Monday, February 12, 2007

The Birth Of A New Cleaning Company

Lynn is 21. She's a full-time college student. Her classes start early in the morning and end in the early afternoon. She's usually done by three o'clock every day. Lynn's just like every other college student.

She needs money. Lynn's federal loans just don't cover everything. But her schedule makes it difficult to find a respectable job that pays a decent wage. Most employers need her for forty hours. But she only has about 2-3 hours per day that she can devote to a job.

So Lynn is faced with two choices. She can work part-time earning minimum wage, or she can work under the table providing some type of domestic help. Working under the table means that Lynn doesn't have to report her income. She doesn't have to pay taxes. She doesn't have to provide anything but labor. Best of all, Lynn knows that she can get as much as $20 per hour for her labor. Because Lynn will be competing against real companies. And those real companies are charging $40-50 per hour.

So Lynn knows that she's got to work under the table if she wants to make real money. But what field should Lynn choose? Cleaning, of course. After all, Lynn is a woman. That's enough qualification. Plus she can charge a lot less than Two Maids & A Mop. Getting new business should be a snap.

Lynn figures that she can just a post a free ad online that promotes her cheap labor rates. All she'll need is 5-10 jobs. You see, Lynn can do the math. Lynn knows that she can make $300 weekly by just cleaning one house per day.

And all that money is tax free. And there's no overhead. Every dollar is profit. And it's a lot easier than working forty hours per week. Because that's what she would have to do in order to make this kind of money in a "real" job.

So Lynn posts the free ad. And Lynn gets her ten new customers. And everybody is happy. Until Lynn quits.

Because Lynn doesn't really enjoy this new business. It's a lot harder than she thought. Her new customers expect her to be on time. How can she guarantee her arrival? Her schedule is just too hectic. Like last week, when Lynn needed to stick around campus a little longer to meet with her professor. Lynn ended up being two hours late for her cleaning appointment. And the customer had the audacity to get upset with her.

But Lynn showed her. Because Lynn didn't show up the following week. Lynn just posted another free ad on the internet. And she got another new customer to replace the old, mean customer.

The good news is that the old, mean customer called Two Maids & A Mop. Because she was sick and tired of Lynn. The even better news is that Lynn is still out there.

Lynn thinks she's beat us by getting all these new customers. But Lynn never beats us because Lynn always quits. And when Lynn quits, her old customers call us.

Or they just hire another Lynn.


  1. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I love the "tongue-in-cheek" title here. Suggesting that a cleaning company consists of nothing more than one person and some supplies made me think hard about what it would really take to start a legitimate cleaning business.
    I've enjoyed your blog for the past few weeks (I can't remember how I found you, but it was from another blogger.) I've even mentioned you on my own blog.
    Today I'm writing because I think Two Maids & a Mop (and you) are perfect for a project I'm working on.
    The Hundred Dollar Business (at was created by Carolynn Duncan. Her latest business challenge is to create and publish a book called "The Entrepeneur Story" in just 30 days.
    I'm working with her to secure content (stories from entrepeneurs) and I think you're someone we'd like to feature.
    I can't promise fame and fabulous wealth, but I can promise you're amazing story (the performance-based compensation you offer and your success with your marketing strategy) will be shared with hundreds of other entrepeneurs and book buyers.
    Interested? I thought so. Thanks for considering it.

    Final Embrace, LLC

  2. Hi Timothy,

    Thanks for the nice comments about the blog. It's humbling to know that someone out there actually takes the time to read my words. The blog was intitally created as a marketing tool. I needed more business and publishing the blog was free. I figured that I had nothing to lose.

    But the blog has become much more than a marketing tool for me. I
    have to admit that I love writing. And I've been guilty of talking too much. So the invention of the blog was a perfect fit. Sort of like the remote control. It's hard to remember pre-blog days.

    I would love the opportunity to help with your book. My long term
    strategy for the business is to expand beyond our current geographical borders. So, your book could be a great conduit for our expansion plans. Let me know what you need from me or my business. You can speak to current customers, employees, or just me. Although I might talk too much...

    Thanks for reading. I look forward to talking with you.

  3. Anonymous1:41 PM

    One of the most interesting things about blogs (at least to me) is the way it becomes an "e-mail exchange on steroids."
    So not only do you and I get the benefit of the conversation (that's a no-brainer) but anyone reading the conversation later gets the information as well.
    I think that rocks!
    I've got a great q&a that we're sending out to all the entrepeneurs who will be featured. Can I send it to you?
    If so, please drop me an email at Thanks for your enthusiasm!