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Secrets to Building a Multimillion-Dollar Cleaning Empire With Debbie Sardone

Published on April 4, 2024

On this episode of the Profit Roadmap podcast, Bekah sits down with Debbie Sardone. She is an incredibly successful entrepreneur, cleaning business owner, coach, and the list goes on.

In this episode, Debbie shares her valuable insights and proven strategies that will help you:

  • Build a thriving corporate culture
  • Accurately price services for profit
  • Find and keep the best employees
  • And so much more!

From Solopreneur to Founder of Systems

In the early days, Debbie was a one-woman show cleaning houses. She started a cleaning company out of the trunk of her car and grew it from there.

As she grew she faced a challenge that many service businesses still struggle with, hiring employees to keep up with demand. 

In the early days, she saw that some of the people she hired didn’t share her work ethic and business philosophy. 

Debbie said that they would call in sick, quit when they had a bad day, or cut corners.

But from this experience, Debbie was on a mission to systematize her operations and even hired some consultants to help her turn her business around.

In fact, after she did that she grew her business substantially in a very short amount of time.

The Importance of Company Culture

A key part of Debbie's systems-building was establishing a strong company culture. She said "Culture is not cupcakes and parties. It's how people treat each other."

To create the right culture, Debbie didn’t tolerate "C players" (i.e. toxic employees who undermine the team). 

Debbie said "A players won't stay if they see you tolerating C players... It's contagious. C players rub off on everybody. If you want an amazing culture, you have to get rid of the C players."

On that note, one of the biggest challenges companies face is finding and keeping quality employees.

Her solution? She said, "Pay better. Pay is the #1 place to look if you want to attract A players. Don't try to attract A players with C player pay."

Charge for Value, Not Bargain Pricing

Debbie says that it is important that service businesses charge enough for their services.

If you're worth it, don’t be afraid to charge more!

That said, competing on price isn’t the best strategy. Instead, focus on attracting customers based on value. 

Debbie says "The right clients aren't affected by a recession...wealthy people aren't selling their Lexus when there's an economic downturn."

The Power of Recurring Revenue

A major driver of Debbie's success has been the focus on recurring revenue streams versus one-off jobs. 

By implementing systems, building a strong culture, paying competitively, charging for value, and prioritizing recurring revenues, Debbie was able to build a self-running multimillion-dollar business. 

Marketing: The Lifeblood of Growth

While building solid operations and a strong team is crucial, Debbie says that effective marketing is the lifeblood for continual growth

Simply put, she says, "If you don't have an automated, systemized way to constantly bring in new business, cold leads, you're never going to grow. You'll never reach your potential."

She recommends spending 5-10% of revenues on marketing, to keep growing. 

But after you get leads from marketing you need to make sure that you nurture those leads into a sale.

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Pivoting in Changing Times

When asked about the future of the cleaning industry Debbie pointed out that there isn’t an AI that will clean toilets and pull weeds.

Compared to a lot of other industries, the service industries aren’t experiencing the same level of disruption with technology.

That said, being able to pivot when challenges come up is huge.

By focusing on recurring revenues from clients who deeply value their services, Debbie's company was able to thrive even during the pandemic.

Learn More

Want to learn more about Debbie Sardone? Be sure to visit her website to find lots more information about her and her coaching business.

Related: Unlocking Growth: Jack Nagy Shares His Field Service Marketing Secrets


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