To clean a microwave: take a clean cloth, make it soaking wet, place it in the microwave and run it for 30 seconds. The steam will dislodge all the grease and grime. Just wipe with a clean dry cloth after.
Use Magic Eraser on scuff marks in a white tub.
Use old stiff toothbrushes and Barkeeper’s Friend to remove build up around faucets.
Use pumice stone stick to remove hard water build up inside the toilet bowl.
Use Barkeeper’s Friend (gel) to remove hard water build up on shower glass.
Use degreaser inside the standard shower cabin. This gets rid of body oils and cleaning products’ oil build up.
To do mirrors streak-free: take a clean dish sponge, soaked in hot water and Dawn. Liberally apply all over the mirror. Wipe down with clean, wet microfiber cloth top down in a zigzag pattern, pushing everything down (as opposed to circular motion). Works on window glass too.
To do laminate floors streak-free. Use cleaning alcohol spray and polish with dry microfiber cloth.
Before mopping floors - vacuum them first, especially the corners.
Use dryer sheets on freshly dusted black surfaces. They remove static and repel dust particles.
Vacuum window railings with a tube attachment - there are always dead bugs and debris there.
To check if your counters are clean, use your bare hand and touch the surface to see if you feel any crumbs.
To achieve a really amazing result cleaning - be prepared to spend 3–4 times the hours you normally do. That's what it takes.
Every employer has her own definition of an ideal employee. But, most would probably describe an-A player as: intelligent, dedicated, energetic, independent, focused, organized, kind, and with excellent communication skills. Do these employees exist? This morning I spent an hour on the phone with Sears’ representatives trying to understand why they kept canceling my online order for dryers. They had no explanation. And no solution. The company has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for years. And its employees cancel the orders without explanation or care!
An outstanding employee, or an A-player, can transform the company: generate obscene amount of revenue, mitigate many dropped balls, reverse a massive negative trend. A team of outstanding employees can conquer the world. A few years ago, the Hawaiian Telecom company had been struggling to adapt to the new times (just like Sears and many other companies that didn’t make it). Fortunately they had a bright idea to assemble the team of business executives-Avengers from all different fields, regardless of their experience with telecom or logistics. The results were outstanding and the company is thriving once again.
At Superb Maids we go through thousands of applications and hundreds of interviews on a regular basis. And trying our best to select the top candidates. Initially, we were hiring anyone with a pulse. But we quickly learned how expensive and draining the wrong hires can be and started optimizing our hiring process. Also, we have a number of fantastic clients and acquaintances who are the top players in their fields. Here are our top tips for spotting an-A player which may apply to other types of companies:
Great personal presentation. Yes, you have to be a bit shallow on this one and judge the book by the cover. A-players run their lives well. And that shows in every aspect of their appearance. When we were interviewing one employee a year ago - she brought a leather folder with questions, had a really neat hairstyle- I still remember the perfect side-part- and clean clothes. She worked her way up from cleaning to management and was amazing at every step.
Attention to detail. Recently we were hiring an intern and placed an ad on Indeed with the instructions to shoot a short video about themselves and e-mail it to us. Hundreds of applications poured in. And only 1 (yes, that’s a one!) video as requested. He was immediately interviewed and hired and has been exceeding our expectations since. What does the attention have to do with an A-status? It’s the attitude. If someone really puts an effort into applying for a job - he is more likely to put a similar effort into the job itself. My executive assistant similarly applied with attention to detail, initiative, follow-through and intelligence - and these same qualities make her a fantastic part of our team now.
Loyalty. In a house cleaning business and I suspect in many other businesses, things can go “a little bit” off the planned path. Tires pop, kids get sick, dogs bite, etc. The A-players will jump in and help you to put out the fire. They will come in and work when others let you down. You won’t feel like you’re alone. They will prioritize your business situation over their personal life. And in exchange you should respect and support their personal life too. (When you’re not on fire!) That’s all great and all, but how do you recognize that quality in a person you’ve just met? A good sign is when they give a proper notice to their current employer and work with it for a smooth transition. One of our managers took two full months to help her prior employer to transition properly. Was she worth the wait? Absolutely!
Humility. There are two types of high performers - the ones who know they are brilliant and the ones who do not. The first group will give you the list of demands and special care instructions. They won’t do the job that’s “beneath” them. Don’t hire them. You will have to listen to them going on and on about how awesome they are and how everyone else is not awesome. The other group - they will open doors, make coffee, clean the toilet, build a rocket. And these are the ones we want. I’ve seen too many times how the humbly brilliant people quickly rise to the very top - and that’s the least surprising thing ever. During the interview it’s natural to brag about one’s accomplishments so it’s not hard to spot the peacocks and the divas and filter them out.
Giving. If I could only have a penny for every time an applicant asked what we can do for her... Obviously, in a job search it’s important to know what benefits, compensation, working conditions, etc. are one is applying for. But, to look at every interaction with others through the prism of “what can this person do for ME?” is short-sighted. Any smart employer will give the moon and the stars to an employee who makes the business thrive. But the employees who ask for stars first, just for showing up, are not the A-players.
These are the main hallmarks of an A-player. There is also a quick list of disqualifiers: racists, sexists, generally bigots, people who hate animals and the world in general, and people with a victim attitude. At Superb Maids we are very fortunate to have a high concentration of the A-players (and -to be honest - a few divas!). This factor - more than any other - has contributed to our rapid growth and outstanding customer experience. Excellence is a rare quality that’s always in high demand. Being able to spot the excellent employees is one of the most important qualities for any business.
Elena recently joined a live webinar with SuperGeeks. In the interview, Elena explained a number if things cleaning businesses can do to boost sales and scale quickly.
Note: If you are interested in the online course Elena put together, you can get the special, discounted pricing here.
James: We are now recording. I'm happy to have everyone here. My name is James. I head up a company called SuperGeeks. We do all things IT related. We help companies like Elena’s basically get off the ground and start earning some income, through the use of emerging technology. So today's presentation is about Elena's business, and what is the secret sauce to her success. As you know, she is the founder and CEO of Superb Maids, and she's got a real interesting story to tell. We're going to jump into that in just one second here. I just want to be sure you can see my screen. It's her website, superbmaids.net, and that you can hear me loud and clear. In you control panel, you have a chance to ask questions. Feel free to do that at any time, we will pause periodically and address those questions.
If you're listening to this as a recording, not as a live event, but as a recording, you can reach out to Elena at firstname.lastname@example.org. That email goes directly to her. So let's jump into it. Elena, good morning.
Elena: Good morning.
James: So nice to have you here, you've been doing a lot of these kind of podcasts and video interviews, and you are famous.
Elena: I have been doing some of this, so it's interesting for me learning.
James: And the reason why everyone wants to hear more is because you've done something remarkable. I want you to tell the story, but basically you and two of your friends decided to do this business, you started with just $1000, right? There was no funding?
James: And no business experience, and two years later you're now hitting what in monthly revenue?
Elena: About $110,000.
James: $110,000 a month, and how many employees do you have?
Elena: About 49.
James: Oh my gosh, 49, and are they all full time? Part time?
Elena: It's a mix, we have some part time, some full time.
James: So $110 grand a month, that puts you at $1.4 million a year?
Elena: Something like that.
James: We don't have a calculator here somewhere. While you're talking, I'll do the math. The important thing is - of course sales are important - but the bottom line is the bottom line. So how are you doing in terms of net income?
Elena: It's about 25%.
James: 25% of the $110 grand. Well dang, what do they say? Call me a biscuit and dip me in honey, that's a tidy profit of $26 or 27 thousand dollars per month... I don't want to say little, but that's a tidy little business right there.
James: Alright. Are you just going to give us like one word answers to things? Come on :)
Elena: No :)
James: So walk us through this. The thing that I want most for the persons who are listening to this: what is it that they can do to emulate this success. So what did you do right, what did you do wrong, what are you seeing other people in this same space doing right, doing wrong?
Elena: I would say that as much as numbers are important, and the number of people is important, number of the revenue is important, and the bottom line is important, but I would say primary focus should be on the actual service or product that you're delivering. So at the outside we identified our values, like honesty, simplicity, and high quality, and we kind of built the whole company around it, even on a micro level. We did everything we can to make sure that we're providing excellent customer support.
James: Yes, so I'm going to interrupt lots of times. Most people skip that step, because it's kinda wuwu, or fluffy, or whatever. Our values are our values, let's get back to work, right? So what motivated you to do that, to kind of pause everything and dig into what you truly believe in?
Elena: I'm doing a lot of reading of business literature, and a lot of podcast listening, and so I've heard it, and I've seen it over and over. So values help you anchor all of your activities and that’s real important because everything can be build around it. A clear set of gives you and everyone else a really good starting point, like a base or a foundation, to move forward. So it's been really helpful.
James: And what did you choose as those three kind of founding principles?
Elena: It's honest, simple, and clean. So honesty, of course it's the primary principal for us, because we're in the maid business. You're entering somebody's home, it's their private sanctuary. I was talking to a person at the networking event last night, and he was saying, "Oh my goodness, my maid folds my underwear. She knows everything about me more than anyone else I know." And it's true. We have this very intimate connection to our clients, so trust is an absolute must. It's the number one quality that we possess. The way we go about in our company, is we run background checks, we emphasize honesty in all of our dealings with employees and our clients. So if we drop the ball, we admit it, we apologize. We don't start blaming other people, we don't start pushing back and things like that. Then if employees are dishonest, we let them go. So it doesn't matter if it's nothing to do with the client in particular, if they're dishonest with the company, as much as I would love to keep them as a producer, I have to let them go because I can’t send someone who is dishonest into a customer's home.
The next value is simplicity. It stands for what I want the process of booking an appointment with us to be very, very simple. We use a software called Launch 27, and it introduces a lot of simplicity into our operations, and I highly recommend it. We use a lot of other software in our operations, just to make our lives and our clients lives easier, and our clients love it.
The third value is ‘clean.’ Clean represents the actual quality of the cleaning, because a lot of times there's clean and there's super clean! People will be willing to pay a few hundred dollars for super clean, but not superficial clean.
James: I like it. It's almost like a success triangle, so the first is that element of trust, especially in your industry like you said, you're welcoming strangers into the home, you've gotta feel comfortable with that at the end of the day. The other is that frictionless experience, whether they're placing an order or following up with work that's been done, and then the third is doing good work.
So it's kind of interesting, as you were talking I was imagining, "What if the two of the things were there, but one of them is missing?" So let's say people trust you, and you do good work, but the interaction to place the order, or do any kind of follow up is just torturous, right? Then you'd probably just walk away. Or let's say the experience is really frictionless, and they do great work, but you just don't trust them? Then you walk away. Or let's say you trust them, and the experience is frictionless, but they don't do good work. I mean, this could apply to any business, right? Like I trust the owner of this restaurant, they make it easy for me to make a reservation...
Elena: But the food sucks.
James: Yeah, but the food is terrible. I'm not going to go there, right? So a business must have all 3 pillars.
All right, so you said from the get-go, you decided to kind of just focus on the values and you identified these three areas that obviously have led to your success. What about other people in the industry? This industry seems to be so fragmented, lots of little mom and pop shops. Are they skipping this first step?
Elena: Yes. In fact, there are a couple of mistakes that I've seen so far. So they may have the values of course, but they don't identify them with them... and as a result sometimes they skip one of the values. The one I see missed the most is simplicity. I see a lot mom and pop shops, they do amazing work, an amazing job, and they are really honest and very reliable, but the website is horrible, and it's very difficult to get a hold of them because they're out in the field working all the time, and so they don't respond to the phone in time. It's a chore just to get that appointment with them. So you can still survive and probably do well, but it's not gonna ... it's gonna kind of hamper your growth.
James: All right, so let’s help the listeners then get started. You mentioned Launch 27 as software platform you used for scheduling?
Elena: Yes, it's does the scheduling, the customer follow-up, there are a lot of things. You can process payments through it, it's just a great solution. It's the core of our operations. Then you can use Grasshopper for a digital phone system, so you can have extensions, you can connect, you can hire a virtual assistant, or real assistant, and kind of toggle a extension number between yours and hers, or his. What else do we use? We rely a lot on Wufoo forms that we use in our website. So any time anybody wants something, we probably have a digital response to that, and of course we have a human touch as well, so we have a service called Vicky Virtual, so it's a virtual call answering service run by humans, and they're very pleasant, very professional. So we have these kind of tiers, for every aspect of our business.
James: And then your payment processing is through?
Elena: It's through Launch, but it's also connected to Stripe.
James: I see. All right, so then how about scheduling? Everything you're mentioning is the hard labor side of this type of business, so a call comes in, or someone is on your web site, they want to book an appointment, you said Launch 27, that's that launch27.com in just that order, and then processes the payment, the scheduling is done on Launch 27, but what about after all these orders come in and you're looking at the next day? How do you actually staff the right person to the right job?
Elena: That part is actually still done manually. My partner does that, and it's quite a painful process, because you have a lot of jobs every day, and have a lot of people working, a lot of clients, and so it's more of an art than a science at this point.
James: That's the part that needs the AI component, right?
Elena: Yes, absolutely, and I've been begging for it. To some extent, Launch 27 does do it, but we take so many factors into consideration, for example, driving distances between the clients location and the employee's home. Each employee gets two jobs a day, so there's the driving distance between those two jobs. You don't want them to be in the car for like an hour, and then by the time they get to the second job, they'll be exhausted just from driving, and unhappy. Then you have to match the correct employee to the correct client, so if the client, some clients are very very particular, and very demanding, so you have to send somebody with much more experience to be able to handle that client. And then there are some clients who move in, move out, it could be in really rough shape, so there are some employees that wouldn't be able to do it, to handle that type of job.
James: Because it's physically demanding?
Elena: It's physically extremely demanding, yes.
James: So you mentioned 49 or so employees, and you mentioned you send these teams. How many people are on a cleaning team?
Elena: It varies between it could be as little as one person, or as many as six or seven people.
James: Depends on the size of the job?
James: And then the math looks like whatever number you're going to send, you're going to send them for three hours?
Elena: About half a day, so anywhere from three to four or five hours. Generally about three to four hours.
James: All right, so generally most jobs are probably like a team of three going for three solid hours.
Elena: Yes, and it's because if we discover that ... as a cleaner, you get bored if you're all day in one location, and as a client, you don't want somebody to be in your home all day.
James: You want them in and out.
Elena: Yeah, it's optimal. But at the same time, in and out, there's a company out there that sends like 20 people, and they're done in like half an hour, which is kind of ridiculous. Extreme, right? But at the same time for cleaners, you don't want to drive around too much, either. So for them it's much better to focus on one project in the morning, and one project in the afternoon.
James: All right, let's get back on track then. So the first actionable thing that made a difference in your company's growth was really focusing on what those values are, and building the company around it. What's the next thing that you encourage new businesses to do?
Elena: So here's the second part that I see a lot of people struggle with. So the first part was the values and sticking to them. The second part is once you do get going and you do stick to your values and it brings you a great reputation, right? So the orders start pouring in, and then a lot of times, people don't watch the numbers. So once you get the values straight, then you have to start looking at the numbers. What we do in our company, is we kind of analyze every job on the micro level. We determine whether each job is it profitable or not. We calculate immediately. If we're going to send three people, three hours, each person costs between $12 to $15 dollars an hour, plus the tax, so generally we try to keep our labor at about 50%. Fifty percent to 55% of the ticket price. So if for some reason it doesn't make fiscal sense, because the job is too involved, or the volume is too large, the house is too huge, then we start adjusting prices upwards.
James: How do you price it? What's a typical job?
Elena: So a typical job, say a three bedroom home less than 2000 square feet, would be $179.
James: And what percentage of your business volume is repeat business?
Elena: It's about ... well there's two types of repeat business. One is that the people who sit on our calendar, so every two weeks or a week. Out of 2000 clients we have about 400 of them on that recurring calendar. Then there's some clients who have unstable calendars. So unstable schedule, so they do book recurring, but we don't know exactly how many of them, and sometimes they may skip a month, sometimes they compress it and they'll have two or three appointments a month. Those people, I have the data on that, but I don't recall off the top of my head.
James: OK, so let's summarize everything you’ve shared with us. So number one is figure out what the company values are.
James: And as part of this, we talked about using technology to help simplify things. Make the whole experience better. Then number two important tactic is to focus on the numbers?
Elena: Yes, actually analyze and look at the numbers to see if you're profitable, because a lot of time people are saying, "We're busy, we have lots and lots of jobs, but there's hardly any money left, so we're struggling." Well what's the point of being busy then, you know? Don't be busy, take fewer clients, but make more money off each.
James: You help other cleaning companies do better? You coach them?
James: In those cases, they are assuming they're making money, and then at the end of the month they kind of feel that they don't have any money in the bank, and the reason is they're just not running the numbers?
Elena: I mean I look at our numbers all the time, like cash flow. I just look at the cash on hand. In our business, we take credit cards at the point of booking so there's no accounts receivable and that's great. But then I see other companies and they don't do that. So it's a double whammy for them. On the one hand they don't make enough profit, on the second hand they don't even collect that money that's due. So I can understand why that would be very, very challenging business model for them.
James: Yeah. So it sounds to me like you're monitoring on a job-by-job basis, ensuring that there's a margin there, and you're targeting a 50% gross profit margin. From that gross profit margin, about half of that goes to general non-labor related costs like advertising etc, and that leaves you at the end of the month with 25% net income.
Elena: Generally. And lately, we've been actually trying to grow to the next level, and I knew that from just reading and listening to podcasts, I knew that the margins will suffer a little bit. The bigger the company you get, the smaller the net profit margin. Because we're going to buy a building, we're staffing up our managerial staff, so all of that costs money, but it's not possible to scale without it. So I'm willing to sacrifice the margin a little bit in exchange for that growth. But you have to do it intentionally, not just like, "Oh this is what happened to us, now we have no more money left."
James: Yeah, so we always hear about companies growing too fast, and then they implode or whatever. They run out of cash.
James: So you're saying it's inevitable. As you grow as a company, you're going to have to add layers of management, for example, or in this case buy a building, so there are additional costs involved there, and as a result the margin will get squeezed.
Elena: It sounds intimidating, but you can do ... I do a back of the napkin calculations. So at any time I can look in our sales for the month, because I already know approximately how it's going to be in our software, right? Then I can calculate based on the projected, what the projected payroll is going to be, because again, it's tracked by ... We're using the app called Boomer, and it tracks the hours, so I can see how many hours they've worked up today, and how many, for example, they spent about I think around 11-1200 hours a day in labor without taxes or anything. So I add it all up, and then I see how much money is left, so okay, this is how much cash we're going to make at the end of the month after taxes and everything. Then I think, "Okay, now that I have this money, if I need to hire another manager, now I have a little bit of room. Or if I need to pay a mortgage for the new building, I have a little bit of room." And I know exactly how much room I have. So it's kind of simple.
James: So what's the next action item then? If we give ... I don't want to saturate everyone with too many action items, and maybe we should do a follow-up Q&A session, and maybe we just give this homework. So number one, let's figure out what your values are, and then number two is set up those systems or procedures or whatever, for monitoring margins and cash flow. So what's the third thing then, that we want ... that everyone should be doing, and maybe you've seen that they're not doing?
Elena: There's a human component to all of this, because this business is for ... basically you're dealing with clients, and you're dealing with employees, and both of those are challenging aspects. So I want to make sure that people ... you have to connect with them. If the client wants to meet you, you meet with the client. If the employee needs to talk to you, talk to the employee. Don't just push them over to your manager. So you learn so much just by directly interacting with your staff and with the clients. Try to be more humane about it. It's free to treat your employees nicely, so I would recommend if they have an illness in the family, or if they have some kind of challenge and struggle, try to be understanding and supportive to some degree, to a reasonable degree, and same with clients. You have a policy in place for, let's say, a cancellation policy or something. Don't be ... if the client violates it because someone is sick or somebody died, be nice about it. So be forgiving. So be very flexible with your rules, I would say.
James: Is ‘United Airlines’ a verb yet?
Elena: Yeah, exactly. That's exactly it. So yeah, you want to protect your business, you want to be strict and rigid, but don't be too rigid, because your business is based on humans. If you're not humane, it's not going to work. Whether or not it matches your personality or not, I don't know, but if it doesn't then find somebody who has a warmer touch than you, and just employ them and they will do that for you.
James: Yeah. I think that's a really good point. Many times, business owners will treat employees like robots, almost like they're expendable, and that then sets a tone in the company, and maybe United is suffering from the same kind of thing, where those employees then really don't care so much? I don't know about the situation inside United, but I see it in so many other companies, where there isn't that kind of ... and basically you're talking about love from the employer to the employees, and then you also mention the love from the founder or CEO to the clients. Because they, like you said, want to connect on a human level, and the last thing they want is some sort of, "That's not our policy" kind of reaction to something.
Elena: Yeah, put yourself in their shoes. You're a homeowner, if somebody comes into your home and they really don't care about you, don't respect you, or despise you, or judge you, this is the last person you want in your home. Conversely, if somebody comes in and they love you, they take care of you, they are concerned about you, you know if you're sick or something or your kids are sick. Then you really want to support that person. You're more forgiving to that person, you are going to recommend that person to everybody else, or the business. And the best part, it's free. It doesn't cost anything not to be a jerk and to be nice to someone. So it's very easy.
James: Yeah, so nurturing that connection somehow, and just being human and reasonable-
Elena: And it comes from the founder. If you're nice to clients, then employees will. They're like children, they will emulate you.
James: Yeah, so everyone will follow.
James: And so it sounds like because that is a layer of work in itself, if the founder or CEO is stuck doing the day to day work, like cleaning a home, he or she may not be able to go meet a client or deal with an employee issue, so it's almost like as you grow you have to kind of pull yourself out of working in the business, so you can work more on it?
Elena: Yes, and I see a lot of times, I mean everybody says that as kind of a known mantra in our industry, but a lot of times what happens, and that's probably the biggest challenge that people face and struggle with, is that you know what needs to be done, but you just don't do it because you're not comfortable, because that's just not you, because you're too busy, and so that's a huge mistake. You know you need that website to be updated, and you just kind of postpone it because you're not comfortable. You don't understand websites, so you just start postponing it. You know that you need to set up that Yelp page, or that Google profile, but you just don't do it. You know that you need to hire or promote HR managers. So some steps that you know that have to happen, but you don't take action because it's uncomfortable. That's a lot of times, people ... I help a lot of companies so if I say, let's say we discuss something and they're on board with it, and then they do it, and it actually has immediate impact and brings them results and improvement. Conversely, if they listen to that, they know that has to be done, but they just don't do it, or they half do it.
James: So that's why the self-help section at the Barnes and Noble is so huge. The solutions are there, but..
Hiring and human resources management are a giant pain for most employers. At a recent networking event I was sitting at the table with employers from six different industries - insurance, accounting, handyman, locksmith, storage, and housecleaning (that’s us!). To get to know each other better, we swapped some critical information about our companies, including: what’s your biggest challenge now? To our mutual surprise, every single one of us replied: “EMPLOYEES.”
At our company, Superb Maids, we devote a lot of effort and time to hiring and developing talent. It’s a challenging environment because the work itself is very hard and the quality of the applicants can be uneven. And the competing employers - major hotels - offer high compensation and numerous benefits. But, because our business - even more than perhaps many other businesses- depends on quality of our people, it is critically important to us. We hire less than 1% of the applicants. And in two years we managed to build a team of over 50 employees who are dedicated, professional, and smart. Here are some of the things that we learned that help us find and hire the best employees:
Become a great employer for your current employees.
This is the most critical step. What’s the point of hiring new employees if the old employees are constantly leaving due to being mistreated? Most employers consider themselves fair and reasonable. But, objectively, are we treating our employees the best way we possibly can? Do we respect and support their personal lives, dreams, and aspirations? Do we communicate clearly and remove work stress and frustrations where possible? Are we investing in employees’ safety and wellbeing? Do we provide them with help when they need it?
When the employer treats employees well, not only do those employees then perform exceptionally for employer’s clients, but they bring their friends and family as new applicants. A large portion of our staff were brought in by friends or family. They work well together, get to see the person they love daily, and save money on gas when sharing rides. It’s a win-win-win.
The best part is - it costs almost nothing to be a great employer. To visit your employee in a hospital when she is sick. To give him time off when his children need it. To say: “thank you!” when she is doing an amazing job. We all wish we could be Google and provide free daycare, massages, and gourmet buffet to our staff. But most people will appreciate genuine kindness more than organic arugula and pancetta salad. I said most.
Most employers are so dependent on their employees. Many have employees with severe attitude problems that cannot be corrected but don’t let them go because someone has to do the work. This poisons existing staff who now have to do the other person’s work and be stressed out about it. All people enjoy working with competent co-workers. So you need to weed out the bad ones asap. To be able to afford to do so - you need to always hire. Keep that ad running and have the process that runs like a fine-tuned machine.
Constantly look for A-players.
At Superb Maids, we hire people for their attitude and intelligence more than for their cleaning skills. The latter (unlike the former) can be taught. But the A-players are typically gainfully employed - and appreciated by their employers - elsewhere. So you need to find them and steal them away. There is an amazing waiter in a small Flagstaff pizza place named Roger and an unknown Amazon female delivery driver who were surprised when I approached them and offered them a job cleaning homes. They didn’t apply. Yet.
Strengthen your job ad.
Most job ads look like they were written by the same boring person in boring gray clothes, glasses, and boring expression on his face. Put a little life into your ad. Google “best employment ad” or “awesome job ad” and see what can be done! Use photos. Use exciting language. Think about it from the applicant’s prospective. What’s in it for them? Also, don’t just promise lots of money and benefits. Otherwise you’ll get applicants who only care about that. People who you want are the ones who also care about excellence, improving life of others, working with a great team. Put that into the ad.
Place the burden on applicants.
Ask every employer about applicants who don’t show up for interviews. Or to the first day of work. You’ll get a lot of sighing, eye rolling, and sad stories. You’ll NEVER hear an employer say: “Wow, what’s incredible!” I only had to sit at Starbucks by myself three times after complete no-shows before we shifted the burden on applicants. It’s the applicants who have to call us, e-mail us, text us for every step of our lengthy application process. If they drop out along the way - that’s fine. It’s a flakey-people sorting machinery.
Check the references and background.
So many employers skip those steps. Yet, they are so critical in identifying the super-employees. “This is the best employee I’ve ever had!” and “Um… This employee was late like five times in one week” is an extremely valuable information. Don’t have time to do it? Ask one of your other employees to perform this task. It’s important. Also, you can check background online. It’s inexpensive and worth it.
Ignore the resume.
Resumes are a giant waste of time. Yes, it’s somewhat helpful to know generally where this person is coming from. However, in 15 years in law and business I’ve seen enough people with stellar resumes and shockingly poor performance and the opposite, that I’ve learned to simply ignore the resumes. Do the job test instead.
Test on the job.
Obviously, the job test will vary for each industry. However, make it as close to the actual job the person will be performing. Even if he or she is not yet qualified to do it. It will tell you so much more than the resume ever could. At Superb Maids we give the applicants a small task of cleaning a bathtub or a shower. We watch the performance to see how thorough, careful, and energetic is the person. How well they can communicate and follow the directions. What’s their overall attitude? Do they act like they’re doing us a huge favor or like they can’t wait to get started and really want this job? Also, are they super cute and happy? So when our clients open the door for them one day - would they be delighted to have this person to step into their homes?
Once you found your non-flakey, happy, superachievers, do you dump them into your system and move on? No, you need to make sure they’re plugged-in well and they stick. Orientation, training, handholding, until the new employe understands company values, job objectives, and how things work around here. Without it, there will be a high turnover after the hiring and during probation period. This is the area that can be organized well with online training, documents, checklists, and different technology. Keep an eye on your new employees, make sure they’re happy and also performing well.
Designate the growth path.
Most A-players will grow. We need to provide them a room to grow within our company. Or else they will grow elsewhere. You may have an idea in your head and grand visions for that employee. But they’re worth nothing unless you communicate them and turn them into a plan. Schedule periodic performance review meetings with your staff and outline goals. Try to understand how you can make this person’s life and professional growth better (even if it’s unrelated to working for your company) and help her get there. For example, at Superb Maids we have a Home Buying Assistance Program. We help our employees with credit counseling, saving, and applying for mortgage for their first home. We even contribute to the down payment. Professionally, we think about what management position would fit our employee well and help them develop the skills needed for that position.
We, employers, sometimes get aggravated and dispirited by the hiring and management issues. However, it’s neither expensive nor complicated to improve the situation dramatically. But it does take time, patience, and consistent effort. As a reward, we get to hear: “I LOVE MY JOB” from our employees and “OMG, YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!” from our clients. And what can be better than this?
This morning we received a nice phone call from Angie's List. We have won 2016 Super Service award for maids which is super duper amazing! I had to call my partner and congratulate her on getting yet another award as the best house cleaning company in Las Vegas! We were now #1 on Yelp, Google, and in Review Journal. Angie's List was the last bastion and the one we weren't really paying attention to, at all!
A friend asked what's our secret. And our secret is definitely our amazing staff - intelligent, beautiful, kind, and ferocious. Love them!
Recently, we've been getting an increasing number of vacation rentals' cleaning requests. How is that type of cleaning different from the regular house cleaning in Las Vegas?
Most important requirement - treating the property as if you were the owner. When we clean the vacation rental home and see something is wrong, missing, or just off, we immediately take action to correct it as soon as possible.
Availability is critical when it comes to cleaning vacation rental homes. For our clients, this is a business. The sooner the property can be cleaned and available for next guests, the better. This means a larger crew on a short notice sometimes is needed.
All-inclusive service is required. When it comes to vacation rentals cleaning, the property must be ready for guests completely. This means not only the basics must be covered - like clean floors, kitchen, bathrooms, but also patio, front porch, linens, etc.
Prompt communication is key. Vacation rentals' clients need responsiveness. Many times they are out of state and need responses about the status of their property right away.
Generally, vacation rental cleaning is not that different from the regular house cleaning in Las Vegas. But additional layers of customer service support are a must!
Yesterday we received a very nice surprise - a gold award in Review Journal's Best of Las Vegas 2016 contest as the best professional house cleaning company in Vegas. We are so, so incredibly happy! We had no idea our clients nominated us - let alone voted us to the top. THANK YOU!
Valentine's Day is near. Here at Superb Maids, we are passionate about clean homes. That's how we became the best house cleaning company in Las Vegas. Here are our top 10 ways a clean home helps your love life:
Clean living environment is super good for your physical health. You will have fewer allergies and fewer episodes of cold and flu. Health problems are killers of romance. So, being healthy is an absolute must for your love life!
Clean home is great for your mental health. While few people get noticeably distressed by a dirty home, almost all will be constantly annoyed by it and unhappy for unexplained reasons. Conversely, a sparkling fresh home will boost your happiness level.
If your home is dirty, you can't invite anyone over - friends, family, let alone your romantic interest. And if you do, they will not form the best opinion of you if they encounter a huge mess and dust bunnies everywhere. Remember that episode of Friends where Ross was dating a super gorgeous messy girl?
When your home is organized, you can find your clothes, accessories, and makeup easier. That means you will look better, more pulled together. That's important for your love life!
If you are already coupled, there maybe a slight tension to outright conflicts over who is going to clean what. How about a professional house cleaning service? We can do it for you and exponentially better than what you can do yourself, especially while irritated.
A beautifully clean home will make you smile more and be more relaxed. That's great for your love life, whether you are single or attached. :D
Once your home is clean, you will not be worried about your family's health - your kids, your pets, as you know they are in a hygienic environment. This will make you happy. And more attractive, we promise!
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.