Once you’ve established yourself as a professional housekeeper, it’s time to grow your business and increase revenue. Delores Garcia*, who owns a housecleaning company in Las Vegas, and Tammy Wright, a Denver housekeeper, share their suggestions for helping your business thrive.
1. Sweat the details
Garcia’s clients love her personal touches: chocolates on bed pillows and a small vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen counter. These make their service unique.
“Above all, you have to rely on your reputation, which means a lot of hard work,” says Garcia, who makes sure no corner is left untouched and no streaks are in sight.
For her part, Wright has gotten several referrals because her clients are delighted by her attention to detail and professionalism. One of Wright’s tricks: She uses a database to track which services customers expect and prefer. This also saves time when dealing with repeat customers.
2. Charge the right fee for cleaning
Many housekeepers unknowingly undercharge for cleaning services, so make sure you check on the going rates for house cleaning every year. You could be making a lot more money by simply raising your rates slightly — especially if you’ve been in business for a while.
Use the Care.com house cleaning rates tool to help determine how much to charge for house cleaning services where you live. You may also take a look at profiles of other housekeepers and make sure you’re in the right ballpark.
3. Offer specialized cleaning options
You can also branch out and provide different types of services, so you appeal to more clients. Garcia’s company offers additional options, such as carpet cleaning and sanitizing, to her regular clients for additional fees. After a client inquired about window washing, she purchased new ladders so her team could tackle ceilings, wash windows and clean the gutters.
4. Expand your services
Consider your current clients and think about how you could make their lives easier. Do you work for lots of pet owners? Offer to walk their dogs when you’re done cleaning. Do your families have messy closets or rooms or areas that need tidying or organization? Offer your services in these areas. And if you need to polish up on these skills, you can take courses and get various certifications through the National Association of Productivity and Organizing.
5. Look into commercial cleaning
In addition to cleaning houses, why not expand your customer base to companies as well. Offering your services to local small businesses could be a stepping-stone toward commercial cleaning. Wright decided to go the corporate route three years ago and now cleans for local businesses.
6. Take business classes
If you own your own housecleaning business, it’s important to get a grasp on business plans, marketing techniques and managerial strategies, all of which can help to expand your business. Look for classes aimed at small business owners offered through local community centers, small business organizations and schools.
Both Wright and Garcia have taken classes, and it made them feel much more confident. “Who would have thought I would ever go back to school … and like it,” Garcia says.
Starting a business is only half the battle — making sure you have the clients and workforce to keep you on solid footing as your grow your business is equally challenging. Take advice from those who have been there and keep up the hard work to ensure continued success.
*Names in this article have been changed.