This guest post is by Amar Ghose, CEO of ZenMaid Software
When you spend your time doing tasks that software like ZenMaid can do for less than $100 per month, you may as well be setting your money on fire.
I know that sounds extreme but every single thing that you do that could be done by someone, or something else, for less is costing you time and money. This is for the exact same reason that all maid service owners eventually get out of the field: so you can focus on higher value tasks that make both you and your business more money. By focusing on things like marketing, training quality cleaners, and improving your systems you can expand and handle more cleanings, directly causing more money to land in your bank account.
Now, software isn’t going to solve all your business challenges, but it will plug a major piece of your management so you can focus on the rest of your business without worry.
Today I want to cover why you should use software in general, but also why your business should be managed by software designed specifically for cleaning businesses and maid services just like yours, rather than service businesses in general:
Reason #1) Automation
According to dictionary.com, automation is the technique, method, or system of operating, or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum.
Pay attention to the very last section of that definition, “Reducing human intervention to a minimum”.
That human being referred to? That’s you. Or your office manager/assistant that you’re paying.
The beauty of implementing scheduling software in your maid service is that it’s going to remove a variety of tasks from your plate. Tasks that you’re either doing yourself currently, tasks you should be doing, or tasks you’re paying an assistant to do at the current time.
So what sort of tasks are we talking about here?
No matter what software you ultimately decide on, you should be able to quickly and effectively manage your calendar.
When you’re done finalizing that schedule, your scheduling software should be able to do the following, all automatically:
- Communicate work order details to your employees (ZenMaid can do this by text, email, or employee login)
- Send your customers reminders (to limit your no-shows)
- Total your employee hours for payroll, or calculate your revenue share with employees (depending on how you compensate your cleaners)
- Follow up with your customers for a variety of reasons (which I’m sure that you as a Quality Driven Software user are well aware of)
Speaking of QDS … if you’re serious about delivering consistently awesome service that’s unmatched by your competitors, you need to take your feedback and quality seriously and collect it, no matter what. The best way to do this is to use a software, like ZenMaid, that’s integrates with Quality Driven Software so your feedback collection is system is AUTOMATED.
If you’re currently on a software that doesn’t integrate with Quality Driven Software then you’re doing double work to make both programs work for you business. Imagine getting those results with considerably less work and anguish.
Reason #2) Consistency
Consistency goes hand in hand with automation as mentioned above. Whether it’s you or an assistant, mistakes happen. People wake up with the flu, or to a business emergency, and forget (or can’t) fulfill their duties like reminding customers of appointments, follow ups and everything else mentioned above.
Software is consistent. If your reminders are set to go out at 6 am, that’s what your software will do, daily, without fail. No getting sick, no forgetting, just consistency you can count on.
Reason #3) Reporting
One of the biggest things that I see with new users of the ZenMaid software is lack of transparency. By this I mean that owners often don’t know the numbers they need to know about their own business.
These owners were often very well organized, using Google calendar, or a pen and paper to organize their businesses, however when you ask them about their revenues, best performing marketing channels, or projected profits, you’ll usually get a guesstimate answer in return, at best.
(just a quick note here: I was in the exact same position, not knowing my vital numbers, for way too long while running my maid service Fast Friendly Spotless)
One of the major benefits you’ll get from working with maid service specific software is you’ll have transparency on the numbers that matter in your residential cleaning business. You’ll know the numbers that every maid service consultant in the industry requires you to know in order to help you build and improve your business.
At ZenMaid we grilled as many industry consultants as we could to identify and develop the reporting that every maid service needs.
If you’re currently running reporting in Excel, I’m happy that you know your numbers (and I bet you run an awesome business) … but there’s a better way with maid specific software.
Reason #4) More of your business, managed from a single location
Do you hate using 7 different systems to manage your business? Maybe you’re using Outlook Calendar, sending text messages from your phone or Google Voice, managing customer information in an excel spreadsheet, and Quality Driven Software to guarantee you provide awesome service.
Maid specific software can help by bringing multiple of these systems into a single place and/or integrating with your other solutions to limit duplicate data entry and frustrating double-work.
To be completely transparent, unless you have very basic needs for all areas of your business it’s unlikely that that a single software can do it all … for example ZenMaid and our various competitors are never going to be able to compete with QuickBooks when it comes to accounting (Intuit, the company that owns QuickBooks, makes $4 BILLION per year at the time of writing this so it’s not exactly a fair fight)
Similarly, Quality Driven Software is always going to help you collect better, more actionable feedback than we can, and the strength of both programs is exactly why we’ve teamed up to offer you an integration.
Overall though, a lot of your business can be managed from within a single location, which should be where your daily calendar, customer information, and the rest all reside. Maid service software makes this possible while keeping things simple for you and your team.
Reason #5) No more math
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that most readers and maid service owners are not the biggest fans of spending time doing addition, multiplication, and all that stuff you learned in school back in the day.
Tasks such as payroll, time tracking, and the previously mentioned revenue reporting all take both time and mental energy to calculate. Even if you’re currently collecting all of that data and using an excel spreadsheet to do the math, you’re still wasting too much brain power. That mental energy would be better spent on marketing, training, and improving other systems and processes within your business.
The vast majority of scheduling software that is available on the market today is going to run all of those basic numbers for you. In ZenMaid, for example, your employees can note down the times that they spent at various appointments for you to simply confirm. Once you do we can total what your employees hours were for any time period that you choose, with just a couple of clicks.
At this point I hope you’re convinced that you need some sort of scheduling software to run and grow your business. If you’re currently using Outlook, Google Calendar, or pen & paper, literally any service business scheduling software on the market will immediately upgrade your business.
Now I want to quickly cover the reasons that you should be considering software specifically for maid services, instead of general service software:
Reason #6) Ease of use
When you get into maid specific software you’re going to find it easy to use because it was designed by maid service owners, for maid service owners.
And I’m not just referring to ZenMaid (as mentioned above I owned and ran Fast Friendly Spotless in Orange County, CA before starting our company). You’ll find the same thought has been put into Maid Easy Software by John & Brenda who run Maid to Please, and the Maid Suite Software that’s run by Kristen Hadeed of Student Maid, among others.
Software that is not designed for maid services specifically tends to be “bloated” with features that other service companies need but are unnecessary, crowding, and confusing for maid service owners. There’s also a serious lack of focus on recurring services, something that is much more common for owners like us, as compared to say an electrician or plumber.
If you’ve run your maid service for some time, know how to use Google Calendar, and give one of these softwares a shot, you’ll quickly find how natural each feels when added to your business. Combine these with Quality Driven Software and you’re setting up your business to not only run without you (in the best possible way) but also to deliver amazing service consistently.
Reason #7) Better, more knowledgeable support
Again, there’s nothing wrong with the support you receive from a non-maid service specific software but wouldn’t it be nice if the person speaking to you understood your business and daily frustrations on a truly deep level?
A great example of this is a customer calling me recently to ask how to share their cancellation policy with their customers using reminder emails. In addition to getting the answer how, we had an intelligent discussion their cancellation policy options (and pros and cons of each) based on what I’ve seen other maid services like theirs do, plus my own experimentation with various cancellation policies.
When you call into ZenMaid (747-AAA-MAID) you’ll speak with me personally. Not only have I run my own maid service, I’ve spoken with over 1000 owners (literally) like you over the past 3 years. You’ll find similar hands-on support from our maid specific competitors mentioned above.
That’s also the reason that QDS is unlikely to be overtaken by other feedback software, because when you have questions or feedback, it’s going to a team that truly understands your cleaning business.
Bonus Reason #8) No contracts / No risk
To my knowledge none of the maid service specific softwares on the market today require any contract whatsoever. All should offer free trials (usually 14-30 days) and have month to month payment options available so if you find your first pick isn’t working for you it’s easy to try another or change back to your current system without hassle or penalty.
I have yet to see any quality software that expects you to sign a contract before you’ve had an ample amount of time to realistically use it to run your business. Don’t fall into that trap!
There’s a wide variety of reasons that you should be using scheduling software that was designed specifically for maid services just like yours.
We’ve talked about automation and how software can help you to get more done in less time, Best of all, you’ll get it all done with less mistakes due to the consistency of technology that humans just can’t provide.
That automation includes reporting so you can know with 100% certainty what’s going on in your business and where you can improve it.
Maid service specific software also brings more of your business into a single location to make everything more manageable and less frustrating.
Finally we talked about the in depth knowledge that you’ll discover from working with software companies that were developed by maid service owners (that’s me, Martha, and Maria) for maid service owners (that’s you!).
On that note, thank you to Martha, Maria, and the Quality Driven Software team for allowing me the opportunity to share this with you.
If you’re looking to upgrade your scheduling software so you can spend more time on the things that matter in your business I encourage you to give ZenMaid a look. You can learn more at www.ZenMaid.com or contact me directly at Amar@zenmaid.com
Amar Ghose is CEO at ZenMaid Software, where he helps maid service owners and managers to run their businesses more smoothly and with less stress. For more useful advice, systems, and processes for your maid service, join the free newsletter here (scroll down halfway and a nice, friendly pop up will appear)