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Rules and Guidelines for Maids and Housekeepers

Rules and guidelines can streamline your turnover service.  Maids and housekeepers need rules and guidelines so things don’t get crazy in their cleaning business.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says every maid service has scheduling issues and cancellations. Know your rules and guidelines and share them with your customers and employees and Airbnb hosts.

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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.

How do you know what rules and guidelines should you keep back at the office for you and your employees?

And how do you know what rules and guidelines you should share with your customers? These are great questions because we want everybody to be playing on the same page.

A Question About Setting Rules and GuidelinesRules and Guidelines, Woman Writing at Desk

Today, we have a house cleaner with a question. She wants to know how to set rules and guidelines for her cleaning business.

This is an excellent question and I’m so glad she asked it. When you’re starting a cleaning business, you don’t know the rules and guidelines. You can’t know because you have no idea what the challenges of the business are yet.

There are Strategic Steps for Setting Rules and Guidelines

There are strategic steps along the way to help you know the right questions to ask. Only with the right questions will you be able to set proper boundaries. Does that make sense?

There’s a certain path. If you skip steps on that path, you also skip certain steps that lead you to rules and regulations. Without the challenges, you won’t the rules you need to streamline your business.

Having no rules creates havoc and nightmares that will haunt you for the rest of your cleaning business.

Always Take Notes

Rules and Guidelines, Writing in NotebookFirst, there are a couple of things that are common to house cleaners everywhere. What I want you to do from day one is to grab a notepad and paper, and I want you to start taking notes.

Every single time something malfunctions, I want you to make a note of what malfunctioned. I don’t want you to get upset and go, “Oh, I can’t believe …” That doesn’t help anybody and it doesn’t solve your problem.

What solves your problem is walking yourself through the steps. Then, ask yourself why it happened. Only now can you set healthy boundaries.

Ask yourself this for problems with people back at your office, your employees. And your customers.

Common Challenges That Need Rules and Guidelines

Rules and Guidelines, Worried Woman with Sick ChildrenIf the employee challenge is, “My kids are sick. I don’t feel like showing up for work today. I have doctors’ appointments”, or whatever, those are things you need to handle. They’re common things and I promise, they are going to come back.

So, that could be a challenge for you.  You will be booked and you have all kinds of scheduling issues. Then, employees will call and cancel on you. They may be sick or have a sick kid but there needs to be a system in place.

Your rules and guidelines will depend on your challenges. Every time there’s a challenge, you say, “What is going on here? How can I fix it?” That creates a new procedure for calling in sick.

Be Specific with Your Guidelines

Rules and Guidelines, Stack of Paper on DeskNow, the rule for employees may be no call-outs without a three-day notice. If you’re going to call out for a day, give me three days’ notice. Now there’s a guideline in place and you can document that.

If your kid is sick, here’s how much time we need.  You can start making rules and guidelines based on those challenges.

In the house cleaning industry, lockouts, when you show up for a job, is an issue. Somebody doesn’t give you a key or when you get there you can’t get inside.

Then you need a rule. One of the rules is we must have access to the house.

Here are some guidelines:

  • You can hide a key underneath the rock.
  • Maybe you can have a neighbor keep the key.
  • It’s possible that we can keep a key on file with us.
  • Or, you can give us an alarm code to get inside the house.

That would be a guideline that they would then follow and agree to because you had a problem or a challenge in the past.

Employee Rules and Guidelines

Rules and Guidelines, Man and Woman Pointing at Each OtherMaybe two coworkers don’t work well together. That’s a problem. You need them on a job working together.

They’ll have to figure out a way to get along. “No, we don’t like each other. We refuse to work together. “

Okay, now there needs to be a rule in place. The rule might be “I don’t care whether you like each other or not. Figure out a way to split it up so that one of you is working the top floor and one of you is working the bottom floor. You don’t even have to speak to each other in the car on the way over.”

There may be guidelines where if you can work together, there’s a bonus. Work it out so that you get your jobs done, and you’re still able to dispatch your employees.

Customer Rules and Guidelines

Rules and Guidelines, Frightened Man in BedCustomers will cancel their cleaning at the last minute.

Ugh! You were counting on the money. Also, you have two house cleaners that don’t work well together and you have to pay them to clean that house. And you still have to pay them even if the customer cancels.

Lots of nightmares.

For this, you may have a rule and guideline that says no cancellations within a three-day window. Or you might say, “If you cancel within 24 hours, you owe us a cancellation fee.  I still need to pay these house cleaners.”

Rules and Regulations Need to Start from the Beginning

Rules and Guidelines, Women Talking on CouchThe rules and guidelines are going to vary from business to business. The longer you’re in business, the more guidelines you have because you know the issues.

You start building rules and guidelines into the fabric of your business. They become part of every conversation you have with the customer from the first phone call.

When they call you up on the phone you start laying the groundwork of your rules and guidelines. “This is how our business works,” and then you give them some guidelines. Then you go to their house and you do a walkthrough, and you give them a few more guidelines.

Then you have them sign your working agreement, and then you go over a few more guidelines. So, it’s not all one great big list of guidelines, but you’ve been laying the foundation. It’s like planting seeds.

Give Customers Your Policies a Little at a Time

As you go, you say things like, “Well, as you know”, and then you go ahead and you share more guidelines. One thing you can include is, “As you know, we do inventory at the end of every day. That allows us to look into the different cleaning chemicals we have. That way we are sure to have enough equipment to come to clean your house. That is why we prefer to use our own cleaning equipment instead of yours.”

It may not come up, even on the first walkthrough.

Have Your Answers Ready

Rules and Guidelines, Woman on Phone at DeskThere are 63 questions that I walk people through. These questions will make you ask yourself questions like, “Do you work on the weekends?” If you have prepared for that, you can tell the customer, “No, we do not work on the weekends.”

So, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute trying to find workers because you know your policy. Now you both know you don’t work on weekends. So, when the customer says, “Do you work weekends?” You’re like, “Nope. Sorry, we don’t. But we’d love to come on Monday morning.”

Embrace Your Rules and Guidelines as Your Own

Rules and Guidelines, Excited WomanYour rules and guidelines are all based on the challenges that you have in your business. This is going to sound super weird. I don’t know how to say it any other way.

“I want you to go out and experience and enjoy your challenges. Inside those challenges are the keys that you need to unlock the success of your business.”

I hope that helps a little bit. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.


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