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It’s a common myth: most business owners think that they have a marketing problem when they, in fact, have a strategy problem.

“I just need more customers.” No, you need a strategy. In reality, it’s not a marketing problem. You  really need a strategy that works. Then, you can pour on the marketing to scale up and grow.

Most people think, “I just need to fix my marketing.” Or people believe that they have a technology problem. “Oh, I’m not techy. That’s why I’m not succeeding.” So they sign up for all these different technology programs. They sign up for different software and different apps, and they take Quick Book classes, and still we say, “You don’t have a technology problem. You have a strategy problem.”

Why do you need to learn Quick Book? You don’t have any money coming in other than what somebody is paying you to clean. So, most people, again, they think they have a technology problem; they think they have a marketing problem. They have a strategy problem. They don’t know how to maximize what they already have coming into their business, so they add more.

For example:

This is something I learned years ago when I moved to Texas from Florida, where we didn’t have fireplaces. In order for a fire to build and grow, you have to get the oxygen that it needs below it for it to take, for it to catch. You have to stack the logs in the right order and build the right foundation.

Back when I used to try to build a fire when the kids were little, and my husband was a police officer, and he was working nights, and I’m trying to build a fire. I put three big giant logs in the fireplace, and I kept trying to light it, and it never would take. It never would catch on. Why? Because for a fire to take you have to stack the logs in the right order and build the right foundation for the fire so that oxygen can get to the little flame that you start. Once it takes, you can have a beautiful roaring fire.

Your business is the same way. We are piling logs and tasks and marketing and technologies on top of a broken business, and that flame is never going to catch, and you’re still going to be cleaning, and I’m over here building myself a big old fire.

Here’s a quick little tip: Little pieces of kindling can start a massive fire.

My business operates with the same simple strategy as multi-million-dollar business that it operated when I had a $200,000 business. I finally got my strategy right and the strategy works regardless of how big or how small the business is.

It’s the same simple system. That is why, when I finally decided after 20 years at being at a million and having all this freedom, I said, “I wonder if we can get to 2 million?” The same system – same strategy. I have the same self-managing team, and we ended last year at 1.8 million, and we should be at 2 million this year. Why? Because it’s the systems and the strategies that are helping me succeed, not me grinding it out more and more to get to 2 million.

A True Story

Meet Paul Fasshauer, owner of Dirt Busters House Cleaning.

He only joined CBF in 2017. When he joined, he told me, “I’m about ready to quit this thing. I’m sick of it.” He had between 9 – 11 employees during the high season and down to 9 employees during the bad off-season.

He was miserable. He wasn’t cleaning, but he wasn’t making that much. He wasn’t growing and scaling. His employee turnover was unbelievable. He was about half a million dollars a year, so $43,000 a month. He joined CBF.

Three years later, he might have one of the largest maid services in the country following the CBF formula. For three years, he’s had 845 recurring customers. Even I don’t have that many customers. I’m like, “You know what? This formula works. 845 recurring customers. His run-rate, a little over three years later, is 3 million dollars a year.

He didn’t grow by over-spending on marketing or becoming a tech wiz.  He focused on his systems and making them simple and scalable.  He is one of those exceptional people, very driven, followed everything in the program to a T, added his own smart, brilliant touches.

People that have been in business 20 years can’t get to 3 million. There’s nothing special. He’s a wonderful guy, and he’s really, really smart, but there’s nothing special about what he’s doing. He’s following a proven, simple formula. If it wasn’t proven, he wouldn’t be doing this. If it wasn’t simple, his staff couldn’t follow it.

Three-million-dollars run rate in three years! Now, he’s definitely the extreme case of success. Most cleaning businesses are going to add $200,000, $250,000 a year. I tell people, you’re going to need three to five years to get to a million dollars depending on the size of your market.

Paul’s goal is to have a 10-million-dollar cleaning business out of one location. It’s never been done before in the United States, and I know he can do it. This system will allow it. It is that simple. He’s got a lot of drive and a long way to go, but he’s at 3 million dollars in 3 years. I think he will get there. If he doesn’t, what’s the worst that could happen? Bummer, he only got to 5 million. That still makes him one of the largest maid services in the world for residential cleaning. Build as high as you want, and, of course, the same is true for your business, your marketing, and all of your simple strategies and steps.

Get the Right Foundation and the Sky’s the Limit

If you get the right foundation in place, the business can breathe and grow, and that’s all Paul had to do. Of course, he’s an extra smart guy. That does help, but hey, if I can get my business to a million dollars, I know you can. You stack as much wood on top as you want. When you have the right foundation, you can make that fire as big as you want. You can increase your marketing and hire more staff because you can grow at a rate that works for you.

Debbie Sardone
Debbie Sardone

Known as The Maid Coach, Debbie Sardone is America’s top cleaning business consultant. Debbie helps owners of residential cleaning companies build a 7-figure dream business, with a 6-figure income and the freedom in their lives that they deserve.


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