When do you hire employees or contractors for your cleaning company? First, consider which jobs you need help with to streamline your cleaning business. Do you need employees for regular maintenance cleaning or someone to handle specialized projects?
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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.
When Should You Hire Employees or Contractors?
When should you hire employees or contractors for your cleaning business? One house cleaner wrote in with this question. “When should I hire employees or keep contractors? I heard on a show that you had both. When’s the best time to have which ones?”
This is a fascinating question and it comes down to a couple of things. When do you hire employees and when do you hire contractors? Now I want to bust this right down the middle and say, let’s have cleaning, and then have everything else that runs your business.
So, the first thing that I want to mention is you have employees for the cleaning side of your business, and you have contractors for everything else. Let’s say that for example, you wanted to make sure that your company has a brand. That you have branded cars, you wear uniforms, you have a specific way of doing things, it’s a specific training style. All your employees look the same and boom, that would be a group of employees, okay?
Independent Contractors Aren’t Employees
Independent contractors are different from employees. Independent contractors don’t get to wear your company uniform. They drive their own car, they have their own cleaning supplies, and they don’t follow your systems. So, it’s a very different type of cleaning, but it’s perfect for certain things.
So, let’s say that you have an upsell and you say, well right now all our employees do maintenance cleaning. So, you needed something special, like the ovens cleaned out, and you wanted the freezer defrosted at the same time. That would be an upsell or a special package. I’m going to send an independent contractor and they can come in at a separate time.
That way our employees come in and they do the regular maintenance clean, and then a different time you have your independent contractor comes in. So that would be a way that you would have your regular employees, and you would have a few people that you outsource jobs to as the situation arises.
Use Independent Contractors in the Gig Economy
Now the other side of your business, I recommend you start hiring right now, independent contractors. We are in what’s called the gig economy, and I love the gig economy. So instead of you doing all the stuff in your business. Stuff like making social media posts, designing your own website, it is doing accounting and bookkeeping, and all that stuff.
What you do is you outsource pieces of your business to independent contractors. So let’s say that you hire a graphic designer for example on Fiverr. A graphic designer can sit down, and create a pack of let’s say 20 Instagram posts for you for X amount of dollars. And so, they have access to the stock photography libraries. They know how to add pictures together.
They can make pretty cool looking stuff for you that you can use on social media. So, you can outsource that task.
You Can Hire a Contractor for Marketing
Now marketing. Let’s say that you were going to create some postcards, and you were going to have somebody pull together the mailing list.
You can outsource that to a particular company so that instead of you doing that, that’s an independent contractor. And you pay for that little sliver of work.
So, I have lots of independent contractors that I work with, and they all usually do one or two things. So, it’s very, very specific. I only need you to do graphics for me for the learning library. I only need you to do graphics for me, for our social media posts.
Someone else I pay only to post the social media posts and to run our Facebook groups and be an admin in those groups.
There are Different Tasks You Can Outsource to Independent Contractors
So, there are different tasks that I outsource to independent contractors, so they can help me run my business, and it doesn’t take my time. But as a small cleaning business, you have lots of other stuff that is required to run your business.
And so, having an employee is also fine, but that would be an admin person that would sit there, and they would do all these tasks. I used to think, that was the way to go. But now I’ve discovered that there are people who specialize in a particular area.
So instead of having an admin person that is doing part-time bookkeeping, they’re returning emails part-time. And they’re not good at ad copy, but they’re trying to put your social media posts together. For the same amount of money, you can bust it up.
You don’t have to have the admin person at your office. You can have four or five different admin people for the same amount of work.
Independent Contractors Can Specialize Their Work
But specializing in what they do, they work from their own homes. They use their own computers, they use their own software, and you only pay them for the product or whatever it is they turn back to you. So, it’s awesome because you’re not paying for dead time or scrambling trying to find things to keep them busy if your business is a little bit slow.
So as far as independent contractors go, I recommend the gig economy. You pay them for that work, that’s it. And they’re all different kinds of people now that are working from home that do these special projects. So, I recommend that you have a regular cleaning team, that you can count on that does all your regular client work.
And then your special projects, or if there’s an emergency clean. So, instead of asking employees to work extra time, you have independent contractors that you bring in for that one job.
Keep Employees on a Normal Schedule
And I love that for this reason, you keep your employees on a regular schedule. So that they’re up in the morning, they get a chance to work out, they get a chance to be with their family. They get to drop their kids off at school, they get to pick their kids up from school. Everybody is on a regular routine.
The more consistent you can keep everything, it’s easier for your employees. You fill in the gaps with independent contractors as you go.
Even after employees leave to form their own business, keep them on the back burner as an independent contractor. Because they know your company culture, they know how you operate. They’re not going to steal from you because you’ve worked with them, and given them other business as an independent contractor as time went on.
Hiring Independent Contractors is a Two-Way Street
So, it’s a two-way street of respect and mutual understanding. And as a result of that, we’ve kept lots of people after they’ve quit and have moved on, on the back burner as independent contractors.
Say, “Hey, I’ve got one quick job, any chance you can do it this weekend or this week“? Leave it open and let them schedule it. And then they follow all their own rules.
They have their own insurance, all that stuff. So those are the situations and scenarios, under where it works perfectly.Resources
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