Suspicion – A Survival Tool for House Cleaners @SavvyCleaner

Suspicion Tools for House Cleaners
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How Suspicion Has Helped Keep You Safe On The Job (Your Answers)

close call arrow saves from hole of suspicionI had a hunch that something was up when I got a text from a prospect who wanted me to come clean a house sight unseen, and he was willing to pay my rate “whatever it was”. It made me leery that he was willing to hire me. I’m new in business and don’t have many credentials and don’t have references or referrals yet. I didn’t go.

Our girls arrived at a house and the (homeowners) drunk and stinking brother was asleep on her living room couch. It gave us bad vibes to work with him in the house because we didn’t know him, and were never told he would be there. We left without cleaning.

I was bidding a job when I got this feeling that that lady was lying to me. She kept saying things that didn’t make sense and made me mistrust her. I told her I didn’t have any openings but gave her a price to compare with other cleaning quotes.

Yeah, go with your gut instinct. If you get the impression that an account is creepy or dangerous – they probably are.


 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

#WorkSmartNotHard, Questions to ask potential employees Savvy Cleaner

Your turn, share your tips in the comment section below. You can also tweet me @SavvyCleaner

Cleaning Caddy spacer ©Savvy Cleaner Ask a House Cleaner How Suspicion Can Prevent You From Closing The Wrong Type of Client

 Wait! Don’t close the sale. What? No, you want more sales right? Especially if the client lives nearby and can save you a lengthy commute. And they pay on time. Isn’t that worth something? Wait. Don't close that sale © Savvy Cleaner

A healthy sense of suspicion will help you decide if this client will help or hurt your business long term. shopping cart sale of junk food

It’s like going grocery shopping when you are hungry. You go into the store and you start tossing things into your cart. Without reading the labels you don’t know how many calories or saturated fats the food you’re buying has. You are just looking at the price on the shelf. “Can I afford it? Yep.” And since you’re in a hurry, in the cart, it goes.

But the real price of the food is not how much it costs at the check-out counter – it’s the cost of your health after you eat it. If this food makes you lethargic, obese or at risk for a cardiac arrest – the price just went up.

The same rules apply when booking a client for repeat business. If the client is toxic and you go back week after week that takes a toll on your physical health and the health of your business.  (read more)

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Prevent Prospect Suspicion & Doubt In Your Social Media

Marketing creates continuity in your business. When your social media profiles are cohesive and consistent, it removes the skepticism and uncertainty that new prospects have about hiring you for house cleaning. One of the biggest challenges we face as cleaning service providers is creating expensive flyers, door hangers and banner ads that don’t work. 

I get calls and emails every day from house cleaners trying to leave a good impression in their marketing – but when the interested prospects land on their social media pages there’s a disconnect.

Social Media Header to prevent suspicionHere’s how you can keep your prospects from wondering if you are the same person promoted in your expensive ad.

Profile Pictures – Choose one profile picture and use it for all of your social media accounts. (Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc.)

Cover Photos – Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin allow you a piece of cover art – this needs to be an original photo (It can also be a stock photo, but you have to own the licensing or copyrights to it. It should promote the durability of your brand.

About Section – The about sections on all your social media channels should include your business name and connection to the cleaning industry.

Having unity in your profiles will remove the guesswork from your clients but will also help the search engines link your profiles together boosting your SEO.

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Suspicion Hack of the Week – The Gift of Fear

The Gift of FearGavin de Becker in his best-selling book The Gift of Fear explains a bunch of ways to use improve your intuition, suspicion, and fear to keep you safe. 

One thing he mentions is the 100 million neurons (technically known as the enteric nervous system) embedded in the walls of our stomach. Those neurons talk to our brain and send messages of fear. We know it as our “gut instinct” that kicks in to tell us something is amiss. Or “butterflies” we feel when we are about to meet a client for the first time.  Or “stage fright” when we have to speak in front of a bunch of people.

He insists that we already have built into us, the systems to keep us out of harm’s way. We just need to learn to recognize and read the signs. I downloaded a free copy of the ebook with my Kindle Unlimited account. And I highly recommend reading it. (If you get the paid version, and it saves your life, it’s worth every penny.)

Hack of the week – learn now when you not in a risky situation how to save your life.  It may be the hack of your life. 🙂

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You’re Not Alone

Facebook Group Helps confirm suspicionAs house cleaners we have questions. Some about safety, some about cleaning supplies. Some about the suspicious nature of the people who hire us. And house cleaning is a solitary profession. It’s normal to go days without running into any clients while working. Nobody to bounce ideas with.

So you work alone and have all these thoughts running around in your head. Sometimes you wonder if you are the only one going through the weird things you encounter – or is all house cleaners?

Wonder no more. We started a private Facebook Group for Professional House Cleaners a few months back. As of today, we have 1163 members who are quick to jump in with friendship, sound advice, and support. They’ll remind you that the qualms you had with a client are real. And the lack of confidence you experience is all in your head. 

I’ve never seen such a supportive group, willing to share and help each other as this group of professional cleaners. If you’re not already a member, come join us. I’ve got some fabulous friends I want to introduce you to.

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 What’s going on with Angela? Video Podcasting

Video Podcast Ask a House Cleaner with Angela BrownAs a house cleaner for a couple of decades, I’m a wiz with a mop and a sponge. But when it comes to technology – I’m still the new kid on the block. In January of 2016, I moved my in person house cleaning training online to serve a bigger demand. Since then it’s been a HUGE learning vortex of apps, plugins, SEO, legal stuff and automation. 

When I started this journey 15 months ago, blogging was the way to teach house cleaning online. Now a year and a half later the trend is turning to video and podcasts. Blogging is still effective, but they way we consume information is changing.

So are we. At Savvy Cleaner we’re starting a new Video/podcasting series called “Ask a House Cleaner” It starts April 15th, 2017. You can watch it on YouTube or listen to the podcast version on Itunes or Stitcher. All the show notes will be available at and best of all – it’s free.

The show notes are like a blog – with links to all the stuff we talk about during the show. 

If you have a question you want to ask for the show –  head on over to (Click on the blue button and a microphone will pop up. Record your message and we may answer it on an upcoming show. )

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At Savvy Cleaner we have a vault where we store tips, tricks and time-saving hacks for house cleaners. The vault opens once each week and an email of the latest tips are sent to our exclusive VIP Insiders Club. Wanna join?

Burnout: A House Cleaners Survival Guide

Burnout solutions for house cleaners
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How Do You Deal With House Cleaning Burnout? (Your Answers)


  • House Cleaner facing burnoutMonitor your employees. Look for signs that include doubt, feelings of ineffectiveness, or being tired. Rotating team members usually infuses a new energy and can help reboot the attitudes of your employees.
  • Provide ongoing training for your employees. Training reinforces confidence and boosts morale. Feelings of inadequacy come from lack of knowledge.
  • Job burnout can hit at any age. Make sure that you have a diversity of clients. Usually, it’s just one or two of your clients causing the burnout, let them go and work with alternative clients who keep that spark alive for you.
  • If you hate your job, it might be time to start looking for another job that you are passionate about.
  • If going to work triggers an emotional breakdown – you need to get to the root of it. Find out what is wrong and fix it. If you don’t it will spoil the good clients and employees you have.

 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

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Your turn, share your tips in the comment section below. You can also tweet me @SavvyCleaner

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What is the difference between burnout and a bad day? Ask a House Cleaner

Did you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed?  Is it a bad day…or is it PMS? Not sure?  

You’re gonna have a bad day. It’s a biorhythmic thing and it happens to everybody.

In our company and in our home, we allow everybody 3 bad days a month. (And that is overkill.) If you have a bad day where you feel mean and ugly inside, or you want to bite somebody’s head off we have rules for coping. We’ve followed these rules for 20 years both in my house cleaning company and in my home and they work really well. Here are the rules for coping: (more)

Bad Day - House Cleaners with PMS by Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru

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Social Media Marketing Burnout

Social Media burnoutAre you tired of posting every day online to promote your business? Suddenly you reach burnout mode and you’re sick of the social media struggle? It’s okay if you take a short break but not announce it. When you alert everyone “Hey I’m going dark for a few days, taking some time off Facebook.” It looks like you’re having personal problems. Maybe you are. That’s okay. But don’t advertise it. Client’s may lose confidence in you. They may stop recommending you.

Go Away In Silence

If you need time off from social media – take some time off. Chances are no one will miss you or even notice. When things settle, come back. 

Don’t Announce Your Comeback

Just come back and pick up where you left off. Don’t send red flags that no one is looking for and don’t answer questions no one is asking.

Your social media posts will be much healthier for it.

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Burnout Hack of the Week – Reprogram Your Mind Through Self-Hypnosis

i don't feel like house cleaning today, Ask a House CleanerSymptoms of Burnout

Are you or your employees reaching burnout mode? How can you tell?

Symptoms include:

  • Cynicism
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Low Morale
  • Lack of Self-Confidence
  • Constant Fatigue
  • Sarcasm
  • Psychological Stress

Symptoms of burnout come in various forms. And if not managed early can wreak havoc with your company. As the business owner, your house cleaners take their cues from you. How you feel about your job, your customers and your company peek through every interaction. If you wake up in the morning and think about house cleaning and you’re like “Not Today!” then it may be time for a little self-hypnosis to reprogram your attitude.

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Quick Fixes for House Cleaning Burnout

Serving clients, earning money, managing employees and paying bills is the reason you are in business. It’s difficult juggling so many responsibilities to take time for yourself and your well-being. House cleaning is a demanding job and it takes a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health. So it’s important to schedule regular time off and take time for yourself. In the cleaning industry, we call it Mom Syndrome. This is where you take care of everyone else before taking care of your own needs.

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Schedule and Take Regular Vacations to Prevent Burnout

After cleaning houses for 25 years I found I need three weeks vacation each year.  I take a week in January,  a week in July and a week in September. Scattered through the year gives me something to look forward to (and save money for.) And it allows me to work like a mad woman and then just before exhaustion – taking a week to recoup and recharge my batteries.

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Take Mini Vacations During Your Day/Week

I’ve been a fan of mini vacations my entire life. This is where you are in the middle of a hectic schedule with lots of moving parts and then you take an hour off here or there. I’m really quick to reschedule slots where clients have canceled on me. But on a rare occasion that I don’t, I take that time slot as a mini vacation. The catch with a mini vacation is you have to declare it a mini vacation. You have to consciously spend that time having fun. Shopping, or bowling, or getting a pedicure. If you are not aware you are taking a mini vacation, you’ll fritter away the time doing something stupid. And in the end, you won’t have recharged anything. You will just feel bad for wasting time.

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Exercise Every Day To Release Endorphins

It’s easy to assume because you’re cleaning all day that you’ve got your exercise in. Not necessarily the case. Yes, you are active and cleaning is a physical job. 

But there are parts of your body that still need a jolt of endorphins to reset your enthusiasm. 

I’m a big fan of the mini trampoline. I can put it in front of the TV and when I get home from working all day, I can bounce for 10-15 minutes. It’s just enough that it gets the blood flowing through my entire body. It’s great for your core, your abs, your quads, your glutes. The aerobic exercise is great for your lymphatic system and the bouncing realigns your spine. This helps with people who have chronic back problems. 

You don’t have to do any crazy exercise, but a few minutes here and there will keep your body in house cleaning shape. 

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Eat Healthy Foods

Enough can’t be said about keeping your energy levels up. When you are in burnout mode, look at the food you’ve eaten over the last 72 hours. How much of that food was alive? Fresh fruits, vegetables, superfoods with antioxidants will keep your drive and energy in check. 

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Get Proper Sleep

Everybody needs different amounts of sleep. For some it’s 8 hours a night, others only need six. You’ll have to play around with your sleep until you figure out what your optimal number of hours is.

As a house cleaner, your physical body is your biggest business asset. When you are not at your best, your work suffers.

Think of it like a domino effect. You don’t get the proper sleep you need for your job. That triggers lethargy in your business. Sloppiness causes you to lose customers which affect your stress levels and income. When your income suffers that affects your family and relationships. When your relationships suffer, it affects your mental well-being. Emotions ripple through your life and it upsets your eating. Binge eating brings comfort but messes with your health and sleep. 

All personal success is rooted in your physical balance. Your ability to think, reason, problem solve, function, connects back to you. Sleep is a big part of that. Master it.

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Do Something You Love

Have a hobby. This is something unrelated to house cleaning. This is an alternative thing you do that makes your heart sing. It revives you. Or gives your life meaning because it ignites passion within you. It could be designing websites or shooting photography. It might be knitting or hiking or playing video games. Maybe it’s teaching your kids to dance. Or learning another language. It doesn’t really matter what it is – but it has to be an outlet for your monotonous routine that is often house cleaning.  If you find you have a few minutes that aren’t claimed – this is where you go for your mini vacations.

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Have Renewable Contracts/Agreements

Having a renewable contract is like dating someone you know you will never marry. You agree to work together for a time. In our, company the period is one year. We don’t have contracts clients sign up front it’s just a verbal agreement. And we cover it on our initial walkthrough. And we are both free to go our separate ways at any time for any reason. But at the end of one year no matter what we’re done being their house cleaner. If they want us to stay on as their house cleaner, they have to request it. In other words, they have to fight to keep us, and we have to fight to keep them.

The purpose for this is that long term relationships in my experience tend to mold with age. Something along the way is neglected or not given as much care as in the beginning. House cleaners become complacent and sloppy. Clients expect too much and take advantage. Or they start canceling or forgetting to pay us or whatever. If you know your relationship with each other is coming to an end – you both have to be on your best behavior – all the time.

When you renew your working agreement, this is a good time to do a review or evaluation. Find out how you are doing and what changes you can both make that will enhance the working relationship. It is also a good time to raise your prices if necessary. Or go your ways if you’re sick of each other. Anyway, you look at it, it’s a great way to avoid burnout because you’re not together that long.

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Just Say No To Church Casseroles

Casseroles Lead to BurnoutI’m a people pleaser. If somebody needs help – I go out of my way to help them – even at the expense of my own needs. 

During one of the most stressful times of my life the church called and asked me to bring a casserole to a scout banquet. I agreed. And then I got really stressed out. 

I didn’t have enough money at the time to put food on my own table. Even though I was working 4 separate jobs around the clock. I didn’t have the resources, money or time to make the casserole happen. 

They didn’t even invite me to the scout banquet. I didn’t have a scout going to the banquet. In fact, I had nothing to do with the banquet other than bringing free food. 

I’d never said “NO” before. But I called them back and told them I couldn’t do it. I felt like I was doing the right things for all the wrong reasons and I resented it. 

My Life Was Blessed

I know you’re expecting me to say my life was blessed because I gave free food to the church. But that is not the case. My life was blessed when I learned to say “No to the casserole.” I took back some control over my life. I put me back in charge. It was liberating and removed this big wave of stress.

It was such a relief –  that I started saying “NO” to a lot more volunteer opportunities that had nothing to do with me. I stopped enabling other people to expect something from me for nothing.

It freed me up to help the people I was inspired to help – rather than those who dropped on my doorstep looking for a lazy handout. If you are in a trap of saying yes to everybody who asks favors of you – please stop. You’re not helping anyone including yourself.  People pleasing is a stepping stone to burnout.

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 What’s going on with Angela? – The Invisible Gift

It’s Valentine’s Day 2017 and I can’t say “I forgot.” Internet ads splashed everywhere keep offering me discounts on flowers and jewelry. I go to the store – any store, and pink and red Valentine gremlin’s jump out to say “Buy me!” 

But here’s the catch. I want to celebrate my love with something unique. Not something valued at $14.99, $29.99 or $49.99. Valentine’s gifts seem to fall into one of these price points.

Our Relationship Is Not in Burnout Mode – but My Valentine Gift Giving Is

ValentinePat is on a diet so candy and sweets are out. He doesn’t wear jewelry. And we don’t support the useless teddy bear industry (due to dust and taking up space issues.) So what on earth am I supposed to give a guy who has everything he needs or wants?

This year I chose “The Invisible Gift”. When you’re fifteen years into a marriage, it’s easy to forget why you fell in love in the first place. And no cheap toy is going to reignite the flame.

Sure, I bought him flowers and a card – big whoop. Happy Valentine’s. And then I sent him a text. I thanked him for fielding the calls from an Autotrader ad for a car we have listed. I appreciate him taking over that small task – so I don’t have to deal with it.

The next day the invisible gift continued. I sent him a text saying I appreciate him picking up the groceries so I could work on a deadline. 

The day after that the text said I appreciate him spending his day off working out in the yard, pulling weeds and getting the yard ready for spring. 

Every day the invisible gift continues with a text of me expressing gratitude for some small thing he’s been a part of. And then BAM!

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Something Weird Happened

I started to realize how much Pat does to help me on the sidelines of my life while I’m focusing on getting my new business off the ground. And something else.  Flower to overcome burnoutI made him paranoid. He asked me the other day: “Why are you being so nice to me?” LOL. I should have always been nice – how did I let things slip?

The other day out of the blue he sent me a text thanking me for packing his vitamins in his lunch box every day.  And then he sent me a text the following day for always keeping the cars so clean. 

And then he picked the first flower that bloomed in our yard this spring and brought it to me in my office.

Then he picked up at Lowes a water filter for the refrigerator without being asked. What an amazing surprise. It was like he peeked at my “to do” list and started crossing things off to help me out. 

My invisible gift boomeranged right back to me in the best possible way.

We are only 13 days into invisible gift giving and I can tell you already – this is one of the best Valentine’s gifts ever. WOOHOO!

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At Savvy Cleaner we have a vault where we store tips , tricks and time-saving hacks for house cleaners. The vault opens once each week and an email of the latest tips are sent to our exclusive VIP Insiders Club. Wanna join?

WordPress Plugins to Grow Your House Cleaning Business

WordPress Plugins to Grow Your House Cleaning Business
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WordPress Plugins to Grow Your Cleaning Business (Your Answers)

  1. Yoast SEO – This will walk you step-by-step through the SEO process to maximize your website. (Free and Paid versions)
  2. NextGen Photo Gallery – This allows you to organize your thousands of photos and images on your site for easy access. (Free and Paid versions
  3. Akismet – Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep.
  4. Child Theme Configurator – If you don’t know any code, this allows you to make a “copy” of your site that you can make changes to. When the parent theme updates automatically it doesn’t erase your changes. The child theme is dependent on the parent theme to work.
  5. Testimonial Slider – Create beautiful testimonials, sliders, and lists that rotate like a slideshow on your site to impress your customers.
  6. WP Smush – Reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO using the free WPMU DEV WordPress Smush API.

 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

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Tweet me your favorite solution and we may feature it next week @SavvyCleaner

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Ask a House Cleaner – WordPress Plugins to Syndicate Your Site On A Budget

OnlyWire If You Are On a Budget

All house cleaning businesses run on a budget. If you are growing your cleaning service, you want the most exposure for your investment. 

Have you considered self-syndicating? Instead of paying a couple hundred dollars to PR firms to post each press release, now you can do it yourself. Enter WordPress Plugins. The plugin OnlyWire has a free option that allows you to post to 20 social media platforms with the click of a button. If you want to syndicate to more you pay a monthly fee of $9.99


Simply download and activate the OnlyWire WordPress Plugin. Every time you update your blog site on your WordPress page, OnlyWire will pick up your post and automatically submit it to all the Social Media Networks you have set up with OnlyWire

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WordPress Plugins Use Social Proof to Boost Your Credibility

WordPress plugins - WP Customer Reviews

There are many sites that are crawling for user-generated reviews. Search engines highlight sites that have ratings and reviews because it provides credibility to the user. It’s the new way of vetting a potential house cleaner. Prospective customers see social proof of other people using your service.  And it gives them the confidence to hire you. 

Ratings and reviews on your website are the new “references on request.” Amazon and Ebay are so effective because they show prospects 5-star reviews – and now you can too.

WP Customer Reviews allows you to setup a specific page on your blog to receive customer testimonials for your business/service. 

Among WordPress plugins, this is one of the best for ratings and reviews and best of all, it’s free.

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WordPress Plugins As A Time-Saving Hack – Beaver Builder

The learning curve is the biggest reason house cleaners have crappy websites. We clean houses, not design websites. And we don’t want to have to pay somebody a never ending bucket of money to create one for us. Or wait around for them to make minor updates and changes. But if you’re going to survive as a business in today’s changing social landscape – your website is your home base. YOU NEED A WEBSITE.

A website is where your customers learn about you and your brand. They will look at before and after cleaning pictures to see if you do a good job. They will read your blogs and evaluate your services. This is where a frequently asked questions page shows your prospects that you know what you’re doing. And they will check out your ABOUT page to learn more about you and your team.

Beaver Builder Video 

Time and Money Factors In Website Design

When time and money are of the essence, you need to be able to make all these updates by yourself without the help of a paid designer.

That’s me! I had the same concerns. Yet I didn’t know any CSS, PHP, or HTML code. Not really interested in learning it either. I wanted the magic bullet. Drop and drag page builders. I spent a significant amount of time researching WordPress plugins and I found BeaverBuilder.

BeaverBuilder is not free it’s $99 bucks for the standard package. What you are in essence paying for is the equivalent of an hour of a web designers time, but instead of a web designers time, you get a massive bundle of existing page templates with all the work already done for you. You simply choose the features you want to change, double click, drop and drag. It’s so easy to create your own custom pages in minutes – not days – and you can make changes free of charge at any time. BeaverBuilder allows you to create your own super fancy, high-end, professional looking websites without knowing a single line of code. This plugin will SAVE YOU SO MUCH TIME.  

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What’s The Catch?

The catch is that in order for BeaverBuilder to work you must license a domain name (which costs $8-10 per year Your domain name is your company name built into a URL (example: my company name is Savvy Cleaner and my domain name or URL is

And you will need to host that domain. ($3-5 per month hosting.) I chose Hostgator because they have an exclusive package for WordPress users that comes with WordPress already installed plus 450 free themes. (Make sure the theme you choose is responsive – meaning it is viewable on all types of devices including smartphones.) You can jazz up your theme super easy with BeaverBuilder. All of the necessary costs combined is less than hiring a web designer 1 time – and you will have all the tools you need to build and update your professional business website at any time. 

NOTE: These website set up costs are tax deductible for your business.

(PS. For Savvy Cleaner – I use Cheap-DomainRegistration, Hostgator and BeaverBuilder.  And I have no technical skills whatsoever. If I can do it – you can too. Bam! Just like that.)

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 What’s going on with Angela? Accountability

Planning business strategy session with several hands on a chartSavvy Cleaner joined the Better Business Bureau. As the owner of our house cleaning training company, they asked me lots of questions. Then we started the accreditation process. 

The accreditation process involves checking for business licenses, insurance, bonding, and articles of organization. They want to make sure my business is set up properly with the state and the federal government. Proving I had a business bank and merchant account to accept credit cards was important to them. They wanted client references. There are BBB rules for making sure we don’t overpromise on our marketing. They want to guarantee we are in good standing with our customers and the Chamber of Commerce.

And they had me check with the NC Dept of Education to see if our business fit the model of a proprietary school. And a bunch of other things that at first seemed like rabbit holes they were sending me down.

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Why Am I Telling You This?

Cute Kid with CoatWorking by yourself there is nobody to hold you accountable. And it’s easy to let yourself off the hook for things you know you should do for your business but haven’t done yet. It’s like when you’re a kid and you know you should wear a coat out in the cold – but you don’t do it unless your Mom is standing by the door reminding you that you’ll catch a cold if you don’t.

When you attach an accountability partner like the Better Business Bureau to your business, they remind you why you need to follow the rules.  better business Bureau logoThey look at possibilities you may not have considered. They ask you questions about your business you may have overlooked. And often times they help you prevent problems that haven’t even happened – yet.

Foolish business mistakes cost a lot of money. Those mistakes could show up in the form of lawsuits or civil suits, and federal or state fines. Or it could be something less dramatic – but exhausting like employees quitting and stealing all your clients. Or prospects not hiring you in the first place because you don’t have your act together.

Do you have an accountability partner for your business?

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Training House Cleaning Employees

Training House Cleaning Employees Edition
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Training House Cleaning Employees with an Online ProgramTraining House Cleaning Employees Best Practices  (Your Answers)

  1. First, run through the training procedure yourself. Be clear about what’s expected of the employee in their position.
  2. Start things off slowly. When you overwhelm a new trainee, you make it harder for them to retain specific information.
  3. Give a new employee access to a website or a notebook with all your training materials included. When they are new and excited about the job -is the time they will do a deep dive into your training policies and procedures.
  4. Set realistic deadlines for the employee to complete the training especially if it is online or self-paced. Follow up to make sure they’ve completed it on time.
  5. Include quizzes to ensure the house cleaner has learned the lessons properly.
  6. Have a weekly designated contact session. Air concerns, give feedback, get feedback and keep up with communication.
  7. Don’t micro-manage. Micro-management is the biggest deterrent there is to learning and productivity. It sends the signal of a lack of confidence in the trainee’s capabilities. 

 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

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Tweet me your favorite plugin and we may feature it next week @SavvyCleaner

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Ask a House Cleaner – Training House Cleaning Employees Do’s & Don’ts

training program for your house cleaning employees by Angela BrownDo create a custom training program for house cleaning employees

Do have your training in an employee handbook or as part of your company website. (You can passcode protect that part so everybody can’t see it – only employees with a password.)

Do monitor the progress of your employees learning. The progress that is monitored can be monetized.

Do give praise where praise is due.

Don’t skimp. Training house cleaning employees is paramount to your company success.

Don’t get upset. Be patient. Sometimes it takes a few tries before learning a new system and getting it right. Part of your employee’s learning is making mistakes.

Don’t give all your training at once. Spread it out over a few months. If a new hire feels overwhelmed with the training it’s easy to make excuses not to show up for work. 

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Training House Cleaning Employees Using Social Media

Training House Cleaning Employees Using Social Media ©SavvyCleanerEmployee training through social media is now possible thanks to technology. The old way of training house cleaners is clunky.

When I first started my house cleaning company twenty-five years ago the only way we trained new hires was one at a time.  I had the new hire shadow me on a job and I would try to explain as I went the best way to do things. It was a challenge, to teach while on the job. We had to maintain a certain speed to finish the job on time, and still meet the client demand, and expectations. 

Explaining as you go is good, but sometimes the specifics of a job slipped through the cracks. Even with the best of intentions. We filled in the training gaps the best we could but often it came off like “oh hey, I forgot to tell you this, and now that you’ve screwed up it reminds me – that’s not how it’s done.” Clunky at best.

Once I was confident a new cleaner could work on their own – I patched them up with a few clients and sent them to work. Then I would hire the next person and repeat the training process… (Check out the new way of employee training using social media – it makes so much more sense.) 

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Training House Cleaning Employees Time Saving Hack Training House Cleaning Employees Revolving Door Business Sign

Poor training leads to poor performance. Poor performance leads to employer disappointment and employee dissatisfaction. Which leads to a revolving door with a high turnover of employees and customers. 

One of the biggest problems I’ve seen in my cleaning experience is companies growing too fast. With more jobs than one person can handle, the company owner reaches out to the nearest, most available person to hire. Often this is a relative, church friend, or neighbor. 

With limited resources, they skip the screening and training process. BAD MOVE. (Please don’t skip these steps.)

As the business grows, all sorts of small problems and disappointments crop up because the new hire was never properly trained. Before long that poorly trained employee is assigned to train the next family member or friend. And it turns into this vicious cycle of bad training and bad performance. With the bad performance, your clients leave and find a new cleaning service. And then you scramble to find new clients to keep your existing house cleaners busy.  And then you have to go find new house cleaners to support the cleaning demand.

So the time-saving hack for training your house cleaning employees is to create the training program now.

If you are just starting your cleaning business and your schedule is not slammed with business – do it now before you get busy. Don’t slop your way through the training because you don’t have a system in place to do it right.

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 What’s going on with Angela? 

Angel on book smiling next to a roseMy uncle Randol died at 63 this week of a stroke. He was the primary caregiver to his wife Janet who has been struggling for years with medical issues. I am heartbroken at his passing and so grateful I had the chance to know him. 

When I was thirteen, I spent a summer with Randol and Janet and their three toddlers in San Jose, California. Janet ran a daycare center out of her home and was eight months pregnant with twins. I went to be her “big helper” for the summer and somehow my own Mom agreed to let me go.  

It was a sacrifice for my Mom because she too was pregnant and had fifteen kids of her own at home and could have used my help as well. 

When you’re thirteen you don’t miss much. It’s a weird time because you are still a kid but you want to be an adult. And you watch everybody and you pick up cues on how to behave – for the rest of your life.

What I learned from Randol and Janet that summer was how sacred family time is when you run your own business. And how to protect that time by creating boundaries. 

Protect Your Priorities with Boundaries

Multi Tasking Business MomRandol was a partner at a successful commercial real estate firm and he put God and family above all else. He refused to take evening clients that would cut into his family time. When he came home at night he expected all the daycare kids to be gone so he could spend time with his family. 

Janet was firm about sending the kids home on time too. Parents would call with excuses about why they were going to be late picking up the kids. And Janet would listen to the excuses with empathy and a big smile on her face. “I understand you have complications today. And I need to remind you that there is a $25 surcharge for every fifteen minutes they are here past 6:00 pm.” It seemed ludicrous to me that she would charge SO MUCH for fifteen minutes of time for a parent stuck at work or in traffic.

Janet explained that if she caved into the random and frequent excuses, real or imagined, she would train her clients to take advantage of her.

She reminded her clients in a loving way that her business was open from 7:00 am until 6:00 pm. And after that, she needed to be with her family. She was great a helping people without enabling them. 

Randol was incredibly supportive of Janet’s business. And she, in turn, honored the support by holding firm to the boundaries they set.

You Can Set Boundaries Too

When you run your own business it is easy to work late or put clients first – afraid that you’ll lose business if you don’t. Randol and Janet proved to me that success comes from having boundaries, not from letting clients take advantage of you.

I’m going to miss Randol. He was a great mentor not just to me, but to many.  

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Books: Top 10 Business Books For Your Cleaning Biz

Books for Your House Cleaning Business Edition
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Best Business Books for your House Cleaning Biz?  (Your Answers)

Books for growing your house cleaning company

  1. [easyazon_link keywords=”Think & Grow Rich” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Think & Grow Rich[/easyazon_link] – Napoleon Hill (The Power of Attraction)
  2. [easyazon_link keywords=”The Richest Man in Babylon” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]The Richest Man in Babylon[/easyazon_link] – George S. Clason (Parable to Unlock The Hidden Treasures Within You)
  3. [easyazon_link keywords=”What to Say When You Talk To Yourself” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]What to Say When You Talk To Yourself[/easyazon_link] –  Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. (Powerful Techniques to Program Your Potential)
  4. [easyazon_link keywords=”Full Frontal PR” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Full Frontal PR[/easyazon_link] – Richard Laermer (Building Buzz About Your Business, Your Product or You.)
  5. [easyazon_link keywords=”Secrets of Question-Based Selling” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Secrets of Question-Based Selling[/easyazon_link] – Thomas A Freese (Most Powerful Tools to Double Your Sales Results)
  6. [easyazon_link keywords=”How to Talk to Anyone” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]How to Talk to Anyone[/easyazon_link] – Leil Lowndes (92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships)
  7. [easyazon_link keywords=”Job Interview Almanac” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Job Interview Almanac[/easyazon_link] – Adams (1,800 Interview Questions)
  8. [easyazon_link keywords=”As a Man Thinketh” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]As a Man Thinketh[/easyazon_link] – James Allen (Practical Advice For Those Who Want to Better Themselves)
  9. [easyazon_link keywords=”Rich Dad Poor Dad” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Rich Dad Poor Dad[/easyazon_link] – Robert T. Kiyosaki (#1 Personal Finance Book of All Time)
  10. [easyazon_link keywords=”The Greatest Salesman In The World” locale=”US” tag=”savvyc03-20″]The Greatest Salesman In The World[/easyazon_link] – Og Mandino (Principles of Wisdom Passed Down through Ancient Scrolls)

 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

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Tweet me your best answer @SavvyCleaner

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Ask a House Cleaner – Nasty People

I was going through a really difficult time in my life when I stumbled on a best-selling book by Jay Carter Psy.D. [easyazon_link keywords=”Nasty People” locale=”US” localize=”y” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Nasty People[/easyazon_link]: How to stop being hurt by them without stooping to their level.

Nasty Books by Jay Carter, Psy.D.

In the book you will learn to:

  • Understand the motivations of nasty people
  • How to avoid confrontation with a nasty boss (Homeowner)
  • A new understanding of personality disorders and depression
  • How to handle a nasty spouse (Homeowner, boss, employee)
  • How to break the cycle of nastiness
  • Narcissism, nasty behavior, and self-doubt
  • Nasty people and self-validation
  • The role adrenaline plays in nasty behavior and our responses to it.

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The Big TakeAway

The big takeaway for me from Jay’s books was learning to recognize emotional manipulation. 

Many of us grow up in families or churches that support fear based thinking, guilt trips, or unworthiness.

Then we try to start a business and we bring that unconscious baggage with us. We allow clients to walk all over us because we don’t have proper boundaries. After all, the guilt trips and people pleasing came from folks we love and a faith we believe. But that doesn’t make it healthy.

Learning to recognize manipulation gives you options. You can continue as always, or you can disconnect from it. (He also wrote [easyazon_link keywords=”Nasty Bosses” locale=”US” localize=”y” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Nasty Bosses[/easyazon_link], [easyazon_link keywords=”Nasty Men” locale=”US” localize=”y” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Nasty Men[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link keywords=”Nasty Women” locale=”US” localize=”y” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”savvyc03-20″]Nasty Women[/easyazon_link] – also excellent books.) 

So what I did was write out a script for myself. I designed it to reprogram my unconscious mind in areas of physical, mental and professional health. As my thinking changed at an unconscious level, the results showed up in my conscious world. I recorded my script in my own voice. Then I put it on a playback loop on my iPod and I listened to it every night as I fell asleep. The script was about 45 minutes long. And sprinkled through the script was this affirmation:

“I am immune to manipulation and guilt.”

When I wrote the script – you could say I had thin skin. I was easily offended, I took everything way too personally, and I was defensive.

Now, you can smack me upside the head with any kind of insult or guilt trip and I go “Yep, uh huh, whatever.” It rolls right off the top of my back it’s no biggie. Moving on.  I’ve never said this publicly – but Jay if you’re out there, thanks for the spectacular insights. 

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Social Media Marketing Books on Kindle

Social media changes every day it seems. Algorithms change, formats change, as well as organic reach. One of the best investments I’ve made for my business is a monthly subscription to Kindle Unlimited. It costs me $10.71 per month ($9.99 +Tax) and I can check out 10 books at a time. Most of them are best-selling books that cost $9.97 – $24.95 and I can read them free with my subscription. This applies to business books, novels, how-to instruction guides and any other topic you want to study.

If I am going to check out a new book, I have to return one from my Kindle Library. So I am encouraged to read before returning. 

When it comes to social media, the key is finding the most current books because even books released a year ago can now be obsolete.

This is Where Having a Kindle Unlimited Subscription Comes In.

Some will argue that it’s a waste of money and that some of the books are free elsewhere on the internet. That may be true – but for $10.71 a month, I don’t have to search the internet. I go to my one stop shopping hub and there are all my books in one place. And I don’t have to keep adding myself to email lists to be sent the free download from the author of the book. Quite frankly lots of authors have crappy books and they have crappy newsletters that turn into spam. Every great book has the author’s contact information inside. So if I want to, I can contact the author from a link inside the book.

Also when I get the free download for books I’ve signed up to receive, I have to store them on my hard drive. In some sort of filing system where I can find them again.

Kindle books are always right there in my library and if I want to return to a previous read – I can check the book out again. Bam!

The time it saves me searching for books, and the ease of access is so worth the money to me. Not to mention that it is a tax deduction for my business since it is a research cost.

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If You Have a Smartphone…

You can read books on any device with a Kindle app free of charge. iPhone or iPad or Android Then you can read your books during downtime. You don’t need a special Kindle reader. 
Books on Social Media

So here are three of my favorite Social Media books that I have recently read. You may find others that you recommend. Hit reply and share with me your favorite book. I just might add it to my Kindle Library. Woot!

Social Media: Strategies To Mastering Your Brand- Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat by David Kelly 

And Social Media Marketing: Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube To Strengthen Your Brand and Increase Your Following by Liam Bennett

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Time-Saving Hack of the Week – Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

Books How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company by Angela BrownThis is a shameless self-promotion for a book I released a year ago called How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company. I wrote the book after training hundreds of house cleaners how to do exactly that. 

I’ve been on the ground floor with just about every type of house cleaning start up you can imagine. I’ve seen every kind of mistake and every kind of success. So instead of wasting years figuring it all out yourself – why not invest an hour and read about a proven system that works? Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t make mistakes you can avoid. Instead, make money.

Oh, and you can download the book free at Amazon (even if you don’t have the Kindle Unlimited subscription.) It’s just free. Yay! I’m serious when I say don’t waste your time going at this alone. There are so many people who can help you grow your business. 

TIP: Read the books of the coaches that specialize in houses cleaning before you hire them. A crappy book – suggests a crappy mentor. Again don’t waste your time and resources. (And there are a few killer mentors out there who really know their stuff and can save you years off the learning curve. Find and follow those people.

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 What’s going on with Angela? 

Before house cleaning my job was a marketing manager for a high profile celebrity speaker. People paid him significant money to travel the world and speak at their conferences. 

I worked in an office from 8:00 am until midnight six, seven days a week. Except for the days, I traveled to manage him at the shows. And again the hours were grueling – and often in a different time zone. 

By nature, I’m a people pleaser. I want to help people and watch them succeed – even at the risk of my own well-being and health.

I put other people’s needs before my own. And working those exhaustive hours day in and day out took a toll on my attitude. We were so successful at our marketing that our business grew too fast for us. With the growth came stress – trying to please too many people without a plan. (Hey, I was a kid back then and didn’t have all the business smarts.)

And the short version of a wickedly stressful story is that my workspace became toxic. I hated the speaker, I hated my job, and I hated myself for my lack of boundaries. My people pleasing backfired on me and my desire to help turned to disappointment and regret.  I should have cut off my phone at 6:00 pm, locked the office door and gone home like my employees. 

The Book That Changed My Career 

Books Atlas ShruggedThe book that changed my career was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. If you haven’t read it – it’s a classic. I identified with Dagny Taggart. I was trying to save the metaphorical railroad despite the growing chaos around me. We just couldn’t keep up with demands from clients and fans and I became overwhelmed, bitter and angry. I couldn’t hire people fast enough to help us.

After reading the book – I fired myself. I left the company and went in search of health and wellness. In the meantime, I waited tables at a nearby restaurant for money to pay my bills. It was there I met a woman who hired me to come work for her cleaning company. I worked for her for exactly one day. And I discovered that being the boss was better than working for one. And the rest is history. (Funny how a book can have that impact.)

Hit reply and tell me about one book changed your life? I want to hear your story. 

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