4 more life lessons from my mom to help you with your cleaning business

This month I’m continuing to honor the memory of my mother by sharing some of the lessons I learned from her which have helped me in my life and business.

For those of you who don’t know, my mother passed away this February, still running her successful cleaning business at the age of 87. She led a fantastic life and was an amazing person who taught me so many things, and I’ll share a few more of the lessons that can help you in your business or in life. (If you missed the first four lessons, you can catch up here.)

Lesson 5: Take decisive action

When my mother made up her mind to do something, boom!—it was done. She was a very decisive person, not a procrastinator. She amazed me. When she decided that, “this is what we are going to do,” it got done. I saw this in her personal life and in business where she made decisions and acted immediately.

I frequently consult with cleaning business owners about their business and I offer a discount to join my Cleaning Business Fundamentals course if they sign up with me while we’re on the phone. The people who join while we’re talking are those who take decisive action and immediately begin changing their business for the better. Then there are people who just can’t decide, saying “I need to think about it,” and “I’ll get back to you.” Most people who say they’ll think about it never follow through. You will never be as motivated to move forward as you are in that moment where we’re discussing it on the phone. Some of the people have spoken with me a year later and mentioned regretting that they hadn’t joined the group when we had been discussing it the previous year. They missed out on a full year’s worth of business growth by not being decisive.

I’ve noticed that the people who take decisive action have the best follow through. They participate and benefit more from my program. The people who move forward quickly have the best results in a shorter timeframe—they make immediate change in their business and begin to recoup their expense.

Lesson 6: Strive for consistency

Consistency? Don’t you mean excellence? Well, few people realize that if you have to pick between consistency and excellence, you’ll be more successful if you choose consistency. Of course, I want you to have both—consistently strive for excellence. But most people strive for perfection and you won’t be consistent if you try to be perfect.

My mother wasn’t a perfectionist. She wasn’t sloppy or haphazard or mediocre, but she was consistent. I got a birthday card from my mother every year, for every year of my life. I’ve never seen anybody else, much less any 87 year old, who was able to consistently send out birthday cards out to all of her children and grandchildren. I was always like, “Mom, how do you keep up with that? I can barely remember my own anniversary and my husband’s birthday!”

Which trait do your customers prefer? Consistency. If they had to choose between a good, consistent cleaning that they can always count on, versus a cleaning that teeters wildly between amazing and mediocre, your customers will prefer consistently good cleaning. Life is full of surprises, but your customers don’t want to be surprised by varying levels of service.

Lesson 7: Practice positivity

My mother really excelled at this— she was the most positive person I’ve ever known. She was so positive that if something went wrong, she’d find something in the problem that went right. Now she didn’t bury her head in the sand, she did confront issues, but in a positive way.

Successful people practice positivity. I could focus on negative things all day, but I don’t want to. I could focus on the flaws in my children, my husband, my business, but I’d prefer not to.  I’d rather focus on the good things and then work on the things that I can fix. If you practice positivity, you will reap many more benefits than practicing negativity.

Most of the entrepreneurs I consult with are quite positive, but maybe 2 out of 10 will have a negative bent. Those are the ones who constantly harp about people’s bad work ethic and how they can’t fix things. It’s much better to talk about the things they want to achieve and how they are striving for their goals. Don’t focus on the negative, I tell them, let’s fix what you’re doing wrong.

So practice being positive. If you have the tendency to be negative, work on it. Don’t accept it, don’t decide it’s good enough. Work on being positive. Your business will benefit.

Lesson 8: Set boundaries for how others can treat you

My mother was very good about setting boundaries. She was very giving and positive, she always saw the best in people. But when she saw that people were trying to take advantage of her or mistreat her, she was done. She wasn’t a sucker, she would not allow it. This was a positive, loyal, consistent friend, but she understood there are boundaries that people should not cross.

If your business is a mess where you’re structured so that you don’t have any leverage with employees, you don’t have the luxury of being able to fire a bad employee and you let them walk all over you.

That’s demoralizing for a business owner. You had this dream of having an amazing business, being a wonderful boss, having all these great employees that need you, but your business turned into a nightmare that runs you ragged, is on your mind day and night, you can’t get away from it emotionally, it doesn’t pay you enough for your time and pain, and your employees walk all over you. This is incredibly frustrating for a business owner.

You have to have the power in your business to fire bad employees, otherwise it will wreak havoc on your business. It will frustrate other employees who watch you tolerate bad behavior and it will hurt your reputation with your customers when employees do a bad job. You need a strategy to control turnover so that you can set boundaries.

I can help you with implementing this strategy (and many others). Please consider joining me in Atlanta on June 29 and 30 for my Cleaning Business for the Pros conference.

 

 

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Lessons learned from my mother (who ran a successful cleaning business into her late-80s)

This will be my first Mother’s Day without my mom, so I’m not particularly looking forward to it. To honor her memory, I wanted to share with you a few lessons that I learned from her over the years. She started her own cleaning business after retiring from a corporate job at age 65, calling me up to ask me to teach her everything I knew.

That was over 20 years ago and she ran her successful cleaning business until she passed in February of this year. Looking back, I love that she was my first coaching client and I was able to help her launch her own business. I was afraid at first; I knew my system worked but I wasn’t sure it would work for her. She’d never been an entrepreneur, but she took my step by step formula and followed it. We had coaching calls on the weekend where I talked her through what to do and what not to do. Within a few years her business had grown to have 14 employees with an office manager to run the day-to-day, and one of the reasons she was successful was that she followed my proven formula step by step.

I taught her about running a successful cleaning businesses, but there are many things that I learned from her as well. Here are a few:

Lesson 1: It’s never too late to start.

Anyone who thinks that they’ve missed their window of opportunity to create a successful business should consider her example. If I can help a 65-year-old woman who has never owned her own business and never even cleaned her own house, I can help you!

Lesson 2: Be an great delegator.

My mom was an amazing delegator. I learned this lesson from her a long time ago when she was delegating tasks to us kids to help around the house. People who struggle with perfectionism have a hard time delegating responsibilities. They trip over their own perfectionism and hold their businesses back. You need to learn to delegate to the right people who have adequate training, and then back off. Delegation will help you create freedom and increase your quality of life. But it’s hard to delegate if you refuse to give up your perfectionism. This will kill your opportunity to grow your business. But remember, it’s never too late to learn to do it right.

Lesson 3: Be generous – give give give.

Both my parents were givers. They helped struggling families in our community and I didn’t realize at the time what they were doing. That spirit of generosity carried over into my mother’s cleaning business. Her employees absolutely loved her— they cried when she passed away and all of them came to her funeral. Generous people are loved by others. A generous employer will be loved by their employees. This doesn’t mean you should be wasteful or careless with your generosity, but when you create a business that is so profitable that you can be generous to your own employees, you will experience the joy of giving.

When I launched my non-profit, Cleaning for a Reason, my mother was one of first cleaning partners to donate free cleaning services to women with cancer. She didn’t have a huge company but she never turned down a cancer patient. Every time one applied to get a free cleaning in her area, she’d take them on. Generocity = reciprocity. What goes around comes around. If you’re a giver, life will give back in one way or another.

Lesson 4: Respect everyone.

Respect starts with loving people. If you respect people, you don’t treat them badly even if they deserve it. Treat everyone the way they should be treated, not the way they deserve to be treated. Some people might not deserve to be treated well— they might steal from your customers or even steal your customers—but you should still treat them with respect. This doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you. I have fired people and given them hugs and prayed with them as I’m firing them. My mom had a few bad employees over those 20+ years that she had to fire because they thought they could walk over her or stole from her, but my mother didn’t berate them or demean them when she let them go. When you have a policy of treating everyone with respect, whether they’ve earned it or not, the benefits of that policy will come back tenfold.

If you want to benefit from my training just like my mother did, please join me in Atlanta for the Speed Cleaning for the Pros conference on June 29 and 30. It is absolutely worth the investment and you’ll start to reap rewards immediately.

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Don’t be defeated by customers leaving or bad reviews

(If you find this post helpful, please let me know in the comments!)

I just had a conversation with a cleaning business owner who got upset and discouraged whenever he lost a customer. He felt like a failure and felt defeated. He said it was a terrible feeling, that things weren’t working out and it should not have happened.

The reason he got so discouraged and defeated was because he always saw losing a customer as a failure. The problem is, it was just a small failure because he was crushing it otherwise and making lots of money. But those isolated incidents felt like a failure.

I had to explain to him that the reason he felt defeated is because he saw those incidents as failures. The reality is, you’re always losing customers in business. You’re only a failure if you lose more customers than you gain or lose customers at a much higher rate than you should.

Customer attrition is a natural part of business

I explained the concept of ATTRITION to him. You’ve got to understand that a certain number of your customers are going to leave your business each month and each year. With a larger business, you’ll have a more obvious number of customers leaving, losing some every week or month. You’re never going to stop losing customers. That’s never going to change. Are you going to spend the rest of your time always feeling like a failure? It’s just a part of business— it’s called attrition.

If you take time to analyze the customers you lost in one year in aggregate, most are lost for reasons out of your control. People call us up all the time to cancel their service because they’re moving away or are remodeling or are selling their house or they’re retiring or have a kid headed to college so are cutting back financially. Of course, sometimes it’s due to an incident— we might get fired for doing a bad job or showing up late or not showing up or the second time we broke something expensive. But most times it’s things out of our control.

Yes we can get better about not showing up and forgetting to put a client on the schedule. We can get better at training our employees. We’re not going to be able to eliminate all breakage or complaints. Sometimes human error will happen. As long as it’s not out of control or happening chronically, it is what it is. We can’t please everybody all the time forever. We just can’t. So we’re going to lose some people. Just accept the fact that we win some and we lose some.

You are always going to be losing customers if you’re growing. If you’re not losing any, you probably have a very tiny business and aren’t growing. If you’re expanding and growing, you’re probably going to lose customers. Track it and measure it and make sure it’s somewhere in 2-5% rate of attrition. If you’re losing 20-30% of your customers, you have a real problem. If you don’t even know how to track it or what to measure, you should take my Cleaning Business Fundamentals course.

Don’t let the normal aspects of business defeat you.

Don’t let the normal aspects of business defeat you. Customers coming and going are just a normal part of business. Don’t allow that to defeat you. Look at your business in aggregate so you see the the big picture.

Here’s a good example of how this happens to all of us— say you have four amazing reviews in a week but you also get one nasty complaint that erases all the wins you had all week. We let that feeling of defeat take over and rob us of the joy of success and wins that we had all week.

If you took time to analyze the wins/loses, the defeats/progress, you’d notice that you’re progressing more than you’re losing. You’re moving forward more than backward. Look at the whole picture and see you took five steps forward and one back.

Don’t let a customer cancelling her service ruin your day

Don’t accept defeat. Don’t let a customer cancelling her service ruin your day or rob you of the joy you got from the amazing reviews praising your service. Don’t let that one bad review wreck your week. Learn from your mistakes or just move on if there was no mistake.

I had to learn this years and years ago. I didn’t need to pay attention to the customers who cancelled as long as the number of cancellations was within a reasonable, predictable amount each month or year. I didn’t need to micromanage my staff and demand to know why each customer cancelled. I just wanted to know how many we would predictably lose each month. This kept me from looking over their shoulder and driving my staff crazy. If i’m grilling them over three or four lost customers, I’m not recognizing the work they’re doing to bring in 20 new customers.

So back to that cleaning business owner. I told him he needed to get over it, that he was only focusing on the one or two minor failures. You’re robbing yourself of the joy of success by focusing on these failures. Acknowledge that we win some and lose some. As long as we win more than we lose we’re going to grow the business.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

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Double your tax refund

(This is a long post. If you find it helpful, please let me know in the comments!)

Tax season is here again! So did you get a tax refund? I have some ideas on how you can double that refund. This advice also applies to anyone getting a small windfall—maybe you made an extra profit or you got a lump sum from somewhere. Here’s advice on how can you double that money, not just spend it.

There’s a great Zig Zigler quote that “Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.” What you do with your money is determined by your mindset. Let’s say you’re getting a tax refund from the IRS. A lot of people think about treating themselves to a vacation or putting a down payment on a nicer car or buying some furniture or upgrading their laptop.

If you want to double your tax refund, it starts with whether to spend it or invest it. If you don’t want to have to work hard all year long for the rest of your life, stop thinking about treating yourself, stop giving yourself a raise every time you get a bigger profit or buying something when you get a boost in income. People who invest that money have quality of life and freedom that others do not. Shift your thinking from spending money to investing it. Take your $1,000 refund and increase it 10x—it can turn into more money than the $1,000 treat you were going to buy yourself. Remember that the minute you buy a computer, it starts to devalue. It might feel like an investment in your business but it’s a cost, not an investment.

Invest your tax refund in marketing

There are two ways to take that refund and make it work for you by increasing your revenue and quality of life. First, you can spend it on marketing. Let’s say that your marketing cost averages to ~$250 for you to obtain a recurring customer. If you spend $500, on average you’ll acquire two customers, and if you spend $1,000 you can expect around four recurring customers. And let’s say that recurring customers will annually spend about $3,000 with your business. By spending $1,000 on marketing to acquire four recurring customers, that will bring in $12,000 in additional annual revenue. If they stay with you for two years, that’s $24,000 in business from $1,000 you spent in advertising.

Marketing, if done correctly, is an investment. It’s not a waste or a cost. If operationally you’re not prepared to convert those clients or don’t charge enough or don’t have a good system in place to convert them into recurring clients, then it is a cost. But it’s never a waste if you spend your dollars in the right place and handle the leads correctly. Don’t look at marketing as an expense but as a way to make more money. (How to effectively use marketing is covered in great detail in my Cleaning Business Fundamentals course.)

Invest in yourself

Besides spending your tax refund on marketing, the second thing you can do with the money is to invest in yourself and in your personal development. I’m constantly taking leadership training, or sales training, or courses on how to be a better consultant. I’m never going to be finished learning. I spend money on consultants to come in and work with my staff, and spend money to train my staff.

Investing in yourself is one of the best ways to get a return on your tax refund. If you could spend between $2,000 and $10,000 to invest in the rest of your life, to get out of the field and stop cleaning, to double or triple your income, wouldn’t you do that? What if you could have been making $50,000 a year but you didn’t invest in yourself, you bought a fancy car instead. As your car deteriorates in value, you realize that you could have invested in yourself and begun to build that empire that you thought you’d have by now.

My Cleaning Business Fundamentals (CBF) course can absolutely help you increase your business, get you out of the field, and help grow your revenue. However, you have to ask yourself if it’s a cost or an investment. It’s a cost if you purchase the course and don’t follow through, but it’s an investment if you actually follow my advice.

I recently asked people who had taken my course to let me know what they thought. Here are some of the comments that I got:

“Investing in CBF is one of the best decisions I ever made.” – Jeannie H.

“CBF is a God-send!” – Rhonda B.

“Best thing I have done for my business.” -Stephanie R

“It got me out of the field and now I’m a compassionate business owner.” – Michelle A.

“Best decision I made and best money I spent.” – Bonnie C.

“One of the smartest business decisions I’ve made in 9 years. “ – Molly M.

“Really comprehensive, well organized, thorough and complete information, plus the amazing support and terrific community of caring and generous business owners. One of the best business experiences I have ever had. So glad I made the commitment to myself and my business. Really the best.” – Christy L.

“CBF has shown me the roadmap to a successful business and slowly but surely we are on our way!” – Eduardo C.

The model that I teach in CBF is guaranteed to work, but I can’t guarantee that everyone who takes it will follow through with the model. It’s not complicated but it does require effort. I used my formula to build a multi-million dollar business where I’m an absentee owner not involved in the day-to-day decisions. I have a formula that works 100% if you follow it, and I’ve been teaching this formula to cleaning business owners for ten years and put it into practice in my own business for close to 25 years. I can help you get out of the field and build the size of business that you want.

So what is CBF or Cleaning Business Fundamentals? It’s a 32 hour course where I give you EVERYTHING—all the tools, information, and forms you need, as well as six months of coaching. It lasts over 16 weeks and you participate via phone and internet. Are you ready to double your tax rebate? Invest it in yourself. Ask yourself if you’re worth the investment. Don’t wait another month or year. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

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9 simple and consistent keys to success

Please let me know in the comments if you found this helpful. I’d really like to hear from you!

Keep it simple, do it well, repeat

Success in business comes from doing six things really well that you repeat thousands of times. This is called the compound effect. Most people think that success comes from taking giant leaps, but that’s not common. It’s rare that you strike gold overnight or have one thing lead to massive success. Mostly it’s a handful of things that we do really well, over and over. Don’t chase dozens of ideas—start simple, and master half a dozen things that you get really good at. Simplicity is a good place to start.

Knowledge without action is useless.

You don’t need more knowledge, you need a new plan of action. I talk to so many people who have gone to such-and-such conference or took so-and-so’s seminar, or are in a Mastermind Group, or took this business program and that coaching program. They’ve accumulated so much knowledge over the years that sometimes it results in conflicting advice. With this approach, all you do is create confusion. Instead of collecting knowledge, you just need a plan of action. Put one foot in front of the other; take one step, then another. You have to ACT.

What’s the ultimate key to success? Consistency.

Over the years I’ve found that the people who consistently show up for our Mastermind meetings, who stay plugged in, continually asking and answering questions, who share ideas and post challenges end up being the most successful. They are continually engaged with the community and not left alone to struggle and guess their way to success. They consistently follow the steps in our Cleaning Business Fundamentals group. They don’t just take off on a fast sprint and fizzle out or take a seminar and do things for a few weeks before doing nothing for a few months. They are consistently marketing, posting every day on online channels. I’ve seen some people who set up their pages, make a few posts, and then don’t post anything for months. It’s the same with cleaning. You are not going to succeed if you give your customer an inconsistent experience. You’re better off having consistently good cleaning instead of a perfect clean followed by a mediocre clean followed by a great clean followed by an uneven clean. All that inconsistency creates customer dissatisfaction.

If you aren’t better, work harder.

This is simple. Get better at running a business. Most of you are good at cleaning, but have you gotten better at business? It involves marketing, customer service, figuring out how to scale your business, managing your online reputation, understanding your margins so your profits don’t erode as you grow. If you aren’t seeing success, work harder at getting better at business. Figure out how to control and scale your business, how to be amazing at attracting the best cleaners and at keeping them long term.

Let the compound effect work in your favor.

I talk about this throughout the entire Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. The compound effect is the strategy of reaping huge rewards from seemingly insignificant actions. It is those really tiny things that we do that make a BIG difference. It’s the small steps that we take consistently every day. A little bit of marketing here and there will add up to massive results. It’s those little things that we do every single day that will help us achieve success.

Small choices matter over time.

If you consistently make the same small choices over time, you’ll get significant results. For example, I talked with someone today who decided to take the Cleaning Business Fundamentals course and who signed up on the spot. Another person I spoke with today said she wanted to take the class but needed to save up some money. The person who made the small choice to sign up for the class is already on the path to reaping bigger results. The one who didn’t sign up, well, what if a week goes by and her resources haven’t gotten better? And then two weeks, and later five months go by. She tells herself “I’m going to do that someday.” You know what she’s doing? She’s consistently procrastinating. She’s not doing anything to get her business unstuck. If we check in on the person who signed up today in a year’s time, she could have gotten out of the field or doubled her income. The other person most likely will be in the same place a year from now.

Knowledge uninvested is wasted.

You can’t just learn, read books, listen to podcasts, go to seminars. You have to put that learning to use and take action in your business. Learning without investing that knowledge in your business does nothing.

Choice is central to success and failure.

The choices that we make every day will determine whether or not we’re successful. The choice to procrastinate is a decision not to change your life. What we choose makes the biggest difference. Too often we sleepwalk through our choices and do what society tells us we should do. Take personal responsibility. My success or failure is the result of my own choices. That is such a freeing feeling. Making better choices puts you in control of your success. This is freedom. We can make better choices and succeed more.

Keep a daily gratitude journal.

Every day, write in your journal about something you are grateful for. It could be about life, your kids, your spouse. If you do this every day, your journal will be massive at the end of a year with all the things you are grateful for and you’ll feel encouraged about all the support and help you get in your life. Gratitude is acknowledging that there are people in your life who do things for you that you can’t do for yourself. What you appreciate (have gratitude for) will appreciate (get bigger). Do you appreciate your employees, your business metrics? If they’re important to you, they’ll get better.

Was this helpful? Please let me know in the comments. I’d really like to hear from you.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

How to respond to negative reviews

Listen, respond, learn

No matter how perfect you and your team are, no matter how diligent and thorough, no matter what level of effort you spend, there will always be a client who is unhappy. When they leave a negative review for you online, it can impact your business by warning away other potential clients. Here are some things you can do to remedy the situation.

  • Bury bad reviews.  This is the single best strategy to control your online reviews.  Be proactive instead of reactive. Commit to continually asking your happy customers to go online and review you. Don’t just wait for the random reviews to come in on first-time cleans; ask your weekly and bi-weekly customers to review you, too.
  • Call the client and listen to them. Take a deep breath. Walk around the block. When you are calm, call them up, tell them you are sorry that they were disappointed and ask what you can do to make it good. If they refuse, thank them for their business and end the call. If you can make them happy, once they’re satisfied ask them to update their review.
  • Respond to the review. Once you’ve reached out to the complainer, you can write a response to the review online. If you were able to fix the issue, let people know. If the customer refused any of your suggestions, clearly outline what you proposed to them. “I’m disappointed that Mrs. X would not give us a chance to make this right. I offered to have someone come back to clean the stove at no cost. We take great pride in our high level of service and want all our customers to be satisfied.”
  • Flag the review. Some services allow you to flag the review as abusive or false. If you feel this applies to the negative review someone left about your business, reach out to the review site to see what your options are.
  • Consider reviews a valuable source of information. Once you get over the pain of someone having left a bad review, now it’s time to get something out of it. Come back the next day and re-read the review, considering all the points. Maybe your client is doing you a favor by letting you know about a team member who is underperforming.
  • Generate positive publicity for your cleaning company by giving back to your community in some way. You could sponsor a food drive or have your team volunteer hours at a local charity. You could donate a portion of your profits to a good cause. Whatever you decide to do, be sure your local news knows about it. News organizations are always looking for this type of “good news” story to brighten people’s day. . You can overwhelm the search results that have bad reviews about your company by making sure that Google finds good articles about your company.

Was this helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

How to fall in love with your business again

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve been thinking about how business is like a marriage; it’s a lifelong commitment that some people love and some people hate and feel trapped in. There are some dynamics of loving your business that it’s good to be reminded of that I’d like to cover today.

So how do you fall in love with your business all over again?

  1. Know that it’s a lifelong commitment that you have to work at.
  2. Accept being uncomfortable.
  3. Always keep learning more, either through books or with a mentor.
  4. Stop comparing your business to others.
  5. Celebrate your victories, both large and small.

Lifelong commitment

In most cases, owning your business is a very long commitment, unless you call it quits and pull the plug. You have to remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint, and most people are not going to have instant success.

If you always have one eye on the exit, it is probably not going to work out. This applies to both your business AND your marriage. When the going gets rough, if you have divorce in the back of your mind, you’re probably going to back out, and the same applies to your business. If it’s always an option to quit your business, you probably will. Now, some people are just flat out burned out, with no passion or heart left, and they should throw in the towel. If they’re living in agony and not taking active steps to improve their business, they should walk away. But if you still have the heart to make your business work, you should double down on your commitment to your company.

Just like in a marriage, you have to figure out how to move past issues and make things better. Perfect situations don’t exist in real life. Nothing is ever perfect. But you’ll find a solution if it’s not an option for you to quit. So be fully committed to making your business work. Stop being stuck in limbo where you’re frustrated and can’t make progress but aren’t taking active steps.

Accept being uncomfortable

When we first start our businesses, we’re so excited and everyone tells us “Attagirl!” and how brave we are to start our own company. But after that initial adrenaline wears off, the day-to-day challenges start to wear us down and we start to get afraid. You begin to hate your business when you’re not winning every day after you take it to the next level and hire people to help you and clients are calling to complain instead of praise you. Your mindset shifts and you feel like a failure, and it’s hard to be in love with something you’re failing at.

You need to learn to accept being uncomfortable. If you’re getting comfortable, chances are that a crisis is looming around the corner. It’s nice and easy to coast along, but that’s a dangerous place to be. Accept being uncomfortable. Go ahead and interview people continually so you’re ready when people unexpectedly quit. Spend that extra money on marketing. If you’re comfortable, you’re probably going nowhere.

There’s generally a breakdown before a breakthrough. For example, let’s say you’ve done a bunch of marketing to get more customers in the door, and maybe one of your employees quits right when the new work is streaming in. Maybe you upset a few customers or employees with a new policy or you have to work long hours while tweaking something in the business; these are the uncomfortable things that you will have to do to break through to the next level. Then you’ll work out the kinks and work towards the next level, always moving forward. Eventually you notice that it gets incrementally better. But if you’re not feeling uncomfortable, you’re not pushing your business.

Always keep learning more, either through books or with a mentor.

You should always be learning. Get a mentor, get training, read books. You cannot be stagnant. You can’t keep doing the same things year in and year out and expect a different outcome. You must continually be investing in your own development.

Several people attend my conferences or field trips again and again. When I ask them about it, they say that they learn something new each time. They were in a different place in their business and took something new away because of that change in perspective.

I am always reading, and I even have a coach. For those years that I didn’t have a coach, shame on me. I missed out on some opportunities by not maximizing my own skills. If we’re not continually learning, we’re not motivated or held accountable or solving problems correctly. You can’t guess your way to the right solution. It’s about inspiration, accountability, and a kick in the pants when you’re having a pity party and just need to take action. Most of us cannot take action by ourselves. We need an accountability partner.

Stop comparing your business to others.

Please stop comparing your business with other businesses. This comparison will undermine your motivation and you’re never going to measure up. I only compare myself to the level of success I want to achieve. If i compared myself to other people I’d be miserable because there’s always someone doing something better than me, publishing a book or running a bigger business. Measure yourself against your goal for what you want to be. You can compare your business to your goals but not to any other businesses. This will keep you from always being disappointed in your results. And don’t worry about what people say about their business because there’s a good chance that they’re exaggerating. Just worry about you.

Celebrate your victories, both large and small.

Take time to celebrate your large and small victories. Too many people only celebrate the big victories but we all need little celebrations to keep us inspired. Take time to appreciate where you are, to celebrate the milestone that you’ve reached instead of always looking toward the next goal.

Treat yourself to something so that you remain motivated and feel like you’re making progress. This is what you work hard for—to buy the things you want and live how you want. If you’re always stretching toward a new goal without stopping to enjoy your achievements, you will just frustrate yourself.

Stop and celebrate your victories. You can’t enjoy your business if all you do is grind it out. Maybe you could give yourself a small raise or go buy something for yourself. You’re not in business just to get to the next level, you’re in business to live how you want. Getting to the next level is simply to fund the things that you want in your life.

I hope these tips will help you to fall in love with your business all over again and to stay in love with your business. Again, happy Valentine’s Day!

Was this helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

 

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

How to sell more services at Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is next week, and this is a great time to sell gift cards for your maid service. People are looking to buy gifts for people they love; it’s not just spouses searching for presents but also mother-in-laws looking for items for their daughter-in-laws. And you can use this opportunity to sell gift cards for your services.

But don’t just print up an ugly certificate or email your customers with their gift card. Turn this into a tangible gift package that anyone would be thrilled to receive. Bump up the value of the gift basket by including chocolates, candles, a CD, maybe champagne and toasting glasses, then put it all into a gorgeous basket wrapped with a bow.

This is a marketing tip that most cleaning businesses ignore. By turning your cleaning service into a gift, you’ll sell more of them. You need to switch your mindset from selling a “cleaning” versus selling a “gift” because you’re marketing this to people who are not buying it for themselves but for someone else.

You don’t have to break the bank doing this, either. You can get some cute wine glasses at the dollar store and a discount CD with romantic music, along with some chocolate that you might buy in bulk to keep costs down. Then stick your gift card or certificate in the basket and wrap it up with a pretty bow and you can sell that gift basket for more than what your maid service gift card is worth.

The essential thing to keep in mind is that you’re selling a present, not a cleaning, so you need it to look and feel like a gift. There’s nothing elegant or romantic about a spouse printing out an email and handing it over on February 14th. But this gift basket has a big WOW factor if you add a couple of nice touches to it.

You can tell your clients that if they’re looking for an amazing gift this Valentine’s Day they shouldn’t just buy another piece of jewelry or something that will be worn and then maybe not appreciated all year long. The gift of maid service is appreciated all year long. So be sure to talk it up in your emails throughout the year; you can sell them for birthdays and Christmas, too.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

Training your staff to clean efficiently

Training is one the most important things we do, so let’s talk about training. You need to on-board staff quickly and be able to replace them quickly if they don’t work out. You need a training program that doesn’t take a month to train your staff. I talk to a lot of owners who take 3 or 4 weeks to train their new staff. But when you have a solid, proven, systematized training program (not just a book or DVD), you can get your training done in 1 week. Join me for the Speed Cleaning for the Pros conference in Dallas on January 26 and 27 and walk away with a rock-solid training program that will save you money over the long run.

What I take you through in this conference is not to clean fast—it’s not about hurrying or racing. Speed is about efficiency. When you’re using the speed cleaning method, your staff will learn how to achieve efficiency through a system of cleaning & a series of very specific and intentional series of steps. You don’t achieve speed through hurrying.

The benefits of having a fully implemented training program is that it works even when you (the owner) are not training or when your best trainer is out sick or quits. You need a program that is systematic and easy to launch.

So how does the conference work?

I teach you my step-by-step formula on Friday, January 26. I recommend that the owner or high level office manager come on Friday, and you can bring other staff on Saturday. I give you a strategic overview of the right way to train employees. Most people don’t have it all right— they may have a few good elements but not enough to transform your results and your whole program.

I teach you the difference between speed and quality. Your staff works quicker because they’re more efficient, not because they’re hurrying. It’s all about having a system that is the most efficient way to clean.

I help you define your service profiles. Handling a maintenance clean with speed cleaning methods can reduce the time it takes between 30 minutes to an hour. We talk about improving productivity and reducing labor costs. You’ll make back more money than it costs you to come to this event within the first couple of months of returning home and implementing the program.

We’ll also talk about reducing complaints so that you maintain a high rating online. The quality and consistency of your service will increase, which means complaints will decrease. We’ll discuss how to improve your online reviews, all while achieving efficiency and speed.

Another area I’ll cover is how to structure your incentive pay. Maybe currently you have trainers come up to you and tell you that they don’t want to train new employees. We’ll discuss how to structure your incentives so that people will come to you and ask to be trainers because you make it so enticing.

Customers will notice inconsistencies in your cleaning if your staff all have various methods of cleaning. With proper training, you create consistency and keep clients happy. This way if your star cleaner is out sick or quits on you, your client will not notice because their replacement will be just as good.

Bottom line: You’ve got to train your trainer. Join me at the Speed Cleaning for the Pros conference so that you can nail down your training program.

Can’t make that date? Get the tools and information on DVD or buy the DVDs from the original Speed Cleaning For The Pros Conference nine years ago.

Another option for your business is to sign up for my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course. This 16 week course gives you the best information about training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

Invest in yourself and make this year count

2018 is going to be a blockbuster year for business. Consumer confidence continues to climb and the stock market is shooting up. Are you ready to invest in what it takes to take advantage of this? You need to plan on adding staff for the year and increasing your marketing because you’re going to benefit from the business growth and consumer confidence. Don’t just wake up in panic mode in the middle of spring when business is picking up like crazy.

There will be a little bit of a lull in January because people spend a lot during the holidays. Use this time wisely and invest in yourself and your business. You will need to onboard more staff because business is going to boom once you increase your marketing. Then you need to get them trained so they can start working efficiently.

The best thing you can do for your business is to join us on January 26 and 27 in Dallas for the Speed Cleaning for the Pros conference. It’s held on a Friday and Saturday, which are quieter days for your business. Are you worried about the cost? Think about how many thousands of dollars you are wasting on payroll costs because of the poor productivity of your staff. In addition to a two-day intensive learning experience, you’ll walk away with an updated Speed Cleaning DVD that you can take back for the rest of your team to view and a copy of the Speed Cleaning for the Pros book, which is the best employee training manual, hands down. It gives you the concepts of being a professional cleaner, along with the 13 rules of speed cleaning.

This might be the only speed cleaning conference in 2018 – I’m not entirely sure that I’m doing a session in the summer. So don’t miss out!

Can’t make that date? Get the tools and information on DVD or buy the DVDs from the original Speed Cleaning For The Pros Conference nine years ago.

Another option for your business is to sign up for my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course. This 16 week course gives you the best information about training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.