Ask a House Cleaner, Putting Out Fires, Savvy Cleaner

Putting Out Fires In Your House Cleaning Biz

Putting out fires in your house cleaning biz can consume all your energy. Sure, every business owner finds him or herself putting out fires until they have systems in place. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says business growth equals business problems. And she offers cleaning advice for the manager, the maid, and the house cleaner. Putting out fires is not a good use of your time. 

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at problem-solving, tips, tutorials and how to template your solutions. 

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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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Question: Putting Out Fires In Your House Cleaning Biz

 Today’s question comes from a house cleaning business owner. She says, “I spend all my days putting out fires. How on earth am I supposed to run a business when I’m spending my day putting out fires?”

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Answer: Putting Out Fires In Your House Cleaning Biz

That’s an excellent question, and it comes down to just a couple of things. Can you predict the problems that you’re going to have in your business? The reason I ask is that most businesses have the same five or six complaints from customers.

Putting out Fires for common problemsRecurring Fires to Systems

If you have recurring complaints, you could create a system that puts out the fire for you. This would be using a proactive approach, rather than putting out the same fire over and over.

Putting Out Fires in My BusinessPutting out fires by limiting drama at work

For example, in my business, we have a no drama workplace. If you apply for a job at my company, the advertisement tells you that the job is a “Drama free workplace.”  

The reason we do that is so you know what the expectations are from day one. Not only is it in the advertisement, but I also remind potential employees in the job interview. I explain, “By the way, we are a drama free workplace. So, if you bring your drama with you, you’re not a good fit for our business.”

So from day one, the employees know that I am not going to bring my drama (all my problems and chaos) to work. I tell them to leave it at home, leave it in the car, whatever works! Drama does not belong here because that interferes with our business. We do not want that to eek out onto our customers. 

Using Systems to Put Out Fires 

So instead of dealing with this same problem (or fire) over and over again, we have a system in place. If you wake up and are having a bad day, you might not want to be around anyone else. We have created a system for you to isolate yourself so that you do not rub off your negativity on everyone else. We don’t want to catch the plague! I can predict this “fire.” It is biorhythmic, we all have up and down days. 

So that is our system. There are days when I’ve had to put myself in solitary confinement. Because I didn’t want to eek my attitude onto my employees who then have to turn and face my customers. And then I don’t want them to eek it out on my customers. Does that make sense?

What you want to do is to predict the problems that you’re going to have, and create a system to have in place. And then you want to share that system will your employees.

Share Your Systems With Customers

Cleaning business owner putting out fires

Now you can go one step further, and you can share your systems with your customers too. So that when your customers have a particular problem (you know it’s coming, right?) you are ready. You’ve prepared for this because you know what the problems are that your business faces. 

You share your systems with your customers so that if you have a problem, here is how we resolve it. So then right up front, from the beginning, before things get out of control, you are ready. If you have a system in place, you won’t waste time trying to figure things out. 

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You Won’t Waste Time

You won’t need to spend all day on the phone calling the employee and customer trying to figure things out.  Don’t do that, it is easier on all if you have a system in place. The employee knows the rules, the customer knows the rules and that’s the default. If this happens, everybody on your team knows how to put out that fire.

Putting out fires by empowering employees to solve themEmpower Your Employees!

Then last but not least, empower your employees to put out those fires. We talked in one of our episodes about always protecting your brand. But give your employee empowerment to resolve that problem as well.  The customer knows how you’re going to resolve it and the employee know how to resolve it. And you’ve empowered the employee to solve that on your behalf.

Always Protect the Brand!

Putting out fires in a systematic way

If there are any questions, or if something malfunctions in the plan, they might have to alter the plan. They will default back to the original system you have in place: Always protect the brand. They will need to make a decision that is in the best interest of the customer and your company. 

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Don’t Spend Your Time Putting Out Fires!

So don’t spend your time putting out fires, because it’s a waste of time. You’re going to do it five or six times until you figure out what those problems are. Then you’re going to create a template and a default so you can always go straight to the plan. 

All right, so those are my two cents. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place then when you found it.

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Resources For This Episode

Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change –

Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success –

The Science of Powerful Focus: 23 Methods for More Productivity, More Discipline, Less Procrastination, and Less Stress –

Getting to Yes with Yourself: and Other Worthy Opponents  –

Stick with It: A Scientifically Proven Process for Changing Your Life-for Good –

Captivology: The Science of Capturing People’s Attention –

HABIT LAUNCH: 10-Step Formula to Tailor Routines You Love to Perform and Skyrocket Your Well-being –

Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking –

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