Monday, June 09, 2008

Seven Misconceptions About Your Maid

1. How your maid cleans your home is very important. Of course, it is somewhat important. But the reality is that hiring your housecleaner should have very little to do with housecleaning. Is she dependable? Is she trustworthy? Is she insured? Basically, is she a professional housecleaner - or is she just a housecleaner?

2. Your maid's bond protects you. Not really. Your maid's bond only protects her. Because you'll need to convict your maid before any reimbursement can be delivered. That could take months. But more importantly, it means that you'll need hard evidence to prove your maid's guilt. And other than an outright admission, that's almost impossible.

3. Your maid needs to be licensed. A license is just an eloquent way of saying "tax". Your maid may be licensed. But her license only means that she paid the city and/or county government a few bucks - probably less than a hundred dollars. And nobody is really licensed anyway. There is no test. There are no qualifications - except that you need to pay some money to the government.

4. Your maid needs to be experienced. In most professions, experience matters. Experience teaches you. Experience helps you serve the customer better. But in the housecleaning industry, experience doesn't matter one bit. Because anyone can do this job. Yes, anyone. Experience is not much different than your maid's license. It looks good on paper, but it really doesn't mean anything.

5. Your maid will provide you with a FREE housecleaning estimate. All estimates are free. And if someone actually ever charged for an estimate, she'd go out of business. Nobody is willing to pay for an estimate because everyone claims to provide free estimates. It's not a benefit. It's part of the cost of running a cleaning business. And nothing more.

6. You need references before you'll hire a maid. References always sound good. That's the problem. Look up any marketing handbook and it will tell you to deliver references. There's a reason marketing books talk about references. It's because a reference is a sales technique. They're designed to sell you. Not to educate you.

7. Your maid is a business. It's been said before - starting a housecleaning business is easy. So easy that anyone can do it. And at some point, anyone will do it. You can call yourself a cleaning business, a maid service or even a professional housecleaner. But the reality is that you're not a business. You're just a person cleaning houses on the side, earning some extra money to pay for next week's groceries. You don't need insurance. You don't need to pay taxes. You don't even really need a broom - let your customer provide it. All you need are cheap rates. Because money talks. And somebody will hire you.

Your customer thinks that she's hired Janie's Professional Cleaning Service. But you know that all she's really hired is Janie.

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