How to hire an office manager for your cleaning business

May 15, 2023 in Hiring

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by The ZenMaid Team

WHY TRUST US? The ZenMaid team has eight current and past cleaning business owners, including our CEO and founder Amar, who know the ins and outs of the maid service industry like the back of their hands. They share their expertise with us in product development, with the customer success team, and content, which includes the article you’re about to read. We also partner with some amazing leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Chris Schwab, and more, to provide you with the latest industry insights. The tips and advice you’ll find on our blog have helped our team grow their maid services, and we’re excited to share them with you to help you grow your business too.

Do you need an office manager or an assistant for your cleaning business?

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As the founder of Cleaning Business Fundamentals, the number one residential cleaning business owners academy in the world, Debbie Sardone knows a thing or two about building a multi-million dollar cleaning business. In this article, we’re sharing Debbie’s insights on hiring an office manager or assistant to save you time and money. By the end, we hope you have a clearer idea of how you’ll focus on the high-level tasks that bring you more joy and income.

Do you need an office manager or administrative assistant?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of hiring an office manager, let’s answer these questions: Do you need an office manager? If not, who is your next essential hire? And either way, how do you find that perfect hire?

Consider how much your time is worth

If you’re unsure about whether you need an office manager, consider how much your time is worth. To do this, divide your yearly income by 2,000 hours, which is the standard number of hours worked in a traditional year. For example, if you make $200,000 a year, you make $200 an hour. On the other hand, if you’re earning $50,000 a year, your time is worth about $25 an hour. If your dollar value is higher, you likely should hire an office manager to start taking over tasks that are not worth $200 an hour. 

Another factor to consider is whether you can afford a fair wage. Now, of course, everyone’s time is valuable; please don’t hear us wrong here. But if your hourly value is on the lower end, keep plugging away at your business while you work up to more revenue to afford a great office manager. If you can’t afford to pay an office manager $50,000 or more a year, you probably don’t need an office manager yet. Instead, you likely need help with your administrative tasks.

Who to hire first

Now that you know whether or not you need an office manager right now, let’s talk about the first important hire. Spoiler alert: your first admin team member hire is not an office manager. It’s an assistant — an admin assistant or an executive assistant. 

The first person you hire should not be an office manager but rather an assistant who can help with administrative tasks. Why? If you start with an admin assistant, the pay expectation and the type of work are relatively low, which means you can afford to hire them sooner rather than later.

Finding the perfect hire

So, how do you find the perfect hire for your cleaning business office? First, determine what skills you’re looking for in an admin assistant. Do you need someone with excellent communication skills, someone who can multitask, or someone who has experience in the cleaning industry? Once you’ve determined the skills you need, create a job posting that outlines the job requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities. You can post the job on your website, job boards, or social media platforms.

When you start receiving applications, be sure to screen them carefully. Look for candidates who have experience in administrative roles, have excellent communication skills, and are self-starters. You may also want to conduct a background check and call references to ensure the candidate fits your company culture well.

Setting your hire up for success

Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, setting them up for success from the start is important. This means providing them with the necessary tools and resources to do their job well. Some of the things you can do include:

  1. Creating an employee handbook that outlines your company policies and procedures.
  2. Providing them with the necessary software and equipment to do their job.
  3. Assigning them a mentor or buddy to help them get up to speed.
  4. Setting clear expectations for their role and responsibilities.

By setting your office manager up for success, you’re ensuring their success and your business’s success. When your admin assistant is successful, they’ll be able to take on more responsibilities, freeing up your time to focus on those high-level tasks that bring you more joy and income.

Understanding different types of assistants

When hiring an assistant, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, understand the different types of assistants available, including personal, admin, virtual, and executive assistants. Executive assistants tend to have higher skills and can take on more responsibilities, making them a more expensive hire. In contrast, admin assistants tend to handle lower-level tasks and are generally less expensive.

Here is a description of different assistants you might consider hiring for your cleaning business:

Personal assistant: A personal assistant is hired to assist an individual with their personal tasks such as managing their schedule, making travel arrangements, running errands, and sometimes even handling personal finances.

Administrative assistant: An administrative assistant is typically hired to assist with office tasks such as answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, managing emails, filing paperwork, and organizing documents.

Virtual assistant: A virtual assistant works remotely and performs tasks such as data entry, social media management, online research, email management, and customer service. They can be hired on an as-needed basis, which can be cost-effective for small businesses.

Executive assistant: An executive assistant is a high-level assistant who provides administrative support to senior executives, such as CEOs or other high-ranking officials. They are often responsible for managing schedules, arranging meetings, drafting correspondence, and coordinating with other executives and stakeholders. They tend to have extensive experience and skills, making them a more expensive hire.

One key advantage of hiring an assistant is the ability to try them out before giving them higher-level responsibilities or paying them a higher wage. Starting with low-level tasks allows the assistant to prove themselves and advance as their skills improve. This also allows for the possibility of promoting the assistant to other roles within the company, like a sales manager or office manager.

Should you hire a virtual assistant?

While virtual assistants can be helpful for specific tasks, it’s good to remember that building a big business requires a physical team that can handle face-to-face interactions and hold people accountable. You can’t outsource everything to virtual assistants and expect to build a successful company. Instead, it’s important to have a local admin team in place that has been well-trained and can handle a variety of responsibilities.

KPIs for admin assistants

In addition to the tips already given, there are a few more things to consider when hiring an assistant. For instance, defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for every single role in your cleaning business is crucial to find success. This includes KPIs for admin assistants, such as responding to 100% of emails daily, confirming 100% of appointments for the next day, and taking other tasks off your plate. If you’re new to delegation, try shifting at least three lower-level tasks off your plate every week until they are all handled by your assistant. Not sure where to start? Check out this video for a full breakdown of what you can assign to your assistants.

When you’ve hired the right assistant for your cleaning business, you’ll know it. They constantly look for tasks to take off your plate and don’t make excuses for not completing them. An amazing assistant is always looking for ways to lighten your daily workload.

Setting clear expectations

To set clear expectations, you need to have a detailed list of tasks, duties, and responsibilities that your assistant is expected to perform. This list should be specific and detailed, and everything should be measurable and held accountable. The number one reason for failure in the office is a lack of communication, so being specific and detailed is essential.

If you are ready to hire an office manager, consider the higher-level tasks you want them to perform. For example, you may want them to open the office at a specific time, handle last-minute call-outs from employees, ensure schedules are full and build route density, interview and hire new employees, and manage employee schedules and time off requests.

In addition to these tips, stay organized, keep track of tasks, openly communicate, and remain open to feedback and suggestions. With the right assistant and a well-defined set of expectations, you can delegate tasks and free up your time to focus on growing your business.

Wrapping up

Without a doubt, hiring an office manager or admin assistant can be a game-changer for cleaning businesses looking to streamline their operations and increase productivity. Not only does it free up your valuable time, but it also allows you to focus on tasks that truly bring joy and revenue to your company. We hope this article helped you plan to hire your next great assistant or office manager. 

Next steps

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

This talk first aired at the 2022 Maid Service Success Summit. The Maid Summit is an annual online event that brings together the most successful leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Amy Caris, Chris Schwab, and more. Get free access to masterclasses and workshops to help you grow, scale, and automate your cleaning business to get more leads and profit. Make sure you’re on our email list to find out how to get free tickets to the next event.


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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