When you own a cleaning business, panic is always around the corner.
Is this the right decision? Do I know what I’m doing? Would somebody with more experience know the right direction?
Luckily for you, Dallas Maids has six principles for newcomers to learn how to start a cleaning business.
6 Principles to Perfect Your Cleaning Business
Dallas Maids has many years of successful customer service and operating experience. Their video “How to Start a Cleaning Business” outlines 6 powerful principles to build a successful Cleaning Business. Scroll down to watch it.
1. Think Big or Go Home
Plan for your business to get huge. Set up policies, write an operations guide, get practices in place that will work for a bigger business.
Flying by the seat of your pants sets you up for failure when you can’t keep an eye on every aspect of the business anymore.
2. Surround Yourself with Good People
Have high standards for who you hire. These are people you’re sending into other people’s homes and places of business, put trustworthiness and reliability at a premium.
On the same note, a good employee is worth more than any client. Consider dropping a problem client over losing a good employee.
3. The 80/20 Rule
Also called Pareto’s Principle, this rule says that 20% of your customers produce 80% of your revenue. Take great care of these people. A different 20% produce 80% of your headaches. Sometimes it’s worth it to let them go.
The same is true of employees, 20% will be your top-earners, pair them with your top 20% of clients and great things will happen (increased client retention, loyal employees, etc.)
4. Know Your Customer
No one wants to be a number. You have a lot of clients but your clients only have one cleaning company.
Make them feel special, take notes on their customer page in Service Autopilot to remember important things (kids’ names, pets’ names, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
5. Reach Out
Being a business owner can be lonely but it doesn’t have to be! Find other business owners and reach out to them:
- Get coffee and talk shop.
- Talk about what’s working and what isn’t.
- Trade advice.
Make friends. A great way to meet fellow business owners is to attend our annual Service Industry Conference (that’s in November. It’s going to be highly valuable for business owners and managers).
6. Stand Strong and Walk Tall
Maintain your integrity, don’t cut corners, take care of your employees. Set an example for the rest of your company to follow.
The six principles put forward in the video are vital to effectively running any business, but a 7th HUGELY important rule needs to be addressed:
7. Job Costing
You won’t know if you’re making a profit without knowing what each job costs you to perform. The best time to implement rigorous job costing solutions is as you start your business.
If you divide what the client paid you by the amount of time you were there, you’ll get what you were paid per hour. Remember to price your services with expansion in mind. Every additional expense subtracts from what you’re making per hour.
Remember: You’re not Selling Clean Houses, You’re Selling Labor.
Example: Jim has a 2100 sq. ft. house that takes 90 minutes to clean. He pays you $100.
You’re making ~$67/hour.
Pam has an 800 sq. ft. apartment that takes 30 minutes and pays $50, you’re making $100/hour.
Even though Jim pays you more overall, Pam is more profitable per hour.
Keep this math in mind. It will help you turn greater profits and figure out where the profit holes in your business are hiding.
By tracking time, you’ll find some houses appear to be equal… but actually take too much time and diminish your hourly rate.
Once you hire employees, time tracking helps you identify who needs to be trained (again) on efficient cleaning methods. It may also help identify problem employees who are milking the clock.
If you don’t track their time at each job, you have no way of knowing what’s really going on.
Time tracking shows you which jobs need price increases or which clients you should let go because they aren’t profitable.
The best decisions in a business come from a place of knowledge.
Plan to grow your new cleaning business (and dodge failure!) by properly tracking your time from day one. You can’t make good decisions for your business without having the right data in hand.
Track time and costs so that you know the profit from each hour of labor sold.
Thanks to Dallas Maids for creating this highly informative video! Watch it above.
Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.