Growing Your Maid Service In A Down Economy

Even as we’re in the midst of our “busy season” and people are scrambling to get their houses cleaned before Christmas, everyone is thinking about the economy and how it will affect their business once the “rush” is over and January arrives. Well I came across an article today that really inspired me and I thought it would be good to share some principles I gleaned from it, as it applies to the maid busienss.

Small Is Good
First of all, I am truly grateful, more than ever to be called a “small business”. right now, small business are more likely to have a “good month” the the larger corporations that are struggling. All we have to do is take on a few new customers and we can have a good month!

Focus on Profits
A recession is a good time to focus on net profitability. Trim expenses (except marketing!), reevaluate your marketing and only use what’s worked best for you. Scrutinize every new purchase to be sure it’s necessary before buying. Manage the minutes if you pay by the hour, and consolidate routes to reduce wasted drive time.

Sell Painkillers
When money is tight, people only buy when they are in pain. If you aren’t solving problems and reducing people’s pain you will have a tough time keeping up in a tight economy. Know one calls when they have a clean house just to “keep it up”. People call when they have a problem so you must have the solution. Position your marketing to go after those who are “in pain” (company’s coming, arguments over cleaning chores, time pressures).

Challange Your Assumptions
I had to learn this the hard way. Businesses change at least every five years in pretty dramatic ways. If you’re still doing things the way you always have you could be in for a surprise during a tough economy. This is the time to think of ways your business can be done in a more efficient way and adapt. Years ago we would never clean a house without seeing it first. That’s just the way we did business. After the recession in 2001 we disovered we had to adapt to a new climate where many people were just “one-time” cleans or only used us two or three times a year. Bidding over the phone became a must to minimize cost since so many did not convert to repeat service.

Maximize Your Current Clients
If you haven’t added carpet cleaning, window washing, natural stone care (granite clean and care services), laundry services, etc. you are missing opportunites to generate revenue without marketing to new clients. Pick a couple of services you’d like to add and form some affiliate relationships with other hungry vendors.

Think Out Of The Box
Maid services are notorious for staying the same, year afer year. Get creative, think of ways to help save your customers time and money–and sell that! We’ve implemented several “pre-payment” programs that have ben very profitable and beneficial to our customers. Who said customers won’t pay for a year of maid service up front? You have not because you ask not!

Get An A+ In Customer Service
Now is the time to foucs on quality and consistency. People are on edge and more easily frustrated and breakage, showing up late, and sloppy work will get you fired quicker than ever before. Set up more random house checks, inspect first time cleans, make plenty of follow up calls. Let your customers know you love and appreciate them! Turn Off The News
Too much media doom and gloom will have an effect on your morale and attitude which will spill over onto your staff. Catch just enough of the news to keep from being ignorant, but spend more time than ever reading marketing and business strategy books and save the doom and gloom media diet for your competition!
Remember your resiliency. Economic cycles come and go. We’ve have been here before and survived. Don’t throw in the towel growing now can give you the competitive edge!

If you’d like my audio CD “Growing Strong In A Weak Economy” please visit:

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