Should Employees Know What You Charge House Cleaning Clients?


Should cleaning employees know what you charge
the customer? Great question and we’re going to talk about
that today. Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask
a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house
cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. Now today’s show is brought to us by SavvyPerks.com
and if you are a business owner and you have house cleaners, Savvy Perks is for you. It’s a small benefits package that has all
kinds of perks and fun stuff in there that is affordable to every size business. Whether you’re a single operator and you want
to provide the perks for yourself, or you have one or two employees and you want to
provide perks for them, these are the same benefits that major corporations offer to
their employees as a benefits perks package, but most of the small house cleaners that
I know do not qualify for a package like this, so we have partnered with America’s largest
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network and you get to offer this to your employees, so SavvyPerks.com All right, on to today’s question, which is from a house cleaner who has this question. Hi, Angela. It’s Janice Weaver in Ottawa, Canada. I was just watching your YouTube video on
show notes, which is great, because now I understand them, and there’s a lot of great
information there to be accessed. One of the things I was wondering about, on
your worksheets, you say that you use them as an invoice or a receipt. If you have cleaning associates working on
your behalf, do you obviously have a policy where they know exactly what’s being charged
for the service, and does that cause any problems based on the rate that you’re paying them? Just wondering whether that’s an issue for
people or not. As a cleaner, you don’t understand maybe what’s
involved with running a business, and the costs for marketing, and advertising, and
insurance, and bookkeepers, and marketing, and all of that stuff, so just curious about
how that works for you. Thanks very much, and love what you’re doing. Angela Brown: All right, hi, Janice. How you doing? This is an excellent question, and there is
a lot of debate around this one. Should your employees know what you charge? All right, you can set this up just like you
do on a walk through with a customer when you’re setting all the ground rules, and all
the boundaries, and all that stuff. You can set this up with your employee on
the day that you hire them. On the day that you hire them, they know nothing,
or they know very little, or maybe they once worked for a house cleaning company, but they don’t know a lot about running the business itself. During the job interview, you can say, “Hey listen, I’m the boss, and here’s a list of my duties.” And then you have a list of all
the stuff that you do as a boss. Then you can have a breakdown of all the stuff
that you pay for. Now you don’t have to break it down like month by month, like I pay $432 for insurance or whatever. You don’t have to break it down like that,
but you can have a list of all of the expenses, vehicle expenses, gas for the vehicle, insurance
for the vehicle. You have registration and licensing for the
vehicle. You have service and repairs for the vehicle,
and so just for the vehicle that gets you to the job, here’s all the stuff we have to
pay for in order to make this business happen. Then when you get to the customer’s house,
you’re the employee, and so here’s what we have to pay for just for an employee, and
then you have a breakdown of uniforms, and you have a breakdown of workman’s comp, and
insurance, and all these different things that you have to provide, whether it’s gloves,
or shoe covers, or whatever the personal protective equipment that you provide. If you yourself provide the clear bags that
they carry to and from work to prevent theft, this all goes in the breakdown of things that
you pay for. Then, once you get to the customer’s house,
you have a new series of expenses. The series of expenses include things like
your cleaning chemicals, and your mops, and the mop heads, the mop replaceable heads,
and the fiber, microfiber clothes that you use, and the vacuums that you use, and your
stepladders, and all the different things that you have that you provide, cleaning caddies,
and aprons, and there’s a bunch of stuff that costs money. Now, whether or not you wear uniforms, that’s
something that would be thrown in there. You have all these different things that you
provide. This costs so much money. Then you go on to explain that there are other
costs. In order for me to pay you every week I have
to hire a bookkeeping company, and that requires software. It includes internet access. It includes booking software for our customers. It requires follow up with appointment reminders,
and all these other things. We have to have software that provides some
of the basics for our company. Then we hire a payroll service, and you have
this big list of all the things that it costs to run a company. You say, “Now, you came to me for a job. Did you come to me because you want to pay
for all of these things, and you’re actually here just to train so you can go start your
own business and pay for all of these things on your own?” They might say, “No, really. I’m just here to clean houses.” “Oh, I just want to make sure right up front
that we’re on the same page,” so you’re coming as an employee, not coming as an entrepreneur
that’s just learning the ropes so you can go start your own business. Okay, so do you know that as an employee,
part of this expense is employee expense, so out of all the money the business makes,
this is how much goes to employees, and then what’s left pays for all these other things. Then they go, “Oh, well that’s a lot of things,”
but until you let an employee know, they don’t know how much it costs to run a business. They don’t know about advertising costs. They don’t know about internet costs. They don’t know about running Facebook ads. They don’t know about running ads in Valpak,
or on HomeAdvisor, or any of these other sites. They don’t know that those costs are involved. There are a lot of house cleaners that think,
well, I’m just going to go clean, and because I’m doing all the work, I should make all
the money. Okay, that’s like really simple thinking,
and I love the fact that they’re thinking that way, because that’s some entrepreneurial
spirit, but they’re not looking at the big picture because they haven’t been explained. If on day one when you’re setting the ground
rules, you say, “Please help me understand where you see yourself fitting in the business,”
there are people that will say, “Wow, that overwhelming to me. That is so much stuff. All I will do is just come clean houses. I just want to show up, collect a paycheck,
and go home.” Okay, so for your part of the job, you don’t
get to keep all the money. You only get to keep part of the money. It makes it really simple from day one, because
they know. They know up front. There’s a lot more money this company’s making,
but there are a lot more expenses that I myself am not willing to pay. Not everybody that can clean house should,
and not everybody that can clean house can run a house cleaning business. If you explain right up front …
I’ve been in interviews where people are like, “No, I’m here to learn from you, then I’m
going to go out and start my own house cleaning business.” Then I can say right up front, “Hey, if this
is your goal, I can help you. Would you like to train as a manager and would
you like extra responsibilities up front so that you can learn all these different facets
of the business?” If that is truly their goal, you can position
them so that they can learn all these other things and so that they can provide service
to you maybe in a different area that will eliminate some of the responsibilities that
you, as an entrepreneur, are wearing all these different hats. Have the conversation up front. There’s no shame in having a conversation
and explaining that it costs a lot of money to run a business, and that it costs a lot
of energy and a lot of time. Now, as a house cleaning business owner, I
can tell you this, when the cleaning is done for the day, your job is not done. When you go home, you still have to do inventory. You still have to replace cleaning supplies. You still have to clean out vacuums, and all
the different things that you have to do, whether it’s refilling bottles, or it’s replacing
rags that have gone missing or misplaced. You have to follow up with customers. You have to do customer surveys. You have to do ratings and reviews. You have your online marketing. I mean, there are nights as a house cleaner
you don’t go to bed till 11:00 at night, and you’ve been working solid since 6:00 a.m. I don’t want to scare anybody away from the
house cleaning business, because I love it, and I’m passionate about it, but what I do
want to do is this, paint a realistic picture of what it is to run a business, because there
are a lot of house cleaners that think oh, well, I’m going to work for myself, and I’m
going to go work six hours a day, and I’m just going to go clean a couple of houses
and then I’m done. That will work for a couple minutes, and when
they run out of clients, they’re going to be twiddling their thumbs saying, “Oh dear,
I’ve missed a few steps. How do I market my business so I can get more
clients, and how am I supposed to pay for all this stuff, and how do I make money if
I’m paying for employees,” and lots of questions. Not everybody is cut out to be a house cleaner. Not everybody is cut out to be a house cleaning
business owner, and so right up front find out where people are, and by all means, explain
what the costs are and what is involved in running a business, because there are a lot
of people that after you explain it they’re like, “Oh my goodness, that’s a lot of work. I don’t think I’m cut out for either one.” Then they leave, and you don’t put them on
the schedule, and then they stand you up on day two or day three when they’ve figured
out that it was more than they thought they were getting into, because a lot of house
cleaners hear the big money. Oh, I can make $45 an hour and do nothing. That is so far from the truth. Yeah, have these conversations right up front. There’s no shame. There’s no harm in doing it, and if people
want to come along for the ride, great. If they don’t, we’ve blown them out right
now right up front, so there are no surprises and they don’t waste any more of your time
and energy, and insurance, and training, and recruiting, and all those other costs. All righty, that’s my two cents for today,
and until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when
you found it.

4 thoughts on “Should Employees Know What You Charge House Cleaning Clients?

  1. M and T bank never explained their expenses to me…lol
    Either you want the job or not. I do not share my rates with employees but if and when I am questioned about the pay rate for a particular job I will run it down and halfway through their eyes gloss over.
    Also, why would you train someone to be your competition?

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