What I learned with this cleaning business

We only celebrate the wins right? The first booking, the 10,000th dollar in revenue, the first million dollar year…

But what about the not so great moments? If we only share the wins, those of us who are new and struggling see the highs and when we experience the lows… it feels lonely.

You have to have the right mindset before you can succeed in this business. It’s not easy BUT if you put in the work and stay the course, you will see results.

1. Don’t get stuck on details

My instinct was to build a company that was more traditional. I wanted to control every single small detail of the business and I spent more time worrying about things like my thank you cards or logos than I did finding great contractors.

If you want to build a big company quickly, your logo and the like is not something you should spend weeks trying to figure out. Hire contractors, create a simple text logo… buy a theme and start advertising.

Details will come later once you get your bearings about you and your business has a stable foundation.

2. Don’t get too attached to anyone

Yes, you may have a rockstar cleaner who you want to give all the houses to and make a partner… but don’t get too comfortable. They are not as invested in your business as you are. They do not care about your business like you and often will leave you disappointed when they don’t live up to your expectations or leave you for a better job.

Everyone can and should be replaced and your job is to always keep hiring and firing as soon as you get a whiff of a bad egg. While you should treat everyone well, your employees are not your friends and the employer- worker relationship/arrangement is a transactional one.

3. Don’t get stuck on technology

No piece of software solves every single set of your problems. While technology is necessary and can help you build a bigger business, there isn’t any app that is going to work exactly as your company works. Time and time again, people have decided that technology is a sticking point and either want to build their own (which never happens) or spend time testing every piece of software under the sun. This takes away from building your business and many a well-meaning entrepreneur has gotten stuck in stack slog.

4. Build systems

The only way to make this business successful is to build repeatable systems that can be replicated with or without you. These systems should be executed and refined until you have them working like a well-oiled machine.

An example of how to create a repeatable systems is:

  1. Define what you want to accomplish
  2. Create the system and benchmarks that determine success
  3. Assign and train
  4. Quantify success
  5. Document the system so it can be repeated

I use systems for hiring, training, cleaning and many other processes that involve the daily operations of my business. This helps me both know and define success and also allows the business to grow without me managing every detail on a daily basis.

5. This cleaning business is an emotional rollercoaster… strap yourself in for the ride

This business is hard and no matter what you do, your clients or contractors will not always be satisfied 100% of the time. Expect the ups and the downs and move on quickly from both.

If you keep working hard, the business will work, you just need to keep pushing. You get out of the business exactly what you put in and your efforts will be rewarded in the long run if you keep a mindset of learning and moving on quickly from the failures.

No matter if you have $100 in business a day or $10,000 in business a day, the same principles apply. The only thing that changes is how you deal with and move on from the failures you experience.

Those are my lessons learned from being in business almost a year. What have been your most valuable lessons or things you feel you would have told your new-to-business-self when you first started?

Oh, and if you forget how to get started, try starting at week 1 of our ‘Launch and Learn‘ series.