What is the best vacuum to buy for your cleaning business? This is a very common question.
There are so many different styles of vacuum cleaners now a days and many more brands to purchase, that this can be a very overwhelming decision. I have seen some sites just listing vacuums with out the experience in cleaning homes.
Anyone who has owned a house cleaning business knows that a vacuum that is sufficient for a homeowner, is not sufficient for a cleaning business.
The difference is that cleaning businesses will use their vacuum up to 600% more times in a week than a homeowner. Also, when your cleaning for profits, you need a vacuum that does not interrupt your cleaning flow.
A cleaning business needs a vacuum that will be able to hold up to very frequent use, be able to clean up to 4 houses a day and not loose its suction power.
Stick vacuums have become very popular in recent years. They are light weight, and can vacuum under most furniture’s. Most stick vacuums are compact and have easy to dump canisters. These make the vacuum appealing for House Cleaning businesses.
Stick vacuums are great for home use, but they are not the best vacuum for cleaning businesses.
Vacuum easily under furniture
Easy to empty canister
Easy transition from carpet to hard floors
Cord Length 25 ft
Self Cleaning roll brush. Easy to clean between homes.
Attachments are not as accessible when vacuuming.
Price is a little higher, you are paying for the compactness of the vacuum.
Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with lift away Hand Vacuum and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV501).
This vacuum is my favorite and what we used in my cleaning business. I know other owners who used the same vacuum.
It has a great suction rating, and some bells and whistles for a lower price. The lift away functionality makes it easy to transition from vacuuming to using the want to reach in hard to reach corners and crevasses. I even used it to vacuum baseboards fairly quickly with my clients as I was vacuuming.
This vacuum also easily converts from carpet to hard floors. I know some would recommend bringing 2 vacuums to a home, one for carpet and one for hard floors. But this vacuum can very effectively clean both.
Easy to use attachments with lift away function, hose reaches up to 8 feet.
Cleans hard floors well
Great filtration system, with HEPA filter
Cord length is 25 feet.
This vacuum is not as light or compact as a stick vacuum. It can be a little cumbersome to carry with your other cleaning supplies. But there is a handle on the top of the canister where
Carpet vacuum does not reach under most furniture pieces
ProTeam Backpack Vacuums, Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum Cleaner with HEPA Media Filtration and Telescoping Wand Tool Kit, 10 Quart, Corded
This would be the best of the backpack vacuums. If you are cleaning larger homes, and larger offices this will be your best pick as it has a large canister and powerful motor to run for longer periods of time.
I have never used this vacuum, but I have known other cleaning companies swear by them. What I did not like about the backpack vacuums was the awkwardness of having it on my back. I was afraid I could run into furniture or walls if I had to back up or maneuver around tight spaces.
The cost was another reason for this vacuum to not be my #1 choice for residential cleaning To purchase a quality backpack vacuum you would be spending close to $400. But the backpack vacuums do allow for hands free movements and less carrying around an upright vacuum.
Easy to maneuver around and under furniture
Check to see if it will transition from carpet to Hard floor.
Large capacity canister
Filtration system is excellent. Four Level Advanced Filtration and HEPA media filter.
Awkward to carry on your back, will take some getting use to.
Canister used bags, not easy to change between homes.
What to look for in a vacuum for a Cleaning Business
When cleaning homes for business you will be cleaning multiple homes in a day. So, you will want something that will last, maintain suction and is easy to maneuver.
1. Suction power
Look for a vacuum with a higher Suction power. Read the reviews as well to get a clue as to how long the vacuum maintains the suction power. You will want to stay away from cordless vacuums.
They generally have lower suction power. In addition you will be traveling from house to house and not have the ability to charge it in between cleaning services.
2. Ability to change from carpet to hard floors seamlessly.
When your cleaning, you do not want to have to spend much time transitioning from carpet to hard floors. Your goal is to vacuum the entire house at 1 time.
If you are using more than one vacuum or have to take several steps to transition vacuums it will take up extra time. Your goal is to clean as quickly as possible, while maintaining high quality. So you do not want to take up extra time transitioning from vacuuming hard floors and carpet.
3. Easy to dump canister
I recommend a vacuum with a bag-less canister. It is important to dump your vacuum canister after each cleaning service. This is where a bag-less canisters are easier and more ideal for a cleaning service.
This keeps the vacuum cleaner between each home you clean. Therefore, you will want a canister that is easy to empty and not complex to where you have to take apart the vacuum.
When packing your vehicle between each clean you should empty the canister before putting the vacuum into the vehicle. I would keep a garbage bag in my vehicle and would throw it away each night.
4. Easy to clean filters
Similar to emptying the canister in the vacuum you will want to clean filters nightly. As part of our nightly routine we would wash all filters and let air dry overnight. Having multiple filters is helpful as well, so that you can have 1 filter washing and using another because more than likely your filter will not be 100% dry by the next morning.
Keeping your vacuum filters clean help to keep your vacuum clean and limit contamination from one house to another. You don’t want to bring an odor from one client to another.
So, when looking for the best vacuum for your house cleaning business, you will want to choose a vacuum that has an easy to remove and clean filter. You will also want to purchase at least 2 – 3 back up filters for use while others are being washed.
5. Attachments to vacuum furniture and high and low.
When choosing a vacuum look for one that has easy to access attachments that allow you to vacuum high and low. You will need to be able to vacuum valences or corners of walls and ceilings. You will also want to be able to vacuum baseboards when needed.
Having easy to access attachments will allow you to do this more quickly. You will not want to fumble around with attachments to connect, this will disrupt your cleaning process flow.
6. Longer Power cord length.
You will want a longer power cord so that you do not have to unplug and look for outlets several times throughout your cleaning service. In addition to the vacuum cord, we used 50 ft extension cords. This way we only had to plug in 1 – 3 times during a clean. These little steps add up to lots of time saved.
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!
As a cleaning business owner, you want to clean more houses each day. It is the bread and butter of your cleaning business. If you are not cleaning houses, you are not making money.
This is why it is so important to clean as many homes in a day that you can. Now, I do not mean you are cleaning until 10 pm or that you are cutting corners to get to the next home. I mean, increase the number of homes you clean in a day, from 8 am – 4 pm, while still maintaining a Quality service.
When I starting my cleaning business my service was all over the place. There was little consistency and little focused. If someone was willing to pay me, I would clean when ever and where ever.
As I started taking on more clients I was not able to keep up. I was starting to loose money. Not because I wasn’t getting new clients. But because I could not clean enough houses in a day.
This is when I knew I needed to tighten up my service and my business. Before I hired my first employees I needed to create some serious efficiencies in how I ran my business.
If I was going to clean more houses in a day, I was going to have to do less driving in a day. No longer would I clean a home on a Wednesday because that was what a client wanted.
I re-looked at my schedule and rearranged my clients by locations. My goal was to clean homes in similar or close neighborhoods on the same day. After that, when a new client singed up, I told them what days we had available to clean their home.
If a client really wanted service on a day I was not cleaning in their area, I told them that day was not available. I told them the days I did have available in their area. I offered a ‘waiting list’ so that when a day opened up, they would have first choice.
Most of my clients signed up for bi-weekly service, so I would alternate days and weeks on when I would clean in a particular geographic area. This way I could offer cleanings on a certain rotations in the area’s we serviced on most days of the week.
Offering a consistent cleaning service will help you to clean more homes in a day through repetition. Your first step to offering a consistent service is deciding on your cleaning niche, and know what kinds of cleaning services you will offer.
When I first started out, I was wiling to clean anything. I would clean any type of property or offer any service a home owner was willing to pay me for. I was ssoooo excited just to get my first client, that I was willing to do anything they wanted!
But I started noticing I was becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none. I was not specializing in anyone service. So I was not able to clean as fast. I was not able to create a plan for cleaning.
What needed to get done with move-in’s/move-out’s was way different than what needed to get done with on going cleaning services. It was difficult to stick to a check list, let alone get enough experience under my belt for all the different types of niches.
I started getting a grove with the on going cleaning services. I found, I was able to clean them quickly and very effectively. That’s when I had that AHA moment in my business. I had found my niche. So, I stopped taking any cleaning job and started focusing my marketing on regular scheduled house cleanings.
Once I choose my niche and started focusing on cleaning residential homes on a continuing service, I was able to create a plan to clean more efficiently. When I was able to focus on a consistent services for each home I cleaned, there were less surprises and more planning.
I know you are thinking, ‘But Roberta, no home is alike. How can I create a consistent routine?’ Well, all homes have at least one bathroom and separate living spaces, right?
The order in which you clean these spaces is a routine. Once you build a routine you begin building repetition. The more repetition the better and faster you will become at cleaning. I teach this routine in my Maid Services Guide to Cleaning Professionally.
To create a consistent service to clean more houses:
Decide what area’s of the home you will clean first.
Develop a system of how each space will get cleaned.
Build a cleaning checklist of what will be included in your service.
Now, stick with it!
After I created my cleaning routine and stick to it, I was able to clean more houses. I would practice with each house I cleaned. When I arrived to a new home I knew exactly how I was going to clean it.
When you clean in the same order and in the same steps cleaning becomes automatic and second nature. There is no stopping and making decisions on the next task. You begin building muscle memory you transition from task to task easily and quickly.
Step 4: Use Speed Cleaning Tools
When I started my cleaning business, I was not familiar with the Speed Cleaning terminology.
I would read how companies would be able to clean several homes in a day. No matter how fast I moved while cleaning I never reached that point. The more research I did, the more I learned about it and the more I implemented the concepts into my cleaning routine.
Using a cleaning apron will help you to clean more houses in a day by reducing the amount of time you spend at a clients home. Using this tool will help you to clean houses faster.
Do you set cleaning supplies down and have to go hunt for them? Or do you have to run back to your cleaning caddy to get a tool? How about stuffing your pockets with cleaning towels or garbage you find while cleaning?
All reasons why you should clean with an apron. The number 1 benefit of using a cleaning apron is being able to carry all of your tools with you while you clean.
The Apron also stores extra towels for you to grab when one gets dirty. A good cleaning apron has multiple pockets and pocket sizes so that you can store all sorts of tools. Even use a pocket to place misc trash you may find laying around while cleaning.
Eliminates trips to a trash can to throw away trash
Eliminates walking in circles looking for misplaced tools
No more trips to grab more towels.
The point is to not have to stop cleaning, just to throw something away, grab a clean towel or grab a different cleaner. All of your cleaning supplies and tools will be right with you so that you can clean a space with out stopping.
A recap of what you need to do to clean more houses in a day:
Offering a consistent service
Following a consistent cleaning system
Using Speed Cleaning Tools
Using an Apron
Implementing these 5 tips will help you clean more houses in a day. That means more revenue for your cleaning business.
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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!
Cut cleaning times in half with out compromising quality by using the tools the Pro’s do. Speed cleaning is about eliminating steps, using the right tool for the job, and cleaning in a continuous motion without cleaning an area twice. To do this it takes tools to clean tough jobs and tools to clean lighter jobs. Spending time trying to get grime off a surface will only cost you money and energy. Having to walk back and forth to a cleaning caddy will cost you LOTS of time. And in the cleaning business TIME is MONEY.
It is not always easy to raise prices in the cleaning industry to increase profits. But what we can control, is the time we spend in homes. Speed Cleaning allows for house cleaning business owners to clean faster without compromising quality. In turn you can increase profits with out raising rates. This keeps customers happy and your wallet happy.
Aprons are a MUST for speed cleaning. Aprons allow you carry your tools and supplies with you as you clean. This limits your steps by having all of your tools in reach when you need them.
Supply Maid offers an outstanding Apron. The Apron was designed by Maid Service Owners for Maid Services. You can purchase the apron here —-> Supply Maid Apron
I highly recommend you carry clean microfiber towels, your cleaners, razor blade, scrapers, small tile brush and other tools needed to get the job done. As your moving around a room whether dusting, cleaning a bathroom or kitchen, you will not need to take unnecessary steps to get a tool to tackle a task.
Here is the idea of how an apron helps with speed cleaning
When dusting a living room moving in a continuous motion starting from the left of the room. With your hand duster, you dust a table with frames, move to a couch place hand duster in back pocket, grab whisk broom and quickly brush off pet hair and food crumbs.
Moving your way to the other end of the couch to a glass table with a lamp, use the whisk broom to brush off the lamp shade. Put the whisk broom back into the apron, grab hand duster to dust remaining parts of lamp and table contents. Place hand duster in back pocket grab glass cleaner and microfiber, spray glass, place cleaner back on apron wipe down table. Place microfiber back into apron.
Continue around the room until you are done. Using the apron you can have the living room cleaned and dusted in 5 minutes tops. Couches and chairs are straightened, lamp shades are dusted, all glass is wiped down and all surfaces are dust free.
What kind of Apron do you need?
When buying an apron for cleaning, you will want to make sure it has loops on both sides and has several pockets for all of your gadgets. You can find full length aprons or those you just tie around your waste. Either works great, the full size will protect your clothes but are more costly and not necessary. My recommendation is the apron over at Supply Maid. This apron was designed by maid service owners. It has pockets for all the needed gadgets, loops for spray bottles and additional attachments for other tools.
Dusting in high and low areas can take up time when having to climb a ladder and bend over. You don’t have time to spend bending over to clean baseboards. Cleaning a ceiling fan requires a ladder so most cleaning businesses just don’t clean them in a normal cleaning visit. Using a long duster will allow you to clean these areas quickly and safely.
When buying a long duster make sure to get one that is retractable. Not all houses will have the same ceiling height. You want to make sure your long duster will reach vaulted ceilings. But you also want it to quickly retract to dust base boards efficiently.
Another thing to keep in mind is a removable dusting cloth. Make sure to use one dusting cloth per house. You do not want to cross contaminate between houses. Choose a duster which has removable microfiber dust clothes that can be washed with each use and purchase enough to clean multiple houses in a day.
A hand duster will allow you to quickly dust objects and surfaces in area’s like the living room and bedrooms. These are used for dry dusting. If you have to use a cleaner, you will want to use a separate cloth.
When looking for a hand duster make sure it can easily fit into a back pocket. This will make it easier to carry around with you when cleaning. I am not a huge fan of feather dusters, though there some cleaning companies and business coaches will recommend them. I don’t like that they can not be washed from house to house.
Feather Duster or Microfiber Duster?
When I first started out, my cleaners wanted to try them. I gave them a go ahead for a few months and finally said no. They potential to start loosing feathers. You don’t want clients to find feathers around their house after you have cleaned. So we switched to a reusable and washable microfiber duster.
I highly recommend using a microfiber removable cloth which can be removed with each house and be washed. Microfiber Wholesale has an great and affordable small microfiber duster. It is small enough to fit in your back pocket. Similar to the Swiffer hand held dusters except the microfiber covers are washable and reusable. It makes your pocket happy and the planet happy!
This tool has multiple uses and is a must have in every cleaning apron or caddy. It helps to remove tough spots and goo on surfaces without scratching quickly saving you elbow grease and time! When using, make sure your blade is not compromised with rust and not dull, as these can scratch surfaces. I recommend a small pocket sized retractable razor blade. These carry easily in your apron, are easy to use for quick use and are an inexpensive tool.
Razor blades are very versatile and can be used for many different jobs. Here is an idea of what we used them for in our house cleaning services:
Showers and Soap Scum
This is extremely helpful on first cleans or move in/out cleans. Using a razor blade in conjunction with your all purpose cleaner, you will be able to remove soap scum instantly in a shower. Don’t spend extra time and energy trying to remove heavy stuck on soap scum with a scrub brush. You will waste time and tire out quickly.
Glass stove tops
Razor blade work wonders on a glass top stove. Avoid buying expensive cleaner marketed for glass stove tops. The less cleaning chemicals you use the more efficient and cost effective your cleanings will be. Using your all purpose cleaner spray it on the stove and scrap off spots with your razor blade. Tip: Using the blade on a dry surface can cause scratching, so make sure you spray enough cleaner down before using the razor blade.
Glass and Mirrors
Razor blades are a must when cleaning windows and glass. Hard to remove stickers or gunk can be quickly removed with a razor blade. Just spray your All Purpose cleaning on the spot and remove with the blade. You will save lots of time and not scratch the glass. Again, you want to make sure you are spraying your All Purpose cleaning on the window first to avoid scratching.
Don’t spend a lot of time mopping over a spot that is hard to remove. You can use a razor blade to quickly get up gunk, old food or even gum.
The small tile brush is a small nylon brush that can get into crevasses and detail grout between tiles. This little guy is a must for speed cleaning while maintaining a high level of detail in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Use the small tile brush around sinks, drains and faucets. You will be able to clean into the crevasses round these areas very quickly. It is a huge pet peeve of mine when a cleaning company cleans a house and just wipes over these surfaces without clean around a faucet.
I recommend purchasing 2 different colors, 1 for kitchens and 1 for bathrooms. This way you won’t bring the bathroom yuck out into a customers kitchen.
Whisk brooms are great for dusting fabrics. Fabrics collect lots of dust and crumbs, dusting with a cloth does little to remove either and vacuuming can be very time consuming. A whisk broom is tough enough to remove pet hair and dust and easy to carry around in your apron. It will save you lots of time while helping you to provide a more detailed cleaning. Just another way for you to provide an excellent service!
Where to use your Whisk Broom
Use the whisk broom to brush off any crumbs, pet hair or dust. For our biweekly and weekly cleaning clients we provided rotational services which included vacuuming living/family room furniture. Using the whisk broom in between vacuuming, helps to keep down the pet hair and debris. Clients really appreciate this as most cleaning companies do not vacuum furniture.
Dinning Room chairs
Dinning chairs almost always have food crumbs on them. Use the whisk broom to quickly remove the crumbs to the floor for easy vacuuming.
Lamp shades are like dust and animal hair magnets. Using a whisk broom to quickly dust them will help you provide an excellent service in
Incorporating these cleaning tools into your cleaning routine will help to improve your cleaning time significantly, while still maintaining a high level of quality. Make sure as you are looking for ways to improve your cleaning times you are not sacrificing quality!
If you are looking for a cleaning supply checklist, visit our page House Cleaning Supply Checklist.
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