Get out of the cleaning business because the time is right. But what do you say to your cleaning clients? We Ask a House Cleaner reasons to get out of the cleaning business and how to retire or “graduate.”
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives word tracks on how to say goodbye when you get out of the cleaning business.
Whether you’re bored, have new interests to pursue, or you’re worn out, have aged out or have family situations.
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Listen: How to Get Out of the Cleaning Business
Watch: How to Get Out of the 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.
Question: How to Get Out of the Cleaning Business
Hi, I have a question for Angela. I’ve been a cleaning lady for a long time. I have a good reputation.
I’m wanting to get out of the business and I keep getting calls. People still want me to keep cleaning for them.
It’s a good thing but I’m ready to get out the business. I don’t want to be rude. But I’m looking for a way that I can tell them that I am out of the cleaning business for good. What is your advice on this?
Thank you for your show, I love it!
Answer: How to Get Out of the Cleaning Business
This is an excellent question. For as many people as there are starting a house cleaning business, there are as many people getting out of it.
Believe it or not every year there are people that age out of the business. And the aging out could either be that they take another job.
Or it could be that they just get too old, or get burnt out, or that they wear out. By that I mean their shoulders, knees, back, different parts of their body just give out on them. And they are no longer able to do the manual labor that comes with house cleaning.
Every day there are people getting out of the house cleaning business, and we forget that.
We think people are only getting into the house cleaning business, so we think it is a saturated market. But for everybody that gets in, there are also people getting out.
You May Decide One Day to Return
So how do you get out of the house cleaning business? We all need to know these things. Because you may get out of the business and then later decide to get back in, for a variety of different reasons.
Now, I know lots of house cleaners that have left the house cleaning business only to return years later.
Their money situation changed or their lifestyle situation changed. Or they had to go from working a full-time job back to a part-time job. Or they needed the flexibility that comes with owning your own business.
Set a Deadline to Get Out of the Cleaning Business
As you get out of the house cleaning business the first thing that you want to do is you want to set a deadline. On such and such a date I’m going to be retiring from the house cleaning business.
If you’re not 100% sure you’re retiring from the cleaning business, don’t use that word. You might say, “I’m pivoting my business in a different direction. So after this particular day, I will no longer be cleaning houses.”
Customers may still call you and they may still say things like, “Oh, you were the best house cleaner we ever had. We can’t live without you. We can’t have anyone else. It must be you.”
You have to smile and say, “Oh, thank you so much. I’m such a fan of yours. I’m blessed you allowed me to come to your home and clean. You did a great job providing for my family, thank you so much but I do have to move on.”
Be Firm About Your Desire to Get Out of the Cleaning Business
You have to be firm about your moving on and the reasons why. Because if your reasons are not firm, you are more likely to get sucked back in. A customer who appreciates you will try to suck you back into the game.
If you’re getting out of the business for a particular reason you need to be 100% clear about those reasons. If those reasons merit you leaving forever, then you leave forever.
Paint a Picture Your Customers Can Respect
You have to say, “I know. I’ve been cleaning houses for many years but I decided I’m going to become a professional artist. On the side, while I was cleaning houses, I started painting. I started painting in the evenings and the weekends. I had a few gallery crawls, then I had a few art exhibit openings. And now I’ve just sold my first painting for $2,000,000.” Or whatever it is.
“Now I’m focused and I’m moving in this other direction. This is the time where I say goodbye to my house cleaning and I’m moving in this direction.”
They Will Support You
Okay. Well, guess what? They’re going to be supportive of you.
Maybe you’re not an artist, maybe you’re pursuing something else. Maybe you’re starting a different business. Who knows what you’re doing but they’re going to be supportive of your new path.
Are You Friends with Your Customers?
If this was a friend, somebody that likes and believes in you, they’re still going to like you. And they’re still going to believe in you even if you move on.
Okay, so the relationship changed. You’re no longer cleaning their house and you won’t see them as often. You’re going to have to decide, are you friends?
If you’re friends that means you’re going to have to carve time out of your schedule to meet them for lunch. Or to hang out with them on occasion, or to grab a cup of coffee. Because yes, you will not see them as often as you once did.
Is it a Reality to Get Out of the Cleaning Business?
The reality is picking a date and be firm about it, and be firm about your reasons why. After this date you no longer clean houses.
There is nothing anyone can say that is going to suck you back into the business. Because you’ve got a gallery showing, or whatever it is that you’re going to be doing.
You have something else going on that is taking a higher precedence for you. Or a higher level of importance in your life. At this particular moment, that’s it.
Bye-bye house cleaning. No more cleaning houses. And that’s your story.
Now, if people get upset and they get offended you can say,
“Listen, who knows, who knows where this will head. I’d like to keep the doors open. If I ever come back into the cleaning business I would love to give you a call.”
Old Customers May Try to Get You Back
I cannot tell you how many times, years later, after I’ve said goodbye to a customer they’ll come back.
They’ll say, “Hey! Any chance you could still come clean my house?”
“No, no, no, no, no. I moved six miles away. I am not coming six miles of travel time to clean your house when I only work in my neighborhood. Thank you so much, if I ever move back to that area or if we ever expand into that territory again I will give you a call.”
You have to be firm about what it is you do and why you’re doing it.
Good Luck With Your New Endeavors!
Congratulations on deciding that you’re going to get out of the business.
Like I said, it happens to every house cleaner. At some point, they get into the business and at some point they get out of the business.
It’s not something to worry or stress about.
What are the right words? Be authentic, be you and your customers that love and support you are still going to love and support you.
Alright, that’s my two cents for today. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor – http://amzn.to/2iqr7nA
How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is – http://amzn.to/2zPK1v8
The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked – http://amzn.to/2BCXWW6
How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less – http://amzn.to/2jSAhcO
Retire: A Practical Guide As You Countdown To Retirement – http://amzn.to/2Azl9co
How to Retire Happy, Fourth Edition: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire – http://amzn.to/2AygQxK
Permissions To Share
SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification – https://savvycleaner.com
HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. https://housecleaning360.com