As a house cleaning company owner, have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why do I do this?”  I know we’ve all asked that question on a difficult day. On a good day, making money will be on the list for most of us. There are basic motivators that lead us to make the decision to become business owners.  They are different for each of us and understanding what they are can help us receive more value and satisfaction from our business.

Understanding our business motivators can help explain why our businesses are the way they are and help us make decisions that most align with what is most important to us.

I have worked with the owners of many house cleaning companies over the years – as a coach, a trainer, and the CEO of MaidCentral Software.  Amazingly, what I have learned from these owners is there are many ways to run a profitable cleaning company, and the differences between their approaches can often be attributed to the reasons they wanted to own a business in the first place: their motivators.  The more we align our business strategy with what motivates us the more we will be satisfied with the outcomes.

For many of us, there are a lot of reasons why we own and operate our house cleaning businesses.  These reasons can vary greatly from owner to owner, but as a starting point, I have put together a list of ten motivators I’ve observed within the industry.

  1. Money – Making money is a great motivator for most cleaning businesses owners, but how making money influences our decisions can vary from person to person. Many cleaning business owners chose to build a business that can provide a modest income without having to make sacrifices in other parts of their life.  For these owners, lifestyle may be a higher priority.  On the other end of the spectrum, some cleaning business owners want to make as much money as they can, with little regard for many of the other motivators on this list.
  2. Lifestyle – For some cleaning business owners creating a business that allows them the flexibility to live a certain lifestyle is a big motivator. Having the ability to pick the hours you work, being able to travel any time you’d like, or spending more time with the kids are all examples of how lifestyle choices can influence the decisions you make in your cleaning business.
  3. Survival – We are all motivated by the basic needs of having food and shelter. When we feel like these and other comforts we have grown accustomed to are at risk, this is a strong motivator that will influence our decisions and actions.  Other motivators, such as flexible hours and the freedom to travel, often take a back seat when there’s not enough money in the bank to make payroll.  All our focus shifts to addressing that need before catering to other motivators on this list.
  4. Creativity – The satisfaction of building something awesome can be a huge motivator for some cleaning business owners.  “Do It Yourself” is a motivator shared by many. Having a profitable business may not be satisfying if the owner doesn’t feel that their creativity was a major contributor to its success.
  5. Control – While being in charge can often be a mixed bag, being the boss is a motivator for some cleaning business owners. Being the owner doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the CEO, but for many people, there would be little motivation to own the business if they were not the person who was running it.
  6. Wealth – Owning a cleaning business is not only an opportunity to make money – it can also be an asset of value, which in many cases can be sold for a material amount of money.
  7. Legacy – One thing is certain, none of us will be running our cleaning businesses forever. At some point, business owners begin to think about what impact their efforts will have after they are no longer running their companies. Leaving a business to your children, developing unique business processes, and helping other business owners be successful are ways to build a legacy.
  8. Ego – Recognition can be a powerful motivator. Some hard-chargers want to be seen as successful, doing something important, and being the expert at making it happen.
  9. Help Others – The desire to improve the lives of others is a motivator for many cleaning business owners. This can take many forms including creating great jobs, providing awesome customer service, and cleaning for those in need.
  10. Improve the World – Contributing to our community and society can be a big motivator. Cleaning business owners can make a difference in ways ranging from volunteer efforts to taking measures to protect the environment by incorporating green cleaning products and equipment into our services.

The decisions we make in our cleaning businesses are shaped by our motivators.  We are influenced by multiple motivators, and some motivators have a bigger impact on how we run our businesses than others.  Sometimes our motivators are at odds with each other, and we must make decisions that strike a balance between them.  In addition, our motivators can shift depending on the priorities we are dealing with at that moment.

We do things for a reason.  Learning and knowing our motivators helps us make decisions that are in alignment with what we ultimately want.  Take some time and think about what motivates you.  Motivators are powerful, so don’t let the day-to-day whirlwind of running your business and living your life distract you from why you own your business to begin with.  There is a correlation between how well a company feeds the owner’s motivators and how happy the owner is with their business.  The companies that feed the owner’s motivators best are loved by their owners.  As you build your plans for the new year, consider what motivates you and build that into your plan, and you will love your cleaning business, too.