10 Lessons for Scaling Your Maid Service

August 8, 2023 in Business

WHY TRUST US? The ZenMaid team has eight current and past cleaning business owners, including our CEO and founder Amar, who know the ins and outs of the maid service industry like the back of their hands. They share their expertise with us in product development, with the customer success team, and content, which includes the article you’re about to read. We also partner with some amazing leaders in the cleaning industry, like Debbie Sardone, Angela Brown, Courtney Wisely, Chris Schwab, and more, to provide you with the latest industry insights. The tips and advice you’ll find on our blog have helped our team grow their maid services, and we’re excited to share them with you to help you grow your business too.

10 Lessons Stephanie Pipkin Learned During the Million Dollar Project

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In this article, we’re sharing the expert insights of cleaning business owner Stephanie Pipkin based on a presentation she gave at the Maid Summit. Her transformation and growth can be a blueprint for your maid service success. From handling a massive project to managing a team of managers and implementing systems, She shares valuable 10 lessons and strategies that can propel your maid service business to new heights. We’ll refer to her big project as “the Million Dollar Project.” Ready to learn all about it? Let’s go!

How the Million Dollar Project All Started

Stephanie’s journey begins with a significant project that came her way unexpectedly. Long story short — the influx of refugees in her area presented a unique opportunity to secure a large cleaning contract. With the military hiring subcontractors for this project, Stephanie’s business, Serene Clean, caught their attention, and she decided to take on the challenge. This sudden surge in demand forced her to scale her operations and face unprecedented obstacles rapidly. Here are the 10 biggest lessons she learned along the way:

  1. Building a Strong Management Team

To tackle this new huge project successfully, Stephanie emphasizes the importance of having a team of exceptional managers. These managers played a vital role in her absence, ensuring the business’s and the project’s smooth functioning. Stephanie shares the key traits to look for when selecting managers: starting as cleaners within the company, having corporate experience, and embodying the company’s core values. On top of that, she highlights the significance of assigning tasks, holding managers accountable, and maintaining effective communication through weekly meetings.

  1. Systems and Documentation

One of the key factors that contributed to Stephanie’s success was the implementation of robust systems and documentation. By having written documents and videos explaining various tasks, Stephanie ensured that everyone in her team had clear instructions and guidelines to follow. From answering phones to handling customer complaints, every aspect of the business was systematized and documented. Stephanie stresses the importance of breaking down business goals into actionable tasks and assigning them to specific team members to foster accountability.

  1. Navigating High Turnover and Training

The project brought with it a high turnover rate due to the challenging conditions and intense workload. Stephanie highlights the effectiveness of group interviews and attracting candidates by offering competitive wages. She also emphasizes the need to set clear job expectations and provide appropriate training for the specific requirements of the project. By streamlining the hiring process and creating a positive work environment, Stephanie was able to attract and retain the right employees for the job.

  1. Maintaining Organization and Accountability

With the project demanding her full attention, she showcases her tracking sheet that captures crucial business metrics, revenue goals, expenses, and employee performance. This sheet serves as a valuable tool for evaluating the business’s progress and identifying areas that require attention. To check out the sheet she teaches from, catch her full presentation.

  1. Staying Connected with Your Team

During Stephanie’s time away from her business, she emphasized the importance of staying connected with her team. She would often record videos while driving and share them in a group chat, sharing funny and sometimes horror stories from her day. This consistent communication helped foster a sense of togetherness and unity, despite the physical distance. Stephanie continues to employ this strategy even now, as it proved that she can be a virtual owner and successfully run her business from afar.

  1. Building a Strong Organizational Culture

Stephanie believes in building a strong organizational culture by not being afraid to share personal aspects of her life with her staff. By being open, vulnerable, and relatable, she allows her team to see her as more than just the boss. Sharing funny memes, jokes, and even personal stories creates a more human connection and fosters a positive work environment. Stephanie advises all business owners to be willing to share and connect with their staff, encouraging them to view their leaders as approachable individuals who genuinely care about their well-being.

  1. Preparing for Staffing Challenges

As Stephanie’s Million Dollar Project came to an end, she faced the challenge of transitioning her cleaners back to the normal side of the business. Not all cleaners could be accommodated due to limited positions, and Stephanie had to assess whether they would fit well within the culture and vibe of her company. This process required training and support to help cleaners adjust to the different expectations and work environments. Stephanie advises business owners to focus on maintaining a consistent culture across all areas of their business, even when faced with unexpected challenges.

  1. Financial Impact and Strategic Growth

Stephanie shares the impressive financial impact of the million-dollar project. The six-month project generated over $1,030,000 in revenue, with January being the highest-grossing month at $333,000. While Stephanie acknowledges that this project was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, she emphasizes the importance of profitability and growth in the normal operations of a cleaning business. By strategically increasing prices, targeting specific markets, and focusing on online reputation and lead generation, she was able to achieve sustained profitability and growth.

  1. Balancing Business and Personal Goals

One significant aspect of Stephanie’s journey is her dedication to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. She recognized the need for personal freedom and made the deliberate choice to have an overmanaged company, even if it impacted her personal income. By investing in managers to handle day-to-day operations, she created the space to prioritize her personal goals and avoid burnout. Stephanie encourages business owners to define their own life goals and assess how their work-life balance affects their company’s financials.

  1. Anticipating Challenges and Continuous Improvement

Stephanie highlights the importance of anticipating challenges and continuously improving systems and processes within the business. By regularly updating internal documents, adding new forms, and tweaking existing systems, she ensures that her company evolves to meet its changing needs. Stephanie emphasizes the value of being an asset to clients, freely sharing information, and embracing emotional connections in the workplace.

Wrapping Up

We hope these 10 insights from cleaning business expert, Stephanie Pipkin, encourage you to recognize your unlimited potential and take on new projects you never thought were possible! While not every opportunity may be as extraordinary as this Million Dollar Project, being prepared for the unknown and having systems in place will empower you to seize opportunities when they arise.

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

This talk first aired at the 2022 Maid Service Success Summit. 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 to help you grow, scale, and automate your cleaning business to get more leads and profit. Make sure you’re on our email list to find out how to get free tickets to the next event.


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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ZenMaid exists to make maid services like yours successful. We started by creating the simplest scheduling software for your maid service. Now we contribute to the industry with events like the Maid Summit, communities of #zenmaiders like the ZenMaid Mastermind on Facebook, and amazing free content like you'll find on this very page. Learn More