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The Central Theme Is Hope

Posted By Erin L. Lasch CAE, Friday, December 30, 2016

By Sharon Tinberg, Rags to Riches


I am a residential cleaning service coach and have spent the past year and a half traveling across North America working with owners, managers, cleaners and home owners.  During my travels the one consistent universal theme I have found everywhere is hope.  Everyone is either driven by hope or looking for someone or something to put their hope in.   At the end of the day everyone is hoping for the same thing in any work environment.  A job they love to go to each day with clients who respect them.  Leaders of companies who offer that hope will turn employees into followers and stop their turnover.


Ironically, my job as a coach is the same as yours as an owner.  It is to put hope where, often times, others think there is none.  Gratefully, hope is not that hard to plant because, again, everyone is motivated by the same outcome.  A job they love to go to each day with clients who respect them. 


From an owner’s perspective, you have two sets of clients:

  • Internal clients
  • External clients

Internal clients are your cleaning staff and external clients are the people who pay your bills (you included).  You need to implant hope in both of these clients if you are going to turn both of them into followers. 


First, however, you need people you can turn into followers.  That is the number one challenge for all cleaning services in the United States and Canada today.  The bigger challenge is the internal client.  It can be difficult to find people who want to be cleaners, especially in this tight employee market.  If the number of prospects in your market is shrinking I would recommend thinking of ways to expand your market.  Without cleaners you cannot possibly grow so you need to put your money and time into that arena first. 


If you do not have company cars I would recommend trying one or two.  I have a client who said they could not afford it.  When they added up all of the expenses they were paying their employees for driving their own vehicles it came to more than two new cars plus the insurance and gas for those cars.  The free advertising and added equity to your bottom line are really free.  How many more people would you be able to put into your ‘eligible for hire’ pile if you did not need to ask “Do you have a car?”  I believe that this one simple change is one of the key factors why most of my clients realize such rapid significant growth from 110-410% in 18 months or less.  There really are people who love cleaning houses for a living.  They feel proud of the end results and feel it is something they can do well and want to do for the remainder of their working lives.  Many of these people do not have transportation so they do not qualify for a cleaning position with many house cleaning companies.  You can give them the hope that they can do the job they really want to do by providing them with transportation.  The majority of companies that generate $1M+ per year in gross revenue do offer company vehicles.  Most of the major franchises utilize company vehicles.  I believe they are a necessary component in the ability to grow a company that does more than $600K per year in gross revenue.  There are, of course, exceptions to that statement but I would say it would not vary more than 15-20%.


The other structure that experienced cleaners are seeking is a guaranteed hourly rate that is paid from the start of the day until the close of the day with a guaranteed number of hours per week, hopefully 40+.  In the majority of companies in which I have worked we have actually shrunk the number of cleaners yet increased the number of openings available for cleanings.  If cleaners clean perfect, why not allow them to earn more money by cleaning more houses?  My philosophy is that it takes a lot of integrity to follow a process and do a perfect job every time a home is cleaned.  Again, there are exceptions to this statement, but most employees who hold that kind of integrity also want to earn enough money to pay their share of the bills. They also want to know they will receive that money every week, not just some weeks.  They are people of integrity so they understand the value of hard work and are willing and ready to work 40+ hours per week to reduce the stress in their lives in many other areas, the majority of which are financial.   As long as you continue to fulfill their hope and continue to know what their hope is you will have a follower forever.


I hope you found this information useful, or at least it gave you a new perspective and reason for hope.  Starting, growing and even maintaining a residential cleaning service is not an easy task.  The rewards, however, are endless.



Sharon Tinberg is a national residential cleaning service coach who has worked with cleaning companies across North America.  

Tags:  growing business 

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