Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Building Your Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral
I received an email today from one of our students that got me thinking about mindset and teamwork. The student asked, "How can I stay focused and motivated when my team member slacks and expects me to do all the work?

The definition of teamwork is when each person performs small acts-and each of those small act add up to something extraordinary in the end. Each person has a job to do that contributes a unique part of the end product.

We can apply this definition of teamwork to our daily lives and what we are trying to build right now. We can use this technique to change our mindset when we feel a bit drained, somewhat defeated, and like we are just "the cleaning lady."

My father called it work ethic. He told me and my brother as we were growing up, that no matter if we were doing brain surgery or digging a ditch, we should always do our best work. Each and every time. While I (foolishly) didn't follow much of my father's advice as a kid, this one I have always tried my best to apply!

There is a story I heard from one of my high school teachers that has stayed with me for the past 35 years and illustrates the idea of mindset and teamwork:

A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing and the man said that he was laying bricks.

The traveler then asked the second man the same question and he replied that he was constructing a wall.

When the traveler got to the third man and asked him what he was doing, and the man replied that he was building a cathedral.

This is an excellent example of how mindset, changing our perspective, and surrounding ourselves with people who can see "the bigger picture"can help us to enjoy our lives and "the process" more, even when we feel like less.

The first man saw himself as having a job.
The second saw himself as having a career.
The third man saw himself as having a calling.

Which do you have?

Do you look at what you do every day as "laying bricks"?

Or can you see the bigger picture, and the difference you are making in helping to build a Cathedral?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Are You 'Going for Broke'? Or Just Plain 'Broke'...
This is a topic that comes up quite a bit in the housekeeping community: how broke most housekeepers are.

While your housekeeping services or company may be generating money each month it may not be turning an actual profit. The entire point of self-employment/building a business is not to be broke at the end of the month, but to turn a profit so that money can be used to live - to buy or save for the things you need, or to be spent on the business, such as when buying new equipment, or advertising, etc.

Here is an example: Let's say that your current schedule as a solo housekeeper is be generating $50,000 a year, (About $4,166/month) but your expenses – including well as the hidden ones– are costing you $2,000. This is leaving you with $2,166 monthly of “profit” - and that’s before Uncle Sam takes another third of that, leaving you with roughly $1,443 a month "profit" to live off of. (To break that down further, that's roughly $361/week.)

What do I mean by "expenses"? Your obvious expenses would include your supplies, your work clothes, equipment, advertising, insurance, web page fees, credit card processing fees, vehicle maintenance, office rent (if you have one) printed/promotional materials, etc.

Hidden expenses are those things that cost us money and we don't realize it: (usually by
Don't Stay Broke!
increasing the amount of our unpaid time) examples would be client cancellations and rescheduling, chasing people for money, building websites, Social Networking, traveling far distances, equipment loss (leaving items behind at a job), supply spillage or using too much, lack of organization/efficiency, shopping for supplies, preparing estimates/quotes, spending too much time on the phone with vendors or clients, inconsistent scheduling, lock-outs, waiting for clients to show up/let you in, clients at home/chatting with you when you are there to clean, client's kids/pets/relatives underfoot, etc.

Some of you could be reading this thinking, “I’d be happy to be making $2000 month...” (I understand- I was once at that stage too.)

Sometimes, when we are in the very early days of the business, bringing in any amount of money feels wonderful because we feel that it validates all our hard work and what we are doing to push things ahead.

However, if you've been running a service for years and while you might be super busy, you can’t pay yourself more than $1,443 a month, something is missing.

(Trust me, I know. I've learned this the HARD way.)

Whether it’s because your prices are too low, your overhead expenses are too high or because you don’t have any up-sells (such as add-on services) or a side-hustle to increase your income, the fact is, that most housekeepers, though very hard and conscientious workers-are not using a business model which allows income to increase and become more financially independent.

This is why its important to study other business approaches-read articles and books-find yourself a mentor or trainer - and educate yourself- not just about how to remove cat hair from microfiber furniture or how to clean bathroom tile, but how to be in business. Educate yourself on how to "Go for Broke" and think MUCH bigger!

The bottom line is this… if you’ve been at this for a while and NOT making the kind of money you want or feeling the way you want to feel, what are you going to do about it? What are your options? Make a list-and decide which actions you can take now to get to the next level.

You don't have to settle for being broke. Just because that has been your past, does not mean that has to be your future. There are always new, different and better ways to do something, if you are willing to think out of the box-explore, do some research and try them.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can support you, e-mail us your questions!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Customer Appreciation: 5 Ways to Show You Care

Housekeeping professionlas tend to spend a fair amount of time looking for ways to find and gain new clients. However, many overlook a simple strategy to keeping your calendar full: Demonstrating Customer appreciation.

Its a well-known fact that acquiring a new client costs about 5 times more (time + money) than keeping the ones who are already using your services, so serving and retaining your customers is the foundation of growing a successful housekeeping business. One way to retain them is to let them know that you appreciate their loyalty. While this can be done intermittently, it also must be done with sincerity.

This time of year is all about giving thanks-and is the  perfect time to show your customers how much you appreciate their business. It does not have to be involved or expensive-a simple handwritten note card or a surprise (and complimentary) oven or refrigerator cleaning will get the message across.

How do you show your customers that you appreciate them? Here are 5 excellent ways to show your customers that you care, courtesy of the Go Daddy Blog:

5 ways to show customer appreciation this Thanksgiving

What are some others that you could add to this list? Please share with us in the comments below!