Is it time to hire an office manager?
Hiring an office manager is a huge step in the growth of any cleaning business, but the timing has to be right because it is also a huge investment. Yes, you’re finally out of the field and have staff handling the services you provide. In addition to being the owner, you are the de facto office manager. You know it may be time to hire an office manager when you find yourself running out of time to get your daily essential tasks complete AND your growth is stalling because of it. It has become challenging to follow-up with each and every lead in a timely fashion. Things are falling through the cracks like keeping up with purchasing supplies or your bookkeeping.
As business owner, you are stuck in the “Valley of Despair”. You are simply wearing too many hats and there are not enough hours in the day. Your business growth has stalled. It’s time to delegate so you can get back to focusing on growing your cleaning business.
What do you want the office manager to do for you?
The short answer to what you want an office manager to do is usually: I want to hire another me, only better. Good luck and now back to reality…
Before hiring an office manager, it is critical that you take a long, hard look in the mirror and determine: What are your strengths and your weaknesses when it comes to running your cleaning business? Next decide what you are comfortable delegating to someone else. Ideally, you want an office manager to be responsible for the overlap between tasks that you consider yourself to be weaker with and tasks that you are comfortable delegating to someone else.
Office Manager responsibilities may include:
- Client Scheduling / Staff Dispatch
- Marketing / Advertising
- Interviewing and Hiring
- Training and Quality Control
- Purchasing of supplies / Vendor communications
- Development and stream-lining of company policies and procedures
Typically, cleaning business owners excel at sales, hiring and managing expenses. Your experience may vary, but the owner is personally invested in these things on a level no employee could ever be, so you tend to be better at managing them. Assign responsibilities to your office manager that complement your skills so you both can thrive as members of your new leadership team.
Do you have a plan for how best to train an office manager and measure their performance?
As cleaning business owners, we can struggle to hand off responsibilities. It is critical that you delegate and NOT abdicate those responsibilities. You are not simply turning over tasks to your office manager and then never thinking about them again. You must continue to monitor how those responsibilities are being handled so you can not only measure results but provide continued guidance so your office manager can continue to grow in their position.
Have a plan and execute it. Set expectations and follow-up on measuring the results. Be available and be receptive toward giving guidance whenever it is needed. Remember, you’ve already done their job but only you know specifically how you want it to be done. Be patient and provide training and guidance. It is wise, however, to also be open to the idea that there is more than one way to do a job and often you can benefit from the experience of others.
Hiring an Office Manager is the First Step Toward Creating a Leadership Team
The goal is hiring an office manager is to free up the owner so they can better focus on growing the cleaning business. As your business continues to grow, your leadership team should continue to grow as well. It must be supported by revenue, but eventually you’ll have team leaders that manage all the key areas of your business.
Your Leadership Team May Eventually Include:
- Office Manager
- Sales Manager
- Scheduling Manager
- Customer Service / Quality Control Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Accounting / Finance Manager
Having an effective leadership team is what allows you to realize the dream of just about every cleaning business owner: to become an absentee owner. It takes time, patience and skill, but any cleaning business owner can achieve the dream. If you’re not quite sure how to get there, Cleaning Business Fundamentals may be for you. Join 100s of cleaning business owners who have changed their businesses and their lives with Debbie’s CBF coaching program.
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.