How to rebuild your cleaning business after a move is a common question for the moving business owner. If you’re moving to a new location you don’t have to reinvent yourself – just establish new clients.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru notes you have transferrable skills. The secret of starting over is to realize the struggles of being in a new place are mostly in your head. You’re not starting over from scratch with house cleaning. You’re just starting over again.
Your move to a new city is just a new location. Your bank accounts, business rules, and experience all continue as if nothing happened.
Listen: How to Rebuild Your Cleaning Business After a Move
Watch: How to Rebuild Your Cleaning Business After a Move
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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Question: How to Rebuild Your Cleaning Business After a Move
You’ve had to move. You closed down your cleaning business. Now, you’re going to a new city and you have to start your cleaning business all over again. How do you do that? It’s a great question, and we’re going to talk about that today.
Savvy Perks to Save on Moving Expenses
As you move to a new area, you’re going to want to have a Savvy Perks membership. It costs about the price of a sandwich per month. And, as you move into your new home you can save all kinds of money, 10%, 15%, 20% discount on moving services. This includes moving trucks, moving boxes, on the dollies that you rent. If you have to put your stuff in storage, you can save on storage units. Or if you have to have one of those pods that they bring to your house that sits in your driveway so you can pack everything up, you can save on those too.
All that stuff is on Savvy Perks and you can save enormous discounts on your moving expenses. So, if you are moving please join Savvy Perks and help yourself out. The money you save is money you can reinvest in your business.
Are You Moving?
All right on to today’s show, which is from a house cleaner who’s closing down her business. Her husband moved, they got transferred, she’s moving to a completely new area.
And she’s beside herself because she does not know how to start over. So, we’re going to talk about that today. Great news! If you know how to clean and if you had a successful cleaning business it’s going to take just a minute for you to start over again in a new city.
Your Skills Transfer
Now, let’s pretend for a second that you’re a chef and you’ve been cooking for years. You know in the back of your head what kind of spices you need to go with different kinds of vegetables and meat. And, you know what kinds of wine go with the meat. You know how to put the meal together, and you know how to display it, and how to arrange it on the plates.
All right let’s say that you move to a new restaurant. Well, all the stuff that you learned about being a chef doesn’t go away. Right? You go to the new restaurant, you still know what the bowls are. You still know what pots and pans are. The herbs are the same and work with the same ingredients.
All the information and all the knowledge that you already used at the other restaurant, or the other establishment you take with you. So, none of that stuff disappears. It’s not like you’re starting over again from scratch. You’re simply reinventing yourself in a new space. That’s it.
It’s going to take you a few minutes to learn your way around the kitchen. You’ll learn where they put these pots and pans, and where they keep the spatulas. And once you’ve found your way around the kitchen, you’re set. You just pick up where you left off.
You Take Your Business Skills with You When You Move
House cleaning is the same way. You have a training system. You have the ability to go into a customer’s house and bid a contract because you’ve already done it many times. If you had a successful business in the past you already have all your rules and regulations in place.
You already know what kind of payments you accept. Do you accept credit cards, and do you require deposits to book appointments?
Do you charge a lockout fee? Or a cancellation fee? These are things that you’ve already established in your prior business. So, moving to a new location none of that changes. You bring all that experience with you.
You, Will, Meet New People and Make New Friends
So, when you go to a new location you may not know a soul. So, there are no referrals. And, that’s fine but if you have customers from the past you can get written testimonials from them.
Say, “Listen I’m not going to be your house cleaner anymore, I’m moving to a new area. And it would mean the world to me as I get started if you would give me a quick letter of recommendation. Something that says in the old neighborhood I was your house cleaner and these are the services that I provided.”
You can put these letters of recommendation on your website.
Now, worst case scenario you have a stack of letters that you take to the new place.
Use Recommendation Letters from Past Customers
And so, someone says “Well, how do I know if you’re any good?” “Well, I have 36 customers right here that says I’m good, would you like to read these letters?”
Okay, so you’ve already built all your social media, you’ve already built your website, all that stuff’s in place. You already have all your cleaning supplies.
Check the Safety Data Sheets When Transporting Chemicals
Be careful when you move the cleaning supplies. Some cleaning supplies are safe to travel. Others can create toxic hazards. Check the SDS sheets of the products you have. Some cleaning chemicals you can’t put on airplanes, it’s against the law. And, it may have to travel by car or in a moving truck.
There are moving companies that refuse to move certain things like they won’t move paint. And, they won’t move certain toxic chemicals. So, you have to be careful about what it is you’re shipping. Some of the cleaning chemicals you may have to dump out and buy new ones when you get there. But the good news is this, there are janitorial supplies companies all over.
And there are stores all over that sell cleaning supplies. So, wherever you bought your cleaning supplies before, you buy them in the new place. So, all the rules are the same.
You, Will, Have Some Startup Advertising Costs
The only initial startup you’re going to have is getting out the door your first day or week. And so, what I recommend is going back to the basics. Run flyers in the neighborhood where you live. Unless you’re a franchise with an assigned territory you can work wherever you want.
So, you can run flyers in the neighborhood you live in and say;
“Hi, I’m Angela. I’m new to the neighborhood and I’m running a one-time flyer. My history is I work off of referral only. So, this is the only flyer you’re ever going to get from me. But I wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I clean houses and here’s my website. I have 36 testimonials from customers who will share with you how they feel about my work. So, if you’re thinking about a house cleaner, or if you’re thinking about changing your house cleaner, give me a call. If you’re not ready for house cleaning now, save this, it’s the only flyer you’re going to get.” Or something like that.
People Will Save Your Flyers
Now, what happens is people will save those flyers. And they will call you a year, two years later. “Hey, I still have your flyer and I never called you because I had a house cleaner at the time. But now she’s moved to another area so I’m looking for a new house cleaner. Do you still clean houses?”
You’re like, “Absolutely.” But the good news is, if you start working in your neighborhood you can use the Nextdoor Referral Program.
We have two or three videos on how to use NextDoor to build Referrals. And, it’s an amazing way to build a network fast in your own neighborhood and the neighborhood next door.
Start in Your Own Neighborhood First
When you’ve exhausted the work possibilities in your own neighborhood, then go to the neighborhood next to you.
Then, you’re going to want to start using Nextdoor to find help to hire for your business so that you can go ahead and keep working in your own neighborhood. So, there are ways to do that.
But, to start up from scratch in a new place, it’s easy.
You already have all the skills you need. You have all the information you need. And all the systems you need to run your business are already in place.
Your Webhosting, Banks, Insurance All Stay the Same
And, if you bank through a national banking company like I use Wells Fargo, they’re all across the United States.
You don’t even have to change your bank account or any of that stuff. You just go to the branch near you and deposit your money and everything just keeps rolling like nothing ever happened.
Also, if you have an insurance company that is a national company, keep them and your same policy. We’ve always used Nationwide, a national company. Unless you’re modifying your policy, it all stays the same.
It’s the same policy, you just call them and say, “Hey, activate it in this city, instead of this city.” And, they go, “Okay, no problem.” Same money, same price, same policy, same number, same everything. There is no, “Oh, I’ve got to close down my business, and I’ve got to open it up over here.” You’re just moving locations, that’s all it is.
You Will Miss Old Friends and Clients
The big concern is saying goodbye to all the people that know, love and trust you enough to have been customers.
That’s the hardest part, and it is still the hardest part for me today. I hate saying goodbye to people that I love, and adore, and they have become my close friends.
I’m so sad when I have to say goodbye. But the good news is with Facebook you stay in touch with all those people anyway. So, it’s not that hard of a thing. Right? You just say, “Hey, listen, guys, we’re moving. Can’t believe I’m moving. But, in two weeks, that’s going to be my last cleaning. I just want to say goodbye to all you guys. Thank you so much for being my customers. You’ve paid my bills, you have supported my family, I’m indebted to you. This has been an awesome ride.”
Agree to Stay in Touch with Old Friends
When you leave, they’re going to say glorious things about you because you left on good terms. And, they will stay in touch. And, some of them will still send you Christmas gifts. Some of them you’re still a part of their family. So, when you leave just leave on good terms. Make sure that you wrap up all the relationships and then go to your new location and just carry on as if nothing happened.
So, a lot of it’s up here. A lot of it is you thinking, “Oh no, it’s going to be such a challenge.” It’s not such a challenge, it’s super easy to do. I’ve done it five times in the course of my career. And, within a week or two I’m right back in full swing and it’s like nothing ever happened. They’re all new faces, I had to do a bunch of walkthroughs and that’s pretty much the investment of the new place. So, that’s it.
All right, if this helped you a little bit please share it with a friend. Share it in your Facebook groups, tell your friends who clean houses how to start over again in a new place. And, until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Good Karma Resources For This Episode
Save money on your business expenses and your next move with Savvy Perks. https://savvyperks.com
Moving For Busy Women: How to Get From Overwhelmed to Organized in 5 Simple Steps – https://amzn.to/2AL7Wyx
Moving Gracefully: A Guide to Relocating Yourself & Your Family – https://amzn.to/2CiwO0v
The Essential Moving Guide for Families: Practical Advice to Ease Your Transition and Create A Sense of Belonging – https://amzn.to/2VOAMH4
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Permissions To Share
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Turnover Cleaning Tips – for Vacation Rental and Airbnb Hosts