Becoming a boss of a house cleaning business – how do you handle the extra responsibilities and become the best boss you can be? What is the best way to go from working for a company to working for myself? Today we’re going to talk about being a girl boss starting right now!
Listen: Becoming a Boss – Be a Girl Boss Starting Now!
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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.
Are You Thinking About Becoming the Boss?
Are you thinking about becoming the boss? You want to be the one that calls all the shots. You want to be the one that runs the cleaning company, not works for the cleaning company. I get it.
A cleaner wrote into the show and she said, “Hello, my name is Caitlin. I’ve been a house cleaner for five years. I was wondering how I go from working with a company to working for myself. I’m an amazing house cleaner. My current clients adore my work. They’re always calling my employer to tell them how amazing I did. They tell me that they don’t care about the price compared to my work. And after I cleaned for a new customer, I always get a compliment. And I get asked to be on their rotations. I do more detailed and deep cleans than normal cleans. I also make sure my work is presentable, like labels out and organizing bottles and such.”
Bosses Start out as Great Employees
At my company, I worked four and a half to five hours per house, size, and cleaning depending. My employer’s current rate is a $34 an hour flat rate. I figured out that I would start at this price and then have add-ons such as fridge, oven, laundry, et cetera. I already own my own cleaning supplies. The biggest problem I’m facing is that I want to make about $45,000 per year. I feel that I’m worth that as a house cleaner and eventually get to $75,000.
But how do I do that and is that realistic? Would it be better to charge by room to increase my salary? I do have student loans to worry about and getting health insurance for myself, along with insurance for my company. What do you think is the best and most profitable way for me to make this transition? I know this is a big question so thank you for taking the time for me.”
Becoming Your Own Boss is Super Exciting
Okay. Caitlin, becoming your own boss, super exciting. I love your entrepreneurial spirit. The first thing that I want you to do is to admit that you are now a boss. Even if you still work for a company, in your mind it starts right here, you are now a boss. Everything that you do, every decision that you make, you are now the boss.
You’ve got to have adult grownup conversations with the boss that you have. My suggestion is that you go to the first and you say, “Hey, I’m thinking about going out on my own. I would like to transition as smoothly as possible, as quickly as possible. And I would like to be an independent contractor for your company.”
Your Boss Might Be Sad to Lose You
So what that means is this. They’re going to be sad. They’re losing one of their best star employees. And the first thing that you’re going to say is, “I will work with my same regular clients to fill in the gaps while you find someone to replace me” okay? So now, you’re making a part of the job, they’re making a part of the job, but now you work for yourself, okay?
The customers that you’re working with, for now, that love you and adore your work, are not your customers. They do not get to be your customers. And ethically, it would be foolish for you to go to them and try to snag them away from the company that gave you this job. Don’t do that.
You’re Going to Have to Start a Website
All right. So the next thing is, you’re going to have to start a website. I recommend that you go to the employer that you have and say, “Can we change the way that we collect ratings and reviews? So that instead of collecting a rating and review for the entire company, you collect a rating and review based on my work alone.”
Now we do this at Savvy Cleaner. Every independent contractor and every employee has a page where you can rate that individual-specific person on their merits alone. We do have collective Savvy Cleaner recommendations.
But for each individual person, then should they ever go out on their own, they have this whole base of recommendations and letters and love notes from clients that they can take with them to the next job that’s about them as a person. So that’s what we want to do for you. We want to get your own ratings and reviews.
You Have to Account for Business Expenses
The next thing is, we want you to set up a website so that you can display those ratings and reviews. So there are a lot of expenses. You said you wanted to start out at $34 per hour.
And if you work eight hours a day times 40 hours a week which is 50 weeks per year I’m guessing, that’s going to be about $68,000 at $34 per hour, if, if, if you work every single hour eight hours a day and you have no cancellations and you have no commute time and everyone pays on time and all of those things, which is really not very realistic. But those are the big numbers.
Okay. The big numbers do not include all of the business expenses. And so as a business owner, you have to start thinking in terms of not, “I’m going to earn $45,000 a year. But, “How much money do I have to earn the big picture in order to end up with $45,000 a year?”
House Cleaning Business Expenses
Because what happens is this, you have a vehicle that has vehicle expenses. Those are going to be oil changes and tire rotations, and tires and car washes, and it’s going to be fuel for your vehicle and insurance and tags and registration and all that stuff. Then you have cleaning supplies. So you have your cleaning supplies and equipment which would be vacuums and mops and mop buckets and electric drills or whatever it is you’ve used.
You’re going to have the equipment and cleaning supplies expenses. The cleaning supplies are ongoing expenses where the equipment is kind of a one-time expense. You replace them every few months or every few years, but it’s not every week you replace your equipment. It’s not like that. But you do have ongoing cleaning supply expenses. You also have uniforms, so that’s another expense to throw in the mix. While you were writing out your expenses, I want you to think of the behind-the-scenes.
You’ve got to have a website. You got to have web hosting. You got to register your domain name. You’re going to have a phone service of some sort, a cell phone, a smartphone, a cell phone service. You’re going to have internet access. You got to pay for all that stuff.
Insurance is Important for House Cleaners
You mentioned insurance here, insurance. So you’re going to have your health insurance, which was important to you. You also have your general liability insurance.
And then, should you expand and hire someone along the way, you will have a workman’s comp, which is a different kind of insurance altogether.
There are a Lot of Things to Think About as the Boss
So there are a lot of different things to think about when it comes to being a boss. I want you to start thinking of them right now. Now, think of it like having a kid. When you get pregnant, you have nine months and there are nine months of stuff rolling through your head before the kid even arrives.
And you start thinking about, “What am I going to do about babysitting? Where are they going to sleep?” You start redecorating your house and you start putting stuff in order and you start doing things because now you’re thinking in terms already of being a parent. This is the exact same thing.
The moment you decide, “I’m becoming a boss,” it’s like, “I’m becoming a parent”, you start putting all of these different situations, scenarios, and systems in place so that everything runs smoothly once the child arrives, right?
You Have to Get Things in Place When You Become the Boss
So the moment that you flip that switch and you become your own boss, you’re going to have to have stuff already in place, because no longer will you just be given a job with a listing and a client’s name and you show up and you do the job. You now have to figure out, “Can I afford to spend four and a half or five hours on a job?”
You might discover that three hours is your max because time is of the essence. And you might decide that you have to raise your prices. You might have to also decide that you cannot afford to do a deep clean at every single house.
And so, you might have to do a maintenance clean and then sell the deep clean as a special package at a separate price. There are a whole bunch of decisions that you are now going to make that you did not make as an employee.
Becoming a Boss is Super Exciting and Hard
So, becoming a boss is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. You’ll work harder for yourself than you ever worked as an employee. And in the beginning, you will make a whole lot less money. Did I just say that? I did. Because that’s the reality and I don’t want to scare you away. I want to inspire you and I want to encourage you, but this is a process.
It’s a huge, huge commitment like becoming a parent. It’s not something you just do and if it doesn’t work out, you walk away because you’ll have a lot of expenses and a lot of investment that are inside the process, okay?
I’m excited for you. I’m here rooting for you. And I want you to keep me posted. So leave your questions and comments in the notes below. My question is, are you the boss? Are you the boss and do you work more for yourself than you ever did as an employee? Let’s just have a running tally and find out what the truth of that is.
How to Be a Great Boss – https://amzn.to/3sUPRGw
Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders – https://amzn.to/32HMg3T
It’s Okay to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need – https://amzn.to/3sTfNSx
Choosing to Lead: Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable – https://amzn.to/3ngLpjS
Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter – https://amzn.to/32KcZN7
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