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16 Tips to keep your home and yourself healthy this Winter…

                    16 Tips to keeping your home and yourself healthy this Winter.

  1. In the Bedroom-Wash your sheets weekly. This helps you not only feel better and who does not like clean sheets? Washing weekly helps to limit the about of accumulated cooties that have been embedded to your sheets. 
  2. In the Bedroom-If possible use Pillow Case Covers and take off and wash weekly as well. 
  3. The whole house, room by room-Open your windows and air out your home. (If its not too cold, you can do this for 15 minutes. This is recommend to do this 1 time a week
  4. Sanitize your remote controls with a sanitizing wipes
  5. Sanitize your cel phone with alcohol wipes
  6. Sanitize your key boards on your computer with alcohol wipes. YOU will be surprised how dirty your keyboard actually is. 
  7. Kitchen-Use your dishwasher if you have one; this kills germs by the millions. Remember to throw the dishwasher pod into the bottom of dishwasher.
  8. Kitchen-Throughly cleaning your kitchen Sink. Your kitchen sink has more germs in it than your toilet! So do this weekly.
  9. Kitchen-Ice makers and water distribution areas should be washed at least weekly, if not monthly. Many times my employee’s go out on deep cleanings, and this area is slimy to the touch.
  10. Bathroom-If you don’t have time to clean your bathroom, pour liquid bleach inside to give it a quick cleaning. Carefully swirl around inside of bowl with toilet brush and flush (Do not do this if you are on septic!)
  11. Bathroom-change out your bathroom towels weekly. 
  12. Wipe off all high traffic areas with soap and water, do daily if someone is sick in the home. (Switch plates, Stair railings, door handles, backs of dinning room chairs)
  13. Cover your mouth when you sneeze and use hand sanitizer if you don’t have time to wash them. 
  14. Change out your tooth brush if you have been sick, don’t want to throw it out? Throw into dishwasher and wash. (Careful it could melt-Top Rack only)
  15. Take a probiotic and vitamin C daily. 
  16. If you are sick, stay home, the rest of us don’t want to catch your cooties. :

We do offer a sheet change service, if you are unable to get this important task done yourself. And we will be more than happy to get you on our schedule. 

And we also offer Laundry and Lite Cleaning Service. This is meant as a supplemental service for regular cleaning clients.

Many blessings,

Shannon Miller @ Kastlekeepercleaning.com

Kleanfreaksuniversity.com

#cleaning #cleaningtips #howtoclean #stayinghealthythiswinter #coldandflu #professionalmaidservice

928.277.3868

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Tax Deductions….What to write off if you own a cleaning business!

What can your write off, if you own your own cleaning company?

These are the top 10 things you can write off on your income taxes. Note: they are not in any particular order. 1. Milage- By far is my largest write off. Especially when I had 4 company vehicles. Get yourself a milage app for your phone or keep track of your milage the old fashioned way, pen and notebook.

2. General Liability, Workman’s Comp and Auto Insurance

3. Cellphone

4. Chemical and Janitoral Costs (Chemicals/Vacuums)

5. Soft wear- Jobber, Docusign, Quickbooks, Website, Hosting, WordPress. etc…

6. Merchant Fee’s/ Charge backs

7. Marketing-Yelp, Facebook, Google

8. Storage units/office space

9. Payroll/Contract Labor

10. Memberships/Seminars.

 

Check out our video on youtube : https://youtu.be/-EJ2QyHs0bs

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How to schedule the perfect cleaning schedule for yourself and for your cleaning client’s

READ LATER - DOWNLOAD THIS POST AS PDF >> CLICK HERE <<

Whether it’s just you (me, myself and I) or even if you have employee’s. There is a lot to be said for having a smooth running schedule when you own a cleaning company.

People-love-consistency.

Having clear boundaries with your on boarding paperwork also ensures that your schedule runs smoothly. When they sign paperwork, it holds everyone involved accountable and it solidify’s their commitment to you and your company.

It also teaches your client’s how to treat you. And believe me when I say it’s the same for them. They want to be treated with professionalism.

I see this all over social media, every day…

Payment is due at the time services are rendered. PERIOD.

This is why you need to accept credit cards, have them sign a credit card authorization form. Everyone keeps a credit card on file. Either hand deliver it, or sign up for docusign. This way you have their information on file and you can just bill them on their card when they forget to leave you a check. Accountability and consistency in you income is very important.

We actually charge them on day of services and with larger projects we take at least a 50% up front on the day of booking said project.

Having set business hours. This helps you have a life outside of work. Many of us burn it on both ends as we are trying to build and build and build. The only thing that typically comes out of this is burn out. No one wants to build that!

You decide what those hours are going to be. We only will work M-F, if you call over the weekend or text to our business line, we will not respond until we reopen again back on the next business day, this is usually Monday unless we closed for a national holiday.

And trust me,  it can be very hard not to respond to a text message over the weekend. To your client, everything is an emergency.

Just have 2 phones, 1 for business, 1 for you. That way it will not ruin your weekend. After all it’s your time, not theirs.

Having specific start times help to keep everyone on the same schedule. Again, I reiterate quality of life.

We typically only have 2 start times on our schedule. 7-9am or 11-1pm. If I have someone who can handle 3 homes a day. Then I will slide them in there around 2pm. We usually have a 2 hour window of when we will show up. Yours may be different depending on where you live and how much traffic you have.

Reoccurring clients need to be on the schedule regularly. Failure to do this causes them to be charged at a much higher 1x cleaning rate, than that of someone who is on the regular schedule.

Also if someone is on the schedule and they miss 3 appointments in a row, we just pull them off the schedule and try and resell that spot. We wait for no one…

When they are ready to return to the schedule there is no guarantee that they will have the same day/time.

Having a cancellation policy is important, this way you can bill client’s when they cancel at the last minute.

Show-up fee- This is important because if you show up and can not access a property, you still need to get paid for doing so.

Code of Conduct- I didn’t have this one until 2017, I was assaulted my an older client in his 80’s so now we have a code of conduct and safety in place for just situations like this.

Non- Solicitation- This is a great form to have if you have employee’s.

Snow Day Policy-Pretty self explanatory.

Digital Calendar System- there are plenty out there to try. You need something to help run a smooth schedule.

Monthly clients- I always have monthly clients scheduled every 4 weeks. This means that if it is a 5 week month. They typically get 2 visits from us and if they say, yeah sure and then cancel. I just refer them to the 48 hour cancellation notice. and they are only scheduled on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. They also need to be available either AM or Pm So they kind of float around on the schedule to help fill in the holes on the schedule.

3 Week Schedule- Never take on 3 week clients, It screws up your schedule. Especially when you have employee’s as they are not going to want to work that house, because they can have a weekly or bi weekly client instead.

2 week clients-I love these, they usually are the easiest to deal with and they understand how things work.

Weekly Clients- If you can get them, they are your bread and butter. Treat them as such. I have some weekly clients who generate over 27,000 a year in gross revenue. These guys are always scheduled in the Am usually on Fridays.

Any questions please feel free to contact me 🙂

#shannonmiller

#kleanfreaksuniversity

#howtocreatetheperfectcleaningschedule.

 

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How to figure out what your production rate is for cleaning@!!!!!

There is a lot to be said for doing this one thing! By learning what your production rate is, it will help you give a more accurate bid and ultimate make more money for your bottom line. 

You are probably thinking, well there is an app for bidding. Yes, there is. However an app isn’t going to help you to really understand the bidding process and production rates. It’s just going to tell you what it is. 

Let’s say you have a 1200 square foot home and it takes you 3.0 hours to clean that house, then your production rate is 400 square feet per hour. (15 square feet, per minute) 

Another scenario to consider would be if you took this very same single level home, and you then cleaned it in 2.0 hours. Your production rate is 600 square feet per hour. 

And if you are a super star and you cleaned this very same house in 1.5 hours, your production rate is calculated a little differently. You take 1200 divided by 90 minutes (1.5 hours) =13.33 square feet, per minute (13.33 x 90 minutes (1.5 hours) =1200 square feet) 

When you know what your production rates are or what your crews production rates are it helps you make more sound bids.  I do have a few individuals that can clean 850-1000 square feet per hour. The caveat is that it never works for a home this size. Only in larger homes around 3500-4000 square feet!

Here are some basic square footage ( regular house cleaning)  per hour for us.

New first 90 days of working as a cleaner. They more than likely it is going to be 400-500 square foot per hour.

90-180 days as a cleaner depending on the individual it’s going to be 650-800 square feet per hour.

At the 6 month mark, you will have cleaners who can regularly clean 800-1000 square feet per hour. 

Anything after 1000 square feet I have found that people skip large portions of what is supposed to be cleaned. 

Youtube channel is:  

#shannonmiller

#kleanfreaksuniversity

#howtobidforcleaning

#howtofigureoutwhatyourproductionrateis

#standardprouctionratesforcleaning

How to figure out what your production rate is.

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Top 5 Questions to ask when giving a Post Construction Cleaning

Post Construction Cleaning Bids

5 Important questions to ask when giving a Post Construction Cleaning Bid.

Remember that Post Construction cleanings are just vacuuming, wet wiping and drying. REPEAT. REPEAT. REPEAT….If you have someone who wants all of this plus regular cleaning be sure to charge extra for doing so! 

  1. Date-When do you need to have the job done by?

2.   What is the address? Is this in my service area?

3.   What kind of post construction cleaning is it? 

DIY-These are usually home owner done and fully furnished

Licensed Contractor- Hires a bunch of vendors and you clean up after

New Builds-3 cleanings with one price

Rough

Clean

Polish

Find out if you need to list them as additional insured. What the extra insurance is going to be per vehicle on site. I have personally had to increase my car insurance to accommodate certain jobs. And of course this can also increase your bid price. I usually leave a clause in the bid that gives me the right to add this to the bill once the insurance company’s gives me the information.

4. When am I going to get paid?

DIY-Get Credit Card and bill at least 50% up front

Licensed Contractor-Get Credit Card and bill at least 50% up front

New Builds-Usually a net 30. Do you due diligence and research that company so you      can make sure you are going to get paid on that large job. I have also had on certain projects New Builds give me a credit card as well. Remember it never hurts to ask. 

5. Is wall washing, Ceilings and Window (Treatments) Dressings and or Windows themselves needing to be included in the price? 

Pro Tip: If you decide that doing new builds is the thing for you, make sure that you create a separate entity (sole-proprietor, LLC. Or Inc.) and a separate bank account. Sometimes large projects can go into litigation for one reason or another and you will get what I refer to as “a blanket lawsuit.” They can then freeze your bank account until they figure it out. 

Pro Tip:  When cleaning blinds make sure they initial/sign a waiver that you are not responsible for cleaning the blinds, sometimes those strings can snap, even if they are new.

Pro Tip: If they are having appliances delivered and shipping (protective) plastic is still attached to appliance, make sure that the homeowner/contractor does it. Sometimes movers can ding appliances and you will get blamed. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you completely vacuum the outside of appliances and then gently wet wipe with the grain of the appliance or you could scratch the appliance. 

#shannonmiller

#kleanfreaksuniversity

#postconstructcioncleanings

#questionstoaskwhendoingapostconstructioncleaning

Top 5 Questions to ask when giving a Post Construction Cleaning Bid.
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How to Deep Clean your Bathroom with a Drill :)

READ LATER - DOWNLOAD THIS POST AS PDF >> CLICK HERE <<

How to deep clean your bathroom using a drill

By Shannon Miller

kleanfreaksuniversity.com

I am pretty sure that I am not the only female who ask’s for tools as gifts. So this year around Black Friday, I wanted a cordless drill. And I was super excited when I actually got one. 

As I didn’t pick what brand, hubby got me a RIDGID cordless drill that came with 2 batteries and a life time warranty on both the batteries and the drill. 

I have used it in 5 bathrooms so far and I wanted to share my field notes with all of you!

A word of caution:

First off there are those of you who have already purchase a drill that is not cordless. Please be careful as you are dragging an electric tool over potentially wet surfaces. 

Also there is a short cord issue that will require an extension cord, also another area of concern of electric shock or worse if cord sits on top of a wet surface. 

And remember never pull out a cord from a wall with wet hands!

I can tell you from experience that being electrocuted is never fun 🙁 So please use caution if you decide to go in this direction.

Anyways here are my notes and what I found. 

  1. Upon opening the package of drill kit, both batteries came partially charged for testing when leaving the factory. So be sure to fully charge both batteries.
  2. If you decide to do a lot of bathrooms this way, you will need a hip holster or a strap to hold drill in place while you rinse etc…For the sake of this working experiment, I just held drill in-between my thighs, not always the easiest thing to do.
  3. This drill can be a bit heavy for those of you that do not currently have a lot of upper body strength. It feels like it weighs about 4-5 pounds. I did not weigh it and could not find it’s current weight listed on any websites.
  4. In addition to the drill, I also purchased an assortment of brushes. I am still testing to see what is my absolute favorite. The Toilet brushed shaped yellow and black brush and the small white flat brush seem to be my go to’s so far. I have tried the large round yellow flat surfaced brush and it kicks out a lot of water when running a lot the glass.
  5. I found that 1 battery fully charged can clean 3-4 bathrooms (showers/tubs) so if you have a lot of bathrooms to deep clean, then bring the other battery and the charger with you. 
  6. Dry your drill after each use with a microfiber cloth, this will help extend the life of your drill. 

PRO TIP: When cleaning the bathroom, remember to spray what ever chemical that you are using on to a dry shower/tub surface first. After spraying let sit for at least 5 minutes. This will help lift the build up that has settled on the surfaces from the last cleaning.

To buff all shower surfaces, I re-lubricated the shower doors and walls by dipping the brush head into the plastic cup filled with h20 by using a large plastic cup filled with h20.

I just went from bottom to top, left to right. In total I was in the shower all of 3-5 minutes. Remember to rinse, then just dry the glass and the faucets. Ta-Da!!!

This has helped my crew cut down their cleaning times immensely!!  

And if you are a domestic engineer this can also cut down on your cleaning times as well 🙂

For all you independents out there we charge to do this add on service and you should too! 

For links of products that I purchased please read the full post at www.kleanfreaksuniversity.com

#shannonmiller

#kleanfreaksuniversity

#howtouseadrilltocleanwith

#howtouseadrilltocleanthebathroom

#howtodeepcleanyourbathroomwithadrill

#howtocleanabathroom

#housecleaningtipsandtricks

#diy

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How to power clean your bathroom with a drill-kleanfreaksuniversity.com
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2020 Goals!!

It’s hard to believe that we have just entered into a new decade!
So-much-has-happened!
So many lessons that I have learned!
So many relationships that I have built!
When I think about how privileged I have been, I feel totally blessed and most importantly loved by the many that are in my inner circle!

What are some of the goals you would like to accomplish for this new year?

I will go first!

Take more time for myself! I have learned unless I schedule “Time” for myself then I won’t get any!

Be more focused!

Finish my book that I am writing!

Hmmmm….I am seeing a pattern and a theme. Definitely time management is in order 🙂

Feel free to share some of your goals down below 🙂

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Why you should increase your prices at least one time a year.

Rate increases and how to do them.

Shannon Miller

Kleanfreaksuniversity.com

Increasing your rates can be a scary thing. 

What if your clients drop you? 

What if they suddenly point out some deficiency of service that they have held on to for forever and you had no idea? 

What if they yell at you? What if… What if…What if…?

If you straddle the fence for too long, then you will blow that profit margin. 

While considering whether or not this will be good for you, let me point out some facts.

Fact #1.  When unemployment is this low you need to work extra hard to keep the service tech’s you have. As it is an employee’s market out there. And if the wind changes direction there goes all your training dollars!

Fact #2.  When the economy is booming everything goes up in price. What was your chemical cost last year? How about that Workman’s Comp? Gas for vehicles?

Fact #3.  It’s human nature to try and haggle you or suddenly point out some deficiency to keep the lower price. (I have had this happen many times) 

Be gentle, but firm. Explain that your door is always open when it comes to deficiencies in service. However since everything has gone up in price your prices have to increase as well. 

Have you been to a fast-food restaurant lately. It is almost as much as a low end sit down restaurant! 

Price Increases are also explained in my on-boarding paperwork when we pick up new clients. 

This is listed below how it is exactly stated: 

“We reserve the right to increase our prices at any time, with notice.”

If they still give you a hard time about the price then just explain that you appreciate having them for (Name how long you have had them here) and you just wanted to try and give them as much time as possible incase they need to find another service because you understand that this is going to be an inconvenience for them 🙂

So, how much should you raise their rate? It should be a minimum increase of 4% per year. 

The average going rate for a professional maid service is 45.00-85.00 per hour depending on your location here in the United States. If you are not charging that, then your underpriced and over worked!

Increase your rates and give yourself a raise! I have found that as the labor laws change right at the beginning of the year this is usually a good starting point for us. 

How to do the math.

For example if you charge 150.00 for a small home to be cleaned you will need to bump it up 6.00 minimum. (150.00 x 4%=6.00) I usually add 1.00 on top of that to help cover a tiny bit of the merchant fees. So the new rate is 157.00 per visit. 

For more interesting tips and tricks on how to grow your business see our website kleanfreaksuniversity.com

Sign up to be on our email list and get a free template letter, “Price Increase” that you can use with your price increases. 

#shannonmiller

#kleanfreaksuniversity

#whyyoushoudraiseyourratesatleastonceayear

#howtoraiseyourrates

#servicebusinesses

How to increase your pricing for more profit!

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How to clean a Copper Sink!

How to clean a copper sink!

How to clean a Copper Sink!

Copper sinks are funny things. It’s strictly a 50% thing. What I am referring to is that 50% of your clients will not want you to clean copper sinks with anything but water and a dry cloth, as it will take the patina off of copper sink. 

Then the other 50% will want it cleaned  each and every time with copper cleaner.

Step #1. 
Take your creamed copper cleaner and apply liberally all over surface of copper sink. Usually there is a sponge type applicator included with creamed copper cleaner.

Step #2

Let sit for a minute

Step #3

Wipe with a clean towel (rag of choice)

Step #4

See where you are, it may need another application.

Then the trick is…..

Step #5

Take window cleaner spray on copper sink and buff dry immediately.

This will take all residual cleaner off of sink and it will buff to a nice shiny sheen!

Don’t forget to Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter of tips and tricks delivered right to your inbox.

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The Day that I touched Pee…

Just realize…that…I…seriously…know that most of you won’t intentionally go out and touch pee, unless of course you are doing Urinalysis for a living. (Can you say drug test, maybe hundreds of them day in and day out. Who knows maybe it’s thousands?)

Then and I am hoping only then you are going to touch pee just about everyday, with or without gloves! 

-I am secretly hoping that you do choose gloves or wash your hands a lot! 

Remember… it’s the H-a-p-p-y B-i-r-t-h-d-a-y that you sing to yourself when washing those 10 digits. 

But lets say hypothetically that you did touched pee, in it’s congealed yet, sort of, crystalized form because the person giving you the grand tour of their shared office space didn’t understand what it could possibly be, as she shrugs her shoulders up and down, in between the pops of the gum in her mouth that she is partially chewing.

And it’s only after that initial touch this mystery item you suddenly recollect that the normal safety gear that you keep hand for such occasions is off in your other vehicle sitting pretty at the dealer waiting to be serviced.  

So no disposable gloves, no Pee Light (Ultra-Violet!)

And then you settle up all your resolve, take a deep breath, as you are listening to this person continually parrot the same sentence over and over again. “What do you think it is?”

Silence…(At least 10 seconds of it! )

You squat down to evaluate the situation. You can see that there is a very large-dark-colored-U that tracks from one bathroom to the other bathroom as they sit side by side down the hallway. 

And as you get closer you get that distinct smell of urine that has been sitting for a very long time, and now realize it is Urine that is being masked by all that Febreeze that slapped you in the face as you walked into the front entrance of this office space!

You got all this of course… after you had already reached down to touch the crystalized yellow/orange goo with your finger tips…

In a timid voice, the tour guide asks one last time,  “What do you think it is?”

“Well it looks like your current cleaners are not mopping the bathrooms floors at all, maybe at least a year or so, and it looks like you guys have tracked this all over the office. See those flip flops for casual Friday.

But for sure, this appears to be Urine, in is congealed form. Would you like to shake hands?” 

-I did this with my best poker face in place…I just could not resist.

She gave me the, I ate something very sour face, then shook her head from left to right and then declined my offer of a hand shake.  

I then step over the Giant U and head for the RV Sink to wash my hands as best I could.  Needless to say…I didn’t get the job. LOL!!!

By the way the current cleaning company had been cleaning this building for over 5 years 🙂

Proudly Servicing Yavapai County, AZ
Does your cleaning company give you the Gold Star Treatment?
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How to clean Brass Fittings on Furniture.

By Shannon Lee Ann Miller

To see the video click here

First of all, let me preface this type of cleaning like this…

I know that I should not have cleaned the brass fittings on this piece of furniture.

Yes, I know that it is an antique.

And no, I am not looking for any hate mail from anyone at Antique Road Show or any of those loyal followers. 

I- really-do-like-Antique-Road-Show.

What I wanted to show you is that I can take one for the team and show you some short cuts that the directions on the bottle don’t tell you to do for this type of cleaner. 

For this example we used Weiman’s Brass Cleaner. 

I chose this cleaner because it comes as a soft-scrub-type paste. Because other cleaners on the market tend to be a bit runny, I didn’t want to chance ruining the carpeting where this piece sits. 

And as I was not going to carry this piece of furniture all the way downstairs to work on cleaning the fixtures. This soft paste type cleaner made it easier for this particular job. 

Besides, we still have the freedom of choice and YOU can choose the right metal cleaner that is good for your situation.

We also used the following for this project:

old towels

old tooth brush 

old glass bowl 

some shelf liner that you can buy at Costco.  

This way you can protect your flooring/carpeting from getting any chemical on it. 🙂

As you can see from the video and photos provided this took several “sessions” of applying the product and buffing it off. Some of the brass fittings took just a couple of sessions, others took up to 8-9 sessions. And for those of you that are handy with the power tools, this cleaning was done by hand to show what it would be like for someone who doesn’t own a power tool and has a just the basics. This product does have a strong smell to it. So please open a window for ventilation. 

  1. Apply product, let dry (3-5 minutes)
  2. Buff off with a clean towel-as directions indicate
  3. See results, then use the tooth brush method to get the rest of product off.
  4. Dry with another clean cloth
  5. Check out your results.
  6. Repeat

( My project took 8 sessions for each side, as there were 2 door panels. So I repeated steps 1-6, 8 times. Total time for this project 1.5 hours) 

TIP: At the start of this project put plastic liner first, then old towel on top of plastic liner. 

You don’t want to damage the floor. 🙂

Before and After with Brass Cleaning on Furniture