Expanding your cleaning business is part of business growth. And setting expectations with customers without losing them is the key to success.
We Ask a House Cleaner about business growth, expanding your cleaning business, and how to train employees.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says expanding your cleaning business is a science. You build confidence when you set boundaries on your initial walkthrough. She gives tips for expanding from just you through the transition to employees.
Today’s sponsor is https://HouseCleaning360.com
#HouseCleaning360 is a referral database of plumbers who service your home.
Listen: Expanding Your Cleaning Business
Watch: Expanding Your Cleaning Business
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: Expanding Your Cleaning Business
“Hi, I’m a house cleaner. I have a one-woman business right now. And I have joined forces with another house cleaner who wants to expand her business with me. So we’re partners in this business. We are ready to hire employees.
My question is, how do I transition my current clients to a two or three person team cleaning their house? In the beginning, I will be cleaning with them to train them. I’m going to continue cleaning as my business grows anyway. But it might be in a few months that my employees will be then cleaning for my now regular clients. What should be my growth disclosure program?
How do I tell my regular clients that this is happening without losing business?”
Answer: Expanding Your Cleaning Business With a Plan
All right, that is an excellent question. You want to grow your cleaning business without losing your customers.
All right, well congratulations on expanding your business. Good luck with the partnership.
I know that there are a lot of businesses that have tried this. Some successful, some not so successful.
There will be growing pains as you grow your cleaning business. I just want to give you the heads up upfront. It’s like the hurricane warning. When you know it’s coming, you can take proper preparations. Beware of the growing pains.
Begin With the End Goal in Mind
Okay, you are are expanding your business. You’re going to go from a solo house cleaner to having employees.
Your customers are already in the spirit of you being the sole cleaner. So now you’re going to have to bust everything apart that you’ve created, which is them wanting only you.
You need them to want you and your employees. Then after a short while, you will need them to just want your employees, and not you.
It’s Like Raising Children
Well, this is an uncomfortable situation for both the homeowners and the business owner. But this is the way it is.
Think of a tiny child. The child loves their mom and dad, and there’s this attachment and a bond that’s created.
As the kid gets older, he’s not so fond of his parents. He doesn’t want anyone to see him with his parents. And he doesn’t want his mom to kiss him in front of his friends because it’s weird.
As the kid grows up, he will mature into an adult. He will move away from his family that raised him. It doesn’t mean they love him any less, but there’s a division. The maturity has happened. The relationship has developed, and it has progressed, and now he’s moved on.
The Relationship Between House Cleaner and Customer
It’s the same with the house cleaning business. You’ve been in this little incubator with your customer, and there’s all this love and it’s only you.
They don’t want anyone else, and you have to say, “Okay, I’m growing up a little bit. Don’t kiss me in public, because that’s weird.” And there’s this weird energy that’s going to happen as you bring in a new employee.
You are Only One Person
What the customer needs to realize is this. I’m a business owner. As my business expands, I’m only one person.
I have taken on another business partner. We are hiring employees. It is my job to keep money flowing through the business so that I can put food on the table for my family.
There isn’t anybody who would not understand that you have bills to pay. Business expansion means an uncomfortable period of growth.
Your Employees Will Be Like You
Your customers love you and they only want you to be their house cleaner. But what they have to realize is the person that you’re training will use your methods.
They will know the things that are important to that family that they have shared with you. And they will have worksheets that you are using on a regular basis.
Training Your Employees
You will be training your employees to show the same respect to your clients that you have shown this family. And so now instead of it just being you, it’s going to be you and someone else. You’re going from an “I or We”.
You bring that person in and they tag team with you. And they learn the systems that you developed with this family.
Now, if you’re good at what you do, you will train them as you go to train someone else. You show them, you let them do it, and then you let them teach someone else.
Train Them to Be Trainers
My suggestion would be to show them. Then have them do it on their own, and then have them train you because you already know how it works.
If they need correction, you can correct them in the training. And you can teach them how to be a trainer while you’re training them on the job.
You can turn around and you can go to the next person and you can train them. Or you could put the next person with the person you’ve just trained. Because since you trained this person, they’re going to train that person the same way. This is how you make your cleaning business a success.
You Will Create Duplicates
People duplicate what they see. It’s like when the little child grows up and they become like their parent.
And you find yourself saying things like, “Well, I would never say that to my kids.” And then poof, here it comes out of your mouth. You’re like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” You duplicate what you know.
Your time training new employees is quality time. They will duplicate this training with newer employees under them.
This is key because as your business grows, you cannot be the only trainer in your company. This will become almost impossible.
You have to figure out ways that you are going to be able to expand your business.
Include the Customer in on the Timeline
My suggestion is to have an honest to goodness upfront conversation with your customers as you’re expanding your cleaning business. Let them in on the timeline.
This goes without saying because when you raise a child, there’s a timeline. You know that at about age six to nine, they’re going to be in this weird awkward phase of growing up. They’re not a teenager, they’re not a kid, they’re kind of between.
Then, there are the teenage years. They are kind of like, and they think they’re an adult, but we as parents know that they’re not adults. Their brains are not finished developing. And they don’t know how to think like an adult. Yet they’re a big, grownup person, and they look like an adult so we want to treat them that way.
Keep the Conversation Open and Honest
Your business is the same way. You will go through different periods in your business. You will just have to keep conversing with your client.
Just explain to them, “I’m going to be transitioning my business. It will go from just me to having an employee with me for three months. At the end of three months, I will be having this person training someone else.
So three months from now, I will no longer be coming to your house to clean. But within three months, you will have a top of the line employee that works for my company. They will be using the same methods that I taught them.”
Make Them Your Ally
“You will get to know this new employee. They will come to know you and your house and your family and pets.
If there’s a problem at all, you can always call me. And we will make it 100% right, but during this transition, it’s going to be awkward. During this transition, we will have growing pains.”
“I need you as my customer to be my wingman. I need you to let me know what’s going on.
Always feel free to let me know if something gets skipped or falls through the cracks. Also if somebody doesn’t show up on time or something happens, you have to come to me and let me know.
Can I count on you to do that? Because I want to continue providing you 100% top quality service at the price that we’ve agreed on.”
They’re going to go, “Yes, I can help you do that.”
If you set realistic expectations, they’ll be on your team. They want to see you grow and see you develop.
They Will Be Sad to See You Go, but Supportive
It’s like seeing your kid go off to college. Yes, you cry and it hurts your feelings and it breaks your heart. You’re like, “Oh, my kid is growing up and moving away.”
Yet you are so proud and happy and supportive. If you present it in the right manner, your customers will be the same.
All right, that’s my two cents for today. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Networking Is a Contact Sport: How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence — or Even Land Your Next Job – http://amzn.to/2jvVIjM
Moving the Needle: Get Clear, Get Free, and Get Going in Your Career, Business, and Life! – http://amzn.to/2AgIr95
The Pareto Principle for Business Management: Expand your business with the 80/20 rule – http://amzn.to/2zPAdFu
Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence – http://amzn.to/2igKT8v
Getting to Like – http://amzn.to/2iflLzg
Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back – http://amzn.to/2juk4KB
Permissions To Share
SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification – https://savvycleaner.com
HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. https://housecleaning360.com