What You Need To Start A Cleaning Business In 2021

What You Need To Start A Cleaning Business In 2021

Starting a cleaning business is not as easy as one might think. Although it is one of those businesses that does not require an initial capital injection, it can still be difficult to hit the ground running and obtain those first few paying customers.

I’m Delah Gomasi, the CEO of MaidForYou a domestic cleaning agency based in Sydney, Australia.

I’ve run this business for over 7 years and have seen us grow from 1 job per week to close to 300 jobs per week, every week. You could say that I’m kind of an expert at running a cleaning business.

Here are the top 3 things you must do, to make sure your cleaning venture in 2021 is a success. 

Market, Market, Market   

Marketing is the fundamental customer acquisition method for any small to midsize business but for the cleaning industry, it’s very difficult to differentiate yourself from the thousands of similar operations in your market.

When starting my cleaning company, I asked myself, where would my customers be? And where would they be looking for house cleaning and office cleaning services.

I thought to myself, how would I look for a house cleaner or a carpet cleaner or any service provider that specialises in providing in-home based services. The answer is obvious, Google.

7 years later and SEO and our Google ad campaigns are the number 1 channel for all of our customer acquisition.

Not only do we utilise these channels to market to customers, we also utilise them as a means of finding great cleaners.

If you are looking to have your cleaning business succeed in 2021, you need to advertise where your customers are, look around you, what are people doing?

You’ll find them on their phones, on social media platforms and obtaining information through Google. These are the best channels to acquire the best type of paying customers, who are happy to pay your best price.

Here are some techniques you can utilise to make sure that you get the most out of your advertising spend through Google. 

Have A Good Looking Website.

Initially the website we had purchased was not aesthetically pleasing, it did not have compelling call to action buttons, nor was it a website that manifested the notion of trust worthiness. I set about changing this by utilising a design competition website whereby web designers compete in designing a website where i could pick and choose the winning design.

Since doing this, we have seen an exponential growth, in terms of new customers onboarded. Our administration and phone staff don’t have to sell themselves as much, which leads to my next must do cleaning business marketing point. Word of mouth and great reviews. 

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

Like most local based businesses, reviews, both good and bad are imperative for letting a potential customer know the quality of the service they are looking to purchase. With cleaning this is no different.

Having Google local guides recommend your business is intrinsic to its growth.

When I first started this business, I did so with customer service at the forefront of our operations and that has paid dividends. We are now the highest rated cleaning service in Sydney and the benefits are extremely tangible. We are able to onboard more customers than our competitors at a higher price point than our competitors which in turn allows us to pay our cleaners a higher rate which then allows us to hire more competent workers who will stay long term.

You’re probably asking, how we’re able to obtain as many reviews as we are and the answer to that is simply ‘ask’. After a cleaning service is rendered to a customer, they are sent an automated email, asking them how the service went. They are able to choose between 3 ratings, happy, apathetic and sad. If they choose the happy rating, they are then sent an email with a link to our Google My Business page asking for a review.

I personally also speak to unhappy customers to resolve any pain point they may have and this does wonders in preventing bad reviews and keeping customers from cancelling their services permanently. This brings me to our next point on how to make sure your cleaning business venture is a success. 

Cleaners, Cleaners, Cleaners

Cleaning is a difficult job, no one goes to school with the wish that when they leave, they will be cleaning houses or offices for a living. It is a physically demanding job where you are forced to deal with people’s grime, dirt and unkept living spaces. Finding excellent cleaners is paramount to scaling a successful cleaning business.

When I first started my cleaning venture, I wanted to create a company culture that people wanted to work for, where it was better than the other options that were available to them. I utilised the following mantra to make sure that my company hires only the best cleaners and only the best cleaners want to work with my company. 

  • Money talks so we want our cleaners to be the highest paid cleaners in the market. 
  • We NEVER criticise. 
  • We offer flexible job arrangements. 
  • We have an open door policy, where any cleaner is able to talk to any staff member regardless of their position and cleaners also have my personal number. 
  • We will ALWAYS go out of the way for our cleaning teams. 

In implementing the aforementioned company culture for our cleaning staff members, we have seen the following flow-on effects. We have an extremely low cleaning churn, even through the covid-19 pandemic. Where cleaners working with our company stay on average 3 years and clean over 1,000 houses. We see less absenteeism and through our interviews of our team every quarter we have more positive feedback than previous years. 

Systems, Systems, Systems

When I first started this business, most companies were still offering no obligation free quotes. Meaning, they would come to your home and assess your home and then provide a quotation on the spot. Obviously, this is an antiquated system which makes it impossible to scale. You’d need one staff member to quote, and then if you didn’t get the job, you’re out of pocket, which means customers would need to be  charged more  to make up for the jobs you’ve lost previously.

The first thing we pioneered was to implement an online booking, and scheduling system whereby customers were able to get an exact quote through our website in less than 60 seconds. This is now industry standard.

Our administration staff work from home and we use a VOIP based telephony system which means our staff are not tied to their desk, and they are able to enjoy a great work-life balance.

We utilise the following systems in our business and then tie them all together with Zapier’s web hooks (an automation tool). 

Marketing Automation Software

This software helps us regularly stay in touch with old customers and potential new customers who have submitted an enquiry through our website. We have previously used Active Campaign but have switched to Encharge as they have a lifetime deal available. 

Booking & Scheduling

For booking and scheduling we utilise Launch27, it manages our entire operations through allowing us to schedule cleans via real time cleaner tracking and also acts a rudimentary CRM. 

Project Management

For project management and keeping our teams up to date with new workflows, we utilise Trello and slack. 

WhatsApp

For all cleaning communication with our staff members and cleaning teams, we utilise WhatsApp’s free messaging service. 

Google Sheets

We use Google sheets to track certain business events, like bookings, complaints, number of cancellations of a particular customer and as a means of tracking relevant cleaning KPIS as well. 

VOIP

Our telephony system is all organised through AirCall, we’re able to record calls and create call flows that means our teams are able to efficiently take and make calls. 

The Final Say

There you have it, the top 3 things you need to do in your cleaning business if you’re wanting it to be a success. You need a great website and marketing strategy to acquire customers who are willing to pay your best rate, so you can pay your cleaners the highest rates in the industry and you want to make sure your systems are all efficient and ideally talking to each other so your business is as automated as possible. Wishing you nothing but success in your venture.