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Should I Hire Family For My Cleaning Business?

Hire family yes or no? Quick. Don’t think about it. If you think about it, you’ll think about the nepotism or perceived bias that comes when you hire family.

Often when you hire family it’s because you’re in a bind and need a quick fix. Or, your family member is in a quandary and needs you to rescue them.

Hiring family includes possible fights, anxiety, tension, and disagreements. Not to mention insider information now at the front of your company. Along with other weird issues like competition and sibling rivalry.

When you hire family there are always emotions involved. And it makes firing family next to impossible.

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at all these to create personal and professional boundaries.

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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.

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Today’s question comes from a house cleaner who is starting a house cleaning business. She wants to know “Should I hire my sister?”

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It’s an interesting question. I’m from a large family. There 19 kids in my family and there are seven girls.

Of those seven girls, six of us have owned house cleaning companies at different times. But we do not work for each other.

And here’s my philosophy on that. Can you imagine 6 versions of me working together on a housecleaning project?

Let me check.
Ugh no! That’s too many chefs in the kitchen, right?

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Who is the Boss? 

If you hire family, one of you has to be the employee, one of you has to be the boss.

And so is the person that you’re hiring whether it’s your sister your mother your child your spouse.

Is that person willing to be the employee? Can they take orders from you?

If you give them orders are they going to be obedient? Are they going to do a great job for you?

Are they going to cause you havoc and wreak misery on your workday?

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Going into Business with your Spouse

Let’s say that you going to business with your spouse. And we have lots of husband and wife teams, so I’m not saying don’t do it.

But what happens when there are marital problems?

That transfers over into the business. And now two angry miserable people that are not speaking are now inside Mrs. Jones house. And they’re expected to clean and do an amazing job.

How can you bring peace into someone else’s home if you’re fighting with a person that came with you? Not a good mix. Not a good mix it all.


Hiring a Sibling

dont hire family sisters arguingOkay so now let’s say that you hired your sister. Let’s say that you’re the boss and she’s the employee.

What if she doesn’t like the way that you run your business? So she decides she’s going to go do something else, and she’s just going to leave you stranded.

So, what does this do to your relationship with your sister?

Here is a possible scenario. Say it is Mother’s Day. You are going home this weekend to hang out with Mom. You and your sister are not talking because of something that happened in the business. 

Do you want that to happen? 


My Suggestion – Do Not Hire Family

SavvyCleaner.com_Sticky_NoteYou do have a choice. If you’re the boss you do have a choice. Don’t hire family.
It rarely ever works out well long-term.

Having said that, there are couples that work well together.

But It Could Work

If you are a peacemaker and you get along well with others, you might be an awesome person to work for.

If you are not anxious or have anger management issues, you might be an awesome person to work for.  

And so, I would say, “Have at it and make it work!”  Rarely do I see that it works. 

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My Family Works Better Working Apart From Each Other

It’s beautiful that we all have house cleaning businesses. It is more beautiful that they are all separate businesses!

When I make a decision in my company, it might not be the decision my sister would make and vice versa.

And so we get to be our own independent people and we get to run our own independent companies.


But We Have Each Others Back’s

hire family sisters high fivingWe are all skilled, have a great work ethic, are knowledgeable, and love each other. Because of this, there are times that we have jumped in and covered for each other. 

Like “Hey I’m in a bad bind can you help me out this weekend?” Sure!

And believe it or not I went and I worked for my sister for a weekend. And she was the boss. I was crystal clear about that.

In my company, I’m the boss. But when I go work for her she’s the boss. And so, I had to say yes ma’am whatever you like. Yes, ma’am, I will go do that.

And then I go do whatever she asked me to do because she’s the boss. When I am in her company I am an employee.

So are you willing to create those boundaries?



boundaries, shoes on lineA lot of times in family we don’t have those boundaries. And so it’s hard to say, “Oh anything goes in our personal lives, but when I show up at work now I have boundaries.” That’s just weird, right?

Many times, your siblings won’t respect your workplace boundaries. This is true if they are not used to you having boundaries in other areas of your life. They might not listen or obey you. This makes it tough. 

It Just Might Not Work

hire family, angry woman, wasting timeSo my suggestion is if you have a choice don’t do it. Don’t go into business with family. It’s so hard to fire family.

And there are times that even though you love your family they may not be as honest as you.

They may not have the same work ethic as you.

They may not be the same person with a level of integrity and morality that you have.

You are responsible to your clients for the person that you’ve hired and brought into the home.

Same Parents, Different Personalities!

It’s interesting there can be two people from the same parents. They grow up in the same home with the same upbringing. They have the same everything and they’re just completely different as night and day. I’ve seen that too.

And I’ve seen one person bring down the business of the other and then when you try to bust that up, chaos!

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So, Should You Hire Family?

It’s going to be on at on a case-by-case basis depending on who you are and how you get along with that family member.

But I’ve seen people that were amazing in business together. But because of the business, it destroyed their marriage.

And then they would get divorced and go their separate ways to start their own cleaning companies. 

They should have started their own cleaning companies in the beginning. It would have kept their marriage together.

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Be Wary

So again you have to have boundaries. You have to know exactly what you’re doing. And if you’re not the kind of person that gets along well with your siblings, don’t do it.

Do not go into business with somebody you do not get along with when you’re off the clock.

Because it does not get any better when you are on the clock. When you are in someone else’s house, your relationship does not improve. 

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How to Help Family

So, don’t punish yourself by hiring a family member because they don’t have a job and you want to help them out. That is not the way to help that person to help that person.

The way to help that person is to introduce them to our Facebook group.

Introduce them to different options for starting their own house cleaning company. Get them plugged into their own network. And have them create their own business.

Because then they are responsible to themselves. They are responsible for their own success.

The housecleaning business is not a piggyback ride.


Focus on Your Responsibilities

Depression helping hand, hire familyYou are not carrying anyone else. And you’re not going to save anyone else. You’re not going to give anyone else a job and help anyone else get out of debt.

That’s not what this is about. If you have a business, then you have a responsibility to your customers to provide the best service.

You are responsible for paying your own bills. 

It’s not your responsibility to carry family that has no jobs for whatever reason. That’s not your responsibility.
So should you hire family? No just don’t. Just don’t, and then come back and thank me later.

Alright, that’s my tip for today and until we meet again leave the world a cleaner place then when you found it. 

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Resources For This Episode

In Praise of Nepotism –

Start Your Own Business the Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need –

Small Business Start-Up Kit, The: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide –

The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business –

Small Business Start-Up Guide: A Surefire Blueprint to Successfully Launch Your Own Business –

Steps to Small Business Start-Up: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Idea Into a Successful Business –

Adams Streetwise Small Business Start-Up: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Managing a Business –

Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business –

Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website –

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