My son was getting frustrated with cutting the grass. We have an acre and he'd take 2 days to complete it. His total time was 2 hr 45 min (30 min prep, filling up grass, picking up large sticks, cleaning up yard toys and moving furniture) and 2 hr 15 min to mow over 2 days. He wanted a riding mower because it was taking too long.
I have done this to solo cleaners for a long time and knew it was time to prove a point to my teenage son. I told Kenny. "You're off duty this week. I'll cut the grass and will have it done in an hour. I had Kenny do the pick up and prep, so I could simply grab the push mower and cut grass. I had no system as this was literally my first time cutting the grass at our home and it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes. Kenny was stunned and mad! His upper limit was blown. Prior to watching me cut the grass, he was like the Roger Bannister haters. Do you know that story? People thought it was impossible to complete a mile in under 4 minutes. The best in the scientific and medical field even proved that it was physically impossible. Then Roger broke the 4 minutes mile in 1954 and hundreds have done it since!
Kenny's belief system changed when he saw me do it in 75 minutes compared to his 120. "I heard you say you could do it faster, but I had to see it to believe it." Kenny said. This gave him a new target. Realize that we are wired to compete. Once I showed Kenny that the grass could be cut in 75 minutes, do you know what that sucker did?! He duplicated me on the first try. This happened two months ago. Kenny gets the yard done in less than an hour every time now. He has optimized it better than I did. My son needed a new number to shoot for and beat. It's like the Charles Schwab story in "How to Win Friends and Influence People". The day and night crews in a manufacturing facility were underproducing. Charles didn't yell at them. He simply wrote a number on the floor in the morning for how many units the night crew turned out. The morning crew surpassed that number, erased the night crew's number, and replaced it with their own. This friendly spirit of competition built unprecedented levels of production for Schwab.
Take this mindset into house cleaning. We need to train our clients to do the pick up themselves (pick up toys, clear counters). They do the work of Kenny. Then I come in to do the cleaning in a system that can be efficient. Imagine if you're a house cleaner with times like Kenny. Your average house is 4 hours. If I taught you how to shave an hour off each house, do you know how much time that can save you at 10 houses per week? 520 hours per year. If we fill that time with new biweekly houses at $150/visit, that's an extra $26,000 in revenue per year! Optimization is the addition of little numbers equaling a big one! Once he had a challenge, he worked against the clock to win. This is how optimizing happens!
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.