Protect your brand. It’s more than integrity, character, principle, and leadership. It’s about longevity and reputation management.
Protect your brand. That’s the advice Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gave. The question was how does a house cleaner stand out in a competitive marketplace?
Sure, we’ve heard “you can do better”, and tips for reliability, authority, and honor. But protect your brand?
Today on #AskaHouseCleaner the cleaning advice turns to branding with influence. And “set an example your employees can share in stature.” Led by the theory that “Anything you can do, you can do better.”
Our sponsor today is https://HouseCleaning360.com #HouseCleaning360 is a referral database of the best and the brightest in house cleaning.
Listen: Protect Your Brand
Watch: Protect Your Brand
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: Protect Your Brand
Today’s question comes from a business owner who owns a cleaning company. This owner wants to know, “How do I stand out amongst all the other competitors that are in my marketplace?”
Answer: Protect Your Brand
Well, it comes down to a couple of things. One of them is to protect your brand.
Now, that sounds like it’s easy to say, but what does that mean?
It means that no matter what decisions come your way, you and all your employees need to protect your brand.
People are Always Watching
I learned this from my dad when I was a kid.
What it amounts to is wherever you go, you have to assume that people are watching you. It is the whole “Do the right thing, even when no one is looking” philosophy.
My dad said no matter who you are, and no matter where you go, people will be watching.
It’s like little-hidden cameras that are judging you. And the judgments that they’re making about you are these. If they see one of your employees, they’re going to assume that all your employees behave and work the same way.
They will be making judgments about your entire company based on one employee.
Always Protect the Brand
If you’re an employee and you’re tired or just exhausted from lack of sleep, it’s ok. We’ve all had nights and mornings like this. But now it’s time to go to work and you feel like a bus hit you.
When you get to the customer’s house if you say “oh man I am so tired. I didn’t get enough sleep last night.” Guess what?
That customer is going to think “Wow, this company overworks all their employees. They’re all exhausted.”
Referrals Can Suffer
Keep this in mind. In all my years in house cleaning, I’ve never once gotten a referral from a customer that said this. “You should hire my house cleaner. They’re always overworked and they’re exhausted. They don’t have much energy.”
I’ve never heard that once.
So you didn’t sleep well last night and are feeling tired. Being worn out is not a badge of honor. That is not something that you want to take to your customers’ houses.
As a business owner, you want to inspire your employees. You don’t want them to show up exhausted and with a bad attitude. That is not the attitude you want to show or bring to the customers.
Inspire Your Employees
Employers should be a role model to the employees.
No employee wants to show up and say, “My boss, you are not going to believe my boss. She crams 68 hours worth of work into every 24-hour day. She’s always exhausted.”
People don’t want to work for a boss or company like that. And so, as the employer, you have to protect your brand as well.
So, like I say, no one deserves a badge of honor for feeling tired.
We’re all tired. As parents, as business owners, most of us feel exhausted all the time, that’s a given.
But we’re actors so we want to show up and we want to act like we are enthusiastic about the job.
This is part of protecting your brand. It’s not telling everybody every little detail.
If I’m tired and I’m exhausted guess what? That’s my fault. That’s bad time management. I did not manage my time well enough to take care of me and to get a good night sleep.
So, I don’t want to show up and share that with my employees. And I don’t want my employees to share that with their clients.
Don’t Show The Exhaustion
If your employees are exhausted and burnt out, they need to figure out a way to not show that. Because the customer doesn’t want an exhausted house cleaning person.
They want the person that showed up well rested, and eager and excited to clean their house and they want the person that is going to do a fantastic job.
They hired someone for solutions. Not so that they could babysit and become the therapist to that person.
You Can Always Do Better
When I was little, my dad played this game with us kids. He’d gone to a trade show or something. I don’t know where he got these., but he found these little metallic buttons with the little A-Okay sing. It said, “Anything you can do, you can do better.”
He brought these buttons home and we all wore them. We wore these little buttons to remind each other that no matter what we were doing we could do it a little bit better.
It was a great challenge for us. We wore these for about a year. We wore them all the time. But it was a great way to re-program in our minds that I’m doing a job right now.
Can I do this job a little bit better? Can I give it a little bit more?
I know that we’re in a hurry cleaning houses but this is your brand. This is important.
Build A Good Reputation
Make your brand and your entire workforce known for going the extra mile, and doing just a little bit more. If they do just a little bit better instead of slopping through it, they are creating competition.
Word gets out about your employees and brand. This is called reputation.
There are people who talk. “Hey, I’m thinking about hiring a house cleaner, does anybody know anybody good?”
“Yeah. My house cleaning company is amazing. Everybody they send out goes a little bit extra, they do just a little bit more.”
And that becomes your reputation. That is your brand. And so as part of that, what do you do to ensure that you are a little bit better?
Always Double Check
You double check your work. I know this sounds obvious, I mean this is just common sense. But go back and double-check your work.
When you leave a room that you’ve just cleaned, you need to be a hundred percent certain that it is as clean as it can be. And as you vacuum your way out of the room you can leave with pride.
We started doing this in my company years ago when home security cameras became popular. As we vacuumed our way out of the room, we inspected it. When the room passed inspection, we gave it a thumbs up and we’d say “NICE!”
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been on home security cameras looking at a room we just cleaned going “NICE!”
So people see that on the home security cameras as they’re watching the maids cleaning. The maid double-checks their work, and they look at the room and go “NICE!”
Guess what happens? The client goes “NICE!”
And guess what? They’ll show that to their friends. “So, my house cleaning lady is at my house right now she just cleaned this room check this out.”
And they show the house cleaner on the home security camera going “NICE!”
So then they’re like “Oh wow, that’s so cool I got to hire that house cleaner.”
This is something small. But when you double check your work, you know you’re not going to get a call from someone wanting their money back.
I want your satisfaction guarantee. Because guess what? You’ve approved it. It meets your standard of excellence.
As the cleaner, your standard of excellence should always be higher than the customers.
Set the expectations low when you bid the job. Don’t overbid and don’t over-promise.
If you’re coming in on a referral based on your reputation, that customer knows you do excellent work. But your expectations should always be higher than the customers.
And when you give it your seal of approval, the customer sees that. The customer is going to walk in and go “NICE!”
Use Common Sense
The next thing that I need to mention is common sense. There are times when you go to a customer’s house and find things that aren’t part of your regular routine.
For example, you might find chicken left out on the counter from lunch. And you just arrived after lunch.
What would common sense tell you to do in this situation? Well, to put the chicken in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad.
It’s not part of your regular routine and you don’t need to tell the customer that you did it.
The Little Things Add Up
These tiny common-sense things add up. Because the last thing you want is to have a customer come back to an amazing looking home and find chicken out.
Even though it’s not part of your job, it’s the little extra bit that counts. Anything you can do, you can do better. Even if it takes a few extra seconds.
Don’t go the extra mile when you can’t. Every day you’re going to run into little things that need common sense. It is crazy, but common sense is not so common.
Empower Your Employee to Protect the Brand
I promise you there are house cleaners that don’t have common sense. So, if you do, double check your work, and do a great job. You’re never going to lack for work.
And if there’s ever an opportunity, remember to protect the brand. We actually learned this from Warren Buffett. His philosophy is always to protect the brand.
So, teach your employees to make quick decisions if a situation requires them to do so.
As the business owner, empower them to always protect the brand.
Because the client is going to assume that everyone in your company acts like this.
Whatever the decision is, always protect the brand. And you will never lack for work.
Alright, that’s all I have for you for today. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
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About the Show
Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.
Resources For This Episode
5 Strategies Oprah Uses to Protect Her Brand – http://bit.ly/2zuV1BO
Protect Your Brand With Trademarks – http://bit.ly/2A2ZdoB
12 Ways to Legally Protect Your Brand – https://yhoo.it/2A3hF0i
Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communications – http://amzn.to/2vMpCEY
Mechanics of Online Reputation Management: Repair & Control Your Name or Brand Reputation Online – http://amzn.to/2tQOudn
The Reputation Economy: How to Optimize Your Digital Footprint in a World Where Your Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset – http://amzn.to/2vx68Vw
The Reputation Playbook – http://amzn.to/2eEOPO9
The Science of Intelligent Decision Making: How to Think More Clearly, Save Your Time, and Maximize Your Happiness. Destroy Indecision – http://amzn.to/2um2VcF
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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