How to Grow Your Cleaning Service to 10 Team Members and Beyond

The article about growing your cleaning service is by Irene Malatesta. Irene is a business content strategist with Fundbox, dedicated to helping small businesses grow by democratizing access to credit.

Always Seek the Best Advice

Building a cleaning service business from the ground up is an adventure. One of the earliest judgment calls you’ll have to make as an owner is in deciding how and when to expand your business.

Keep in mind as you read along that every business is different, and none of this is intended to be financial or legal advice.

If you have any questions about the best route forward for you, it’s a good idea to consult with an accountant, an attorney or a financial advisor you trust. You should always pursue and explore the best advice for your business and its specific needs.

When Should You Hire?

If you’re like many cleaning service company owners, you started your cleaning service business by working hard and doing everything yourself. Maybe you’ve paid family or friends to help out or hired people on a case-by-case basis.

But at a certain point, it’s wise to hire some regular, reliable extra help. Here are some of the main questions that will inform most business’ decision to hire:

  • Do you have enough business? There’s no point in hiring an employee to sit around. If you have too many clients and not enough time to provide service to them all, it may be time to expand.
  • Do you have enough in savings? You’ll take a financial hit while you’re focused on recruiting, hiring, and training your new employee. You should see an increase in your income afterward, but you’ll have to get over that initial hump first. Some business owners use SBA express loans or other types of business funding to make this initial financial outlay easier to handle.
  • Is it time for you to switch roles? It’s easy to get burnt out on cleaning houses. If you want to switch from an on-the-ground role to a more managerial one, you may want to start hiring people to take your place. Once you’re transitioned into logistical work, you may find it easier to advertise and improve your services, which will allow you to hire more employees and expand further.
  • Do you need support in a different way? Maybe you’re still happy in the field, but if you hired someone to take over logistics for you, you’d be able to focus on doing what you love and you’d make more money.

The Hiring Process

Once you decide it’s time to hire, you need to write a position description, advertise the position, and begin interviewing and checking references. It’s easy to think that because you’re not running an office, you can be loose here and just hire whom you please, but generally, that’s a decision you’re likely to regret down the road. Hiring and training any new employee will require time and money.

You want to be sure you’re choosing someone you can trust and allocating enough of your time and attention to the process. 

Remember that even if your cleaning service business is small today, you still need to meet all legal requirements. There is an expectation that you will register your business on both the state and federal levels. You must meet all legal requirements for wages, hiring, non-discrimination, labor laws, professional licensing, and more. Checking with the Small Business Administration can give you an idea of all legal requirements in your state.

how to market a cleaning business, cleaning service invoice, cleaning business website, cleaning service software, successful cleaning business stories

How to Retain Cleaning Service Employees

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean hourly wage for maids and housekeeping workers in the U.S. is just under $12 per hour. Statistics like this are merely a useful guide to what you should expect to pay in wages. The true cost of a new employee is greater than their wage.

It takes time and money to recruit and train an employee. You’ll benefit from long-time employees’ experience and relationships with customers. The time and energy you’ll put into training and teaching your team, plus the intangible benefits of their experience, will all add up over time. This will benefit your business in the long run.

Hold on to your employees as long as you reasonably can. Make sure you check in with your team often. Meet with them often, conduct surveys if need be, and truly listen to their concerns. If you offer job perks, make sure they are relevant and appreciated by the team. And when the time is right, promote your best and brightest into roles with more responsibility. Often times, presenting new challenges to your best performers can be the key to their higher job satisfaction.

Offer Ongoing Support

Do your best to support them in their new position, and offer them any help or instruction they need. Bring up any problems with their performance as they come up, and find ways to help them improve. As your budget and schedule allow, give your employees merit raises and time off, to support them. They’re a valuable part of your team, and everything they do reflects on your company and brand.

The choice to expand your business beyond the first few employees is one of the most important ones you’ll make. Weigh your options with care, and you’ll know if the time is right to expand.

Manage Your Growth with the Right Tools

Want to learn more about how to grow your cleaning service business, using software that’s designed specifically for your needs? Book a free, private demo of Vonigo.