“Cleaning relaxes me, should I start a cleaning business?” “Not so fast my friend.” Professional house cleaning is not about relaxation on the job.
You can relax in the evenings but if you have a domestic cleaning service you will be trading time in exchange for money. Efficient cleaning a.k.a speed cleaning is the game if you want to succeed at cleaning
Listen: Cleaning Relaxes Me Should I Start a Cleaning Business?
Watch: Cleaning Relaxes Me Should I Start a 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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
If You Like Cleaning Do You Start a Cleaning Business?
A lot of cleaners have the same question. They ask, “Since cleaning relaxes me, should I start a cleaning business?”
One house cleaner told us this. “I’m thinking about starting my own cleaning business, so I have no idea what I’m doing. But I know I’m good at cleaning and it’s something that I enjoy doing, it relaxes me.
Right now, I’m currently working as a mental health specialist. I have a bachelor’s degree, but I work in the overnight shift and the only thing to do in the overnight shift is clean.
I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on how well I’m doing. So I want to start my own cleaning business. But, I don’t have any references, I’m going to my neighbors who already have a cleaning person and I want them to give me a trial.
So, my question is do I charge my neighbor who will be my first client to clean her house or do I do it for free?”
Cleaning to Relax is Different from a Career in Cleaning
All right, here’s the deal. Cleaning to relax you is very, very different from being a professional house cleaner.
When you are a professional house cleaner, while you are enjoying the job and while it may relax you, you don’t have the luxury of relaxation on a job. The whole entire game of professional house cleaning is all about efficient cleaning.
It’s about getting in, getting the job done, being efficient and effective, and then getting out. You don’t have time to relax because you’re selling your time in exchange for money.
You Don’t Have Time to Relax While You Work
We all only have 24 hours in a day. And so, if time is your most valuable asset, you only have a certain number of hours in a day you are able to clean houses.
So, as a business, the leisureliness of cleaning to relax and feel great is gone. It is a business. You have a certain set of criteria, you’re working from a checklist, you’re going in, you’re going to do the job.
Is Cleaning a Hobby or a Real Job for You
You have to think if you want a hobby in cleaning or if it is a real career for you. You mentioned you have a bachelor’s in mental health.
That is a concern for a couple of reasons, and that is your go-to. That’s what you know, that’s your comfort zone, that’s where you thrive.
So right now, you’re great at solving those kinds of problems. Now, I need you to back away from that if you’re going to be a professional house cleaner. It’s great that you have that experience and you have that going on in the back of your mind, but I need you to step back from that.
Separate Relaxing Cleaning from Your Other Job
Here’s the reason why you’re going to get inside customer’s houses and you’re going to see a bunch of situations that are going to kick into your comfort zone.
You’re going to say, “Wait for a second, I can help this person, right?” But they’re not paying you for mental health services, they’re paying you for house cleaning.
It’s great to have the answers to the client’s mental health problems, but that’s not the job. The house cleaning is the job. That’s not what you’re being paid for.
You Have to be Focused on House Cleaning not Relaxing
Stick with the housecleaning. You have to be laser-focused on the house cleaning because it’s your job and you’re at work.
Once you’re focused, should you go work for your neighbor who already has a house cleaner?
You don’t have experience with professional house cleaning, yet you’re going to go to a neighbor who already has one. She’s going to be comparing you to her existing house cleaner. And if the house cleaner is good, her house won’t need a lot of work.
Don’t Start on a House That will Make Cleaning Not Relaxing
So, you’re not going in to do a deep clean for the first time, you’ll be doing maintenance cleaning on a house you’re completely unfamiliar with.
The reason we do a deep clean when we go to a customer’s house for the first time is that we are learning their house. We’re introducing ourselves to their homes.
Until you actually clean a house, you don’t know where all the nooks and crannies are. You don’t know what things that need extra attention and all that stuff.
You Have to Do a Walkthrough on a Cleaning Job
So yes, you’ll have to do a walkthrough. You’ll have to do a cleaning, but by the time you get in the thicket of the cleaning, it’s going to be time for you to go.
By the time you’ve learned the house, you’re not coming back because she already has a house cleaner. So don’t go to that person’s house because it’s going to be a whole lot of time and a whole lot of energy. It’s a dead-end job, not a repeat job.
Start With Someone New to Clean for
Go to somebody new, you’ve never cleaned for before and put on your presentation.
And if you’re no good, to begin with, then get in front of a mirror and practice rehearsing a presentation.
Have your friend or your neighbor come over and run through the presentation with her. Go over it again and again until you’re comfortable doing a walkthrough.
How to Start a Cleaning Business That Relaxes You
There’s a reason why I wrote a book called How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Business. It removes all the ifs and what-ifs and the stuff that we leave to chance, it removes all that upfront.
It gives you a simple step by step program so that it’s easy to get involved in the business.
Once you get in the groove of the business and you get up and running, then we change all the rules on you.
Because now you’ll have better tools and you have a better set of skills, you know what to expect and you know about how fast you clean.
The Rules Change as You Grow Your Business
So, the rules will change as you grow in your business. It’s like a little baby that then grows through the toddler phase.
As you’re starting a business, you’re in that toddler phase. Then there comes a moment where you take off and you start running. So this is like starting a new business.
You Should Charge for Your Cleanings
You should charge for cleanings and the reason I say this is I don’t recommend cleaning for friends and family.
Our relationships with friends and family are very different than those with customers. So, if you’re with friends and family, there’s a tendency for them to say, “Oh look, Jake won the soccer game. Check this out.” Then you stop what you’re doing and you check out what Jake did because there’s a relationship there.
Next thing you know, you’ve gone off on these weird little rabbit holes and you are not doing the job you’re paid to do.
Watching the Kids Isn’t Relaxing
Another thing that happens frequently with friends and family is that they say, “Oh, I’ve got to run, go grab something at the store or something. Can you watch the kids while I’m gone?“
A regular client wouldn’t do that to you because you’re being paid to clean houses, not watch their kids. So there are these weird boundaries that family and friends cross.
Don’t clean for friends unless it’s your parents. If your parents need house cleaning, do it because they raised you and you owe it to them.
Don’t Charge Your Parents to Clean Their House
So if they live nearby and they need your help, please go help your parents for free. Do not charge them, but charge everyone else because this is a business.
And if you don’t respect your business enough to charge the people that are in your life, they’re not going to respect you either. You need support from friends and family, but they need to recognize you as having a real business too.
Starting Your Business When Cleaning Relaxes You
There is a lot to think about when you want to start, run, and grow your own cleaning business. It’s not always just if you like to clean.
If you love to clean and it’s this relaxing Zen place for you, this might be the wrong business for you.
I hate to say that because I’m encouraging and I want cleaners to be in the business, but it might be the wrong business for you.
You might be better suited to have house cleaning as a hobby.
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