This episode released almost 2 years ago to the day! I was still doing house cleaning and transitioning Carfagno Cleaning to Carfagno Commercial Cleaning and the C3 Experience! We were preparing for our maiden journey to Florida for the month of February 2022. I am not wired to have trouble saying no. But many have that challenge. It's in their personality. In this Best-Of episode, I share a conversation between my daughter and I. I had just turned down a residential client and she couldn't believe it. "How could you say no? I couldn't do that!" I taught her about the 4 personalities in the DISC Assessment. I am a mix of 'C' for Conscientiousness and 'D' for Dominance. Neither of these personalities struggle with saying no. We struggle with a host of other things, but not that. I explained to my daughter that she is a 'S' for Steadiness. S's are people-pleasers and have a hard time saying no. DISC puts out statistics that 69% of the general population are S's! Furthermore, I collect applications and DISC assessments for prospective solo cleaners to work for our company. 75% of my applicants are S's! I know for a fact that saying no is a big problem. I want you to listen to this episode and the follow-up to move your business forward big time!
Are you a solo struggling like my daughter in saying no? You need to see why this is hurting your business. You need the ISO Model and the Solo Elite Membership! You can optimize your solo cleaning business to earn full time income through part time cleaning without the drama of employees! Get access to this game-changing training for only $57 per month or $597 per year in the Solo Elite Membership atsmartcleaningschool.com/elite. Members get access to the full ISO Model Course to optimize your solo business, plus access to the Solo Elite Community, bonus podcast content, access to private coaching and additional courses at 50% off! You can also sample the membership with our brand new "Backstage Pass", which is found at smartcleaningschool.com.
Learning how to deal effectively with other people is one of the Solo Elite 4 Fundamentals. People skills is a broad term tossed around. What does it mean? In my opinion, it's the ability and skill to effectively build relationships with other people so that they know, like, and trust you. I want to focus on one people skill today. It's responsiveness. How responsive are you to customer inquiries and complaints? If you have employees, how responsive are you to their questions? What about your personal relationships? How responsive are you with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, close friends, church and other acquaintances? What boundaries do you have? What standards do you have? I'm going to focus this episode on helping you develop a single boundary in your communication and responsiveness. Are you always available in your business 24/7? Do you have an off switch or a boundary for personal time? What is an appropriate reply time? Let's dig in!
I teased this episode in the previous one, so here it is! Did you know that your good name can be good marketing? I want you to think about this. How many companies do you buy from on the name alone? Have you ever hired a babysitter or other service provider in your home because they come from a good family name? How many times have you done the opposite when the company or person in question has a poor name and reputation? I work very hard to add value everyday to our good name. The Carfagno name means something to me. We are disciples of Jesus. We are hard workers. We are honest. I could go on and on. What are the values you add to your good name? I encourage you to develop these in your home and with your family. Transfer these values to your kids.
This was one of my favorite episodes to create. It gave me a chance to research more of my family lineage and share one of my favorite bible verses. This teaching is foundational in my home and I wanted you to all hear it. This replay is intentional. The next episode takes the good name to another level. Did you know your good name is good marketing? You will. Re-listen to this one first!
I shared this exact post in a free Facebook cleaning group and thought it valuable enough to include on the podcast. Here's the post.
I'm new to this group but not to cleaning. I love this industry and helping newbies. I see pricing posts all the time and wanted to share some insights that I just shared with another member on her private question. The question goes something like this... "Is this price too high, too low? "People are so cheap. How do I get them to value what I do as a professional cleaner?" Here's my response that will help you overcome these pricing objections. It's not your price. It's your process. When people ask for price first and quibble over price first, one of two things is happening psychologically.
I have a heart to help everyone who wants to start a cleaning business and optimize as a solo. I have found this to be a great strength and weakness. In two recent scenarios, I have learned that while helping one I'm hurting another. I'm going to teach the destructive mindset in each of my two recent scenarios.
If you've been following this podcast for any duration of time, you should have noticed a major shift in how I am teaching. I have organized my content for helping side hustlers, startups, and solos around 4 basic fundamentals of success: Financial, Mindset, Strategic, and People. I highly recommend that you check out the previous episode to gain the perspective I've learned on why so many of you are struggling. It's called "Why Side Hustlers, Startups, and Solos Struggle".
I recorded this training for the 2023 Maid Service Success Summit
Fundamental #1: Financial
Start with the Stats!
I have a friend, whom will remain anonymous. I won't share their full story, just the high level. Let's call her Jill. Jill ran a very successful and profitable solo cleaning business in Florida. Hurricane Ian pummeled her area and completely wiped out everything Jill had. Thankfully, her family was okay. But not her house. Not her vehicles. Not her business. Jill invested years to build and it took a few days for a natural disaster to destroy. What could Jill have done differently? Not live in Florida? I suppose. But that's her home. Here's the good news. Jill has a great mindset to grow her cleaning company. She is resilient and determined. She grew it back. What would you do if you lost it all? Would you be like Jill or would you give up?
I recently revealed the "The 4 ISO Model Fundamentals " as Financial, Strategic, Mindset, and People. It doesn't matter whether you own a solo cleaning business or a catering company. If you want to grow your company to create the life you've dreamed of, you'll need to master these fundamentals. I am not a caterer... obviously. I can't coach caterers. I can't coach photographers or digital agencies or doctors. I'm a 16-year solo cleaner that has optimized 2 solo cleaning companies to over $50,000 profit per year on 2 cleaning days per week without employees, subs, or drama. I've successfully sold one solo cleaning business for $80,000 and I've successfully scaled another solo cleaning business to allow my family to go to Florida for the month of February the past two years. I have mastered these 4 fundamentals for winning with a solo cleaning business and therefore, I am highly qualified to be your coach if you're looking to master your solo cleaning company.
Pricing questions are one of the most commonly-asked in Facebook cleaning groups. The post usually goes like this. There's an image of a house or details of the house or office. It is followed by "How much should I charge for this?" The only question I have seen more often in the last 7 years on Facebook is this one. "How do you clean this?" and there's a picture of something.
My sister Jenna is doing amazing in her career so far. She just finished a few rotations as a traveling nurse and is currently working on her Nurse Practitioner license. She just got back from a 2 week trip to Europe and has saved a ton of money. I'm such a proud big bro. She visited our family in Sarasota, FL this February when we were escaping the cold Northeast winter along with my mom and step-dad. It was a great visit where we checked out multiple Gulf Coast beaches, sunsets, kayaking in the mangroves, and Jake's amazing ice cream (shout out to Jake in Siesta Key)!
I used to watch the show, "Cheers" as a high-schooler. I didn't much care about the bar scene. I just loved the stories and the camaraderie and collection of people. They were all so different, yet they bonded every night after work.
I've been teaching the ISO Model for optimizing your solo cleaning business for years now. I'm noticing a theme emerging from the countless coaching calls, hang-ups and challenges of my students, and keys to success. What causes the winners to win and whiners to whine? In this episode, I will introduce the 4 ISO Model Fundamentals to prepare the soil. Over time, I'll follow-up with individual episodes on each fundamental.
I've been looking forward to doing this sales pitch episode for WHY you need to start a solo cleaning company. I have no idea where you are right now as you listen to this episode of the Smart Cleaning School.
James Harper was the host of "Two Cents Worth" and Angel Sandoval was the host of the "Sales Rehab" show. The two shows focused on sales and personal development and actually competed against each other in a productive way. James invited Angel to be a guest on his show and a friendship was formed. They decided to join forces under the common belief that 'Sales Saved My Life'.
I am an active member in my local Chamber of Commerce and have been since joining in October 2019. Check out one of my first episodes from Dec 2019 called, "I'm the Only Cleaner", where I shared my initial impression of joining my first-ever chamber in 15 years in business at that point. Also check out the episode, "Get a Name for Doing", where I was mentored by fellow chamber member and leadership coach Ken Byler of Higher Ground Consulting. Ken taught me how to add the most value to the chamber and make the greatest difference. Ken was SO right. I dove in right away and was able to make a big difference during Covid. I developed a reputation and name for doing. I've never taken my foot off the pedal in my goal to get a name for doing and adding value. Last fall, I joined the Membership Committee and immediately helped them determine how to have greater impact with the current membership as well as how to add more. I suggested that we, the membership committee of 8 members call the entire membership of 300 to connect with them and ask them some questions. Here's what we asked.
I used to be such a sucker for the vending machine. My weakness was the potato chips, peanut butter crackers, and always Fritos! The vending machine is an interesting machine. It's simple. You choose what you want, check the price, insert your payment, push the corresponding button, and your treat spirals out of its holder to the slot below. You now own your treat and can enjoy it.
I don't proclaim to know all the answers. My M.O. is to listen more than I talk for two reasons. For one, I can learn from anyone. Secondly, I am emotionally sensitive and want to hear others speak so I can try to relate to them or possibly find a way to help them. This is my nature. Why did you just say all of that Ken?
Ken continues his interview with Debbie in this surprise episode, where Debbie shares insider teaching from Cleaning Business Fundamentals and brings on 3 CBF success stories. Let's start with a summary of the 6 components of CBF proven success system. If you don't do ALL 6, the system doesn't work.
It was an honor to interview residential cleaning industry legend Debbie Sardone a second time. At the time of this recording, Debbie's first interview "A Buffalo Charges the Storm" was the third most-downloaded interview of the Smart Cleaning School's 45 published interviews. Debbie really barred all and shared personal stories she's never shared. It was a powerful episode with powerful stories and lessons.
Are you a person that flies by the seat of your pants? Do you fly like Maverick in Top Gun where your instincts dominate? This is absolutely cool in the movies, but it kills pilots in real life and the ones that kills are the amateurs and the experienced professionals. It's called spatial disorientation. First, let me give you a definition.
Spatial disorientation – It's the inability of a person to determine his true body position, motion, and altitude relative to the Earth or his surroundings. Both airplane pilots and underwater divers encounter this phenomenon.
I want you to stop what you're doing. And I want you to really listen as this could be the most important podcast you have ever heard. Do I have your attention yet?
I have a vital question for you. What would you say if everything you said came exactly true as you said it? Keep your mouth closed, listen, and think. What words would you allow to come out of your mouth if you knew that every word you spoke would come to pass? Do you know that your words are powerful? They are not, and never were just words. Our Creator made us with the ability to design our own lives. It's all controlled or steered by a tiny rudder called the human tongue. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Words are seeds and seeds grow into plants. Everything you speak is a seed and God will not be mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that he will also reap. You will be held accountable to every idle word spoken. Speak what you want!
Amar Ghose is known around the cleaning industry as a digital nomad, world traveler, SaaS Founder of ZenMaid. His name came up on the interview with Courtney Wisely ("People are Inspired by Honesty").
Here are some highlights and quotes from Amar on this interview.
There are so many reasons why I decided to start and build a cleaning company. I want to talk about an internal motivation that's always been beneath the surface. And I suspect it's in you as well. What does your name mean to you? I want to inspire you to desire a good name. This is called legacy.
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."