6 Things Nobody Tells You About Running a Million-Dollar Cleaning Business

April 27, 2023 in Business, Mindset

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

What to expect in this article

Talking about a multi-million dollar cleaning business seems glamorous and exciting on the surface. And it’s true; running a successful cleaning business allows time and freedom as you’ve never experienced before. But there is a lot that goes into it that most people won’t tell you… until today! In this article, we share six things nobody tells you about running a multi-million dollar cleaning business inspired by Angela Brown. 

It’s going to be hard work (for a long time)

First things first. Running a successful cleaning business requires a lot of really hard work. Sure, this might seem obvious, but you need to know that it’s more than hard work at the start to get things going. It requires really hard work for many, many years. This can go one of three ways. 

  1. Burning both ends of the candle until you feel completely burnt out and give up.
  2. Overworking nonstop for too many years and suffering the health consequences. (To name a few, Angela has seen colleagues suffer through heart attacks, clogged arteries, and chronic stress.)
  3. Working hard for many years and experiencing freedom because you set the right systems in place. (We’re not going to dive into the topic of systems in this article, but we have everything you need to know about building them in our free online magazine.)

There are many paths to success

Many big business “gurus” claim that they have the one secret to success; the program that will save your maid service, the shortcut to skyrocketing your success — you get the picture. The problem with these promises is that if running a cleaning business was that easy, we would see many more thriving cleaning businesses. So be wary of people who try to sell you a program of empty promises. 

Instead of relying on one person’s program or system for success, accept that there are many different ways to do business successfully. Your life experiences, lessons, and belief systems will guide your individual path. And even if that looks different than someone else’s road to success, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. 

You’ll have to spend some money

There’s no way around this: to make a lot of money, you have to spend some money. That’s right — a million dollars doesn’t appear in your account out of nowhere! Angela Brown wants you to get into the habit of thinking, “It costs money to grow a business.”

Here’s a list of expenses to be aware of, especially if you’re starting as a solopreneur looking to grow your maid service: 

  • Insurance: Personal liability, general liability, and workers’ compensation once you start hiring employees
  • Vehicle expenses: Monthly vehicle payments, registration fees, maintenance, and insurance
  • Internet and phone services
  • Marketing expenses: Advertising, website domain and hosting, social media schedulers, designers, and employees who can handle it all for you
  • Equipment and uniforms: When you’re just starting out, you’ll probably only need basic cleaning supplies. But you’ll need higher-quality equipment as you grow or choose to break into commercial cleaning. (Check out this article for helpful tips for picking the right vacuum cleaner.)
  • Taxes: The more your business grows, the more taxes you will owe.
  • Education: This doesn’t mean you need to go back to school for a big, fancy degree. But it’s worth considering hiring a business coach and signing up for conferences, webinars, and networking events to help you learn and grow. 
  • Software and automation: Using software for marketing, scheduling, and hiring is essential when it comes to scaling your maid service. Before committing to a paid version, you can try ZenMaid for free

You need to think long term

No one reaches the million-dollar mark in business without diligent planning to get there. In fact, most, if not all, multi-million dollar maid services have a long-term plan in place. And when we say long-term, we mean a plan up until the day you sell — that’s right, the very end! 

Start considering these questions at the beginning of your maid service venture: What happens at the end of your business? Are you hoping to sell your business in order to retire? Do you want to spin out and franchise with many employees working under you? What does that look like to get to those places?

If you start putting plans in place at the start of your maid service, you’ll be more likely to get there before you burn out. 

A note on selling your maid service: You’ll need more than a customer list on the day you’re hoping to sell. Why? Because your customers don’t owe you anything. If they see you’ve sold your services to a new owner, they can easily leave as fast as they came, rendering your customer list worth very little. Instead of focusing on selling a customer list, prioritize branding your maid service. That way, you’ll have a well-recognized, well-oiled machine up for sale. We won’t get into branding strategies in this article, but head to this article next if you’d like to learn more: How to use branding to attract loyal clients for your maid service.

You have to be willing to delegate

It’s going to be hard to grow your cleaning business if you’re unwilling to delegate, plain and simple. As entrepreneurs, giving up control is a frightening thought. When you’ve built a business on your own, it feels like your “baby,” right?

Despite any fears you have about giving up control, the role of delegation is crucial to healthy scaling. Here are two truths to note that will help you along your way: 

  1. Taking the time to hire the right person is worth it. Even when you find yourself frantic and strapped for time, resist the urge to hire the next person who walks in the door. A solid process and plan for hiring and training can help with this. 
  2. Mistakes are going to happen, and it’s okay. Even the best employees make mistakes. Even you are bound to make some here and there. Luckily, we all start somewhere, and mistakes are how we learn to improve. Give your employees (or future employees) grace when mistakes happen. There’s a difference between honest mistakes with room to grow and an unmotivated worker. 

Know why you want it

There are many reasons that motivate us to start businesses, but why do you want a multi-million dollar cleaning business? Have you stopped to ask yourself this? If you haven’t paused to consider this reason — aside from the potential income — now is the time to think about it. What would it mean for you? What would running a business that large mean for your life? What would life look like once you’ve “reached” that goal? Find your reason why and use it to motivate and guide the growth of your maid service. 

About the presenter

For over 25 years, Angela Brown owned and operated one of the largest independently owned cleaning companies in the Carolinas. Since 2016, she’s been training and consulting full-time with clients in 31 countries and millions in revenue. She is the founder of Savvy Cleaner Training for house cleaners and maids, the author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company, and the host of the daily YouTube show and Podcast: Ask a House Cleaner. Angela’s specialty is in systems that let you work smarter, not harder while generating consistent bottom-line results. Her common-sense approach, mixed with strategy, skyrockets cleaning companies past their competition — even in saturated markets. You can learn more about her work here.

Watch Angela’s full presentation:

Next steps

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

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 that will help you to grow, scale and automate your cleaning business so you can get more leads and create more profit. Make sure you’re on our email list to find out how to get free tickets to the next event.

Discover how much time you could be saving in your maid service. Get started with ZenMaid for free today.


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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