Drew Freemantle and his wife Tonya know a lot about cleaning, but also a lot about running a small business together. More than eight years ago, Drew encouraged his wife to branch out on her own after she had spent years cleaning for other companies. The couple launched professional cleaning company, Maid Perfect. Like any small business launch, there have been highs and lows. Drew shares his tips on what’s worked for their business.
Have a Steady Income Source
Before you launch, Drew suggests having a steady revenue stream. Your household bills aren’t going to wait for your business to become profitable. When he encouraged his wife to get her business license, Drew didn’t quit his own job. In fact, he was working at night while attending college during the day. Money was tight, but he says they slowly picked up more and more clients. He adds that you really have to work hard now for big pay offs later. “Don’t do it for the money! Focus on the customers and the money will come. Find something that really motivates you.”
Set Boundaries on Your Schedule
For Drew and Tonya, a big motivator for launching their own business was to create freedom and flexibility with their schedules. Drew explains they don’t work on the weekends and they make sure to take time off for family vacations and relaxation. However, when you are at work you have to be disciplined with yourself. “You don’t have somebody telling you what to do. You have to be your own boss.” Drew adds this also means taking care of yourself and not just your business. He and his wife plan out their weekly meals and cook healthy meals in advance since they don’t have the luxury of taking sick days. Drew encourages small business owners to not let these obstacles distract you from your goals.
Focus on the Customer
For Maid Perfect their goal has always been the same – do an outstanding cleaning job while providing excellent customer service to their clients. “Everybody can be good just once or twice, but you have to be consistent all the time,” Drew explains. “It’s important to have the same goal to work well together and for us that was providing the best service possible,” Tonya agrees. It’s because of this service that their business has been able to grow every year, and now includes more than 50 regular customers. Drew says, “We just maintain standards. We just draw the line and never go below that. If you’re tired you slow down and just take longer. Never sacrifice service to anyone no matter how small or large the job is.”
Hire Great Employees
But to do an outstanding job, you have to have amazing employees. “Treat your employees like gold. As your business grows think of them first.” Drew says when they hire people they look for a good work ethic, an open mind, and above all else honesty. “Honesty is huge. That’s why you keep your clients.” If you are going to be working in someone’s personal home or business, they don’t want to have to worry or wonder what you are doing. Drew says they have a no snooping policy and don’t make any judgments about other people’s places or things.
Spend Money on Advertising
Along with great employees, a strong work ethic, and over the top service, you still need a few other things to help you succeed. Drew says he’s learned over the years how important advertising and networking is to them. He encourages all new business owners to join the Thurston Chamber of Commerce so they can get to know others in their field. When it comes to advertising, he tells me it used to be all about word of mouth. But now he has a Facebook page, website, and signage on his vehicle. However, Drew stresses to carry commercial insurance on any work vehicle so it’s covered in an accident. Drew also likes to donate services as raffle prizes so people can see exactly what Maid Perfect has to offer.
So while starting a new business is sure to come with obstacles and distractions, Drew says it’s definitely worth it. “What motivates me is knowing I am making a difference in peoples lives,” says Drew. “I am giving them more time to pursue their goals and dreams. Life isn’t all work and shouldn’t be. It’s just easier to think when you have a clean house. When you focus on your client’s needs, you will always be looking for ways to improve their service.”
Learn more about Maid Perfect, visit their website or call 360-402-6248.