Sheri-Anne Woolley is the owner of Mona Cleaning, a multi-six-figure business that runs itself and gives her the freedom that all entrepreneurs crave. Sheri-Anne now seeks to help her fellow business owners learn how to develop autonomous systems in their cleaning service. In this post, you’ll learn the key factors your business needs to scale for profits and success.
One of the biggest challenges cleaning business owners face is making the shift from cleaner to cleaning business owner. A lot of maid service owners start their business as a cleaner themself and build a reputation around their own skills as a cleaning professional.
While this is a great way to start the business and grow your initial customer base, this model makes it challenging to grow your business beyond a certain point. If you want your business to scale, you need to be able to take off the “cleaner” hat and put on the “business owner” hat.
Getting out of the field and spending your time focusing on growing your business will allow you to take on more customers and focus on increasing revenue.
Starting, operating, scaling, and even selling a business depend on the same set of principles.
Let’s go over the three key components you need to have in place to take you from cleaning professional to cleaning business owner.
Fundamental systems that take you out of the business
Every business needs systems. You can’t grow your business to six figures and beyond without having a set of systems in place that you can automate to save you time.
The right systems let you hire a team, communicate with your customers, find new customers and step away from the business to focus on other things.
There are three central systems that every company needs:
Having the right financial systems in place in your business helps you understand your numbers more clearly and puts you in a healthier financial position as you grow your business.
A financial system can include financial software that automates your books for you. You can also automate your finances by hiring an accountant or bookkeeper.
Try to get your financial systems to a point where you’re spending only a few hours per month looking at your finances while still having a solid understanding of your numbers.
Look for ways to automate the marketing activities that you do repeatedly and often. Utilize tools and software to automate things like social media and email marketing.
Having a process in place for managing marketing tasks can also help you identify what marketing techniques are working best for you.
When you know which marketing channels are working best, you can simplify your marketing strategy and focus more effort on automating the things that are working.
If you have the budget, consider bringing on a marketing assistant to whom you can delegate high-touch marketing projects.
Your operational systems dictate how you run your maid service. Operations can include your hiring process, how you train your employees, and how you communicate with your customers.
If you don’t think you have any systems in this area, start writing down everything you do on a day-to-day business to keep the business operational.
This list will tell you what things you can create processes for and begin outsourcing or automating the activities that take up most of your time.
Most service-based businesses struggle to develop an operational process in their business to get them out of the field. New issues keep popping up, and they end up exhausting their effort putting out the fire in front of them.
Every time you try to get ahead, a new problem arises, and you might feel like you’re back at square one.
Systems and processes help your business run more smoothly and predictably. They keep you and employees happy, which creates less stress and work for you as an owner.
The right people supporting your business
People are your most important asset. Both your staff as well as your customers need nurturing and attention to stay loyal to your business. You need the right people supporting your business to ensure your business can sustain itself long term.
Focus on making the people in your business happy — clients and employees alike — by creating an environment of honesty and trust. It takes time to build but makes a huge difference and will impact your business’s longevity and scalability.
When you have structure and organization in how you correspond with customers and employees, they have a better experience. Internally this can look like templates and content for your employees to follow.
For your clients, this looks like good communication skills, following up, and giving them the information they need when they need it.
When building your operational systems, create multiple ways to stay in contact with your customers to continue to nurture those relationships.
If you started your business as a cleaner yourself, you might think you can’t find someone who cleans as meticulously as you. A lot of times, this feeling comes from overcomplicating your process.
You can’t be militant with your staff, and you won’t always be able to look over their shoulders to see what they are doing.
Once you have the right training systems for your staff, you won’t have to worry about your team not doing as good of a job as you were. You’ll know that you trained them to match your standards, and it will let you let go of the need to control that process in the field.
Even if you’re posting job ads in the right places and have the right messaging, you still need to nurture your relationship with employees. Employee morale, satisfaction, and company culture are things that never go away and need constant attention.
When it comes to your customers, make sure that you know the ideal type of customer you want to serve. Be unwavering when it comes to professional boundaries and make it clear with your customers what you offer and what you do not.
This persona will funnel out anyone who is looking for something different and make sure that the customers you do work with are satisfied with the service they receive.
Tools and technology that make your job easier
The right tools and tech stack will make it so much easier to manage your business when you or your team need to step away.
Instead of spending time figuring out what’s working and what isn’t, you can use tools to track the progress of various aspects of your business. Then, you can spend more time analyzing the information and figuring out new ways to grow your business.
But before you invest in fancy tools and apps, you have to have the rudimentary systems down first.
Having fundamental processes in place, like the ones we mentioned above, will make the tools work for you more efficiently.
Tools won’t solve your business problems. You need to get organized first.
When you implement the three elements mentioned in this post, you will see and enjoy predictable profits in your business. You’ll also have more time to figure out your unique style as a business owner.
With these elements in place, everything you’re already doing will become more manageable, and you will make more money.
Most businesses get stagnant because the framework they run their business on is in their head and not through tangible systems they can replicate.
When you have the right systems in place, you won’t have to guess what you should be doing. You’ll know that the critical parts of your business are running in the background.
The systems around you will keep you focused on the things you need to focus on to get the most results out of your efforts.
If they seem overwhelming, focus on one at a time. Pick one area of your business to streamline, and do it thoroughly and with consistency.
To get Sherri’s detailed, step-by-step blueprint on implementing the right systems into your business, check out her full presentation from the 2020 Maid Summit.
The Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, was designed to give cleaning business owners access to the best information and experts to help them grow a successful maid service. Check out the complete list of presentations here.