Some of the big mistakes house cleaners make come at a high price! These bad moves can be completely avoided in your cleaning business.
Learn how cleaning business owners prevent mistakes that waste time, energy, and precious resources.
Listen: Big Mistakes House Cleaners Make
Watch: Big Mistakes House Cleaners Make
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 House Cleaners Make
Biggest mistakes made by house cleaners. Can you avoid making the same mistakes the other house cleaners have already made, if you knew what they were, and you knew how to avoid making the same mistake?
Mistake 19: Going Into Business With an Angry Business Partner
Number 19, “I went into business with my business partner who is now angry and volatile.” The reason this is a problem for obvious reasons. Whenever you have a business partnership, if one side or the other collapses, it collapses the other one.
If you have a personal relationship, and it goes south, that’s going to affect your business. And if the business collapses it’s going to affect your relationship. I love to keep them separate, unless, unless, and here’s the example.
They’re actually some couples that are 100% with no unfettered reasons whatsoever committed to each other. There are very few couples like that out there, but no matter what happens, we’re going to make this work. And they’re still in the business together after 20 or 30 years.
Not All Relationships Work Out in Business Together
What I have seen time, and time, and time, and time again is they go into business, and then, something malfunctions. And now you have the person that is closest to you with your deepest, darkest secrets. And they can go to your customers, and they can blab, or they can go to your competitors, and blab and they can totally wipe away and destroy your business.
If the relationship goes south and they hate you, they can totally make your life misery. I don’t recommend it if you can get out of it. If you decide that you want to be in business with your spouse, there have to be some very strict parameters in place. And I say this not because I don’t believe in marriage.
I’ve been married for 18 years, and my husband is my business partner. I’m not telling you one thing, and I’m doing something else, but with parameters, in place, it can work, but it only works with the parameters.
You Need Parameters to Be in Business With Your Partner
The parameters to a winning business partnership are these; who gets the final say? If there’s ever a disagreement, or there’s a discrepancy or a tie has to be drawn, who gets the final say? And, it has to be determined upfront, so that the other person is like, “Nope, you’re right. This is your call. I completely disagree, but this is your call.”
There also has to be a commitment of updating meetings, weekly updating meetings, whatever, to keep the other person in the loop. Even though there are two people in business, they often go apart, and they end up having different skillsets, and they end up doing different things.
If you can work that out, and you can figure out a way that you’re growing in the same direction, and you have the same goals, awesome. But for the most part, like I said, with the angry person, everything in the business is now hindering on how that volatile person behaves. So it’s very, very scary for a business owner to look at that. It’s a huge mistake that lots of house cleaners make, and if you are not the person that survives longterm relationships, please do not go into business with your spouse.
Mistake 20: Trying to Get Revenge on Ex-Employees
Number 20, somebody says, “I spent three years of my life chasing down an ex-employee, so I could get revenge on her for stealing my customers.” At the end of the very long story, the house cleaning company that she went after, all they did was make each other’s lives miserable.
They created a lot of unnecessary drama, and neither of them ended up with anything profitable at all. Nothing that they could give away in a lawsuit, or that they could give to the other person or whatever. There was nothing to settle with.
And so, in the end, it was like two people ending an argument just out of exhaustion, “Let’s just leave and walk away.” And nobody ended up with anything except three years, three years wasted time and energy.
What to Do if Employees Steal Your Clientele
So, if somebody walks away, and they steal your clientele, what does that mean? They stole all your clients, or they stole a few of your clients.
What does it say about a person that can come into your business, and steal your clients? Are they more charismatic than you are? Are they more trustworthy than you? Do they do better work than you? What is this person doing that you’re not doing?
If they came in and they stole your business, there’s more than a lousy person that stole your business.
Why Would Your Customers Choose Them Instead of You?
I would stop, and I would take a look back, I would say, what’s going on with me that my customers said goodbye? There’s something going on there, and then, the next thing is, how many customers did they steal? 20, 30, 50, a hundred?
There are millions, millions of customers, more so than they can ever serve in a lifetime. There are 74 and a half million households in America right now, 74 and a half million households. How many of them can you clean? Worst case scenario, you get a start over again, and this time charge fair prices, and do all the things you wish you knew the first time. I
t’s a great chance to start over. It is a mistake chasing someone down for three years to exact revenge because, in the end, all that happens is you lose your precious time, energy, and resources. You’re not going to get anything out of it, because that’s not the learning lesson. The learning lesson is in the reboot, and starting over again and moving on.
Mistake 21: Wasting the Weeks of COVID-19
Number 21, “I wasted the first eight weeks of the COVID-19 stay at home mandate by drinking myself into oblivion and watching TV. I wish I’d spent the time educating myself and taking certification classes that could have helped my career going back into the cleaning market.”
Wow. That is an ugly realization because, from day one, there were a whole bunch of house cleaners that were jumping on board. They were jumping on Facebook live. They were saying, use this time to make the most of your business.
Now, I know several people because they all came to me and said, “What do I do next?” And there was a team of people that behind the scenes, we were rocking, and rolling, and reinventing their businesses from scratch through the weeks of the COVID-19.
House Cleaners are Using this Time to Grow Their Businesses
I have never been busier in the course of my career during that window. Because now house cleaners that are normally out cleaning are they’re managing teams of people at home, and they’re like, “Wait a second. I can use this to grow and expand my business.”
And, those that had the vision to jump on board, and to say, wait a second. I’m never, ever in the history of my business going to get this kind of time where everyone expects that I’m going to be at home doing nothing. Never do we get to just like go, “Hey, I’ll see it in eight weeks. Don’t call, don’t write.”
That’s never going to happen again, and there was a handful of people that I know that jumped on board, and they said, “Take me to the moon. I’m ready to go.” We have never been busier in our lives.
Not Everyone Recognized the Opportunity of COVID-19
That said, I feel really horrible for the person that realized that they wasted the first eight weeks mourning and being sad that the customers had canceled. And that the world was in a sense of trauma, and freaking out.
I hate that, and I really wish that moving forward we would all recognize these moments of, “Wait a second. I have an opportunity here. What can I make of it?” That was a mistake somebody shared with us.Resources
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