Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Moving Cleaning Business Owners Closer to Their Goals

Let's face it; you have no business doing stuff that's not directly related to your BIG goals.

For cleaning business owners this would be things like:

a. Cleaning your buildings (more on this later)
b. Picking up/dropping off supplies at your accounts
c. Going to the bank to make deposits
d. Balancing the business checking account

During your busy workday, remember to ask yourself, "Is what I am doing, this minute, moving me measurably closer to my goals?" (I have this on an index card next to my computer, to remind me often.) Just the simple act of asking yourself this question several times a day will dramatically increase your productivity.

If it's not moving you forward toward your goal, making you money or attracting clients, why are YOU doing it? Granted, it may be important, but a much better usage of your company's most precious resource (YOU) can be much more effective elsewhere. Drop it or delegate it now. (Please take a moment now to write that same question on a sticky note or index card and tape it to your own computer and phone.

So, let's examine the examples above one by one:

1. Cleaning buildings
This is an area where many cleaning business owners make a mistake (I know because I did the same thing for years). If you can hire a (good) employee to do this at $9.00- $12.00 per hour you should do so right away. I know, your first thought is "Nobody is going to do it as well as I would" and you're probably right. But does it need to be perfect or does it just need to be great? If you can get (or train) someone to do a great job at it, think of how much time that frees up for you. And, let's be frank. If you are doing something you could pay somebody $10 an hour to do it that means you're working for $10 an hour. Is that your goal?

Yes, when you first start your business, you may need to clean a few buildings. But as soon as you can, you need to get started hiring and training good employees to work alongside you-and then without you, so that you can be free to spend your time developing and pursuing the BIG vision that led you to start your company in the first place. You can always devote that extra time to marketing your business...

2. Running supplies
Again, this is a function that has to be performed to keep your cleaning business running. Someone needs to pick up your (or be on hand to receive deliveries from your distributor of) chemicals, supplies and equipment. But you can hire a delivery person for about the same amount as a cleaning person and this will also help you to become more efficient about grouping these activities together instead of spending time running around town because your cleaning staff forgot to order or pick up what they needed.

Train your staff to order once a week or twice a month. I used to have people pick up supplies when they came to the office on pay day for their checks. We'd provide a continental breakfast and sandwiches from the market and this encouraged people to come in. It also gave a 'celebratory' atmosphere to pay days that kept everybody in good spirits and made being responsible for their own supplies more of a carrot than a stick.

3. Going to the bank to make deposits
This activity has been made completely obsolete by new banking technologies. Encourage your clients to make ACH deposits directly into your account (saves them time, postage, and check stock). You can also use Intuit Quick Books (and many other small business accounting programs) to allow people to pay your bill electronically.

In a worst case scenario, if they still send you checks you can either use your bank's pre-addressed envelopes to make your deposits by mail or many banks (including Chase) now offer the ability for you to take a picture of the check on your smart phone and deposit that way. No more driving to the bank, Yay!

4. Balancing your business checking account
I cannot over emphasize the importance of balancing your check book every month, but it's worth every penny (usually $25-$75 per hour) to pay a bookkeeper or accountant to do this for you. Most of the time this will take about 30 minutes per month, so the cost is negligible. It needs to be done in a timely fashion to protect you against fraud, and is a must in keeping you up to date on your financial picture. But it's such a "not fun" job that most business owners put it off or don't do it at all (a mistake that can cost you big if someone has fraudulently accessed your account).

One thing to remember though: YOU should be the one to receive, open and review all bank (and credit card) statements (a 5 minute job at most). Don't ever stop opening your own mail (no matter how big you get). Reviewing it yourself protects you against a dishonest bookkeeper or worse. You've heard of "checks and balances" right? This is an area where you want to relinquish some control but don't give up complete control, ever.

Of all the things that are on your "To Do" list for today, what *3* things will you do before end of day to get closer to your BIG goals? These will be your priorities for today. Do this daily and you'll find yourself moving much faster towards the ideal business success and life you've been dreaming of.


  1. I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. . . how to start a cleaning business

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