What comes first? Focusing on getting cleaning accounts OR hiring people to do the work?

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by Tom Watson on March 19, 2017

When people first get the idea into their head that they are going to start a cleaning business it’s easy to get confused about what direction to take.

One good example of that is this one question I tend to get asked. It goes like this: Should I hire people first then get accounts or should I do it the other way around?

That’s a great question so I thought doing a post on it would be a good idea. To cut to the chase and answer the question I would have to say this… At the end of the day getting accounts first is the way to go. The reasons why that’s the way to go are numerous.

# 1 – If you hire someone first then don’t get any jobs right away the person you hired will quit pretty quickly. If you think this through it makes sense. After all, they are looking for work, not to be put on a waiting list.

# 2 – When you hire people they generally want to know details about the account they are being hired to clean. Things such as where is the job, what time do I start and how long will I be hired for are questions you will be asked. If you don’t have any accounts for them to work, you can’t answer these basic questions.

# 3 – Running a help wanted ad can cost quite a bit of money if you expand beyond a basic craigslist listing.If you don’t have any accounts generating cash flow, then how do you plan on paying for the ad?

# 4 – Virtually all money you spend in the beginning stages of your business should be focused like a laser on getting accounts. How you spend your cash is critical in the beginning. Far too many spend all their money on the wrong things, leaving them broke before ever getting an account that brings money in the door.

I could go and on about why getting accounts first is the way to go but you get the idea. The goal for you in the beginning is to get your ducks in a row by registering the business and making sure you have a plan in place for how you are going to obtain accounts, who will clean them, who your insurance agent will be and by keeping track of it all as you progress. Keep it simple and you’ll be just fine!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gary March 20, 2017 at 9:07 am

People actually ask that, seriously, its common sense. No disrespect.

2 Tom Watson March 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Some people start with very little support/support system, and have nobody to ask questions to. As a result some questions I get are basic and some are advanced (with many in-between). I try to write posts that cater to all levels (basic, intermediate and more advanced). So to answer your question, yes, I’ve gotten that question enough over the years to write a post on it.

3 Ron March 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm

I just hit my 5 year anniversary yesterday and when first starting out I had this and many more questions as I was a one man show with no support for assistance. Tom you have been a great help with all that you do for us new guys. Now that I look back these questions that seem so simple now were a struggle 5 years ago.

4 Tom Watson March 30, 2017 at 11:15 am

THANKS Ron! Appreciate that.

5 Dawn Hackett June 26, 2017 at 11:03 am

The great thing about having your own cleaning business is running it yourself. I personally do not want to hire employees. If I am the person cleaning, I have no doubts that the job is getting done and further more, I’m not paying more out of pocket due to the taxes, insurance and payroll issues of having employees. I’m not sure I would even know where to look for someone responsible and trust worthy enough to work my accounts. I have a nice blend of residential and commercial accounts. I say, keep the stress down and work it yourself! Thanks Tom for always having some topics to ponder over!

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