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Scaling your cleaning service by overcoming your fears

February 26, 2022 in Business, Mindset

Last Updated on November 3, 2022 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on an inspiring presentation given by Courtney Wisely at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

About the presenter

Courtney Wisely has helped thousands of maid service owners with tech and automation. She started on the ZenMaid team in 2017 by helping owners automate their scheduling while running her own maid service, Magic Maids. Courtney founded Rescue My Maid Service in June of 2018 and has since grown it to one of the largest teams in the industry. Her passion for educating others fuels her mission, and she has grown a team of like-minded individuals to help her do so. Her Rescue Team is made up of maid service owners that have graduated from her course, the DSB, and that love to help others succeed.

Why do so many solopreneurs stay solo?

Are you a solopreneur feeling stuck? Do you want to grow your cleaning business, but fears are holding you back?

You’re not alone. Fear is the number one factor that holds back so many of us in business. What if we could find a way to overcome our fears? What would happen in our businesses?

Before Courtney Wisely grew two wildly successful businesses, she had fears holding her back and was struggling to get by. But when she learned to “forget” her fears, this is what happened: 

  • Her business has an amazing employee retention
  • Client satisfaction is the best it’s ever been
  • Her maid service runs like a well-oiled machine
  • She has the freedom to travel whenever she wants
  • And, she only works ten minutes a week in her maid service

So how can you attain results like this in your own business? It starts with identifying your fears. 

Common entrepreneurial fears

Many entrepreneurs face similar challenges in business, and therefore, face common fears. The top ones we’re covering today are the fear of the unknown, fear of screwing up, fear of employees ruining your business (or reputation), and fear of losing control. 

If any of these sound all too familiar to you, here’s how to overcome them: forget your fears. 

Now, before you ditch this article because you know it’s easier said than done, stick with us for a minute! Let’s walk through how to forget fears, one fear at a time. 

Fear of the unknown

There are two ways to tackle the fear of the unknown; it depends on whether you’re more logically driven or emotionally driven. 

If you’re driven by logic and tend to think analytically, face this fear like you’re problem-solving. Start by writing a list of unknowns that scare you the most. For example, here are some of the unknowns that Courtney had in her cleaning business:

  1. She didn’t know how to clean professionally 
  2. She didn’t know how to build a client base
  3. She didn’t know how to set up a business legally
  4. She didn’t know how to hire good employees

Maybe you can relate to Courtney’s fears, or maybe yours are completely different? Whatever they are, take time to identify them. 

Once you have a realistic list of your fears, take time to walk through how you would solve each problem if they were to arise. Using Courntey’s fears above as the example, here’s how this could go:

  1. Not knowing how to clean professionally. Solution: Take a training to increase confidence. 
  2. Not knowing how to build a client base. Solution: Ask if you can buy a former boss lunch to learn how they did it.
  3. Not knowing how to set up a business legally. Solution: Read about it with free resources online, or hire an accountant to do it for you. 
  4. Not knowing how to hire good employees. Solution: Accept that this might take time. Find resources and mentors to guide you. 

Some of us are more emotionally driven by the fear of the unknown. If this is you, make a list of what you know about yourself. More specifically, make a list of your biggest strengths in business.

For example, maybe you have a killer work ethic! Or, are you resourceful? Are you willing to ask questions and never stop learning? Do you refuse to give up?

Once you identify your strengths, you can face the fear of the unknown armed with the knowledge that no matter what happens, these things will always be true and will allow you to overcome anything. 

Therefore, the unknown is now the known. So scratch that fear! Have faith and trust in yourself that you’ll be able to overcome anything that comes your way. 

Fear of screwing up

So let’s move on to the second common fear: the fear of screwing up. 

Whether you’re a perfectionist that has to tweak things a million times before it’s done, or someone who can’t bear the thought of making a mistake, this fear is very real. 

The unfortunate reality is that you will screw up. Better yet, we ALL will screw up at some point. There’s just no way around it — we’re human!

But here’s the good thing: no one will care. 

Unless you’re intentionally harming someone, no one will care about your mistakes. The key is to be prepared for it and humble enough to make amends when you do make a mistake. 

So how do we overcome the fear of failure? Acceptance. This fear is faced by the simple act of accepting that mistakes are going to happen. 

Fear of employees ruining your business reputation

You’ve worked hard to build up a good reputation in your community. The fear of ruining your business with the wrong employees may be holding you back from hiring the help you need. 

As we mentioned before, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. Reach out to an old boss or mentor to buy them lunch and ask how they’ve hired successfully. Better yet, if you can afford it, join a mentorship program to be trained on how to hire great employees. 

When it comes to hiring employees, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive. So don’t wait to hire until you’re completely overwhelmed and need to get help as soon as possible. Look to hire someone great before you get to that point.

Be proactive and look for employees who align with your mission. Though each employee may be taking on different roles, a united team under the same mission produces better results.

Bonus: Check out these great resources for hiring and training new employees: How to train new cleaners under pressure, How to hire and retain the best employees for your cleaning business, and How to hire cleaners for your maid service in 6 easy steps.

Even with the best team in the world, difficult clients can still get upset and leave bad reviews. But this doesn’t mean your reputation is ruined. Clients in the consideration stage will read your responses to the bad review. If you respond with kindness and commit to supporting your team, your reputation won’t suffer.

Finally, strive to work with your employees, not over them. Employees across all industries perform better when they feel part of a supportive team — not when they’re being micromanaged. 

If you tend to micromanage employees, you may have a fear of losing control, which brings us the fourth common fear.

Fear of losing control

This is typically the most common fear: losing control. Our businesses are our babies, right? We built them. We know every aspect of it inside and out. And, we think there’s no way anyone will care as much as we do. 

Well, that is not always true. When you build the right team, your employees will care about the success of your business. But to accomplish this, there needs to be a mindset shift: You have to learn to accept excellence instead of perfection. 

We’ve probably all had a boss that breathed down our necks and checked on every single thing we did. If you had that boss, you probably didn’t appreciate it. 

Nobody likes a micromanager. Even if you don’t mean to be, if that’s you, you’re not going to keep good employees very long. If you demand perfection, you’re going to be a solopreneur forever, unable to scale a business. 

So how do you let go of control without really letting go of control?

Utilize tools like ClickUp and ZenMaid to keep an eye on what your employees are doing without feeling like you’re breathing down their neck. The great thing about online tools like these is that you can give your employees a sense of accountability without needing to be near them physically. 

Next, perform random quality checks. This doesn’t mean going into quality checks looking for ways to correct everything; rather, looking for ways to reward your employees when they’ve done a great job. When employees look forward to quality checks with an anticipation of being rewarded, they’re more likely to want to do a great job all the time. 

Our final piece of advice is to do regular performance reviews. Whether monthly, quarterly, or annually, performance reviews are a great way to give feedback and set new goals with employees. This way, you have regular opportunities to encourage growth in your team and acknowledge employees when they’re exceeding expectations.

To wrap up

Take a few minutes to identify which of these fears resonate the most with you from this article. Write down the steps you’re going to take to overcome these fears and make a plan to put them into action. You’re capable of doing great things in your business! We hope this helped on your journey — let us know how you get on. 

This article is just a taste of the wonderful presentation given by Courtney Wisely. To hear the full presentation, visit this link.

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

How to Train New Cleaners Under pressure: Pressure Training 101

How to Hire and Retain The Best Employees For your Cleaning Business

How To Hire Cleaners For Your Maid Service in 6 Easy Steps

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. 

Try ZenMaid for free!

ZenMaid

About the author: Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc (www.zenmaid.com). He previously 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. His goal with the maid service software at ZenMaid is to help other maid service owners do the same.

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