These big mistakes house cleaners made are disastrous! You can avoid these costly mistakes if you know how the story ends.
Cleaning business mistakes can happen on every job if you’re careless.
Listen: Big Mistakes House Cleaners Made
Watch: Big Mistakes House Cleaners Made
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.
Big Mistakes Made By House Cleaners
Biggest mistakes made by house cleaners and can you prevent them from making them yourself?
We are moving through 25 of the biggest mistakes house cleaners have made so that you can learn from them and not make the same mistakes.
Mistake 8: Not Understanding Taxes
Not understanding taxes and employment taxes. So about 30% of your business, whatever you earn needs to be stashed away for taxes. That’s an average. And the reason for this is that is you have a lot of taxes to pay as a business owner. And so, if you think that all the money that you earn is yours to keep, you are in for a real treat, because that is not the case.
And we’ve all discovered that as professional house cleaners, we all pay our taxes because that is the legal thing to do. We are legal, upstanding, ethical business people, and we pay taxes.
And so to figure out the taxes is a must from day one, because if it catches up with you. I’ve seen so many house cleaners that fall into this trap when they get hit by the IRS for thousands of dollars in back pay. With really steep fees, it tanks their business and their business goes under. So start from the very beginning, say, “Hey, listen, I’m a business owner and I pay taxes.” Make that part of your business plan.
Take 30 % of All Your Pay for Taxes
Take every dollar that you earn, take out 30% of it and that goes to taxes. You put that in a separate bank account if you need to so that you don’t see the money with your eyes. Because if you see the money with your eyes and you think you can spend it, you’re very wrong.
Because that income tax bill comes every quarter or every month or every year, depending on how your business is set up and how you pay. But the employee taxes have to be paid. Your federal taxes, your state taxes, whatever it is, the taxes are what you have to pay. There’s no getting around that!
Mistake 9: Not Tracking Business Expenses
Number nine, is one of the biggest mistakes house cleaners made. Not tracking business expenses. At Savvy Cleaner right now, we’re going through a whole program this year where we’re tracking every single expense. Because until you track the expenses, you don’t know how much you’re spending and you don’t know how much to budget for next year.
This is crucial to growing your business. And so, if you don’t track your numbers, you can never grow your business. You can never scale your business. And there are lots of house cleaners that will hire two or three people, and within a couple of months, that falls apart because they haven’t tracked the spending.
They don’t know what they’re spending here and they don’t know what they’re paying in payroll. And so, the money that’s coming in, although there’s the new money coming in every day, these expenses get eaten up fast without the budget. And so, if you start tracking every item, the gloves that you wear, how much does that cost per house, per client, per year? And then you times that by 30 customers. And then if you hire a new employee, that’s now this number for the new employee. Okay?
You Have to Adjust the Budget for New Employees
And so, if you hire two employees, it’s that number plus the two employees. So, they each have their own sets of gloves that they would use that you would then end up budgeting in for that. It’s not like you have a whole bunch of expenses here that stayed the same.
And then you’ll hire a whole bunch of new people and you grow and you’re cleaning a whole bunch more houses and this number stays the same. That does not happen.
You use more cleaning supplies, more cleaning chemicals, more and different equipment. It might be another car. then the expenses go up. So, if you’re going to survive in business, you have to track those expenses.
Mistake 10: Not Asking for Ratings and Reviews
Now, biggest mistake, number 10. Not asking for ratings and reviews. So, the house cleaner that wrote in built her entire business, hoping that people would love her and give her referrals and whatever, which they did. But there was nothing on paper. There was no social proof that covered that.
So as her business grew, people are looking around going well, where’s the social proof? Where are the happy customers? She had hundreds of satisfied customers, but no social proof.
Get in the Habit of Asking for Ratings and Reviews
As house cleaners, you need to get in the habit right now, every single day on every single job, asking every single customer for ratings and reviews. Now it’s like Amazon, if you’ve ever bought something from Amazon, every time you buy a product, they say, hey, rate our product, what do you think? They ask for it on every single product.
The whole business behind ratings and reviews was either built by eBay or Amazon. And it boomed the social proof industry. And so now lots of people are looking for ratings and reviews and we’ve started asking everybody on every job on everything we do to give us a rating and review as well. Because it’s the feedback that helps us take what we learned today and make it better. And so, if somebody says what you’re doing is awful that is great feedback because you can’t fix it if you don’t know.
So get in the habit right now of giving ratings and reviews because it’s a big mistake if you find yourself many years down the road in your business, and you have no social proof. So, all that information is very helpful.
Mistake 11: Not Having Insurance
This one comes from a house cleaner. She says, “I didn’t get insurance because I thought I would be careful and I would never need it.” Well, $26,000 later after ruining a marble floor, she now has insurance. It took her three years to pay it off.
Did you know that it’s illegal to drive a car without insurance and it should be illegal to clean houses without insurance as well? The reason it’s illegal in a car, is because you can kill people number one, and that’s bad. But it’s also property damage if you damage your vehicle or someone else’s.
A home is so much more expensive than a car. So, it stands to reason that, of course, the homeowner is going to have their own homeowner insurance. But as a house cleaner, if you’re going to go into their property, you need to be insured if you screw up anything. And there are so many things that can screw up.
Many House Cleaners Damage Homes They Work in
And every day in cleaning Facebook groups, I watch people show pictures of the property that they’ve damaged. And they’re like, “I used this chemical and I didn’t know that it was going to screw up. And now I’ve got to replace this. And does anyone know a quick way to fix this without me having to buy the customer a whole new granite counter or a whole new stainless-steel fridge?”
So, do you need insurance? And the answer is yes. Yes, you do need insurance and from day. “Should I wait until I have employees?” No, get insurance right now because you, yourself are human and you are capable of screwing up.
You are capable of creating damage you cannot pay for out of your own bank account. So make sure that you’re bonded and insured.Resources
These good karma links connect you to Amazon.com and affiliated sites that offer products or services that relate to today’s show.
50 Mistakes Business Owners Make – https://amzn.to/2TCFLuX
Marketing Mistakes and Successes – https://amzn.to/2XliG0I
You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake – https://amzn.to/3eedcfh
The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future – https://amzn.to/36qQjCH
The Ride of a Lifetime – https://amzn.to/3gkMGTh
Permissions To Share
Savvy Cleaner Training – House Cleaner Training and Certification
My Cleaning Connection – Your hub for all things cleaning.
HouseCleaning360 – A hub connecting homeowners with house cleaners
Savvy Perks – Employee benefits for your employees.
Turnover Cleaning Tips – for Vacation Rental and Airbnb Hosts