Secrets Cleaning Coaches Don’t Want you to Know

With the release of the two Cleaning Up courses coming up in May and June, I thought I’d let you in on a little industry secret: all the cleaning industry coaches and programs/courses cover the same basic information.

So what makes one “worth” $9,000, another “worth” $3,000, and mine only “worth” $750?  

I don’t think it’s the content, or the methods (though they do differ a little)…no, it all boils down to two factors that make different programs priced differently:

          1. The presenting coach/author.

          2. The format of the program.

Many programs are simply videos that were recorded over a decade ago.  These videos certainly serve a purpose, but are stale at this point and may or may not address what it’s like being a business owner today.

Or, they offer systems and processes that only really fit commercial cleaning companies.

Or, the course presenter must have lots of “live” events each year to keep up the appearance that they are still relavent.  And these are expensive, and aren’t really appropriate for the truely beginner person.

The main difference between the Cleaning Up Courses (priced at $750 each) is the information is presented in clear, easy to digest modules that we do together over 8 weeks.  The “Solo track” course is perfect for the person who is brand spanking new, with no industry experience or knowledge (like I was in the beginning).       

Check out the secret other programs don’t want you to know: Four Essential Pillars Every Coaching Program Teaches – CLICK HERE.  Then decide what you’re willing to spend.  More expensive is not always better.

     

    Visit the Facebook group to keep up on the upcoming webinars and release of the course, and join a great group of like-minded cleaners and cleaning company owners!

    Cleaning Up Course: The Countdown Begins!

    The release of the two Cleaning Up courses is coming up in May and I thought I’d give a timeline:

    May 1    Webinar sign-up begins

    May 8    First Live Webinar (time TBA)

    May 9    Second Live Webinar (time TBA)

    May 15  Third/Fourth Live Webinars (times TBA)

    May 21  Last day to purchase either course and cart closes at midnight

     

    The purpose of the live webinars is for you to learn more in-depth what the two courses will cover, and ask questions about the course structure.  There will be at least 4 live webinars, so hopefully one will be at a time that works for you!  They will be recorded and posted here on the blog for you to watch if a live time doesn’t work for you.  

     

    Check out the detailed overview of what the two courses include – CLICK HERE.

       

      Visit the Facebook group to keep up on the upcoming webinars and release of the course, and join a great group of like-minded cleaners and cleaning company owners!

      Field Service Software Review (plus a “free” option)

      I’m pretty creative when it comes to using technology to make my life easier.  When I first started my cleaning business, I used Google Calendars to manage my multiple schedules for my cleaners.  It’s free, fairly easy to install on any phone (iOS or Android) and did I mention free??  Here’s a bit about how I used it:

      1. Create a gmail email for each cleaner.  I made them CleanHouseCincy1@gmail.com, CleanHouseCincy2 etc…
      2. I installed each calendar on my phone and on my desktop computer so I could view them all at the same time.
      3. I installed them onto my employees smart phones.
      4. When I needed to add a cleaning onto a schedule, I simply created an appointment with details like Name, address, phone number.  IN the notes section I added details like “3 hour budget, skip the basement” or whatever.
      5. On Google calendar you can also make the appointments recurring (so weekly, bi-weekly, etc).
      6. My employees could also use the calendar to see in advance of when a good day to schedule personal dr appointments would be.  They could add a dr appointment onto the calendar and I’d see it on my end too.
      7. Then for time tracking, I had them download a time tracking app (there are many) that they used to clocking/out, and the app would email me the details each day.
      8. Other than maybe spending $5 to purchase the app, this is essential a free option.

      When I got to the point of 6 cleaners, though, my screen looked like a multicolored nightmare that I couldn’t easily see where openings were.  I knew I needed a “professional” field-service software solution, so looked at a few.  I tried out 4 for their “free trial” period, and eventually landed on Service Fusion (affiliate link).  I created a video within my Facebook group that goes over the features of both Google Calendar (free-ish) and using a professional platform like Service Fusion.

      Some of the features that I LOVE LOVE LOVE about Service Fusion are:

      • Clearly laid out grid for the schedule.  Click HERE to see my dispatch page
      • I can create a job with all the details and make it recurring.  Click HERE to see what a job looks like.
      • From there, I can make the job a recurring job.  Click HERE to see the repeating options.
      • Also, I have the ability to add reminders which is a HUGE WONDERFUL thing that reduces no-shows and all but eliminates late-cancellations.  Click HERE to see what our reminder options are.

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      Visit the Facebook group to view the video and join a great group of like-minded cleaners and cleaning company owners.

      What’s your Kryptonite?

      What’s your Kryptonite?

      We allllll struggle with something in our work, I’m no exception.  My kryptonite seems to be focusing on one thing at a time.  I have about a dozen different projects in my head and I want to attack them all at once but we humans are notoriously not good at multitasking, no matter what we may believe LOL.

      Before continuing on with a generic email series, I thought I’d ask what things you might struggle with.  PLUS, I’ll give you my “Complete Guide to Getting 15 Top-Quality Online Reviews in ONLY 2 weeks” for free.

      Learning about which of the following would really help you out (it’s ok to click on more than 1 or even all lol!):

      • Basics: how to clean a home, what tools to use, insurance needs
      • Clients: finding them, persuading them to hire me, how to handle payment
      • My Fees: how much should I charge, how to raise my prices, justifying my prices, should I offer lower price ever?
      • Back Office: how to keep good records, Schedule clients, keep track of everything, report income, taxes
      • Advanced: when to expand and hire, who to hire, subcontractors vs employees, should I buy company cars, should I expand and do different types of cleanings (commercial, PCC)
      • Marketing: what’s the best way to market, what are different ways to market, how to find clients, who are best “ideal” clients, how much to spend on marketing, how to calculate return on investment in marketing
      • ALL of the above!

      Thanks for sharing your needs with us!

      What Happens when Amazon Low-balls Prices: A Short Lesson in Economics

      What Happens when Amazon Low-balls Prices: A Short Lesson in Economics

      Did you know that you can order number of different types of services through Amazon?  It’s officially called “Amazon Home Services” (aka “AHS”) and house cleaning is one of them!  Here’s how it works:

      1. Someone searches Amazon (or Amazon displays in their sidebar) for a service.  They’ll see that Amazon can provide regular house cleaning, deep cleaning or spring cleaning, carpet cleaning, Move-in or move-out cleaning, and a few others.
      2. The customer selects, say, house cleaning and enters information (# bedrooms, #baths, square footage of home) and then sees an estimated price.  Click here to see an example.
      3. Amazon then adds the customer request (includes three dates and times the customer has selected as good for them) to the service provider app.
      4. You, the professional service provider, can see the request in the app and elect to request it or dismiss it.
      5. On the day and time agreed upon, you service the client.  They sign the app that you’ve cleaned that day and you take a selfie photo in front of their home (to verify that you actually did clean THEIR home).

      Amazon uses Independent Contractors to fulfill these cleanings, and it’s not difficult to get set up as an AHS provider.  You submit information about your business like EIN or SS number (if you don’t have an EIN yet), insurance and workers comp info, and complete a background authorization for the company and also for any worker that will be in the client’s home.

      Here’s what I like about working with AHS:

      • It’s not just another lead selling company (like Home Advisor or Thumbtack where you pay a fee for the lead regardless of if it ever leads to anything).  Fees are only taken out of jobs you are awarded and service.  AHS keeps 20% of all fees charged to the client so from this example of $170.52 the servicer gets $136.42, and Amazon keeps $34.10.
      • While the 20% is larger than lead fees from the others, there are no wasted fees paid.  For example, if I purchase 3 leads from Home Advisor at $25 each and only land one of them, the effective fee for the one I got was $75.  I can picked choose exactly which ones I want to request.
      • Above all, though, the best reason to use AHS is that they allow you to directly service the client in the future through your own business.  So after the first visit, they all go through my company and I keep all the revenue:-)

      But true to Amazon’s core value of trying to provide all things at the lowest possible price (something they typically are remarkably good at), it’s not a good business model for home services.  When hiring a professional who will be in your home (cleaner, plumber, whatever) they will have access to YOUR HOME.  And providing the cheapest possible servicer is a risky bet Amazon makes with the customer’s belongings.

      I’ve seen some prices on AHS for cleanings that after their feee would only be $20/hour.  As a cleaning company, I don’t even make any profit until I’m getting at least $30/hour, and neither will any other professional cleaning services company.  If I was an independent solo cleaner (not company, just me), I’d still be able to get $25-$30/hour all day long from clients.

      A little bit about basic economic principles.  When determining prices, you must consider supply and demand, what your profit margin is, and what the market can bare:

      • Heavy supply and low demand pushes prices down.  Low supply and heavy demand drives prices up.
      • All professional cleaners (solo or company) have overhead that must be met.  Licenses, workers comp, travel time/gas, cleaning supplies, etc.  If a job doesn’t profit you and there’s no guarantee it’s anything but a 1-time cleaning, you’d be better off sitting at home than doing a cleaning for a loss.
      • When looking at what the “market can bare” the price must be acceptable to both parties; provider and consumer.  If price is too high, consumers won’t buy.  If price is too low, provider won’t provide.  The price needs to satisfy both parties.

      In trying to low-ball prices, though, Amazon has cut their own throat unfortunately.  I cannot tell you how many cleaning opportunities I’ve seen in the app that are underpriced by 25-50% (so I obviously dismiss them).  Then, if no-one else requests to do it, AHS send out an email to the providers with the job details and price.  So by being excessively low, they end up having to cancel the cleaning because “no cleaning professionals are available”.  The customer is disappointed and Amazon has lost the opportunity for fee revenue.

      Lesson: price based on what the market – BOTH sides of the market – can bare or risk loosing income.  You’d think Amazon is large enough to learn that, but they’re new to the whole services industry and will (hopefully) learn how to run that business better.  Or leave the market.