Episode 227 – Setting Up Your Cleaning Company Structure for Management…
Are You Ready to Hire a Manager?
Avoid Disaster by Setting Up Your Cleaning Company Structure Before You Hire
Today Mike coaches Angie Emerson, owner of Angie My Cleaner on how to set up her cleaning company structure for management positions. Angie is ready to start offloading some of her day to day work. But she wants to make sure she structures her management positions for success.
Angie had a cleaner who got pregnant and was eager to get off her feet and do more administrative work in the business. They have had success using Zenmaid for their scheduling, but there’s always more work to be done. So Angie hired her as an office manager, so far she has been working out well, but she wants to make sure it continues going well but clearly defining her cleaning company structure. We talk a lot more about other tips to consider when growing your cleaning service.
RESOURCE ALERT: Check out this episode with Amor Ghose, creator of Zenmaid
The first thing is to start at the beginning. So many people start at the end when they realize “I am doing a bunch of work I don’t want to anymore, maybe if I throw a bunch of money at someone, they will do it for me.”
Start with an org chart (organizational chart) that has all of the jobs that you want to have for your company in listed a box. At the top there’s one box, that box is the owner. Draw a line under that box, everyone above that line is an owner, everyone below the line are the people that work in the company.
When you first start out, your name is likely going to be in every box. As you grow, you will fill other people’s names in those boxes and promote yourself out of those boxes.
At the top of the chart, under the owner line, will be General Manager. Under General Manager, there’s going to be 3 more boxes :
- Accounting – CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
- Sales and Marketing / Client Attraction – CMO Chief Marketing Officer
- Operations COO – Chief Operations Officer
Every business inside and outside of cleaning has those 3 things.
Below the Accounting/CFO you may have nothing to start, or there might be a CPA who probably won’t be an employee but rather a vendor you use for your taxes. There also may be a bookkeeper to keep track of all your expenses and payments. As you grow, that may expand to an Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable clerk. The point is someone has to be in charge of the finances.
Below marketing break into 2 categories, Marketing, and Sales. Sometimes you can break it down even further into someone who does your direct mailing, someone who does your SEO, Your Website, PPC, etc. There are many different ways to break that category up depending on your size and marketing budget.
Write down everything you do in a day. That way you have a list of everything that has to be done. As you put all the things that have to be done in boxes you will start seeing that some of them can be grouped together in a sort of job description.
For example Hiring, Training, Quarterly reviews – Everything that has to do with staffing, training and encouraging employees is one position. You may want to keep that under your name for the time being or one of the first things you want to hire out.
Then after that you have to order supplies and make schedules, calling backups if someone quits or calls in, firing etc. Get an idea of everything that has to be done first.
KEY POINT: When you hire for all these positions you want to keep them separate
Usually someone who is good at accounting isn’t good at sales and marketing or managing people. Just like a good sales manager might not be the best with managing finances or day to day operations. It’s best to hire slow and fire fast. Don’t make the mistake of letting someone manage one or more of these positions poorly because you just don’t feel like doing it. They can do much more harm than good and cause you way more work in the long run.
Avoiding turnover and burnout
The mistake that many owners make is they just hire someone, give them money and tell them it’s a huge mess that you don’t want to deal with anymore and to figure it out. Then that employees gets overwhelmed because they have no idea how to untangle a mess that you as the owner couldn’t even do and run away.
The org chart will help you to organize all the different things that need to happen so you can appropriately group tasks together into job descriptions.
Within the operations you make a list of all the things to be done and then group those things into job descriptions. Decide which of those jobs you want to continue to do and which you want someone else to do. Make a detailed list of what each position is going to do and more importantly what they are NOT going to do. Because, what tends to happen is, over time you start offloading things to your employees that you don’t want to do and they aren’t equipped to handle and they get overwhelmed and quit. Scope creep will absolutely turn great employees bad and cause lots of heartache.
RESOURCE ALERT: Canva offers a free Org chart builder, check it out!
To recap the steps:
- Create an org chart
- Decide which piece of the pie you want to sub out
- Make sure you have a profitable model
Within your business there are a couple different types of expenses. Costs of Goods Sold (COGS) and Overhead.
COGS are the things you need to spend money on to do the job. Cleaning Supplies and labor are COGS. You charge $100 to clean and it costs you $50 in materials and labor. But if you don’t do any jobs, these expenses go away.
Overhead -Recurring expenses you must pay regardless of your workload. These may be low when you start out since you probably have no office, no office manager, no cars, maybe a cell phone and some insurance. But these expenses stay the same whether or not you have a huge month or a slow month.
When you hire a manager that overhead goes up. The COGS never hurts you because it’s proportionate to the income you are getting as long as you are bidding the job right. That margin between your income and your COGS is your profit. When you hire an office manager, that cost comes out of your profit margin.
Make sure there’s enough margin in your business to pay for an office manager to take some of that headache off your plate.
Finally, be careful when you hire. Often times owners will want to promote a cleaner to a manager because they know them, they’re already there and it’s easy. But the skillset it takes to manage a group of cleaners, hire, train and encourage them is very different than the skillset it takes to clean. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist but it’s something to keep in mind.
Before we end, Angie brings the heat in the…
Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
Do your due diligence before making decisions.