How to Start a Cleaning Business When Your Broke

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 FrontStart a cleaning business when your broke.

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!

When I first started my cleaning business, I needed a way to get cash up front and I wanted to get more exposure for me newly started Cleaning Business.

Below is a summary of what how I got cash up front with my Coupon Campaign.

  • I applied to run a coupon campaign
  • 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.

You can read more about my experience in running the campaign and my lessons learned in my blog post Selling Your Cleaning Services on GROUPON.

If you are ready to start your first campaign, you can create your merchant account here

Here is a look at a sample campaign …

 

 

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?

Create a Facebook Business Account for Free

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.

You can create your FACEBOOK Business page here.

 

Sign up for Google My Business

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.

I have a blog post that takes you through a step by step guide on how to create a Google Business Profile

 

Free Online Booking & Scheduling Software

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

Mail Chimp

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.

So how do you purchase cleaning supplies when you are starting a cleaning business when your broke? You sign up for Swagbucks and earn the money.

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!

Be sure to use these resources listed in this blog post to help you grow and run your cleaning business without having to shell out cash up front.

Have additional resources you have used or have heard about? Comment below to share with everyone!

Was this post helpful for you? Is so, please scroll to the top and share my pretty picture at the top and help me spread the word.

 

 

 

Well Kept Clutter provides resources and training for House Cleaning Business. Sign up for our FREE Resources page to get access to sample client doc’s, business forms, and pricing calculator.

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

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.

Here is an article that provides further information on each of the business structures. The structure you choose for your business is entirely up to your situation and your goals with your business.

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.

I have a blog post that goes into more detail about the insurances (Why every cleaning business needs insurance), but here is an overview of what you should have when hiring your first employee.

General Liability Insurance

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.

Workers Comp Insurance

Workers compensation insurance financially protects your employee if they get hurt on the job. It protects your business and you personally from having to pay the medical claims and lost wages due to on the job injuries. You can read here to learn more about workers comp insurance.

Commercial Car insurance

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.

If you have not already downloaded it, in my free pricing worksheet I provide my standard cleaning times for homes cleaned on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis. You can get the form here if you sign up for my email list.

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.

QuickBooks is a popular option that many small businesses use. There are other web-based programs out there that can help you process your own payroll. Business.org has reviewed the top 10 payroll software for 2020.

Outsourcing Payroll

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

  • Attendance Policy
  • Dress code
  • 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

Have your new employee read your training manual or watch a training video

Have your employee read through either a training book or watch a training video. This will provide an overview of what is expected and what your cleaning services looks like.

You can use my EBook: A Maid Services Guide to Cleaning Professionally the Ebook walks you through the etiquettes to being in a clients home, the exact steps on how to clean a home and what tools and supplies are needed. It also covers client reminder emails and end of day checklists. 

Have the Employee shadow you while you clean

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!

More Resources for your Cleaning Business

 

 

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How to clean more houses in a day

How to clean more houses in a day

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 as 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 started my cleaning business my service was all over the place. There was little consistency and little focus. If someone was willing to pay me, I would clean whenever and where ever.

As I started taking on more clients I was not able to keep up. I was starting to lose 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.

 

Additional Resources for Cleaning Businesses:

 

How I was able to clean more houses each day

Here are the steps that I took to create systems in my business that allowed me to clean more homes in a day.

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

5 tips to implement in your Cleaning Business so you can clean more houses in a day.

 

Step 1: Proper Scheduling

Scheduling your cleaning clients appropriately will help you to clean more houses in a day. While scheduling seems like a no brainier, there is a bit of an art to it.

Schedule nearby homes on the same day

If I was going to clean more houses in a day, I was going to have to drive less and clean more. Commuting can suck away time you can be cleaning and making money. 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 location. My goal was to clean homes in similar or close neighborhoods on the same day. After that, when a new client signed 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 the first choice.

Most of my clients signed up for bi-weekly service, so I would alternate days and weeks when I would clean in a particular geographic area. This way I could offer cleanings on a certain rotation in the areas we serviced on most days of the week.

I wrote a whole blog post on how to create a Cleaning Business Schedule. The article walks you through how to efficiently schedule your clients so that you can fit more in a day. 

 

Step 2: Offer a Consistent Service

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 knowing what kinds of cleaning services you will offer.

Once you choose a niche, stick to it and do not deviate. In my company, we focused on residential homes with regular, ongoing cleaning services. We did have a few clients who owned businesses or rental properties and we did service these properties as well. Other than that we did not advertise these services and only did it for our repeat customers. 

 

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Find your Niche and Stick to it

When I first started out, I was willing to clean ANYTHING. I would clean any type of property or offer any service a homeowner was willing to pay me for, does this sound familiar??? I was so 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 any one service. So I was not able to develop systems or clean as fast if I were to focus on 1 type of client or service. I was not able to create a plan for cleaning.

What was needed to clean move-ins/move-outs was WAY different than what was needed to clean recurring residential homes. It was difficult to stick to a checklist, let alone get enough experience under my belt for all the different types of niches and problems that may arise. 

I started getting a grove with the recurring cleaning services. I found I was able to clean them quickly and very effectively. That’s when I had that A-HA moment in my business. I had found my niche. I stopped taking just any cleaning jobs and started focusing my marketing on acquiring clients who needed recurring cleaning services. 

Once I choose my niche and started focusing on cleaning residential homes as a continuing service, I was able to create a plan to clean more efficiently. It also helped with my scheduling. I could book clients based on weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly cleaning services.

When I was able to focus on a consistent service for each home I cleaned, there were fewer surprises and more planning. I purchased all the equipment needed for regular maintenance cleaning

 

Step 3: Follow a Consistent Cleaning Routine

A consistent cleaning routine is where you follow the same steps with each cleaning and each house. Every space we cleaned in a home was cleaned in the same order using the same steps.

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 routine. They may have different types of flooring or one may have more furniture than another, but they all have the same basic rooms (kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, lounging rooms).

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 you need to:
  1. Decide what areas of the home you will clean first.
  2. Develop a system of how each space will get cleaned.
  3. Build a cleaning checklist of what will be included in your service.
  4. Now, stick with it!

 

After I created my cleaning routine and stuck to it, I was able to clean more houses in a day. I would practice with each house I cleaned, and created a game out of it by tracking my steps. The fewer steps I took to clean a house the more efficient I became. When I arrived at 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 wondering what you will clean next. You begin building muscle memory as 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 Speed Cleaning terminology.

I would read how companies could clean several homes in a day. No matter how fast I moved while cleaning, I felt I would never reach that point. The more research I did, the more I learned what speed cleaning tools were and the more I implemented the concepts into my cleaning routine the faster I was cleaning while still maintaining that high level of service my business was built on.

 

What are speed cleaning tools?

Speed cleaning tools are any tools that assist in cleaning quickly while maintaining quality. They are any tool that helps you clean faster and smarter.

 

Sample Speed Cleaning Tools:

Whisk Broom

A whisk broom helps remove debris (like cat hair, crumbs, and dust) from fabrics such as lampshades, couches, or dining chairs.


Razor Blade

Razor blades help with removing gooey, caked-on gunk. Think gum on the floor, sticker residue on the glass, or smudges on a glass stove top.

 

speed cleaning tools, scrapper


Short Duster

A Short duster reaches around knick-knacks, and electronics, hard-to-reach spaces on furniture and tables without having to hand dust or move items around.

speed cleaning tools, small duster

 

Before using speed cleaning tools, I was scrubbing and spending extra time on tasks. There was no way I was ever going to clean more homes in a day because it took me too long to clean a house.

When I thought of professional cleaning businesses, I figured they used fancy tools that cost too much for me as a solo cleaner just starting out. But I found that speed cleaning tools did not cost that much, things like a scrapper or a whisk broom cost under $10, but saved me so much time in scrubbing. 

Don’t spend extra time mopping floors or scrubbing showers. If you use the right tool, you can quickly remove soap scum or hard-to-remove sticky spots on the floor quickly. You’ll laugh at your old self who use to sit and scrub sticky residue from floors or windows when all it took was a razor blade and a wipe to remove it. 

This blog post would be too long to get into all the tools that I used to help me and my cleaning business clean more houses in a day. I wrote a blog post on speed cleaning tools and how they can help you clean more houses

 

Step 5: Use an Apron

Using a cleaning apron will help you to clean more houses in a day by reducing the amount of time you spend at a client’s home. Similar to speed cleaning tools, using this tool will help you to clean houses faster.

 

Why use a Cleaning Apron?

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.

 

 

What the Cleaning Apron does for you:

  1. Keeps all your tools within arm’s reach
  2. Eliminates trips to a trash can to throw away trash
  3. Eliminates walking in circles looking for misplaced tools
  4. 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 the space without stopping.

 

 

 

Increase you Cleaning Business income by cleaning more houses in a day.

A recap of what you need to do to clean more houses in a day:

  1. Proper Scheduling
  2. Offering a consistent service
  3. Following a consistent cleaning system
  4. Using Speed Cleaning Tools
  5. Using an Apron

Implementing these 5 tips will help you clean more houses in a day. That means more revenue for your cleaning business.

 

 

Sign up for our FREE resource library filled with forms to help you with pricing, sample client forms, house cleaning business checklists, expense and income tracking forms, and more.

 

How to Schedule House Cleaning Clients

How to Schedule House Cleaning Clients

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.

Checkout other resources on my Blog

 

6 Steps to Schedule House Cleaning Clients

 

Maximize your maid service schedule with these 6 steps.

#1. Have Pre-defined Hours of Operation

You have to have a clear set hours of operation before you can start building your maid service schedule. Set a pre-defined hours of operation window you are able to work.

Quick Note: These hours of operations should also be in your Client Procedures.

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.

FREE Options

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

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!

ZenMaid’s free plan offers 

  • 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

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
  • Customer Profile
  • 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
  • Automatic emails when you book an appointment

To find out more about the program, click here ——–> PickTime Software

 

#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.

 

 

A free planner to maximize your maid service schedule

 

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!

Speed Cleaning Tools for Professionals

Speed Cleaning Tools for Professionals

Tools for Speed Cleaning

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.

Related Resources: How to Give a House Cleaning Quote and What to Charge for House Cleaning Services

Below is a list of tools Professional Cleaners use every time they clean.  These tools help them to work smarter not harder!

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Tools for Speed Cleaning

 

Apron

House Cleaning ApronAprons 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 is best for speed cleaning?

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.

This article Reviews Cleaning Aprons and what to look for when purchasing one.

 

Long Duster

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.

I recommend this Long Duster from Microfiber Wholesale. You can purchase the duster here —> Chenille Microfiber Duster

 

What kind of Long Duster is best for Speed Cleaning?

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.

We found these chenille microfiber dusters at Microfiber Wholesale.  They are good quality and hold up over time.

 

Hand Held Duster

Hand held duster for speed cleaningA 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.

I recommend these Hand Held Dusters by Microfiber Wholesale you can purchase them here —->  Small Microfiber Duster

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 feather dusters.  I gave them a go ahead for a few months and finally said no.

Feather dusters start loosing feathers over time. I found feathers would drop in clients homes and would not want them to find feathers around their house after we 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 a great and affordable small microfiber duster. It is small enough to fit in your back pocket and similar to the Swiffer hand held dusters except the microfiber covers are washable and reusable.  It makes your pocket happy and the planet happy!

 

Speed Cleaning Tools for professionals

 

 

Razor Blade

Razor blade for speed cleaningThis 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.

We purchased ours in bulk at Amazon —-> Hyde Tools 13050 Delta Heavy Duty Glass Scraper

 

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.

 
Floors

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.

 

 

Small Tile Brush

Small tile brush for speed cleaningThe 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.

 

 

Small Whisk Broom

Whisk broom for speed cleaningWhisk 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

 
Couches

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

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!

Next Steps: If you are looking for a cleaning supply checklist, visit our page House Cleaning Supply Checklist.

 

Speed Cleaning Tools

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with Clients

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with Clients

Cleaning fees is a tough subject to bring up with your cleaning clients and is not always fun. Many maid service owners lack the confidence to clearly state cleaning fee’s without breaking down and offering their services at a much lower price than what they want. These discussions can be difficult to do, but are so VERY important for the success of your business!

When fee’s are clearly explained and combined with excellent customer service, it can lead to strong customer relationships. On the flip side, failure to clearly discuss fee’s can lead to mistrust with clients.

 

Why do many Cleaning Business Owners hate to discuss cleaning fees?

Discuss cleaning fees with clientsCleaning Business owners often times, do not want to talk cleaning fees with their clients upfront for fear of pushing them away.  There are lots of cheaper options out there, so many try to avoid it.

Don’t Loose your Value

But you know your value, so stick to it.  You don’t want the client to start the conversation and end in a bidding war, or worse end up cleaning a home for less than your value.  You have set your prices so that you know you will cover expenses and make a certain profit.  Any fee’s less than that you will be loosing money.

Don’t Loose your clients trust

Hiring a cleaning business is personal.  Home owners invite you into their home based on trust.  Create a trusting relationship that will last for many years. Clients do not do business with companies they do not trust!

Set your Cleaning Business up for success by being upfront with your clients when discussing cleaning fee’s.

 

5 Steps to Discuss Cleaning Fees with your clients

There are a few steps you can take to start having the conversation with clients from day one. Discussing fee’s with clients can be easier if you follow along with these 5 steps.

1. Take the Lead on Discussing Fees

Take the lead on discussing service price. You should start talking about the fee’s before the client does.  Don’t let the client or potential client ask the question. This can take the discussion in an awkward turn.

While it may be difficult to start the conversation on fee’s, it demonstrates leadership and starts to build the trust between yourself and the client.

Related Topic: How to Quote Cleaning Services

What you don’t want to happen is to have the clients start the discussion. They will most always come lower than your asking price. But then when you tell the This can lead to the client negotiating and setting their own cleaning fee’s.

2. Always be upfront and consistent on what your price includes

Continuing on the lead with your price discussion, you want to be very clear on what services are included in your cleaning service. Clearly define what is and what is not included in that service.

Always have a Cleaning Service Checklist to provide to the customer.  This way they have a list of what is included in their regular service you are quoting them on.

Related Topic: What to Charge for House Cleaning Services

If you offer any extra services make sure to leave a price list of those services. This way when the client asks you to clean the oven during a clean, you can refer back to the price list on the extra charge. What you don’t want to do is let clients assume there is no extra charge. This creates a sticky situation, one which does not end very well.

3. Discuss the value of the service

You know your value, now communicate with the client.  What value do you bring to the table?

Is it the time your client will save by not having to clean their home? Is it the awesome reliable customer service your client will receive? Or is there a special product you use that others Cleaning Company’s do not?

Whatever it is, make sure you communicate it when talking about price.

In my Cleaning Business no one in the area could mop floors like us.  We used a heavy duty steam cleaner that cleaned tile floors quickly and very effectively.  Our clients never had sticky floors (you know that feeling when you walk over a recently mopped floors and your shoes stick to the floors!) and never had any cleaning residue left over.  

It was a true value proposition that other companies could not offer and we made sure our clients and potential clients knew it.   

4. Ensure your client understands your fee schedule

After you have clearly explained your fee structure, ask the client or check with them to make sure they understand. Provide print outs or hard copies of what your additional fees are.

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You should be leaving each new client with a new client welcome kit.  These kits should include information about policies, cleaning checklists, and pricing for additional tasks. This will provided needed information to your clients so they know want to expect with future services.

If you are providing a quote to a potential new client, always provide a cleaning checklist so the client knows what exactly it is your company cleans when they visit a home. Make a clear list of what is included and what is extra. 

5. Put it to Pen

When you quote a client a price, always document it. This will avoid any miss communication. You can document it in an electronic format or on paper. Provide a copy to the client for their records. In the future when the client asks for extra tasks, you can always refer back to what was quoted originally.

After providing a quote to a client, follow up with a letter thanking them for the opportunity of provide them a price for cleaning their home. Include how much it will cost to clean their home on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis. 

If the client does not sign up for a while after the initial quote, you have a copy of what was originally quoted.  This way if they do call you in the future, you will have it ready. It is ok to put a time limit of how long a quote is good for. It is safe to use a 90 day rule. 

When your quoting a customer for pricing following these steps will increase trust. Consumers buy from those they trust. If you can develop trusting relationships, you can quickly build your customer base! 

 

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The last thing you need to know about discussing cleaning fees with clients

The take away with discussing cleaning fees with clients is to

  • Be open
  • Always be upfront
  • Have consistent pricing

If you stick to these rules you will be successful in taking to clients about pricing. You will dodge the haggling some clients like to get into.

As always this is your business, don’t let clients set the prices. And always maintain trust and credibility with having a consistent price structure that all clients will come to expect and understand.

What are your biggest struggles with talking cleaning fees with clients? Leave a message so we all can share in our experiences ?.

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