Do you want to start a cleaning business, but have no money? You long to b your own boss, your great at cleaning and people trust you, so how do you start a cleaning business when your broke?
So, is there a way for you to start a cleaning business without having to spend hundreds of dollars you don’t have?
There is! The good news is, there are FREE options and opportunities that can help generate cash to fund your new cleaning business. You don’t have to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars to start a cleaning business. It is impossible to start a cleaning business when your broke!
Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
Get FREE business forms and templates for your Cleaning Business by signing up for the Well Kept Clutter FREE Resource Library
Run a Groupon Campaign and Get Cash Up Front
Ever wonder how Cleaning Businesses sell their services on Groupon and how it works? Well, I can tell you from experience it is easy to get set up and you can can run a campaign even if your a newbee business. I did, and I made $1,600 doing it!
Within a few days a representative called me to set up, schedule and create my campaign.
My Campaign was scheduled for a 2 week window (I wanted to keep it short for my first run. I did not want to get more purchases than I could handle.
The Campaign ran and I sold just about 100 discounted coupons. (I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!)
I started getting calls to book the cleaning services
2 weeks after my campaign closed I received a little over $1,600 in my bank account!!! It was enough to purchase my vacuum and some other equipment I was looking forward to buying and I had some left over.
I also gained 6 new repeat clients that signed up for bi-weekly or monthly cleaning service with me.
Free Marketing for Your Cleaning Business when your broke
Just because your broke, does not mean you can’t create an online presence for your new Cleaning Business. You will have to market your cleaning business if you want to get clients. But how do you do that when you have no money?
There are about 2.7 million Facebook users. This makes Facebook a great platform to market your business, and its FREE!
Now I am not saying that you should not have a website once you start making money. The Facebook Business Page is not a replacement for a well developed website. But it is perfect for when you start a cleaning business when your broke and you have no money to spend on webhosting.
The FaceBook Business page has all the necessary information needed for an online site. There is a tab where you can list services, reviews, photos of your work and more.
Customers are able to interact with you on your Facebook page. When you clean a house, always ask for a review and point them to your Facebook page. This will help to build your reviews and build trust with potential customers.
Make sure to post often on your Facebook page and be authentic. When marketing to services it is important to build trust and let your customers get to know you. Building trust will build long lasting relationships and your customers will keep coming back for more for years to come.
Google My Business is a free tool for you to use to manage your listing in Google Searches and Google Maps. It is a great way for local service companies to get their name listed in Google Searches.
When a homeowner searches for Cleaning Companies in your area, your business name and listing will show in the first page results!
I searched for Cleaning Businesses in Boulder Colorado, and this is what shows at the top. A map with listings of Cleaning Companies. When you sign up for Google My Business your Cleaning company Name will be listed here.
When some clicks on your business name your business and contact information will show. Here is an example of one I clicked on.
This is great Free advertising when you start a cleaning business when you are broke. A website is not needed to create a Google My Business profile. Customers are able to leave reviews here. They can also ask questions and interact with you as well.
Start Scheduling clients with a free online scheduling software. Keep all of your clients data in one system, send email reminders to clients before scheduled cleanings and keep a calendar of all of your scheduled cleaning services.
PickTime Scheduling Software is a free online scheduling platform. It allows you to schedule your clients. You can store your clients data, track your earnings based on your appointments. PickTime even has the ability to send email reminders to your clients prior to their appointment.
This online software is a big win in helping your company look professional even when your broke. There is no charge for this software. The company is new, and for the time being you can get their plan for free.
Free Email Marketing
Looking for a way to send all of your email clients newsletters each month? And have professional looking templates? Mail Chimp can help you do that. Their free plan is a basic plan that offers up to 2,000 subscribers and the following:
This is perfect for when you are first starting out. As you start networking and gathering emails of interested prospects you can add them to your email list.
A great way to build your email list is to participate in a local even where you provide a giveaway for your cleaning services. When participants sign up for the drawing, you collect their name and email.
Send out monthly newsletters letting your email list know what your business is doing that month. Provide any updates on services or promotions. The idea is to keep your email list engaged so that when they are in need of a cleaning service they think of you!
Buying Supplies when you start a cleaning business and your broke
Cleaning Supplies for Free
A Cleaning Business can’t cleaning houses with out cleaning supplies and equipment. You will need to get purchase some supplies and equipment before you clean your first house.
Sign up for Swagbucks and earn gift cards to purchase your cleaning supplies. Swagbucks is an online reward site where you earn points for online searches, taking surveys, playing games shopping and more. It is FREE to sign up and you can cash in your points for gift cards.
This is a great way to purchase your cleaning supplies without spending your own money!
How much can you make with Swagbucks?
You will not get rich for sure earning points with swagbucks, but you can certainly cover the cost of your cleaning supplies with it. Most users can earn between $20 – $200 a month with their online activity. This is enough to cover the cost of your cleaning supplies. Or even save up for a vacuum cleaner.
Here is a sample of surveys you can take and the points you receive.
Below is a sample of the coupons you have access too. If you make purchases using the Swagbucks coupons you can earn cash back on your purchase in addition to the savings.
Starting a cleaning business IS possible when you are Broke!
Are you struggling to keep up with your cleaning business and need to hire your first employee? Continue reading to learn what you need to hire employees for your cleaning business.
Hiring your first employee for your cleaning service can be scary and exciting. Usually when hiring your first employee it means your business is growing, you have created a service that clients trust and want.
You may have reached the point where you can no longer take on more clients simply because you don’t have enough hands to clean them all. This is when you know you are ready to hire your first employee for your maid service.
Before you start recruiting, there are some steps you have to take and implement before you can hire employees for your cleaning business.
Hiring employees for your cleaning business comes with risks and legal obligations for your business. This is because, your employees are cleaning and working in your clients homes. You want to make sure you are protecting your business, your clients home, and your employees.
If you take the necessary steps to ensure your cleaning business is ready to hire employees, you will set your business up for success. This blog post goes over those necessary steps to ensure you are ready for day one for your new cleaning employee.
Steps to take to hire employees for your cleaning business
1. File your business name with your State
If you have not yet filed your business name with your state, now the time to do so. This step can be done online by doing a google search on business filings by your states name.
There are several business structures you can file your business as, they include Sole proprietor, LLC, or regular Corporation.
I am not a lawyer and can not advise you on what is best for your circumstances. I can tell you that I filed as an LLC and also filed to be taxed as an S-Corp. This provided the personal financial liability and was the best savings on taxes for my situation.
Everyone’s goals and situations are different. I recommend you either make friends with an accountant or hire one that can help you make the best decision for you.
2. Purchase Proper Insurance
If you did not have insurance before, you are going to need to get it now. Once you bring in an employee you will be assuming a lot more risk than if you were cleaning homes by yourself. Your employee will be acting on your behalf, what they do in a client’s home becomes your responsibility. Insurance protects you and your business from accidentals and unexpected occurrences that can occur.
General Liability insurance will cover the costs if you or your employees damage your client’s property. It will also cover costs if someone were to get hurt. What General liability insurance does not cover is car related damage or injury. It also does not cover employee on the job injuries.
This will protect you and your business if your or your employee are in a care accident. If your new employee will be driving your vehicle, or your business name is on your vehicle, you will need commercial car insurance. If you or your employees are in an accident and your personal car insurance company believes you were conducting business in your vehicle, they will not cover the claim.
3. Decide How to Pay Your Employees
Will you pay your new cleaning employee based on commission for each job they clean, or will you pay them hourly?
Paying Employees based on Commission
The pro’s to paying on commission per job is that you know how much of your revenue will go to payroll. Paying by commission provides motivation to your cleaning employees to clean more jobs in a day.
The down side to paying by commission is your employee has incentive to clean as many homes in a day. This can lead to cutting corners and compromising the quality of your service. Additionally, you will have to make sure your employee is at least averaging minimum wage for each hour they are working.
If it takes them 5 hours to clean a home they are only getting paid $30 to clean, then their average hourly rate would be $6.00. This does not meet the minimum hourly rate for any state in the US.
Paying Employees Hourly
The Pro’s to paying your cleaning employees hourly is you can control the quality of the service. Employees will make the same amount of money if they clean 1 home in 5 hours verses cleaning 2 homes in 5 hours.
The Con’s to paying your cleaning employees by the hour is your payroll costs can sky rocket if you are not tracking your employees cleaning times.
If you are paying your cleaning employees hourly, you will have to track how long they are cleaning a home. If they are not cleaning efficiently your payroll costs will be higher than your earnings.
When being paid hourly employees are not as conscious of how long it takes them to clean a home since they will make the same amount of money cleaning 1 home in 4 hours or cleaning 2 homes in 4 hours.
How I paid my employees in my cleaning business
In my cleaning business, I choose to pay my employees by the hour. My cleaning service was based on quality, this is why clients hired me. By paying my employees hourly I was able to control quality.
In the beginning I struggled with getting my employees to clean within my desired cleaning window. I did not earn as much money as I should have because my employees were not cleaning as efficiently as they should have.
To I developed a cleaning process for them to follow, and I became more strict on the cleaning times. I knew if my employees followed my cleaning system they could clean the homes within the allocated time frames I set for them.
I developed my pricing schedule around these cleaning times. These cleaning times were based on how frequently a home was cleaned and what size the home was. My employees knew how long they should be in a home. If there were unforeseen circumstances, they would have to call me.
To motivate cleaners to follow my cleaning plan and to meet the required cleaning times, I changed my compensation plan. My employees started out with a base introductory hourly rate. Once they meet the standards I put forth, they earned a higher hourly rate.
4. Be Prepared to Process Your Own Payroll or Hire a Company
Before you hire an employee for your cleaning business, you will need to have the capability to pay them. You’ll have 2 choices, either process the payroll yourself, or hire an outside company to do it for you.
Required Payroll Activities
Calculate and pay wages appropriately
Deduct and pay Federal income taxes
Deduct and pay FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare)
File and pay Federal and State unemployment taxes
File quarterly 941 tax returns
Create W-2’s for employees and report wages to Social Security Administration
Processing Payroll on your own
There are a lot of software options out there that make it easy to process your own payroll for your maid service. If you are using an accounting software, you can start there.
If you have no experience processing payroll and paying payroll taxes yourself highly recommend you higher and outside company to do it for you. The benefits of outsourcing your payroll and the reason I recommend it is keeping in compliance with payroll taxes, laws and regulations.
Prior to hiring my first employee I researched and created an account with Benefit Mall, a payroll processing service provider. They processed payroll for me when I only had only 1 cleaner and as I continued to hire new employees.
I provided the employee hours each week and they would process the payroll and provide the check. They also took care of filing and paying all taxes for me. The cost was not as much as you would think and worth looking into. And if your employees opt for direct deposit, the charge was even less.
5. Create an Employee Handbook for your Cleaning Business
An employee handbook is a document that provides expectations for the employee. It is the guidebook on what is expected for your employee and what behaviors are and are not acceptable in your cleaning business. for a successful manager-employee relationship, it is very important that your expectations are clear to the employee,
It is not fair to discipline an employee if they were not aware of a policy. For example, if you do not want your employee to bring food into a clients home, you need to make sure they are aware that it is unacceptable to eat in a clients home and what the consequences are if they do. This way if it happens, you can support your reaction with the written policy.
Items you should include in the handbook include
Acceptable behavior in a client’s home
What is expected each day at the start of the day, end of the day, and while cleaning
Define required cleaning tasks.
What to do if the employee gets hurt
Policy on soliciting your clients for their own business
Payroll policy (how often will they get paid, how they will report their hours worked, overtime rules
6. Create a Training plan
If you are hiring your first employee, you should have your cleaning system and cleaning checklist down to a science. Write your cleaning system down or record yourself cleaning. This will be the start of your employee training. Make sure to cover etiquette and acceptable behavior inside a clients home.
You will have to communicate your cleaning system and checklist to your new employee. It will be important that your employees provide the same service and you do. Your clients have hired your cleaning business based on the service you provide, you do not want to ruin your reputation.
You will start losing clients fast without an effectively training your new employee. With a solid training program, you can teach your new employee how to clean as well as you.
Basic overview of a successful employee training program for your maid service
Next, have the employee shadow you while you clean. This way your new employee will see exactly how you clean, what your clean, and what equipment and supplies you use to clean with. While you are cleaning you can review any important equipment and supply notes.
Shadow your employee while they clean
After your new employee has shadowed you, then you should shadow them. It is important to correct your new employee when you see something they are not following your system. It is helpful to talk them through the movements of moving between tasks
Make sure your new employee is following your routine exactly how you would clean, in the same order as you would clean. When they deviate, kindly remind them what was incorrect and what should have been done.
Your new employee should catch on pretty quickly as you begin shadowing them. Once your new employee starts getting into the grove and flow of the cleaning routine, you can move to the next step.
Ideally you would only have to shadow your new employee for a job or two. I used my home as the shadow home when I first started my business. I only had 1 employee, and did not have the time to shadow at a client’s home. But as your business grows and you are no longer cleaning most of the jobs, you can shadow at a client’s home.
Most clients are ok with training in their homes, it provides trust and security knowing your cleaners are trained and do not clean on their own until they pass your training program.
Let the Employee Clean on their own, with a Team
Now that you have shadowed your new employee and they have picked up on your cleaning system, they are now ready to clean on their own as part of a team. You should still be part of the team, but let your new employee clean on their own.
Your new employee should clean as part of a team for the first few months, this way you can do a walk through of what they are cleaning to make sure the quality of the cleaning service is maintained. You can also keep an eye on how they are cleaning, make sure the right supplies and equipment is being used as well as following the steps in your cleaning system.
Now Your Ready to Hire Your First Employee!
Are you excited?!?! When I hired my first employee for my cleaning business I was so excited. I was exhausted from cleaning and running my business all by myself that I was relieved to get some help.
You should be so proud of yourself for getting your business to this point. Once you hire your first employee and get them trained you can start taking on even more clients. And when your ready you can move on to hiring a second employee. Only the sky is your limit!
Schedule House Cleaning Clients with these 4 easy steps! Scheduling your maid services is not difficult, you just need to keep a few things in mind when doing so.
Scheduling clients is an important factor in making money cleaning houses. With proper scheduling for your maid service, you can save time and clean more houses in a day.
The best part is, once you know the tricks in scheduling your house cleaning clients you can do it on auto pilot.
Mistakes to avoid when you schedule house cleaning clients
Let’s first talk about the mistakes in filling your Maid Service Appointments.
Avoid Gaps in between house cleaning jobs. Like, cleaning a client from 8am – 10am and then scheduling your next client at 11:00am. You will waste a whole hour where you can be brining in the dough cleaning more houses.
Limit driving long distances between appointments.
Avoid cleaning many small homes in one day. Small homes are best to be schedule in between larger homes.
These mistakes with your maid service scheduling will cost you un-paid down time. Time spent not cleaning, is time that you are not getting paid for. The goal of scheduling your house cleaning clients is to maximize the number of hours you are cleaning homes.
The best times to clean houses for you clients is between 8am – 4pm, you can change it as you go if you notice more clients can be serviced earlier or later. But these times give you a base of the time frames you want to schedule your services.
The goal is to fill this time mostly with cleaning and as little travel time as possible.
Another thing to consider when setting your hours of operations for your cleaning business is when do your clients usually want you to clean their house?
The majority of clients who hire a maid service are not home during the day. And therefore, will not be home for the house cleaning service and would prefer you clean their home during their working hours.
For most companies a start time of 8 am should be good, and you usually want to aim to be done by 4 pm, possibly 5 pm. This will vary by geographic location. You know your areas best
#2. Schedule in geographic clusters
Schedule in similar geographic areas. The more clients you have the easier this will be. If you are just starting out this will not be as easy.
As you begin marketing your cleaning business, target a smaller geographic area. As you grow, you can expand your service area. Try to stick to less than 20 minute travel times each day. Depending on where you live this can vary greatly if you live in a rural area versus a more densely populated city.
Schedule homes in the same or neighboring communities on the same day. The less travel time you have, the more time you will have to clean homes. Which means more Revenue…WooHoo!
#3. Only offer Weekly, Bi-Weekly and 4-Week services
Schedule clients on a weekly, every other week or every 4 week basis. This will keep clients on a consistent cleaning rotation through out the year.
You will also want to spread out your 4 week clients. For example, if you have 4 clients who signed up for cleanings every 4 weeks, you would not want to schedule them all on the same day and week. The optimal scheduling would be to put them on the same day and time each on a different week. This way you have a time slot that will be full, meaning ever Tuesday from 8 – 10 is full.
When a client asks for a monthly cleaning, put them on the 4 week cleaning plan. Do not schedule them the 1st of each month, or 2nd Tuesday. What will happen is they will inevitably fall on an off week and through off your entire schedule. It will become impossible to keep a schedule.
#4. Mix your days with both large and small homes
When scheduling house cleaning clients, schedule larger homes with smaller homes, if you can. You will be able to schedule in smaller homes in between larger homes to help fill up your day to maximize your revenue. This will also save you some energy by not having to clean several large homes in one day.
It takes a lot of effort to clean large homes, breaking up the cleaning with a small condo will help keep your energy levels up. I tried to limit our schedule to 1 large home a day and then mid to smaller homes for the remainder of the day. This worked really well for us.
#5. Get a scheduling software that works for your cleaning business
A few things to keep in mind when choosing a scheduling product is you want it to be easy to use, make your life more organized and fall within your budget.
There are some really fancy tools out there that not only offer scheduling, but they keep your clients info, offer communication reminders, and also online bookkeeping forms. But as a new maid service owner there are plenty of things to spend your hard earned cash on! There are some note worthy FREE variations that you can use to help organize your schedule.
Google Suit & Calendar
Google has come a long way. They have really developed many FREE tools for small business owners. updated lately to be more visually easy to manage.
The combination of using Contacts and the Calendar would suite any small Cleaning Business with one or two cleaners. You can build your client list in contacts and make recurring appointments The best part is, it’s FREE!!
The down side to Google Calendar is it does not have the bells and whistles that paid for programs offer. But as you continue to grow that is something that you can strive for!
Zenmaid was created for Maid Services, by Maid Services. It was built for residential maid services. This is actually what I used in my maid service.
What I loved about this software is the automated email reminders that go out to clients. This was a HUGE timesaver for me.
All I had to do do was type in my client email reminders and set them up on automatic delivery. My house cleaning clients would get an email reminder the day before the cleaning. This avoided clients forgetting we were coming and us being locked out!
Calendar with recurring scheduling ability. That means you enter in a client for bi-weekly cleaning service, then that client will be automatically added every 2 weeks for the same time.
Client contact management. Store all of your client information in the software. You’ll be able to easily communicate with clients this way.
Email communications. If you set it up, your clients will receive email messages before and after each cleaning service.
Employee Management. Assign house cleaning jobs to your employees. Track employee information.
Another great benefit to ZenMaid is their customer support. And remember these folks have or still do run maid services, so they know what you may be going through as a house cleaning company. The customer support starts when you first sign up for the program.
When you sign up for Zenmaid you will receive a call from one of their team members. During this call they will walk you through the software and how to use it.
Moving forward, if you ever have any questions about the maid service software you can contact their support via email.
PickTime is the most sophisticated free scheduling and booking tool out there right now. It is a newly developed web based software that is currently being offered for FREE. But this will not last for long. It is a newer program and they are enlisting users to try it out and spread the word! Those that sign up now will get the software FREE for life…not a bad gig!
I have been testing and using the product and I highly recommend signing up for this software while it is still FREE. I love the sleek look and ease of use with the program. It is very versatile and can work great for your cleaning business with a little set up.
Here is a Sneak Peak into the Program, and all of it is FREE for now.
Here is a list of what is included in the program
Allows you to build in your services and customize for time and cost
Color Coded calendar with Daily, Weekly, or Monthly views.
Home Page that shows projected revenue and total appointments. You can watch your revenue grow as your business does!
Online booking forms you can integrate with your Face Book page or your Website. Allows clients to book right on your website or Face Book.
Integrates with Google Calendar so that you can view on your phone
#6. Send appointment reminders to your clients the day before the appointment
Send your clients a reminder message the day before each appointment! This little trick will help you to avoid no shows or lock outs, get a heads up if your client will want an extra task, and improve customer service.
No show and lock out’s are when you arrive to your clients home, only to find you are not able to get into the home because your client forgot it was cleaning day. When that happens you don’t get paid!
Following up the day before every cleaning gives your client that friendly reminder that you will be there the next day. They are way less likely forget and leave you locked out with no house to clean.
Ever get to a home only to find out they wanted their oven cleaned, but you did not bring the proper cleaning supplies? In your email reminder, ask you client if there are any extras they would want you to do the next day. You will be prepared and is a nice shuttle way to up charge and make a little extra money.
In my Client Email packet I have created simple reminder emails for you to use. Just copy and paste them into your email client or scheduling software.
If you skipped down to the bottom. Here is what you need to be doing to maximize your maid service schedule and schedule house cleaning clients!
Set your defined hours of operation.
Schedule in geographic clusters
Only schedule weekly, bi-weekly, and every 4 week cleaning services.
Schedule both large and small homes in a day.
Get a scheduling software that works for your business.
Send appointment reminders to your clients the day before the appointment.
I made you a printable planner you can use to keep your schedule mobile. Print it out and put on your fridge, in your car, post it by the front door, or keep a copy on your desk! To download the planner, sign up for access to the FREE Resource Library.
I hope this blog post was super helpful for you! If you liked this post please share the pretty picture at the top of the form, I’d really appreciate it!
How exciting, you just booked a new cleaning client! So how do you welcome your new client? With a New Client Welcome Kit that is. Now is the time to start setting the stage for the client experience with a new client welcome kit for a positive relationship!
Don’t leave your new client hanging until you show up for their first cleaning. Impress them with a welcome kit that provides information that includes
A Welcome Letter
Client Data Form. So they can tell you more about them.
Cleaning Checklist. What they can expect from you.
Customer Polices. What you expect from them.
Promotional materials. So they can tell their friends about you.
Having a welcome will create a positive first impression with your new cleaning client. In the new client welcome kit, you will set expectations and let the client know what to expect in your relationship and the cleaning service you provide.
Need Help with Quotes and Pricing? Read my super helpful articles to help you through it!
I have put together a list of what you should include in your new client welcome kit.
What to Include in Your New Client Welcome Kit:
1. A Welcome Letter
A Welcome letter introduces you and your business. It also lets your new client know how excited you are that they have hired you to clean their home. Make sure your welcome letter is warm and inviting.
In your letter, introduce your self and your business to your new client. Next, tell them how you will provide excellent customer service. Then, end the letter with what they can find in the new client welcome kit. If there is any paperwork that needs to be returned to you in your new packet, tell the client when and how to send it back to you.
2. Client Data Form
The purpose of the client data form is to collect the pertinent information for you to provide the best cleaning service for your client.
What to include on your Client Data Form:
Information about the client
Start the form with a section where the client can provide contact information. Contact information includes house phone, cell phones and email. This way you will have multiple ways to get a hold of the client when needed. Include an area for the client to tell you how they want to be contacted in the event the cleaning needs to be rescheduled or in the case of emergency.
Next, include a section where you collect basic information about the house. Ask questions such as how many bedrooms are in the home, how many bathrooms, and what kind of flooring is through out the home. Having information about the house will give you a better idea of what cleaning supplies you will need to bring into the home.
The next section of the form should include any important information about the clean, that is specific to their house. For example: How does the client want you to enter the home? Does the client have any no touch items in the house? Any pets, what are their names, and where will they be?
Include a question on where central garbage can is located. You will be collecting trash in the house and will need to know where to put it. Is it in the garage or on the side of the house?
Ask the client what to do if a door is closed in the home. Sometimes this indicates a do not enter. Ask if it is ok for the cleaners to enter bedrooms or bathrooms with closed doors and clean. Sometime clients will have out of town guests you are not expecting. If a door is shut for privacy you will need to know what is expected.
3. Customer Policies
The purpose of the Customer Policy document is to set boundaries for the homeowner/client. This document should eliminate surprises or questions in the future. For example, if a hurricane comes through your area, your client should know a head of time what to expect from you and your cleaners.
Having the Customer Policy document will help to create a long and happy relationship between you and the customer.
Items to include in your customer polices.
Cancellation polices, how to cancel an appointment and any fee’s that may be charged.
Lock out policies. What will happen if cleaners are not able to get into a home, and how you will treat that. Will there be a fee charged after so many lock outs, etc?
Damage and Breakage policies. Accidents happen, your new client knows that, tell them how situations like these will be addressed. My customer policy also had the following ‘We request that all valuable, irreplaceable, collectible, or heirloom items (whether monetarily or sentimentally valued) be stored and/or not cleaned by our team’. Tell them how long they have to report any incidents.
Inclement weather policies. Depending on where you live, you may experience inclement weather from time to time. In Florida our inclement weather included Hurricanes and Tropical Storms. Those of you living up north, have to worry about snow and ice. Provide information on what will happen if your cleaners can not drive to services a home. Let the client know how you will contact them to reschedule.
Hours and Holidays. Include here, hours of operations. When can a client call you and get an answer. Do you have an after-hours number? Does your company observe any holidays and what are those holidays?
Include a comprehensive list of what is included with each cleaning, on the cleaning checklist. This will let the client know what they can expect with each of their cleaning visits. Questions may arise or clients may want to add an additional item to their cleaning service, you can refer to this document to justify any responses or price increases.
An important note to make, if you include a cleaning check list, make sure you and your cleaners are following it to a T. When you say you are going to clean the top of the refrigerator, you better clean the top of the refrigerator.
Clients will look for these items and will notice when they are not done. When you don’t follow your check list, it will create distrust with the client. The client will be less likely to continue with service and will certainly not tell their family and friends about your business.
The cleaning checklist will also help protect you from those clients who like to leave notes asking for you to clean out the refrigerator. And you know they are out there! When a requested item is not included in your regular service, you will want to be compensated for it. The moment this situation comes up refer to this document to justify the additional charge.
5. Promotional Materials
The purpose of including promotional materials is to let your clients share your business with their friends and family.
Items to include in your welcome kit include business cards, pamphlets, fliers or other promotional items. Business cards serve two purposes 1st: so clients have your contact information and 2nd: so that the client can pass it along to their friends, family and neighbors! Referrals do not cost you any money and the have the highest conversion rate to booking!
Once your new client sees how awesome you and your business are, you will want them to pass your information on to everyone they know! Make it easy for your client to tell people about your business. Provide 5 business cards and a handful of any pamphlets or fliers your business has.
Next provide a description of your referral program: Providing promotional materials will not be very helpful if you do not entice the client to promote your business name. Come up with a great referral program your client can not resist.
You can provide a free cleaning after 3 a referred client has completed 3 scheduled cleanings. You can offer discounts to neighbors if they schedule on the same day and rotation. We provided a 10% discount to both neighbors if they scheduled on the same rotational day. We saved LOTS of money in drive time by cleaning two houses on the same street.
When to Use your New Client Welcome Kit?
The new client welcome kit should be sent out the minute after you have booked your new client. You can send it in email or you can send it via snail mail, or hand it to them if you are face to face. Either way it is important to get this package out to your new client ASAP.
I HIGHLY recommend sending the new client welcome kit in two forms. One in paper form and second in electronic form, such as email. This way if the client looses one he/she has a backup copy and can save or store it whichever way works best for them.
Presenting Your New Client Welcome Kit
This is an important step, how you present your new client welcome kit will further speak about your brand. We are in the business of cleaning houses. Therefore, any material you give a client should be neat and tidy. Don’t just hand your new client a stack of papers. Care should go into putting it together.
Sign up for my FREE Resource Library and get access to samples of the Welcome Letter, Client Data Form and Client Procedures I used in my company
All our new client welcome kit’s were hand delivered or mailed in a green pocket folder, the kind the kids use for school. The green matched our brands colors, and the pockets provided for better organization. We attached our business card to the front of the folder to identify where the folder came from.
Each document was placed in each side of the pockets. The welcome letter and documents they needed to fill out were in one side of the folder and promotional items on the other.
Most new house cleaning companies make these common mistakes. Anyone can start a House Cleaning Business. But not everyone can be successful at it. Having a house cleaning business is so much more than driving to someone’s house and start cleaning. There is planning and careful considerations that have to go in to it first. Here are the top mistakes new house cleaning companies make and prevent them from making money. Disclosure: Some of the links below are Affiliate Links. What that means is I may earn a small commission if you click on one. This comes at no additional cost to you as the buyer. All of these products are products that I used exclusively in my Cleaning Business. I only recommend products or services which I have used, tested and highly respect. When you order through my link it helps to provide you free content. I greatly appreciate your support!
Mistake #1 New House Cleaning Companies Make.
Not Charging Enough for Cleaning Services
Of all the mistakes new house cleaning companies make, not charging enough is the one I see the most. This mistake can cost you your business by eating away at your profits. It may be tempting to under bid the next solo-prenuer who has little to no overhead so that you can gain more clients. This is especially easy to fall prey to when you are first starting out and wanting to grow your customer base. While this seems tempting to increase your client base, it will most certainly decrease your profits!!!!
Cover your expenses
1st lets start with a little accounting lesson. Profits (Your salary) = Revenue (sales) – Expenses (payroll, gas, supplies). Your expenses will be higher than Susie Solo-prenuer House Cleaner. She doesn’t have employee’s to pay. She uses her clients cleaning supplies and equipment and she does not have business insurance. All of which set you apart from her and ADD value to the service you offer. She may charge $75 to clean a house, where you may charge $120 for the same house. This is because it costs you $60 just to provide the service (because you have business insurance, own your own equipment and supplies, and possibly have employees). If you under bid Susie at $70, that only leaves $10 to cover fixed costs (insurance, taxes, office equipment and supplies, customer management software etc.) and profits (YOUR SALARY). You might as well quit now, because you will be working for free. And no one wants to work for free, at least I don’t ?.
Charge a Reasonable Price
Of course you can’t charge whatever you want. Supply and demand do apply to the cleaning industry just like most other industry’s. But you have to charge enough to cover your expenses and pay yourself. When setting your house cleaning prices you must consider what other companies in your area are charging offering similar services, your cleaning times and what you want to make per hour, what your expenses are, and how much profit you need to make. I go over all of this in my blog post: What to Charge for House Cleaning Services. PS…there may even be a free worksheet to help you set your prices.
Having a consistent price list or structure allows you to bid jobs quicker. And if you put in the research work have a consistent cleaning routine, you will make a profit each time. So many business owners fall into the trap of adjusting price for clients to land a job, this is especially so for newer businesses. DON’T EVER LET A CLIENT INFLUENCE YOUR PRICE. You will end up working for less than you are worth!
Not having a consistent price structure will most likely lead you into sticky situations. If a client who has a cheaper rate refers a client you have to either honor that price or charge them more for a similar clean. The referred client is going to expect that lower rate you are offering their friend. You’ll end up with either no referrals or cleaning for free!
Having a consistent price structure will take any question out of bidding jobs and streamline your quoting process. If you run into a potential client who feels your price is to high, then you don’t want them as a client. Tell them thank you for considering your business, leave your business card and ask them to call you if they change their mind. And move on to the next one.
There were several times I had these types of bids call me a few months down the road saying they could not find reliable or quality service and signed up! After all that is what you are selling. So don’t be afraid to walk away from a client who is not willing to pay for your service. Don’t have a Consistent Price Structure, get one here ——–> What to Charge for House Cleaning Services
Mistake #3 New House Cleaning Companies Make.
Not Having a Consistent Cleaning System
Similar to not charging enough for cleaning services, not have a consistent cleaning system will eat away at the money you make as well. This is a mistake I see new House Cleaning Companies making. They are too excited to get their first client, that they clean how the client wants them to clean. You are in the service industry to offer a unique service. Take the time to develop what that service is and looks like, and then stick to it. You will begin to build efficiencies which will save you TONS of money. And you will offer a consistent service your customers can count on.
Control your service, and you control your price
It is important to develop a cleaning system which works for you and the services you offer. Having a consistent cleaning system will ensure faster cleaning times and increase the money you make. Cleaning faster will cut down on payroll costs because your cleaners will spend less time in homes.
What a consistent cleaning service looks like.
Use the same products and equipment each time you clean a house.
Have a cleaning check list and stick to it.
Clean each house in the same pattern every time.
Having a consistent cleaning system will keep your cleanings organized. When you step into a house you know where you start and where you end. Learn about the tools Pro’s use to improve their own Cleaning System: Must Have Tools for Speed CleaningOur simplified cleaning system looked like this. 2 person teams: 1st Cleaner started on the Bathrooms and Kitchen and 2nd Cleaners began on the Dusting and Floors. When they stepped into a room they cleaned top-to-bottom left-to-right. Same steps and same motions for each house. Learn about my Professional Cleaning system that allowed me to charge $37/ hour, keep long-term clients and get referrals. —> A Maid Services Guide to Cleaning Professionally.
Mistake #4 New House Cleaning Companies Make.
Not using the right products
Many new house cleaning owners will use the same products they use in their house. These products can be more expensive or they can be damaging to your clients surfaces. Many owners are unaware of this risk, which is why it makes it as one of the top mistakes new house cleaning companies make.
Don’t use products from the drug store
What you don’t want to do is go to your local drug store and purchase consumer products. These products are harsh and cost more money to use. Using the harsh over the counter cleaning supplies can be damaging to your health and skin. As you or your employees are cleaning 3 – 4 houses a day these chemicals can be hard on skin, lungs and eye’s.
Don’t damage your clients surfaces
Using the wrong product on fragile surfaces can cause damage and cost you lots of money and headaches. You want to become an expert in the field, so not knowing how to use your products will look poorly on your business too. Clients are use to consumer grade products like Windex or Clorox Clean up. Resist the urge to cater to clients wants.
You will want to find a quality, Eco friendly product that can be used on multiple surfaces. There are several products out there that will work. Using a good quality multi-purpose cleaner will simplify your cleaning process as well. Your cleaner will have less products to transport and will require less training. My favorite all purpose cleaner was Ultra One Cleaner. This stuff is awesome. It is safe on all surfaces, including granite and stainless steal. It cuts through grease, cleans up rust, cuts through soap scum, and hard water stains. Yet it is safe on skin contact.
Mistake #5 New Cleaning Companies Make.
Not Planning for the Unexpected
Not planning for the unexpected is not something business owners always think of. Accidents happen, weather happens, people get sick, clients have to cancel. We know that all of these things could potentially happen.
The businesses that survive are those who plan for them to happen.
Your business and clients should have processes in place and procedures to follow when the unexpected happens. Having procedures will set expectations in the beginning and will lesson the impact of potential surprises for the client and you. While we don’t have control of when and why things happen. We can have control over how our businesses deal with them after they happen.
Items your business should be prepared for
Last minute cancelations
It may happen with the best client. Emergencies happen and it is inevitable that your business will experience last minute cancellations. To prepare for this, your business should have a cancellation policy in place to cover the cost of the cancellation. $30 – $40 is usually standard, and we always forgave the 1st last minute cancellations. Read here on How to Get Paid for Cleaning Services
Inclement weather happens
Inclement weather is another unknown. Running my business in Florida, we have hurricane season through out summer and fall. We were lucky and never had any issues, but in our client policy we included a statement that during inclement weather where conditions were unsafe we would not be able to service there home. And that we would be in contact with them to reschedule as soon as conditions were safe.
Equipment breaks down, and you should plan for it to. Cleaners should carry extra supplies in their vehicles, in the event they run out or break something, they will have a quick replacement. You don’t want your cleaners not to be able to clean a house or run behind schedule because they did not have the tools they needed.
Breakage is an accident you should for sure plan to happen. We have processes in place for safety and to minimize breakage, but because we are humans, items do have the potential to break. Carrying insurance and having a plan in place to replace or repair will make your company stand above other one man cleaning persons. Related topic: Why Every Cleaning Business Should Carry Insurance.
To summarize, the 5 mistakes new house cleaning companies make.
You must charge enough to cover all of your expenses and to pay yourself.
Have a consistent price list, and stick to it.
Clean consistently every time.
Use safe and effective products
Plan for disasters
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Cause marketing is when a for-profit business and a non-profit business team together to bring awareness or raise funds for a common cause. Philanthropy helps your business generate more business and now a days consumers expect it from businesses, it is becoming the norm.
What is cleaning for a reason and why should it be part of your business strategy?
Cleaning for a reason is an outreach program where women undergoing cancer treatment can apply to receive free, no obligation, cleaning services. A patient can apply for cleaning service by having their doctor sign a form confirming treatment. Anyone can sign them up through the cleaning for a reason website.
Once enrolled, patients are matched up with a cleaning service who service in their area. They receive 4 free consecutive monthly cleanings during treatment. This takes the burden of house work off of the patient and allows them to focus on healing, resting and spending time with loved ones.
Many of these patients lack the physical ability to clean their own homes. The body is put through a lot during treatment and chemo making it nearly impossible to keep up on house work.
Currently 1,200 maid services participate in the program and have served 23,000 women totaling $6,000,000.00 in house cleanings. The number keeps rising as more awareness is being made. Anybody who is a somebody in the residential maid service industry is participating.
So what is a maid services commitment?
A maid service who agrees to participate in the program agrees to service 2 patients at the same time. The maid service sets the cleaning parameters that they are willing to clean.
You can donate 3-4 man hours a cleaning. Which will be plenty of time for up to a 3500sq ft home. If you have 2 patients to service, that is only 6 – 8 man hours in a month.
This is a wonderful service to provide for women undergoing treatment. Everyone is so appreciative for the help. Word will spread through out your community about your businesses commitment to the cause. When I was running my cleaning business, we would have friends and family members of those we serviced through Cleaning for a Reason who were looking for cleaning services.
Cleaning for a Reason provides marketing resources for their maid services. They provide a ready to use logo for you to apply to all of your marketing material.
Need content for your social media? They provide loads of Facebook post ideas and tweats that you can reuse on your platforms for your following!
2. Boost employee moral!
Send them on these cleanings. Employees love to making a difference and participating in community service. There is no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in some ones life!
My employees absolutely loved servicing these clients. It made them feel more pride in their work and our company, building employee loyalty.
3. Cause Marketing
Tell all of your customers and potential customers about your involvement. Include the logo in all of your marketing material. It will help to build a positive image in your community.
Every October complete a campaign educating the public and local news media about the program. There is a good chance you could get a featured article or news blurb about it during the month of October! Cleaning for a Reason even provides Media News Releases for you to send into local news media!
You just get the feel goods!
Every client/patient I cleaned for through this program was so grateful of the service. We meet so many strong women. Heard so many encouraging stories.
It is so enlightening to be apart and support a person in their hardest fight of their life. Just knowing you contributed support against their battle is aw-inspiring.
Take the Guess work out of Cleaning Prices! Download my FREE House Cleaning Price Worksheet.
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