5 steps to run your maid service from anywhere in the world

October 29, 2022 in Systems & Automation

Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on a talk given by Neel Parekh at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

About the presenter

Neel Parekh is the Founder and CEO of MaidThis® & MaidThis® Franchise, which helps homeowners and short-term rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) with their cleaning needs. His business has generated millions in revenue while having a fully remote team. Now, Neel is on a mission to help others achieve the same!

The traditional side hustle path

Have you wanted to start a remote side hustle but don’t know where to begin? 

Influencers bombard you with to-do lists. They post content every day to convince you to start a side hustle their way. They often suggest that before you start a side hustle, you need to read dozens of blogs or buy an ebook. 

Influencers want your money even if their side hustle isn’t the best path for you. Side hustles in eCommerce, digital marketing, blogging, and freelancing are described as the ‘up-and-coming’ markets.

But, you don’t have to follow the current trends if they’re not right for you. We’re here to tell you that you can run a profitable local business remotely. Imagine running a local business just like you’ve always wanted! 

In today’s article, we’re going to share how to run your maid service from anywhere in the world with Neel Perekh’s five-step process roadmap.

Process roadmap: Five steps to becoming location independent

These are the five steps to a remote work-life:

  1. Eliminate your office needs
  2. Build your remote team
  3. Build your remote culture
  4. Ensure you’re connected while traveling
  5. Own the fact that you’re remote

Step one: Keys to making a local biz location-less

Ensure limited overhead. The beauty of the cleaning industry, in general, is that the workers typically get dispatched from their homes. Do you really need an office? Can the manager also work from home? You may require storage, vehicles, and employees, but you don’t necessarily need a physical office space. 

In this day and age, most people call companies or book an appointment online. Fewer people walk through the doors of a cleaning service company to initiate business.

Ensure key management pieces are done virtually. Take the necessary steps to create an environment that works efficiently online. 

Virtual management has increased significantly in the past decade. COVID emboldened more business owners to pursue online platforms for almost everything.

Select a business that is NOT capital intensive (i.e. no retail) to take away the need for additional in-person storage spaces.

Have one local manager for as-needed tasks (hiring, interviewing, meeting with customers, etc.) In a post-COVID world, this will be easier. When you move most tasks to the virtual sphere, only a few key aspects of the business need to be conducted in-person.

Step two: Find your remote team

When you have a self-sufficient remote team, you can hop on a plane for Colombia in the middle of the day and not worry about your business.

So how do you find a great team? Use a platform like Upwork or WeWorkRemotely. There are tons of websites like these out there that help with online hiring.

Fun pro tip: Post a secret word in a job ad. To sift through the applications to find a serious candidate, write a small sentence at the bottom of your ad, such as “please include ‘pineapples on pizza is weird’” in your cover letter. Then, only review candidates who include that phrase or word in their application. This will help you find outstanding applicants who have thoroughly read your job ad!

Use a three-month trial period for new employees. Tell your new employees that you will monitor them each month for three months. Provide one month of hardcore training and then two months of on-the-job training. Give them proper training and set clear expectations. When you devote a lot of training time upfront, you don’t need to do it later. Don’t just send your new employees into the fire — give them the tools that they need to thrive!

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do video interviews in multiple stages! Start with a Whatsapp video call for ten minutes. This is the video introduction stage. Next, have a different employee schedule a longer interview with the applicant to discuss pay, how things work, etc. Finally, schedule a final interview to offer a job if the applicant seems like a good fit. The multiple stages help you understand the character of the person, their reliability, and their professionalism.

Geography-specific advantages of remote hiring

Identify the advantages of the individual you can hire. If you’re in the hiring process, look at this example as a guide:

If you hire someone from Honduras, these are some pros:

  • They are often bilingual, which is helpful for any job.
  • Honduras has an existing call and support center infrastructure. Your potential new employee may already have years of experience in a similar field.
  • The weak currency guarantees a cost-efficient labor force.
  • Latin American time zones are the same as the US.

If you hire someone from South Africa, these are some pros:

  • They are native English speakers with an accent that Americans love.
  • South African currency is falling; workers like the stability that the US dollar provides.
  • South Africa has a relatively untapped talent pool compared to the popular outsourcing in Southeast Asia.

This guide is subject to change but can give you a few ideas if you want to hire workers outside the US.

Step three: Build your culture

This sounds like a no-brainer, right?

When you have a remote team, you want it to hold itself together without your constant and immediate presence. 

A great culture and a great foundation for a remote team “glues” everything together. 

Use a platform like Slack as your central communication hub. Include a channel called “random” to post funny photos or stories to lighten the mood. Anything funny happen at work? Post it! Lighthearted banter is healthy in a remote work environment. 

Buy a Spotify subscription for everyone and listen to the same music playlist together. It’s kind of like a DJ session!

See your team face-to-face through Google Meet’s video-communication service. A message sent through Slack may be helpful, but sometimes the most efficient mode of communication (if you’re not in-person) is a video call. Save time and call your employee when you have a complicated question.

Want to learn more about building a great company culture? Check out this article: Build a Cleaning Company People Actually Want to Work For and Grow Your Maid Service With the Right Team!

Step four: Stay connected while traveling

How do you successfully run a business while traveling from country to country or city to city?

First and foremost: STAY CONNECTED — at least at the beginning. Make sure that your remote team members have the support they need. Keep an eye on your business first and then travel. 

Travel hack: Pick a city where there’s a hotspot for “nomads.” These hotspots where digital nomads gravitate already have good Wifi and a low cost of living. Pick a place that interests you and can keep you connected.

Look for a co-working space. If you’re more productive in a co-working space as opposed to your home, then take a few minutes to research a co-working space. These places help you get into a routine right away. A co-working space allows you to compartmentalize your time.

A similar option is a co-living space. Here, people live AND work together. Talk about quality time with some strangers, huh? This is a great way to meet people and have a routine. Just remember to research the wifi in the co-living space before you go.

Include the timezone in your travel choice. It is easier to work remotely if you live within three to five hours of your regular time zone. If you’re a night owl, you could possibly work in a city 12 hours ahead. Do what works the best for you and your body. 

Set your schedule. Know how long it will take you to get in a rhythm and plan accordingly.

Step five: Own it!

Be proud of your remote workforce and own it! Many people think that their customers will be turned off by a remote workforce. This is largely false! Customers will gravitate toward you and your story. When you tell customers that you have a team in South Africa and a team in Honduras, they might even be more interested in your company.

Don’t worry about the occasional customer that dislikes your business model. There are customers to be had anywhere. 

Customers who appreciate your business model have similar workforce values to you. These customers are easier to deal with in the long run when you are culturally alike.

If you have a remote team, be proud of it and flaunt it!

Next steps

So there you have it; Neel Perekh’s five-step roadmap to creating a fully remote maid service! Do you already have plans to travel while you run your business? Tell us about it in the comments!

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

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. 

To hear Neel Parekh’s full talk from the Maid Summit, click here

Try ZenMaid for free!


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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