Friday, September 21, 2007

Three Quick Facts About The Housecleaning Industry

1. There are a lot of us out there. There's a new cleaning company opening every day. And of course, there's another cleaning company closing every day. The solution:

Do your homework. Don't just ask for three references. Ask for a complete history of the company. Housecleaning is brainless. And when something is brainless, you get all sorts of people without a brain. It's your job to figure out who has a brain.

2. There is no such thing as the perfect maid. Everybody makes mistakes. You know this and you admit this. But just wait. Just wait for that mistake. Just wait for that kitchen floor to be dirty. Then tell me if you're ok with mistakes. Because if you're like everybody else, you're not ok. You're not ok because you paid good money for the house to be cleaned. And it's not clean. And you're not happy. The solution:

Relax. When it's all said and done, it's really just a little dirt, dust, or grime. We can fix it. But give us some time. We'll listen to you and we'll fix it. You don't need to threaten to cancel the service. You don't need to raise your voice. Just relax. After all, it's just housecleaning.

3. There no reason to care about being licensed and bonded. But there's a lot of reasons to care about being insured. A business or occupational license costs less than $50. A bond costs less than $100. Neither one does anything for you really. A license is a tax - plain and simple. A bond is supposed to reimburse you for anything stolen. But you've got get a conviction in order to make the bond pay out.

However, insurance costs thousands of dollars. Insurance pays you back if something is broken or damaged. For example, imagine if a very expensive piece of art was destroyed. An individual cleaner without insurance could just run and hide because she doesn't have the funds to reimburse you. Of course, she could if she had insurance. But insurance isn't cheap. And that's exactly why she doesn't have it. But then again, you probably hired her because she was cheap too. The solution:

Don't just hire a maid because they are cheap. There's always a reason why rates are low. Rates are usually lower because overhead is lower. And a big part of a cleaning business' overhead is insurance. It's called general liability insurance and it's just like your homeowner's insurance. When something happens, they open an investigation. Someone estimates the damage and that's how you get paid. Long story short, force every cleaning company to provide you with their general liability insurance policy.

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