in this industry, you want to limit turnover where you can.
After the cleaner has passed this portion, set them up with an in-person interview.
Keep cleaners and staff around with your honesty
Allow an applicant to fully understand the basic information around the position as well as the pay.
You really want to be transparent about what you are offering where employment is concerned so that people know what they are getting into.
It can increase your turnover rate rapidly if cleaners are showing up for a position not as described, so save yourself the time and paperwork by being upfront.
Continue to hire even when your roster is filled so that you have a couple back up cleaners waiting if something should happen.
Set the culture of your Maid Service as a standard
From the beginning of your relationship, your cleaners and cleaning office staff should be trained by your company.
This helps onboarding run much smoother as your employees will now see the standard that has been set for your cleaning business.
Create a solid, easy to understand training program to make the process much more streamlined and uniformed.
You’ll find that this will actually transfer over into the business itself.
Training will be the same so your cleaning clients will be receiving the same treatment and know what to expect from your Maid Service.
As part of your culture, you should also embed a system to track and reward quality employees for being themselves.
It is so important to reward good behavior in any setting, but especially where a cleaning business is concerned because it affects everything.
Your cleaners’ motivations and attitudes are influenced by the environment that they are working in.
So be the kind of owner that sets an example with your own positivity, drive and desire to constantly grow and improve.
#5. Knowledge in the cleaning industry
Never stop learning.
“If you’re always learning, you’re always growing.” – Courtney Wisely
No matter how much you think you know, things are always advancing all around us.
Read, read, read as often as you can to expand your knowledge on business, on the cleaning industry and about personal growth.
There are several books linked in this article, but just for the fun of it, here are a few others:
Always keep researching and learning more about strategies and advancements in your industry.
Engagement and curiosity about better ways to do things really represent key elements in having a successful business long-term.
Enjoy the process and learn from the struggle, this is your life and there is no time to put yourself or your home cleaning business on the backburner.
This article was created from the information shared in a talk by Courtney Wisely at the 2019 Maid Summit.