This is part 1 of a two-part article. See part 2 here.
The following article is based on a presentation by Royce Ard, which happened live at the 2019 Maid Summit.
ZenMaid hosted and organized this event to help maid service owners just like you, learn more about the cleaning business.
Royce and his wife have owned My Amazing Maid since 2013, where they currently clean 500 homes a month!
Along with this direct experience in the cleaning industry, Royce also has insight into operations due to his role as the vice president of marketing at Synapse Wireless, a creator of an operating system for IoT.
He also understands a vast array of sales and marketing techniques, from his position at a substantial regional cable and broadband company as the vice president of sales and marketing.
His ample experience makes him a great person to learn from. To hear more from Royce and over 40 other incredible cleaning industry experts, check out replays of talks at MaidSummit.com
Why do residential cleaning businesses implement software solutions?
There are tons of reasons maid service owners decide to utilize software. It can improve your quality of life and make your cleaning business operate more efficiently.
More specifically though, software can organize your maid service operations and increase profitability.
Keep track of completed jobs, collect payments on time, and manage your customer relationships with ease by applying software solutions to your maid service.
Generate sales leads, and follow up with interested clients from the comfort of anywhere. Take care of payroll and other employee centric tasks in or out of the office by using software that’s specifically designed to make your life easier.
If you’re new to using software – or if you just want to know more about it – follow this 10-step process to implementing software into your home cleaning business.
Step 1: Make the business case for your maid service
All decisions made for your residential cleaning business should be based on your specific needs.
Take a look around the operations of your company, see what areas could be made easier by using software solutions.
After you choose an area to improve upon, check out the ROI (Return On Investment) that occurs by using the software in that domain.
These programs are meant to give you more time and energy to create additional revenue. Give a new software about a month to see if it yields results.
Calculate your monthly gain from the investment compared to the monthly cost of the program itself, the investment should be greater.
If you find you are having trouble with the calculations, you can ask the vendor for assistance. They should be more than happy to help you to understand the numbers behind how their software will improve your cleaning business’ profitability.
Step 2: Select the vendor that suits your home cleaning service’s needs
As you know, owning a maid service has more factors to it than simply cleaning houses. It’s an entire business entity, and as an owner, you aren’t going to know all about each aspect to it.
Choosing the best vendor for an effective software solution is key. Decide who to select by asking yourself a few things:
- Are they an industry expert?
- Do they have the ability to grow businesses?
- Does the vendor understand your specific business’ needs?
- Have they had an impact on other businesses?
- Does the software follow the best practices for maid services?
- Can it be integrated with other software?
By covering these questions, you can limit the overwhelming selection of choices. Knowing more going in can also keep you from making a purchase that doesn’t fit you quite right.
You will also want to check on the reviews and references for the vendor.
Don’t just focus on the good ones though, the bad reviews are where you should pay close attention. No sense in signing up with a company that is going to be nothing less than a nightmare to deal with. They should make your life easier!
If you see issues being repeated or not resolved then it is likely they are not using feedback to improve their systems, bail out now.
In addition to these points, be sure they offer proper support and set you up with a guide for getting started.
Step 3: Create a new software implementation plan for your residential cleaning business
No matter the size of your cleaning business, a plan will be needed for implementing new software.
By going through a process, making a list and checking boxes along the way, you give yourself a path to follow which ensures success.
After all, you are investing your time and money into this, so it should be done to the best of your ability.
Think about it, have you ever had a bunch of questions that you wanted to ask someone, then when you see them you forget half of them?
This is why you want to put a plan in place, so that even if you forget, your plan is right there for you, supporting your domestic cleaning business.
In fact, it’s appropriate to make a list before you even pick a software. Here are a few things you will want to know prior to vendor selection:
- Assign someone to implement the software – Be sure they have the time for this task and if time is an issue, consider doing a partial rollout.
- Create a plan for rolling out the software to cleaners and staff – Think about how big the change will be for cleaners or staff and decide if instructions can be covered in an email or if there should there be a training. If you have a lot of staff and cleaners who will use the new program, start with a few features and allow them to have time to get use to it.
- Reflect on the impact to your maid service’s daily operations – Will it cause a slowdown for the business? How difficult is it to use?
Before you implement a new software, review these factors and give yourself the opportunity to prepare for any issues that may lie ahead.
Simply padding in time for potential problems can help reduce the stress of change immensely.
Step 4: Communicate software changes with your cleaners and office staff
Communication is so important.
Keep all cleaners and office staff up to date on changes that affect your residential cleaning business. They are a big part of it, so explain why you want to implement a new program and how it will benefit them as well.
When people know what to expect, it minimizes frustrations but, there is still bound to be some push back.
To combat this, think about the cleaners and office staff that you have. Who enjoys new things? Who gets excited about innovation and growth the same way you do?
Select this staff and keep them close, they are your lead, your “champion”. Let them in on the very beginning of the fresh program implementation.
This lead can give you insight into how the staff will see and use the new software.
When you make choices with the staff in mind, and with a lead involved, it will help with employee buy in. This can make your entire operation run more smoothly.
After your lead gets on board, have a few other staff play with the new software, get them excited to use this new system too.
Encourage a positive mindset and remind employees how the software will make their jobs easier. Explain how it can create a simplified process for the cleaning clients or how by saving money you can do more things for the staff and cleaners.
Since change can be difficult for most people, communicate as much and as often as you can. This will make the transition better because the cleaners will know what to expect and when to expect it.
Step 5: Process how the program will improve your maid service
Take some time to comprehend how these changes will make your cleaning business function better.
Find out if there is a way you can make any changes before launching the software, if so, do them. This will make the transition much smoother than doing everything at once.
Over-communicate with staff and cleaners in order to prepare them fully. You want everyone as comfortable with the new software as they possibly can be.
But wait: there’s more!
These are just the first 5 steps of the implementation plan. Be sure to take a look at steps 6 – 10 in part 2 of this article where we dive into setting up the software, training your users, going live and more!
The articles this week are based on a presentation by Royce Ard, held at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by Zenmaid.
Watch replays of Royce’s full talk and those of over 40 other cleaning industry experts at maidsummit.com
Check out these other articles on the ZenMaid Magazine:
- 4 Training Strategies That Turn Inexperienced Cleaners into A-Players
- How To Get Comfortable Having Difficult Conversations With Your Team
- How to Use The Five Love Languages to Nurture and Inspire Your Cleaning Team
- 3 Things You Need To Go From Cleaning Professional to Cleaning Business Owner
- How and Why To Use Video Marketing For Your Maid Service