SM Getting Started Basics BP- Featured

Getting Started Basics is a compilation of the most common questions asked of new business owners. And the ansers that go along with the questions.

The Getting Started Basics is a great reference course that organizes everything all in one place. There is no need to take notes since you can view it at any time on any device.

  • And remember if you have questions as you go, click the red question mark in the sidebar and a Certified Savvy Cleaner assistant will be in touch.
How to Choose a Company Name - Featured

GETTING STARTED BASICS

How to Choose a Company Name

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How To Choose a Company Name

WAIT! Before you choose a company name here are a few things you need to know.

When you choose a company name with branding and strategy in mind you can save thousands in advertising later on.

In this course, we’ll cover:

  • Tips for naming your company
  • Search terms to use in your URL
  • How to use benefits in your URL
  • The role your company name plays in social media and popularity
  • How to compete on social media with these few simple strategies
  • Ways to help the search engines find you from your company name
  • How your company name fits into the bigger branding strategy.
  • And why using the right keywords can save you time on admin tasks.

SM Do You Need a Logo Man at Desk Designing Logos, Savvy Cleaner - Featured

GETTING STARTED BASICS

How to Choose the Best Company Logo

Do You Need a Logo for Your Cleaning Company?

Before you randomly choose one, steal one from someone else, or pay $5 for someone to make one on Fiverr check this out.

  • Resources to create a killer logo
  • Logo placement for maximum visibility
  • Reasons to keep your logo simple
  • How to choose the right colors for your logo
  • The meaning of colors – and how using the wrong colors can cost you business.
  • Should you trademark your logo and when?
  • Video Review and Quiz

Discover some savvy strategies to make your logo do the heavy lifting of your marketing for you.

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SM Legal Documents - Featured

GETTING STARTED BASICS

Common Legal Documents You Will Need

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Legal Documents You Will Need

As you get started in your business you will need some legal documents. Here is what you need and why.

In this course we will cover:

  • Cleaning Business Documents You’ll Need
  • Working Agreements for Your Customers
  • How to Get Customers to Sign Agreements
  • How Agreements Set Expectations
  • Understand Covert Contracts
  • Employee Hiring Documents
  • Mandatory Documents for Employers
  • The Documents You Need to Keep on File
  • Documents You Will Need in Court
  • Electronic or Paper Documents?
  • Create a System for Your Documents
  • Legal Documents & Quiz

SM DBA and TAX ID Numbers Course, Savvy Cleaner, Tablet

GETTING STARTED BASICS

DBA, LLC, TAX ID’s & More

The Nitty Gritty on DBAs, TAX ID’s and LLC

In this course, we will cover:

  • How much it costs to set up an LLC.
  • How soon after you start up your business should you file for an LLC?
  • Paying taxes when you’re not yet an LLC.
  • How the tax rules change once you’re an LLC.
  • How soon after you file for an LLC must you apply for an EIN. Employee Identification Number)
  • Why after filing for an LLC you must specify that you’re a corporation. And what happens if you don’t.
  • When you can use your SSN (Social Security Number) in place of an EIN.
  • When you can use an EIN in place of an SSN.
  • Who needs an ITIN to run a business legally in the United States
  • What the difference is between a Social Security Number, an Employee Identification Number, and an ITIN.
  • What is a DBA and how is it different from your personal or trade name?
  • When a business should use a DBA rather than his or her own name.
  • The Tax Rules for Non-Residents working in the United States.

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SM Business License Course, Savvy Cleaner on Smartphone

GETTING STARTED BASICS

Business License Basics

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Business License Basics

Is a business license required to start a cleaning business? Some banks say it is to open a bank account. Other permits can not be obtained without a business license.

In this course we’ll discover:

  • What is a business license and do you need one?
  • Where you go to find out the rules and regulations for your jurisdiction.
  • How to apply for a business license and other business-related permits.
  • Where to go to get free mentorship and advice for your small business.
  • Why it’s important to “legalize” your business.
  • How long you should keep company records on file.

SM Bonding and Insurance Basics Course, Savvy Cleaner on Laptop

GETTING STARTED BASICS

Bonding & Insurance

Bonding and Insurance Basics

Bonding and insurance is a hot topic among house cleaners. What is it and do you need it as a house cleaner? When is the right time to buy a bonding and insurance policy?

In this course we will learn:

  • The reasons bonding and insurance are standard policies for house cleaners.
  • Why house cleaners are delighted to pay the insurance premiums every month.
  • How to justify the cost of an insurance policy when you don’t have the money to pay for one.
  • Why homeowners choose bonded and insured companies over non-insured companies.
  • The reasons it’s bad to lie about being bonded and insured when you’re not.
  • What happens if you never file a claim on your insurance policy.
  • How soon after you start cleaning should you buy insurance
  • The reasons why customers WANT you to have an insurance policy.
  • What happens if you are accused of stealing.
  • Who pays for home damage if you are not insured?
  • Why police reports are necessary to activate a bonding claim.
  • How not being insured can cost you referrals.

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Your Instructor For This Course is Angela Brown

Angela Brown Oberer

Angela Brown

The House Cleaning Guru
Founder: Savvy Cleaner
Author: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company
Show Host: Ask a House Cleaner
Professional House Cleaner = 25 years
Experience Hours: 60,380

Courses by Angela Brown

  • Getting Started Basics
  • How to Ace a Walkthrough
  • Billing and Collections
  • How to Get Referrals

Read more

Your Course Instructor – Angela Brown

Brown Family
My supportive family. I’m on the back row with big hair.

Angela Brown didn’t start out The House Cleaning Guru. She started out a farmer’s daughter and the 4th oldest of 19 kids who were home schooled. Not part of the cleaning story at all – except for this note: When you’re from a family of 21 people (19 kids and Mom and Dad) you have to be resourceful. You have to do more with less. And every opportunity demands you to be creative, patient, and flexible. With those skills you deal with whatever happens next – and that is the foundation on which Angela built her cleaning empire.

Angela’s Cleaning Story Begins

Angela Bartending
Angela bartending-waiting tables

The cleaning story for Angela starts as a waitress at Harpers restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1991.

A fellow waitress was cleaning houses on the side and begged Angela to come join her.

Angela lasted exactly one day in cleaning when she learned (for a bunch of unlucky reasons), she was better working alone. So, she started her own cleaning company the next day.

She didn’t know anything about running a business. But she had a “can do” attitude and a willingness to try and fail that made people want to help her. She made some ugly flyers printed on plain white paper, and scrounged around for some cleaning supplies. And she was off to the races.

Who Has The Skills I Need?

Janet Mackley, Angela Brown
Janet Mackley My Business Coach and Mentor

Angela’s philosophy was always “don’t reinvent the wheel.” She often asked “who has the skills I need? Who has the information that will get me to the next stepping stone? How quickly can I learn and fails so I can succeed?”And her mantra became “fail often to succeed sooner.”

Already a member of Toastmasters International, Angela scheduled her cleaning around meetings. This meant she could hone the skills that would make her the master of walkthroughs.

Janet Mackley a successful small business owner of 17 years, became Angela’s personal small business coach. She taught her things like profit and loss statements and how to create boundaries with clients. And how delivering a consistent product with measurable results will set you ahead of your competition.

Within three months of diving head first into cleaning Angela went full time. And she said goodbye to the waitstaff job, once she maxed out her cleaning schedule.

Now it was time to raise prices and hire a team.

Running a Business Includes Sales & Marketing

Jeffrey Gitomer, Angela Brown
Jeffrey Gitomer my first Sales & Marketing Mentor

Growing a cleaning business BEFORE Google was a challenge. (Well, even before YouTube, Podcasts, social media and Facebook groups.)

The internet was new, home computers were just coming into vogue. And small cleaning companies didn’t have websites yet. There was lots of trial and error and it all came down to sales and marketing – whichout which, you have no business.

Where do you get new clients? How do you overcome objections with confidence? How do you provide real value and customer service beyond the obvious cleaning?

Angela did a deep dive into the psychology of sales and trained under Jeffrey Gitomer (Author: The Sales Bible) as her personal coach to learn the subtle nuances of “the rest of the business.”

 

The Compound Effect of Success

Kate, Angela Brown, Darren Hardy
Kate and Darren Hardy were my Success Coaches

Why does the system work this time but not next time? What is different? What changed? Did the customers change? Are the employees changing steps in the process? Did the cleaning solutions we use change? Why are we getting different results? Every new question demanded an answer and a tweak to the solution.

Success coach Darren Hardy (Owner: Success Magazine) was Angela’s next mentor with ways to motivate yourself and your team. He preached the compound effect.  It means doing small and consistent things that have a cumulative and profound effect on your business.

By 2002 she had a well-oiled cleaning program and a reputation in the Southeast USA for best benchmarks in cleaning.

Before social sharing and even ratings and reviews, companies hired Angela to go onsite and teach her systems to their teams.

The next two decades were training and troubleshooting cleaning scenarios across 31 countries. All while running her own cleaning teams back at home.

The process sounds fantastic but it was far from that. It was crude, and clunky and there was lots of chaos and drama along the way.

“Don’t get me wrong, there are fantastical moments in the daily grind of owning a cleaning business.

But there are also headaches, nightmares and premature grey hair.”

– Angela Brown

Reinvention to Survive

Pat and Angela with Elf Hats
Patrick and Angela (Pat is my husband)

Reinvention is a necessity in any business and it’s also true in cleaning. If you are in business long enough you will reinvent your teams, your systems, and your skills as you scale up or down.

And Angela found herself in reinvention mode at least a dozen times. Over the years she got married, moved, closed businesses down and started up businesses in a new area.  She reinvented teams, systems and procedures. All the while learning and pursuing new skills to compliment her cleaning empire.

The Turning Point that Changed Everything

Turning PointThe biggest turning point for Angela was in the summer of 2015 when a troubled relative showed up on Angela’s door.

She was a self-harming, destructive, lying, stealing, violent, addicted teenager that needed a place to stay and 24/7 monitoring and care.

Angela and Pat welcomed the girl into their home. Not knowing she would dismantle their lives, home and business piece by piece.

The short version of that roller coaster ride opened another door for reinvention.  Angela pulled in the reins on travel, consulting, and cleaning. The balance of managing a team, clients, and business took a side step, while she channeled all her energies into trying to save a life. And right at a time when Angela had never been in higher demand.

When Life Gives You Lemons – Learn Technology

The need to be available 24/7 meant working from home for a while and that meant embracing dreaded technology. It also meant that with the power of the internet she could train house cleaners online.

Technology means there can be books, podcasts, and blogs. There can be training and certification, product reviews, contests, and social media. Even Facebook Groups…and Savvy Cleaner was born.

Hello Savvy CleanerHello Savvy Cleaner

In December 2015, Angela sold her cleaning business and pivoted to an online training company that opened its doors January 1, 2016.

What you are about to experience next is Savvy Cleaner. It’s a composite of street smarts and book learning. It’s real world trial and error. It’s the nitty-gritty, in the trenches with employees and customers Angela went through to get here today.

As your instructor she gives you the nuts and bolts she’s been teaching, tweaking, and testing for the last 29 years.

You’re getting the best of the best. The tried and proven-to-work methods designed to save you years off the learning curve, and turn you into a savvy cleaner.

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Here’s what people are saying:

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