This post is based on a presentation by Alonzo Adams given at the 2020 Maid Summit. Alonzo is the President and CEO of Busy Bee Cleaning Company and is a testament that your mindset can dictate your success. In this post, you’ll learn how he implemented the right systems that turned a small cleaning company into one of the most successful residential cleaning companies in the world.
What Are Systems and How Can They Help Your Maid Service Thrive?
Whether you have plans to eventually sell your cleaning business, or just want to step away and have someone else run it while you work on other things, the way to achieve these goals is with systems.
When you automate your maid service with the right systems, you’re able to eliminate the frustration that comes with the day to day operations of the company. By systemizing daily tasks you reduce the businesses dependency on you as an individual and can maintain a higher standard of quality when it comes to your service and your staff.
Stay tuned to learn more about what systems are, how to implement them, and which systems you need to expedite the growth of your maid service.
What are systems?
An effective system is a procedure, process, method, or course of action that produces a consistent and measurable result. Systems in your business aim to solve problems. For example, if you have weak sales or high employee turnover, there are systems you can implement that will streamline those processes so that you can solve those problems and maintain a higher quality service.
Without the right systems, you might notice that you’re constantly dealing with unsatisfied customers and struggling to figure out why your business isn’t more efficient. A lack of systems and processes can also result in poor employee performance, high turnover, higher costs, and poor cash flow.
“Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant. A business that depends upon extraordinary people will not survive.”Michael Gerber – E-Myth Revisited
This quote from ‘E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber perfectly describes the role that systems should play within your business.
Businesses like Amazon, Chipotle and FedEx all have one thing in common. They started off small, and were able to grow because they implemented systems that were repeatable and allowed them to scale various areas of the business.
Ideally, the systems you use in your business should make it so that your business runs without you. Getting to this point will take a lot of work up front setting up the systems, but once you’re able to get them in place, they will pay dividends in the long run.
The benefits of systems
When implemented correctly, here are just a few of the ways systems can help your cleaning business:
- Boost profits and improve cash flow
- Increase customer loyalty and referrals
- Improve employee efficiency and productivity
- Reduce mistakes and waste
Now let’s dive deeper into some of the benefits of incorporating systems into your business.
Improve your cash flow
Repeat customers are a crucial part of maintaining a steady cash flow for your cleaning business. When you meet and exceed your customers expectations every time, you keep loyal customers for life.
Offering consistency, quality, speed and reliability will make you more competitive over everyone else in your area. If you can stand out among your competition you’ll be able to spend less on marketing and acquisition, and can secure more repeat customers.
When your clients come to expect the same high level of service after every cleaning, they are also more likely to recommend their friends and give you referrals.
More customer loyalty
Systems create consistency that your customers will come to expect. If you can create specific and repeatable processes around the services you provide, you regain control over the quality of your services.
By providing clients with a high quality service that they come to expect every time, they won’t shop around for a better deal. They’ll understand the true value of your service.
You won’t need to lower your prices or give discounts to retain clients. By letting your service speak for itself and maintaining the consistency that comes with a solid system, they’ll never question the value of your product and will always be willing to pay for it.
Reduce mistakes and waste
When you’re more streamlined, you can control the quality of your service more easily. This will result in fewer complaints, fewer recleans and fewer bad reviews. Your business will be more efficient when you have less idle time and everyone on your team is optimized for their specific role.
You’ll have lower costs because you won’t be spending money on unnecessary things and the quality and speed of your service will make sure that costs stay down long term. Effective systems will help you have a smooth running, efficient and profitable operation.
Improve employee efficiency and turnover
Your employees will love working for you when you have clear job expectations that they understand and are able to execute on repeatedly and consistently. It makes their job easier and it allows you to always be in control of the quality of service you provide, without needing to be as hands-on.
When you have a streamlined training process, less supervision is required, which will free up more of your time. You’ll also notice higher performance standards, productivity and less employee turnover. When you set a specific system for your employees to follow, it also makes it easier to give feedback and identify gaps and opportunities for more training.
When your employees sense that you are investing in their role by creating processes to make their job easier, you’ll see more job satisfaction among your staff and happier employees.
3 key systems you need in your business
While ideally you want to automate as much of your business as possible, there are a few key systems to implement first to make sure you have a solid foundation.
An operational system
This system captures how you manage the day to day operations within your company. To build it, start by documenting everything it takes to run the business every day.
This includes documenting logins and passwords, important contacts, calendars, software information and more. Then create SOPs on how to access these things so that if you aren’t around, someone else can easily step in and find the right information.
A financial management system
How you manage your revenue and cash flow should all be documented in one place. Ideally, you work with an accountant or bookkeeper who oversees all of your financials and can easily access and share this information when needed. Make sure you know your profit margin goals and how you will achieve them.
This should be documented alongside all of your other financial management spreadsheets, systems and software that you use within your business. You have to have a financial system in order to allow you to easily see what your costs are, how much you have saved, and how much runway you have to keep your business afloat.
Client management system
A client management system documents everything you need to manage your customers and client related activities. This includes documenting how you take bookings, payments, make refunds, receive feedback and handle reviews.
Anything that involves communicating with a client should fall under your client management system.
How to create these systems
Now that you know which systems you should implement first, let’s talk about the actionable steps you can take to get the process started.
Document all business functions
Almost all of the systems you build will come down to documentation. It’s important to develop the skill of documenting everything that you do to operate your business.
The documentation process starts by identifying your daily business activities. This includes activities such as marketing, finances and day-to-day operations.
Identify and break down each activity, how much time it takes you to complete, and how you can create a process that takes it off your plate.
Document these processes in enough detail that someone else can read that process and execute on it. Then it’s important to monitor the process, continue to test it and make adjustments until it’s something that functions entirely on it’s own, without you.
At first, you’ll want to keep the systems as simple as possible until you’re able to use them to achieve consistent and repeatable results. Each part of the system should be optimized to achieve one primary goal. This kind of simplicity will guarantee that the system you build is as repeatable as possible.
Consistently work on improving your processes
Learn how to measure and report your progress. The first system you put into place, won’t be the last. In fact, the key to maintaining these systems in a way that promotes scalability is to continue to improve them. As your business grows, you’ll need to incorporate new methods and processes which will force you to re-evaluate the systems you have in place.
Ask for feedback from your staff and customers to make sure things are still working the way you want them to and in a way that prioritizes growth.
This also means investing in tools and resources that will help you create better systems, more quickly. Joining masterminds, online courses, or workshops can eliminate the learning curve that comes with building new systems from scratch.
To learn more about Alonzo’s million-dollar system and how he grew his business to 7-figures, check out the full replay of his presentation from the 2020 Maid Summit.
For ever more tips about the types of systems that can automate your business, explore all of the replays from this year’s Summit. The 2020 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid, includes presentations from over 40 of the top maid service owners and cleaning industry professionals providing you with the tools you need for your cleaning business to succeed.
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