Thursday, July 23, 2015

House Cleaning experience with Groupon

Okay, first off let me explain why I did a Groupon deal to begin with: Every house cleaner has their slow season, and that's usually right after the holidays and around tax time because everyone seems to be trying to catch up after their holiday spending and tax payments. And during this slow time my cleaners still need full time hours. Last year I had a lot of amazing cleaners quit due to hours so this year I didn't want to loose anymore fabulous cleaners so I decided to try this Groupon deal out.

Second, let me explain how Groupon works: They take your service, offer it at 50% off, then take 50% of that for themselves, then charge you a fee for credit card processing. So lets take my 3 hour house cleaning as an example, its normally $100, they are selling it at $50, I get $25, after the processing fee I get $23 for a 3 hour cleaning. Keep in mind, that I do pay my workers a good hourly wage plus mileage so I end up actually loosing money doing this deal but I'm a people pleaser to a fault (probably my biggest flaw honestly) and I was willing to take the hit for the people that work for me to get decently paid during slow season.

I actually lasted I think 3 months before I completely shut off my deal for good. This is what ended up happening:

Groupon told me it would max out at 10 coupons sold per deal a month which I had 3 deals so my thought was 'Okay, 30 cleanings a month isn't bad' DID not shut off ...within two weeks I had sold 70 and it just kept getting worse. I was getting 20+ calls a day and my voicemail box was getting full on the daily. This a small cleaning business, not a franchise, so it was just me being a one man show trying to keep up with all of this

It was okay at first but it completely plummeted, I was booked wall to wall for 4 weeks constantly with no wiggle room or flexibility. So in this case, if someone needs to reschedule, their shit out of luck, if someone calls in sick, I'm shit out of luck. And I ended up double-booking, over-booking, getting my schedule mixed up, forgetting to write people in, etcetera.

I was way in over my head and next thing I knew people were pretty pissed off at me, and honestly I can't blame them, so please take this as my public apology if you weren't treated with the professionalism from my company that you deserved. I would love to say it wasn't my fault but that's a cop out, like I said being a people pleaser is my biggest flaw. I can't please everyone and if I try to I fail, and I learned that the hard way. And I say this because when I did have someone call in sick or have some other reason they couldn't come in, I had no where to put you. Everyone I had was booked for 4 weeks straight, and I didn't want to call people and tell them their cleaning just wasn't going to happen, and that was my mistake, that's where I  really messed up.

Another problem I seemed to run into was people either underestimating the dirtiness of their home or expecting more than one cleaner. Like I discussed I would make $23 a I can barely afford to send one cleaner to your home, let alone two. So they would buy a 3 hour clean and expect one person to be able to clean their entire 2,200 square foot home in that time or a 4 hour clean and expect them to be able to clean 4 bathrooms covered in mold plus the kitchen and all of their floors. Which I will tell you now, it is not really possible for a first time clean to be done in that amount of time, first time cleanings usually take anywhere between 6 and 8 hours IF you want it cleaned very thoroughly.

Which when I started this deal I made a 3 and 4 hour option because really I expected the home to be a little less dirty then they ended up being, but honestly it attracted the homes that haven't been cleaned in a year or more.

So I'm going to end this with 'would I recommend running a Groupon deal for your house cleaning business?' and the answer is 'No'. Not unless you want to either go bankrupt not making enough for overhead or you either want to tarnish your name and make a lot of people mad at you.

I can say I'll probably never run one again. Before Groupon every client was happy, I never got anything under a 5 star review, and now people are mad because they had their cleaning missed, communication wasn't great (like I said I couldn't keep up with everyone), there cleaner didn't work fast enough and get enough done, or the cleaner worked too fast and wasn't thorough enough, it was always something and I never used to have those problems. So now I probably have to spend the rest of this year making it right and rebuilding my good business name because of this Groupon deal.

Please don't let what happened tarnish your opinion of me, you live and you learn, and this was my first time doing a Groupon deal and I definitely learned not to do it again, Thank you!

That green cleaning lady in Tulsa, Ok'
Katie Hampton

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Cleaning Openings for August 2015

I am currently booking for August. I am very fortunate to be booked out for the month of July. I have NO openings this month.

For August I am booking for:
Biweekly Monday afternoons at 12-12:30
Biweekly Tuesday for morning AND afternoon
Weekly Tuesday for afternoons
Biweekly Wednesday for morning AND afternoon
Biweekly or weekly Thursday for morning AND afternoon
Weekly or biweekly Friday's for the mornings at 8-8:30

Monthly cleanings are also available for all of these spots

Please call or email me now to book your cleanings, these spots will fill up fast and will probably no longer be available by the end of July!

I am very lucky to have mostly a full client load.

For your convenience and/or peace of mind, I gladly book initial deep cleanings on Saturdays.

We are also pet friendly - ridiculously pet friendly

You will also enjoy my eco-friendly green house cleaning products. They will make you home sparkle, look clean, feel clean, and most importantly...smell clean!!!

Email me now for a completely honest and free house cleaning quote

Monday, July 13, 2015

My house cleaning polocies

Due to an overwhelming amount of people not complying with my policies and procedures I decided to write about it.

Please understand that it is impossible for me to fill your cleaning spot if proper notice isn't given. If you call (or most often text) me after 5pm the day before your cleaning to cancel that leaves me with no choice but to cut down my hours and not fall into budget because I more than likely won't find someone to take your cleaning spot that late in the day.

Too many times I get text messages at 8:30pm, 10pm, midnight even. Seriously? This is my only income and I need to be able to fill your cleaning spot if you need to cancel so that I can meet my quota to pay for my living expenses (I have a house, a car, and kids to support like everyone else)

That is why I have a cancellation policy: If at least 24 hours notice isn't given for cancellation there will be a fee in the amount of $40

I cannot waive this fee no matter what the reason. I am extremely customer oriented so most of the time I look passed it, hoping they won't do it again. But then I've notice if I let it slide they do it more often, and it really becomes a habit. Texting me first at 6pm, then 8pm, then 10pm...and later and later...and you see where this is going? It has even got so late to where they wouldn't tell me at all, then I'd show up to an empty locked house and call them for them to tell me 'I'm on vacation and forgot to mention it' so now not only am I out on the money I needed and depended on, I'm also out the gas and time it took me to drive the 40 minutes to your home and then the 40 minute drive back.

So this is why I cannot waive this fee. That happened with a year old client, so even if you are normally a faithful reliable client, I cannot negotiate or bend on this policy.

That green cleaning lady in Tulsa, Oklahoma