We need to stop trying to rush everything. I do have a goal and teach optimizing and getting faster at cleaning. However, I DO NOT rush the marketing and new client process. I take a lot of time to connect with potential clients. This pays off as I understand the trust building process. I have a few examples from this week in my own solo cleaning business. Let me paint the picture first. I was gone all day cleaning houses. While I cleaned, two messages came through for cleaning inquiries. I could have answered them, but it would hurt my optimizing times as the distraction would cause me to lose momentum. Plus, I wouldn't be on top of my game to give full attention to the prospects. I took voicemails. When I got home, I stayed in my car for 45 minutes. My wife and kids wanted me to come in and see them. Teresa didn't know why I was sitting in my car for so long, but she gave me the space. I was making an investment. During this 45 minutes, I returned 2 phone calls and took my time.
Take your time with your trust-building and client on-boarding process. This will accomplish some vital wins for you. You will attract the right clients that will pay your prices. Over the long haul, this will set your solo cleaning business up for success in optimization. Look my own business forming up. I am averaging $175 per visit per house and the national average is $125! My clients hire me once and keep me a long time. They are grateful, pay on time, and turn into good friends. That's what I wanted. What about you? Slow down with your phone calls and explain what you do, why you do it, when you can do it, and how much it will cost them. In these two examples, I answered all of their questions including price. Plus, I built trust with both by equipping them on what questions to ask other cleaners they interview. Ultimately, this lead Meghann to hiring me for a 1-time cleaning for $250 and will likely turn into a recurring client worth $2,500 - $5,000 per year. Was the 45 minutes of slowing down worth it? You be the judge.
Let me hit some other highlights from my last two weeks building my new solo business. First of all, it's super cool to be attending my networking meetings in person again. At my MCBA group, I shared my overview of cleaning in a post-COVID world. Plus, I connected with fellow member Mike Thompson of Envoy Mortgage who hired me for biweekly cleaning. We confirmed our first cleaning for the end of the week. I showed up on Friday and impressed him! He asked how I got the metal sink so clean and my answer was simple. "It's all cleaning science!" This is my fourth biweekly house! At the BIB meeting, I was given the opportunity to do a short showcase on my business. I shared the TACT model of cleaning, which stands for Temperature, Agitation, Chemistry, and Time. I taught how to clean. It raised my level of cleaning in the group as I taught this.
I've already shared how I have slowed down to speed up. But I have also sped up! I am ending the stabilizing phase and starting the optimizing phase of my new solo business soon. So I set up a note in my phone to track how long each of my clients is taking to clean. Here's a few examples:
$50 per hour lines up with my current end-of-stabilizer status. I made notes identifying opportunities for speed and efficiency. My opportunity is $70 per hour over the next 6 months at these houses, which lines up with my recommended hourly rates of the optimizer.
The week ended in a flurry. I wrote an article called "5 Tips to Selecting Your Next Cleaner". It was well-received as I received some emails from networking group members and prospects. I can see how many people are opening my emails and one former client opened it 10+ times. I took this as queue and emailed this prospect. He responded with a request for a new cleaning proposal! In fact, he was super open on the price he is paying now. The backstory is that he got my initial proposal and chose another cleaner that was cheaper. He's not happy with this Level 1 cleaner. After reading my newsletters, he continues to see my Level 3/4 specialty and still wants me, so he told me what the current company is charging and what they do. I thanked him and promised a new proposal by next week! You just never know who will benefit from your articles. I was "Top of Mind" and it may increase our income as a result. These articles take a lot of time to write, but again, slow down to speed up!
Ken Carfagno has utilized SMART goals & accountability to build & optimize two solo cleaning businesses (in 2 states over 16 years) to earn over $60,000 per year profit on 2 cleaning days per week without employees. This podcast will help you at any stage in the journey from starting out to solo to seven figures!