8 steps for building a maid service that can run without you

Last Updated on October 24, 2022 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on a presentation by Amy Caris at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.  Amy is an online business manager, business operations consultant, and the founder of Clean Ideas, a company that helps cleaning service owners simplify tech, systems, and automations. 

If you’re the owner of a cleaning service, do any of the following sound like you?

  • You feel like you always need to swoop in and save the day.
  • You spend your time being reactive, rather than proactive with your business.
  • You feel scattered and are jumping from task-to-task

If you answered yes to any of those statements, you’re probably living a life far different from the one you envisioned when you started your business. Instead of controlling your time, you’re glued to your phone and laptop while running every aspect of your business.

Maid service expert Amy Caris says it doesn’t have to be this way. Amy teaches maid service owners how to take back their time and build businesses that run like clockwork without them. 

By implementing her 8-step system, you can simplify and transform your frantic business into a streamlined operation. Read on to learn Amy’s tips for freeing yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business. 

Step 1: Get your mindset right

Before anything, commit to completing all 8 steps – no skipping. Each step builds on the others so you won’t see results unless you complete the entire process. 

And if you think you don’t have time to set this up, here’s your choice: Keep going as you are, stressed and overworked. Or slow down and invest the time and effort today so you can spend much less time running your business in the future.

If you’re not committed to doing the work, stop and focus on your mindset. Once you’re serious about doing what it takes to implement everything, move on to step 2. 

Step 2: Document your client journey

Do you know every step in a client’s journey, from first hearing about your business to becoming a loyal repeat client?

Write down every touchpoint, including calls, emails, and forms that need to be sent out.  

Every step in the journey equals a step in your process that you’ll need to address.

Step 3: Write out all the tasks you’re personally responsible for

Once you’ve identified all the steps in a client journey, write down everything that you do for your business. Every. Single. Task. Often, business owners are surprised at how long this list can be.

Log all of these tasks on a document or spreadsheet – don’t overthink the tech. This list could include: running payments, putting credit cards on hold, scheduling and rescheduling appointments, and hiring and training cleaners. Get it all out of your head because these are the things that need to happen without you. 

Once you have your list, identify the tasks that are key to your client journey. Those are your priorities.

Step 4: Create a business playbook 

What are the processes for all the tasks that you handle? For example, how do you charge a credit card, process a refund, or create and send an invoice?

Often cleaning services have multiple systems and documentation about processes scattered throughout those systems and software. This step is about consolidating all of that documentation in one place. 

There’s a lot of software available to help you capture your operating procedures, but you can also keep it simple with Google Docs and folders. The tech is less important than actually capturing all this information in one centralized place. 

Make this information available in an easily accessible playbook so that other people can come in and complete tasks and solve problems. 

Step 5: Select project management software

Once you have a playbook, it’s time to decide on a project management tool. With so many options like Asana and ClickUp, it all comes down to preference. 

A project management tool is where you assign people specific tasks and deadlines. Link these assigned tasks to the corresponding documentation in your playbook. If the assignees have questions, they can turn to the playbook for answers, instead of you. You can also include templates for emails, lists, and anything your staff needs to get their tasks done. Don’t reinvent the wheel each time. 

The whole point is that you’ll gradually move tasks off your to-do list and onto someone else’s plate. Make the tasks specific so that whoever you assign – virtual assistant, office manager, or someone else – knows exactly what’s expected of them. 

Make sure to add recurring tasks to your project management tool so you don’t have to assign them every week, one one-by-one. Instead, the project management tool delegates tasks for you. 

Step 6: Customize a central hub

The next step is to create a central hub in your project management tool. 

A central hub will allow you to create areas and categories for your documentation. You could have a list of documents for cleaners, office staff, website maintenance, hiring and onboarding procedures, and instructions for key software. (So make sure the project management tool you choose allows you to do this.) 

There’s no right way to build a central hub. Build one that’s right for your business and the way you and your team work. 

Step 7: Outsource

Once all your processes are documented, organized, and linked in one central place, you can begin to delete and outsource tasks that were once your sole responsibility. Thanks to the playbook and central hub you’ve set up, your assignees will know what to do, when to do it, and how. 

Another benefit is if an employee goes on vacation or suddenly quits, you can easily assign their tasks (and supporting documentation from the central hub) to another person. 

Step 8: Automate and optimize

Now you’re ready to optimize, automate, and make the most of tech automation tools like Zapier to make your business run more efficiently. 

You don’t have to be there to send every email, appointment reminder, or review request. Let the tech tools do this work for you while you enjoy life away from your office. 

For more tips on how to create systems that allow your maid service to succeed without you, watch Amy’s full talk below:

Learn more:

For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business. 

If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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ZenMaid existe para que los servicios de limpieza como el suyo tengan éxito. Empezamos creando el software de programación más simple para su servicio de limpieza. Ahora contribuimos a la industria con eventos como el Maid Summit, comunidades de #zenmaiders como el ZenMaid Mastermind en Facebook, y asombrosos contenidos gratuitos como los que encontrará en esta misma página. Aprende más