If you are going to grow, you’ll have to trust your clients with newly hired and trained cleaning technicians, and you’ll probably have your first client retention crisis.

[EasyDNNnewsToken:Left Justify Embed 300 x 250]When you are a new company, one of the easiest things to do is to retain your clients.  You know them personally, you know what they like, and you are super motivated to do an excellent job!  After all, you’re trying to build a company. 


The challenge comes when you have to start adding employees.  Maybe you’re too busy to do all the work yourself or perhaps your plan is to grow your company into a huge company with multiple offices around the country.  Regardless of the reason, hiring your first employees can take a toll on your client retention if you aren’t prepared for the inevitable back lash.  Here are 4 basic things that you need to be prepared for.


1. Your Clients won’t like having someone else clean for them.  No matter who you are or how you clean, your clients won’t want you to hand them off to someone else.  They’ve grown accustomed to you and your style.  They like you.  You have become part of their network.  Be prepared by transitioning with the new people.  Bring them with you initially, talk about the client’s priorities, explain what is important about each client to your new employees – especially if the client is home.  Do not act or talk as if you are concerned about hiring employees; forge ahead as though this is the normal course of action.


2. Nobody will clean as well as you do.  It’s true.  Nobody is as dedicated to your business as you are.  They can’t spend extra time cleaning those extras that you always threw in for free.  Be prepared by training them to do an excellent job and to understand your standards. But equally importantly, you will need to accept the fact that nobody is going to clean as well as you do.  Forge ahead as though everything is exactly the way it should be.  Continue to train and they will soon be cleaning well enough. 


3. Your personal income will suffer initially.  Initially, some of the money that you used to take home will now be funneled off to your new employees.  Hopefully you were charging enough money to sustain yourself during this transition period.  Four employees is all it takes for you to be back to where you were, and then you are growing your profits again.  To prepare, begin saving money three months before you hire and ramp up your marketing so that you can quickly get up to that 4-person threshold.


4. You will be afraid.
Understand that this is just a normal state of being during times of big change.  No matter who you are, big change is uncomfortable.  Forge ahead and know that you are in good company!

Liz Trotter
is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington. She is also a former ARCSI board member, creator of the Culture Circus employee development system  and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.