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How to Automate Your Maid Service: Steps & strategies to becoming an absentee CEO

In this article based on a presentation by Joshua Latimer that happened live at the 2019 Maid Summit, you will learn the steps and strategies to automate your business and allow you to become an absentee Maid Service owner.

Be sure to check out replays of talks from the first ever online Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid at MaidSummit.com


About the Presenter

Joshua Latimer is the founder of SendJim and Automate Grow Sell, a business bootcamp that teaches the marketing strategies you need to know to grow your Maid Service.

Josh is a family man who has been through rough patches with his business, but he is an example of what happens when you don’t give up. He got his start as an entrepreneur cleaning windows. After struggling for the first two years in business, he completely turned his business around when he started focusing on perfecting the systems in his business.

Josh built his company up to $186k a month with automated processes which allowed him to only work 5 hours a week. Josh then sold that company and moved his family to Costa Rica where he runs his software company that helps business owners find that ever elusive work-life balance.

In his podcast, Quick Talk Podcast he talks with other cleaning business owners and breaks down the systems they’ve used to set themselves free from the entrepreneurial grind to achieve success and balance in their lives.

If you are just starting a cleaning business, this article will act as the perfect guide to setting up your marketing strategy right from the start. It will outline the 5 key stages of owning a cleaning business, how to identify which stage your maid service is in and what you need to know to move to the next stage.

The 5 stages to grow your Maid Service:

Stage 1 – Owner + Operator

This is first stage of starting your cleaning company. You are the person doing the cleaning and you’re basically the whole company.

Your main focus at this stage is to understand what systems you need in your cleaning business to get to stage two, where most of your time is spent doing administrative tasks.

Stage 2 – Administrator

The second stage is where you are able to hire a cleaning crew to do much of the cleaning.

If you’re stage two, more than 50% of your time is going to be spent answering the phone, running estimates, doing paperwork and payroll and dealing with upset clients.

At stage 2 in your cleaning business you need to figure out the next layer of systemization needed to move yourself out of the cleaning and admin tasks.

Stage 3 – Sales & Marketing

This is where you have some cleaners and maybe an office staff that is able to help you out with your administrative work.

You now have the time to dedicate more than 50% of your workday to spend doing direct sales and to driving cleaning clients to your maid service.

Stage 4 – Supervisor

At this stage, you are now the general manager that is no longer involved in the day-to-day tasks, but are overseeing the teams that are involved.

You have a sales team, an admin or an office team doing customer relations and field service workers who perform the cleaning jobs. At this stage in your cleaning business you’re more hands off and only step in when needed.

There may even be an operational manager to handle the general daily function of your Maid Service.

Stage 5 – Business Owner

At this stage in your Maid Service business is when you can hire a general manager to run your cleaning company.

Many cleaning companies have been around for 10, 20 years and the owners never make it to stage five. But getting to this stage is not as difficult as you may think. The secret is to identify key strategies that will allow your cleaning business to successfully move to through the stages.

How do you move through these five stages? Simple.

Systems.

But, what are systems, you ask?

Systems are the way you do the thing you intend to accomplish. They’re a method to your madness, a path to reaching your goal.

When growing and automating your Maid Service, you need to know:

  • Your goals – Set a profit goal. Consider what do you need to do to reach your profit goal this year.
  • Your baseline – Calculate the revenue you will do this month without any additional effort or proactive marketing.
  • The gap – This is the difference between the two above.
  • Lifetime value – What each of your cleaning clients is worth on average.
  • Your customer acquisition costs (CAC) – This is the dollar amount spent to acquire each new cleaning client.
  • The max CAC – The maximum amount of dollars you would be willing to spend in order to gain a new cleaning client.
  • Your Maid Service’s average profit margin – This is the profit that you make from each cleaning client (hint: it should be about 30%).
  • Your specific capacity – How big to you want to grow your Maid Service? How big can you realistically grow right now?

Once you figure out these numbers, reverse engineer them by working backward from the goals you have set, then get ready to market to your ideal cleaning client.

Maid Service marketing: reactive, proactive, and steps to getting it right

It’s very common for entrepreneurs who are just starting a cleaning business to begin with reactive marketing.

You see what people want and do what you can to provide it.  However, it can be hard to have control over your Maid Service when you are responding to your lead flow and not creating it yourself.

Taking notes from referrals or Google listing is definitely a good part of growing your Maid Service, but you are not allowing yourself to be in control of the product you’re providing.

Proactive marketing, however, is deciding who your ideal cleaning client is and going after them.

Let’s expand on this by defining the three simple pillars of all marketing that you need in order to grow and automate your cleaning business.

Pillar 1: Hyper-targeting cleaning clients

Acknowledging that not all cleaning clients are created equal, you must be focused on your ideal client.

Hyper-targeting allows you to use demographics to find specific cleaning clients that you want to work with. For example, you can target homes that have a certain household income or are in a particular neighborhood.

In order to target your ideal cleaning customer, you need to be crystal clear on who you are targeting and only focus on them.

Ensure your marketing message is clear and focus on proactively getting your message in front of the your ideal customer avatar.

Pillar 2: Personalize your marketing message

Surely it comes as no surprise that people love themselves. We, as a species, are pretty self-centered.

Why point this out?

Because it means that your messaging, when you’re hyper targeting the right people, needs to be personalised to their world.

It can be personalized by the style of home, soccer moms, retirees, a specific income or a particular neighborhood.

This works with anything you want to do. You want to hypertarget and you want to personalise it. You just have to get your cleaning business messaging right so that the person reading it feels like you are in their head living in their world.

Pillar 3: Retargeting

People have short attention spans and need to see your name multiple times in order to remember you and to know your cleaning company is trustworthy.

One of the biggest mistakes I see Maid Service owners making with their marketing is thinking it’s sufficient to get in front of potential cleaning customers with their message once. This could not be more wrong.

Far too many times I’ve seen cleaning business owners try a marketing tactic or campaign once and then get discouraged and give up when they do not get a ton of new sales immediately.

Imagine there’s a parade and there’s 5,000 people walking by and you are telling them about your cleaning business. How many of those people do you think will hear you? How many people will remember what you said after they’ve walked away? How many would even hear your message?

You’re not talking to a room full of people staring at you. It’s more like you’re talking to a parade of people walking by you.

They’re looking the other way and they’re moving and you’re on the sidewalk trying to get their attention. You are never going to get your message to them all the first time.

Summary: Marketing Strategies for your Maid Service

Once you’ve identified who you need to hyper target, once you figured out how to personalise your message to those people, you need to stay in front of them over and over again.

Focus on the structure, the principles and the strategies of how you’re going to get in front of the right people with the right messaging.

By implementing these systems and strategies into your cleaning business, you will free yourself from the day to day tasks and remove yourself from the rut of doing everything yourself.

Learning and implementing these strategies is the key to move through the stages of owning a home cleaning business, allowing you to become an absentee owner of a successful and thriving Maid Service.

Watch the presentation by Josh Latimer

This article is based on a live talk from Joshua Latimer which happened at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid. You can watch the full talk now:

Take a look at Josh’s full presentation as well as the replays of 40 other cleaning industry experts at MaidSummit.com


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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