Tag Archive | home cleaning business

Working as a Couple

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

working as a couple

Working as a Couple (Male/Female)

This is why working as a couple is the right way to go in the home cleaning profession: Firstly, if you are a single male wanting to work in the domestic cleaning industry you should attempt to team up with a female, or you may find that you won’t get any work (or perhaps not as much as you would like, unless you are gay). This is because when a woman is at home by herself with her children, she feels that her safety is threatened if you are male and she doesn’t know you. So team up with a woman so that you will be able to find enough work. Continue reading

Getting To and From your Bookings

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

getting to and from your bookings

Getting to and from your bookings

You WILL need a Car

The only way to be really successful in this type of business is to have your own car or van so that you can get to and from your bookings. Seeing as you will not have to transport heavy equipment you can still be very successful with a small car – you don’t have to have a van. But due to the fact that you will need to carry a Kit with you that includes a vacuum cleaner, you should at least have a car. Your main source of income will come from people that live in upper middle to upper income areas, which are not always accessible via Public Transport, so unless you have your own reliable form of transport it would be wise not to start this business until you do. Plus it would be very difficult to carry all your supplies with you on the train or bus. Continue reading

Building your Roster

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

 Cleaning – fortnightly roster pdf form

building your roster

Step by Step Instructions on Building your Roster

This business is not just about cleaning. It involves:

  • cleaning
  • quoting (making sure that your client understands how teams of two work)
  • communication by phone, face-to-face and written
  • follow-up with the client
  • diary skills

Continue reading

Questions and Exercises

August Focus: Domestic Cleaning Business

questions and exercises

Questions and Exercises

The following questions and exercises are good to do ahead of time so that you can get a better idea of the business that you are going into: Continue reading

Assertiveness in Practice – Part III

August Focus: Domestic Cleaning Business


Assertiveness in Practice

Developing your Skills of Communication

Let us look at a few practical strategies on setting boundaries and delivering those boundaries using good communication skills. Once you know what rates to charge for the different cleaning services you need to stay within these boundaries with every client that you deal with so that you get used to setting boundaries and keeping to them. If you are asked to do extra work and the rate that you are charging does not cover these extra requests then just look your client in the eye and say ‘I can certainly do those things for you during a Spring-Clean. Would you like to order a Spring-Clean, Mrs Jones?’ If they ask again, just repeat your offer to do a Spring-Clean. Then, if they insist that you do the work they want without ordering a Spring-Clean, you simply say ‘no, these services will need to be charged at a higher rate’ clearly, calmly and without emotion. Stating what you will or won’t do for the fee that the client is paying needs to be done clearly and precisely, without any negative emotion. Good communication only becomes aggression if you add negative emotion to your delivery of what you are trying to say. Continue reading

Assertiveness – Part II

August Focus: Domestic Cleaning Business

Assertiveness - Part II

Learning to Become Free through Assertiveness

Next, assertiveness requires you to have very clearly defined goals in life and that you know what your purpose is. If you have no idea about these things you will not be able to become assertive. If you do not know what you want the first step to take is to work out what you don’t want from life until you have narrowed down your list to what you do want from life. Underlying what you want will be your reason for being here. If you are able to define this you will be able to assertively say no to those things in life that you do not want that go against your purpose, and assertively speak up for those things that you do want in life that fit in with your purpose. Continue reading

Assertiveness – Part I

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

Assertiveness - Part I

Assertiveness in Self Employment

Part of the reason why you are considering becoming self-employed by attending my workshop or reading these articles is because you probably want more freedom, and this means having more independence and control over all the areas of your life. To have total freedom you will need to develop an assertive personality, one that does not allow others to impose their intentions on you should that not be your desire, and one that is able to make things happen so that life gives you what you want.

Basically, having an assertive personality boils down to being totally centered and contained within yourself, and not leaning out into the world looking for acceptance from sources outside of yourself. It means that the greater majority of the time you are calm and relaxed, with very few events that are happening around you pushing you off-balance. It sometimes comes naturally to those people who have been properly nurtured and supported while growing up, but for those that haven’t you will need to develop this attribute yourselves.

From the moment we are born we are told what to do, how to do it and when to get it done. We are taught to conform, to fit in and to be a part of society. All the structures around us, from governments to religious and educational institutions want to make sure that we do. They set rules and regulations that are so stifling that in the end the people just acquiesce and go along simply because they would rather not think about, rally against or fight these laws. But if you desire to free yourself of the imposed shackles of these societal institutions you will need to develop your own viewpoints, know what you want and be able to ask for it. Part of becoming free is being able to go against the status quo and to take an individual stand on life.

The setbacks and restrictions you face along the way strengthen you, and although they may feel overpowering at times, in overcoming them you develop an individuality that defines you and sets you apart from others. So if you find that you have experienced much opposition in your life try not to see it as such a bad thing. If you have been able to go beyond those forces that were against you, you will have developed persistence, tenacity and strength. These three characteristics will give you the power to manifest whatever you want out of life.

To further develop your assertiveness you must see yourself in a non-judgmental way and not criticise or condemn yourself for what you do or have done, or what you don’t do or haven’t done. Eventually you should become able to look at all of your life, see it for what it is, and be accepting of and know who you are. You may desire to make changes to aspects of whom and what you are, but basically you are settled in the knowledge that this will come with time and is something that you are quite capable of doing.

Assertiveness is the ability to take yourself out into the world and be who you are with those around you, while at the same time not being pushed off centre by their reaction to you. If you are assertive you can be yourself, talk about your life, have opinions of your own and not be attached to whether or not other people accept you for those things. You can basically leave it up to others to react to you in whatever way they choose to react. And, when you have truly mastered detachment their reaction will not matter to you.

If you cannot do this then you are not allowing the beauty that is within you to be free to be. You will be projecting to the world that you have no worth, no value or no capabilities. This is basically fear, and as the saying goes ‘a life lived in fear is a life half-lived’. The first part of assertiveness then is to accept yourself as you are, wherever and however that may be. If you are around someone who makes you feel ‘less than’ in some way, ask yourself ‘what is it about this person that intimidates me?’ When you have worked this out you will then discover an area within you that you need to accept. For example, if someone asks you out and you feel that you can’t accept because you aren’t good enough for that person, ask yourself ‘what is it that is holding me back?’ If it happens to be that they are very wealthy and you aren’t, then you will need to work on accepting that you have value to offer without having to have loads of money. Once you can do this for yourself on all levels, you should also give those around you the very same acceptance.


You can read in next article about: Assertiveness – Part II

Collecting your Payment Assertively – Part II

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

Collecting your Payment Assertively - Part II

Handling Jobs that Take Longer

Working at jobs that require more hours and a higher hourly rate never, ever work at jobs where you are required to work for more than a day without getting progress payments from the client. If the client requests you to go to their home and work for more than one day at a time always make them pay you a progress payment as you go along. There have been cases where clients have set out to have someone do four or five days work knowing that they had absolutely no intention of paying them for the work that was done. So when the time came for the cleaner to collect their money on day five, the client in the example that I am thinking of found something wrong and even completely lied about damage done in their home just to cut the poor cleaner out of getting paid what they had worked hard for. Although it doesn’t happen very often, some clients will attempt to have you work without paying you.  Always get your money daily before leaving the house, and make sure that it is cash. Some will also try to tell you that you quoted them a different hourly rate to what you are expecting to collect, so perhaps you should hand them the Terms of Business at the start of the booking to make sure that you know that they have been informed of all the prices.

What to do if the client says that you quoted a different rate – get out your Terms of Business that contains the Rates chart and show them that the rates are standard, hourly and unchanging. These rates are dependent upon the type of clean and whether or not you or the client provided the products and equipment. If the client has an email address you should send them a Terms of Business, a Rates chart and a Service and Commitment form. Then make it a requirement that they tick the receipt box to show that they have received the information, so they legally will not in be a position to argue with you about prices. You will also know undoubtedly that the email has been received, and this will help you in your negotiations with them.

What to do if the client does not give 24 hrs noticeYou are also entitled to charge them for late notice if this happens. You will occasionally have a client who will constantly cancel at the last minute. When it does, charge them for late notice and then decide whether or not it is best to keep this client at all.

What to do if the client wants to pay by cheque – Your client is entitled to pay by cheque and will request to do so when their cleaning is a tax deduction. You will need to be prepared to accept a cheque, as well as provide these clients with a receipt or invoice with your business name and ABN printed on it. I do not recommend that you accept cheques from new clients until you have been cleaning for them for a while. I strongly advise NEVER to accept a cheque for a Vacate clean, a Renovation clean or a Builders clean. Also, don’t be beguiled by some posh, fancy, expensive home. Just because the client appears to have money is no guarantee that they will pay you – they sometimes got the look of having money from conning other people out of theirs. ALWAYS ASK FOR PROGRESS PAYMENTS IN CASH.

I am now going to discuss how to develop an assertive personality. Being assertive will allow your business to succeed and is just as important as being able to perform the work to a high standard and quality. You will need to have these skills to be able to succeed on your own in business. It is my aim to help you develop them.



You can read in next article about: Assertiveness – Part I 

Collecting your Payment Assertively – Part I

August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service

Collecting your Payment Assertively - Part I

Handling Problem Situations

In this article we are going to discuss some very important points that will save you from the heartache of not getting paid for the work that you do. As in every area of life there will always be those people who will try to prey on your trust, honesty and inexperience. You must protect yourself from potentially being used as a free service provider. Please read and memorise the following procedures to avoid working for no payment from those clients that would like to have you do so.

What to do when the client has forgotten to leave out the paymentIf your client is not at home when you arrive and you have their key, unless you have a good relationship with them and they have simply forgotten to leave you the payment it is best not to start work with any new client who has not left your payment out for you.  At this early stage in the arrangement it is always a bad indication of what they will be like in the future with their payments. This is especially important when you clean for a client who is vacating their residence – a Vacate Clean.  If your client says to you, “Just start work, I am going up to the bank to get your money for you and I’ll be back shortly,” I would be VERY suspicious of their actions.  There is a high chance that you won’t see them again, so I suggest that you say to them “I’m sorry, but it’s my policy not to commence working on a Vacate Clean until I have been paid.”

What to do when the client constantly leaves you waiting at the door before letting you in to start workIf you arrive to clean for a client, and they as yet have not returned home to let you in (and they do this on a consistent basis), you are entitled to charge your client from the agreed time of commencement. Some clients are very lax in keeping their commitment to you to be there when you arrive. So, if you feel that your client is giving you the ‘run-around’ you may charge them for your inconvenience. Do use discretion when applying this rule as there will be times when unforeseen circumstances delay your client and they have no way of contacting you. If your client is normally very prompt and reliable, then make allowances in this situation.

What to do when the client has not fully described what needs to be done when asking you to estimate the booking over the phone – there are times when the client doesn’t fully described what needs to be done so that they can get a lower estimate on the fee for the work. When you first arrive at the booking have a look around and make sure that the work can be done in the time that is booked. Should the client require that you work for any longer than what you have estimated, then further charges will be incurred. In later articles I will list the tasks that are part of Regular cleaning, and the tasks that are part of Spring-Cleaning. You can charge quite a lot more for Spring-Cleaning so keep those tasks separate from Regular cleaning and charge differently on those.

If there is not enough time booked to do the work required of you, then either ask the client if they would like you to do what you can in the time booked, or would they like you to stay longer and complete the job. This will teach you how to negotiate with your client, and after a bit of practice you will gain the confidence, communication skills, and knowledge to give the right quote. It would be very unrewarding for you to work overtime with all good intentions only to find that the client wanted to pay only for the hours that you had first discussed. Sometimes too, the client changes their mind about what they want done from the time they make the booking to the time you arrive to do the work. Guard yourself against being underpaid by getting them to agree to pay the appropriate amount before you do the job. Make them aware that what you said on the phone was based on the information they gave you, which wasn’t a full picture of what needed to be done.

When to collect the payment – You should make it a habit to ask for your payment before you begin to work. When you run your business without the backup of an umbrella company like an Agency, clients think that they have more say over you. It is wise to collect the payment from your client at the start of the job. Also, I have seen many cleaners not get paid by clients that had an unrealistic idea of how much could be done in a certain amount of time. You need to protect yourself from this, and also from people who set out to purposely not pay you. It leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth when you find that you have been duped. Always ask for payment before you commence the job or as you go along.



You can read in next article about: Collecting your Payment Assertively – Part II


August focus: Domestic Cleaning Service


Protection for Your Client and Yourself

When it comes to having the right insurance for your business, it would be best to hire the services of a professional Insurance Broker to help you in this area. You must make sure you have the right insurance to protect you from lawsuits, damage to the client’s property and accidents that may occur at the job or on your way to the job. If you have Public Liability Insurance and can quote your policy number to clients, and your business will appear to be more professional than the other businesses that do all their work for cash only. Many clients will choose to hire you based on this fact alone.

For my Australian readers, if you are operating your business as a Pty Ltd business and are employing others, you must have by law your own Workers Compensation Insurance. If you are working directors of that Pty Ltd company then you are not required to have Workers Compensation Insurance. If you are not a Pty Ltd operation and are just trading under a business name then you are also not required to have Workers Compensation Insurance. However, if you do begin to have others working for you then you will need to take out this Insurance to cover them.

If you happen to fall into one of the above categories where you are not able to take out Workers Compensation for yourself, then to protect yourself from accident or injury it is advised that you take out Income Protection or Sickness and Accident Insurance. You will not be able to work if you have an accident while either driving to or at the client’s home, and the client could refuse to pay your costs, so take out your own insurance to cover you.

If you are a sole trader simply working under a registered business name, when you answer incoming calls and take bookings if your caller asks you about Insurance it is important that you share the following information in approximately the same way that you see it written here:

“As you will be paying me direct, you are technically my employer. Therefore, you need to cover yourself with Domestic Workers Compensation Insurance. This will cover you for people like myself who work as cleaners, as well as Electricians, Plumbers, and any sort of Repairman or Handyman who works at your premises. It may also cover you for friends and relatives or anyone hurting themselves whilst on your premises.

“I have my own Public Liability Insurance, which covers you against breakages and damage, and also your own medical bills should you, for example, slip on a wet floor and hurt yourself. My Public Liability Insurance is different to the one you need to have in case I injure myself while on your premises.

“You may purchase Domestic Employees Workers Compensation Insurance policy through GIO as either an extension of the home and contents policy that you already may have with them, or as a stand-alone policy. They will give you a cover note if you need a policy straight away. The fee for this policy is approximately $100 per year, and is a small investment in protecting yourself in the case that something should happen.”

It is most important that you do not forget to share this information, as many people will actually be glad to know this in order to protect their assets.

You should, however, purchase your own Public Liability Insurance and be able to show your clients the documentation. Your insurance is best used on major claims but is not really beneficial on small claims. Therefore, should your breakage or damage amount to only a small cost you are best to pay for this without making a claim.

Be aware that there is an excess to be paid on the policy if you need to make a claim, just as there is on your car insurance. For example, the insurance company agrees to pay any costs after the first say, $250 (which will be of benefit to you if your claim is for more than that), but you must pay the first $250 from your own earnings. If you are careful though, this will never be necessary.

In the event that you do need to claim, this is how best to handle the situation:

  • Firstly, notify your client of the incident.
  • Then obtain two or three quotes and submit them to the Insurance Company with full details of how the accident happened.
  • You will need to do this as soon as possible so that your claim can be processed quickly and your client will remain happy with your service. This ensures that you do not lose your client as well. It also shows your client that you are taking responsibility for what happened and making moves to correct the situation.

When you have paid for Public Liability you are protected for any damage that you cause to the furniture, fixtures or fittings in your client’s home. Also, for causing an accident to the client – for example, if your client arrives home early and slips on the wet floor that you have just mopped, breaking a leg. But to remind you again, you are not covered for your own health and safety ie: Workers Compensation. If you wish to be covered you will need to notify your client that they must take out Domestic Workers Compensation. The client pays you, which technically makes them your employer.



You can read in next article about: Collecting your Payment Assertively –  Part  I