Episode 254 – Transitioning from Serving Both Commercial and Residential…
Avoid Burnout and Make Your Cleaning Business Prosper at the Same Time
Today, we’re speaking with Denise Christopher from Attention to Detail Cleaning.
One thing that is a constant threat to entrepreneurs is burn out.
It is easy to get overwhelmed in this business. You are wearing a lot of hats with your cleaning business. Especially if you’re doing everything on your own. Look, I know some of you are depending on this income to make end’s meet, but that doesn’t mean you need to burn yourself out by working 12 hours day cleaning every client’s place yourself 7 days per week.
In fact, you are actually hurting your ability to grow your business by doing this.
In Denise’s case, that is exactly what was happening. She had clients both on the residential and the commercial side, but she had chosen that her niche should be commercial. This is a dilemma a lot of us find ourselves in before we really find our niche. We are willing to take any contract to get going, and you gotta do what you got to do.
But there comes a day when you need to decide.
Resource Alert: Commercial Cleaning Systems https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.comcommercial-cleaning-systems/
So what can you do to avoid burnout and still prosper with your business?
If you find yourself in Denise’s position, you have a few priorities you need to tackle right away.
First, you need to selectively fire some of your clients to get your work week down to at maximum 5 days per week personally. You can’t work yourself to the bone every day of the week. Your business might eventually become a 7-day per week operation, but not if you’re still a solo entrepreneur with no employees.
Look at the clients that are jerks first, those should be the first ones to go. If your work is miserable every time you arrive at your client’s building, you will likely just quit the business altogether instead of growing it into a real profitable asset.
The next clients you should look at are unprofitable clients or barely profitable. Don’t even bother with clients asking for move-ins and move-outs. If you have those clients or clients only paying for weekend work, get rid of them. Now that they are out of the way, look at your low profit clients and raise your prices. I recommend raising by 20% initially, as this is not going be a ton of money to your client. If the client says no to your price raise, drop them.
It is extremely unlikely you will lose the majority of your clients by increasing your prices this way. Yet, even if HALF of your clients quit, you will still be earning more money for half the work. This is because that extra 20% price hike will more than likely double your overall net profit since that extra 20% all goes into the bottom line. You need to make this a hard policy when you ask for this price raise. Don’t ask for $800 and settle for $500 when you know you’re just shorting yourself. If you do that, it will be very difficult for you to ask the client to go back to $800.
Now that your client situation is handled, the next step is hiring cleaners to do the cleaning for you. It doesn’t have to be all the cleaning, but it needs to be enough to allow you to focus on the other hats you need to wear as an entrepreneur (marketing, taxes, insurance etc).
You may have issues hiring people, which is classic symptom of someone who is going to burnout. Let go of these control issues. If you never hire anyone, you will never be able to create a business that has true leverage and you will never be able to truly grow your business.
Resource Alert: Managing Cleaning Employees – The Basics https://oldsite.growmycleaningcompany.commanaging-cleaning-employees/
Finally, the last priority to prevent burnout is focusing on your niche.
Find a common pain in that niche and go solve it repeatedly for several clients. If your focus is on commercial lawyers, don’t go knocking on suburban household doors looking to pick up more residential customers. Don’t even go knocking on other kinds of commercial businesses (unless the lawyer niche in your area isn’t experiencing any kind of pains you can solve).
I promise you, if you say you are THE cleaning company that can help lawyers make more money with their practice by making their offices shine to their customers, you will be standing out in a BIG way in your market. It will make getting those clients way easier. They will be willing to pay a premium because you are THEIR go-to solution!
While all of this sound easy in practice, it can be quite difficult. At the end of the day it is up to you to make the changes needed to make sure your cleaning business grows into something meaningful.
You’re going to have grow as an entrepreneur get past these issues. I promise you that you can though. Almost every entrepreneur goes through this issue at one point or another.
Once you break through though, you will have a far better cleaning company that is:
Able to use REAL leverage (i.e hiring cleaners allows you to leverage other people’s time)
Make your business way more fun because it actually IS a business rather than a job where you’re cleaning someone’s office 60-80 hours per week.
Alright, let’s dive into the Lightning Round!