House Cleaning Business - The Dirty Little Secret

By: Gail Metcalf

Aren't you weary of all the books being sold that tell you how easy it is to start your own house cleaning business? I'm not inferring that all their information is bad, but let's be honest about how "easy" it really is.

There's a dirty little secret hanging over the cleaning trade that nobody talks about, but every professional cleaner runs into. And unfortunately, if you buy one of the books on how to start your own cleaning business, they won't tell you about this issue and probably don't even know it exists. Why don't they know it exists? Because the book, more than likely, was written by a business professional and not a cleaning professional.

To share the responsibility, I'll be honest and reveal that even the professional cleaners don't talk about this issue. And I can't figure out why; are they in denial, do they decide to just ignore it or are they resolved to just selling
more hype?

What's the dirty little secret that nobody talks about? The issue is that most of the customers that pay people to clean their house think you are cleaning because you can't do anything else and automatically think you will work for

OK - I said it. Now it's out there because I think this is an important issue that people should know before they start a house cleaning business. And it's also important for the people that are currently cleaning to acknowledge that it exists and know there is a way around the issue.

And once you know about it, you shouldn't let it deter you from building your house cleaning business; just know how to handle the issue for success.

I know a lot about this issue because I started my own house cleaning business and grew it into a company with teams of employees. And I didn't just start the business and immediately hire the employees to do the cleaning. I started the business and did the cleaning myself.

I had been self employed in the computer industry doing software design and development consulting for large corporations. This is a stress-filled career because you're on-call 24/7, must fix software problems immediately, and
you have project deadlines to meet. After doing this for 18 years, I was burned out and needed a change.

I started the house cleaning business because I always had my house cleaned by professionals. And I wasn't happy with the quality of the work. I definitely knew what customers wanted and knew I could build my business based on that.

With my business and technical background, I had no problem preparing the advertising and bidding on jobs. In fact, I landed 98% of the job I estimated. When I showed up to do the cleaning, I got a whole different reaction from my new client than when we met for the estimate.

Suddenly, they thought I needed supervision while cleaning. They also thought they could ask and get more work done for the original quote I gave them. And imagine my surprise when they started telling me what I was going to clean on
their next appointment!

I had always treated the people cleaning for me with professional respect. So it took me a while and a few customers to figure out what was going on and why.
Obviously, other cleaners working alone would fall into this trap and the customer got their way.

I snapped out of my obvious surprised stupor, dug in my heels and ran my business as I had planned it. I learned that when I estimated a job, the customer had to decide if they wanted what my business offered and I also had to decide if I wanted to clean for this prospect.

I used professional, custom business forms that I designed and always required new customers to sign a Service Agreement. It was up to me to decide if I wanted to bend my rule, not up to the customer to demand that I bend it.

And you know what happened? My business kept growing, the referrals kept coming in and this dirty little secret no longer affected me.

I truly believe that every house cleaner can earn a full-time income and enjoy their house cleaning business by knowing what to expect before they get into a business they may not be fully prepared for.

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About The Author Gail Metcalf built her house cleaning business from the ground up and now shares her tips, tricks and trade secrets. Permission is granted to reproduce this article but credit must be given to the author. No part of the article content can be modified, and a link must be provided to:

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