Beware these big mistakes made by house cleaners and avoid them!
Making these deadly errors in your cleaning business can put your entire company at a risk. But house cleaners can prevent them if they know what they’re doing.
Listen: Big Mistakes Made By House Cleaners
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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.
Big Mistakes Made By House Cleaners
Biggest mistakes made by house cleaners. Can you avoid making the same mistakes that other house cleaners have already made?
If you knew what they were and you knew how to avoid making the same mistake? Learn from the mistakes made by other house cleaners, so you don’t make the same ones!
Mistake 16: Advertising With No Game Plan
Number 16, advertising with no game plan and no repetition. That’s not advertising. That’s a flash in the pan. Think about Coca-Cola for a second. When is the last time you saw a Coke ad? Or when is the last time you saw Coca-Cola inside a movie where they were doing product placement?
Well, you can probably think about some time in the last day where you saw an ad. Coca-Cola is over a hundred years old, and yet they’re advertising over and over and over and over again. And they’re still top of mind. And you go into a restaurant and they say, “What kind of drink do you want?” What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? It’s Coke or Pepsi. Why? Wait for a second, Pepsi also advertises after all these years in business.
So if you are a business, you’re going to end up advertising over and over and over and over. And if you’re not advertising, you’re marketing. Right now, I’m marketing to you. I’m telling you things about my business over and over and over. Why? Because it’s marketing. It’s advertising. It’s promoting something.
Repetition is Important in Advertising
As a business owner, you too get to do things over and over and over. But if you only advertise once, nobody caught your name. Did you know that the average of advertising is seven impressions before people even remember your name?
There’s a guy that sends me mailers to my house. He’s a realtor. I don’t even know his name, but I know his face. And every time I see him, I’m like, “Oh yeah, there’s that guy again.” I don’t even know his name, but he’s probably sent me a dozen things so far. He’s got to keep marketing to me so that when I’m ready to sell my house, I know his name.
If I’m not in the market right now, I’m not going to save his ads. And if somebody’s not in the market for your house cleaning service, they’re not going to save your ads either.
Keep Your Flyers Running Over and Over Again
And so if you’re working in a neighborhood, keep running those flyers in that neighborhood over and over and over. Until one day the neighbor’s talking to their friend, say, “Hey, who do you know who cleans houses?” And they’re going to say your name.
“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I get their flyers.” And they’re going to make a connection. That looks like a really great company. So the biggest mistake house cleaners have made is not having a marketing plan and then not doing it enough. So ad nauseam, we’re going to just keep adding to the plate of marketing and advertising, just like Coca-Cola, just like Pepsi.
Because after all these years, they are top of mind in their space. When we talk about all the sodas that are out there, two. There are two that always come to the top of mind. Why? Because they always market and they always advertise.
Mistake 17: Hiring Friends and Family
Number 17, hiring friends and family. I too have made the mistake of hiring friends and family, and both of the experiences, on different occasions, backfired on me. And it’s because it’s hard to fire somebody that is lazy that is related to you.
Or it is hard to fire somebody that was your best friend, that you confided in. And now they know all your secrets and now they know how to use it against you in your business.
So one of the things that is recommended is be friendly to your employees, but do not be their friends. Don’t break down those barriers.
Keep it Professional With Your Employees
When you bring people into your business, bring people in and keep it at a very professional level because that way they show up on time. They don’t call out sick. They do the job they were paid to do. If there needs to be a callback, they do the callback.
When you’re friends, what happens is they do sloppy work. They show up late. They have call-outs. And they’re like, “Oh, I know you’re good for it. You’ll cover me. Can you run over and do the callback because I missed something, but I know you got my back, right?”
So our friends treat us differently, and our family treats us differently than our employees. And so, keep it very specific because if you’re running a business, you’re running a business. And you can’t run a business based on lousy or wobbly friendships and wobbly family relationships.
Hiring Friends and Family is a Risk
So there are some people in my family, I love them and I love their work ethic, and I would work with them in a heartbeat. And yet we are not in business with each other. Why? Because there’s a risk. There’s a risk that at any time that could fall apart.
And my relationship with that person I value more than the business relationship we could have.
That said, the relationship that I have with my husband, my husband is part of my business, but we made a decision. This goes back to the Stephen Covey plan with the end in mind. If anything ever malfunctions and I have to make a decision between my business and my husband, I’ve already made the choice. I choose my husband first. So the business will all have to go away, but I choose my husband first.
Mistake 18: Giving an Estimate Without a Walk-through
Number 18, giving an estimate without a walk-through. There are two schools of thought. Number one is don’t ever do it because you’re a fool. The other school of thought is if you can disqualify the client on the phone.
You know exactly where they are, and you know about what price you’re going to give the, and you know about what’s going to happen by the time you get there. So the first one is for beginner house cleaners, and the second one is for advanced house cleaners.
Because after you’re an advanced house cleaner and you’ve been in the business for a while, you know all the nuances. You’ve heard all the stories. You’ve seen all the stuff. And so you start asking questions.
Experienced Cleaners Start Disqualifying People
Experienced cleaners start disqualifying potential customers on the phone, and you have a good idea about what you’re going to get into. So you can always say, “Hey listen, instead of me giving you a price, I can give you a range. But I’m going to be in your neighborhood this afternoon at 4:00 PM. I would love to swing by and take a look at your house, make sure we’re playing on the same page. And if I can save you any money, I’d love to do that. Would that be fair?”
And then they go, “Yeah, that would be fair. Come on over.” And then you set an appointment. The only purpose of that initial phone call is to get the appointment so you can go back. So once you go back, that’s where you give the actual price. But if you give a price on the phone and the customer’s holding you to that price, and you get to the house and the house is different than what they gave you on the telephone. Then you are obligated to keep that price unless you said it is a range.
So use exact words so you can avoid that huge house cleaning mistake.Resources
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