This one is short and sweet. Would you like to see the ISO Model play out in a common question I am asked? This question comes from my brother, who is starting his own solo cleaning company. He asked me this. "Ken, what would you do if a customer is only willing to hire you if you will clean for them on Fridays?" I answered him and then said. "Thanks for the podcast episode!"
I believe there is a sliding scale or spectrum with 2 extremes depicting the Supply-Demand Principle of Ecomonics well. On one side is a business owner who has no boundaries. They will work for whoever, whenever, doing whatever is needed to seal the deal on the sale. They want the money and they don't care what they have to do (as long as it's ethical and legal). Side note, there are others that don't even care about that. This represents absolutely unlimited supply. They can definitely clean for you regardless of the question. When supply is at a max, demand is at a minimum. This also yields a minimum price. That's economics. Let's go to the other side. There is the business owner who has so many boundaries that it's nearly impossible to get on their calendar. Customers may have to wait a month or longer. Is this possible? Yup, it was me in my first optimized solo cleaning business. In this extreme, demand is at a max and supply is minimized. The corresponding price is very high. There was a reason I walked you through that first. Let's add in the ISO Model.
The high-supply owner is the new guy with nothing but time and availability. Price isn't as important. Customers won't pay much as they don't perceive they are in much demand elsewhere. They just want to learn, improve, and build a reputation for quality. With this mindset, they won't be high-supply long. They will get referred and be in greater demand. I have another term for this solo cleaner. I call them an Initializer!
With this increased demand, they intentionally reduce the supply. How? They go from zero boundaries to a window that they conduct business through. Maybe they create business hours or niche down in what they clean. Maybe they select a specific zip code or geographic area. Maybe they decide to eliminate vacation rentals and post-construction. Maybe they have boundaries on the drama they will accept from clients around scheduling, payment, and terms. There are many maybes or boundaries. This cleaner is getting better and accumulating more specialized knowledge. As their demand increases, so do their prices. In supply/demand economics, they've reached the crossing point of the curve. It's called the Equilibrium Point or Market-Clearing Price where supply and demand are equal. At this point, you have a cleaning service and price that has just enough supply to match the demand in the market. You will be able to grow fast at this level! I have another term for this solo cleaner. I call them a Stabilizer!
The solo cleaner is building a great reputation through referral, cleaning excellence, and community engagement. They are being perceived with more and more value. They are being viewed more as a Specialist and Expert. Their demand is increasing. They can now tighten their boundaries and window to the other extreme. They can pinch their supply so low that the demand hits the ceiling and so does price. Customers will fight to get you. They will wait months on your waiting list. They will pay whatever you charge. They will adhere to all of your boundaries. Why? You are the best and those that want the best will go for it. This creates optimal value and optimized price. I have another term for this solo cleaner. I call them an Optimizer!
Let's go back to my brother's question. What would I do if I were given this demand by a customer. It depends where I was in my ISO Model. If I were an Initializer, I would say "no problem, I'll see you on Friday." As a Stabilizer, I would check if Friday was available first. If Friday was available, I'd schedule it. If I wasn't available, I'd simply say. "Unfortunately, I do not have that day available. I am available on... (offer them 2 alternatives that fit my schedule and are close to their desire)." You will lose some of these, but you won't take on bad customers that are drama-filled and demanding! That's a win. Pushback is good for you at this stage. If I was an Optimizer and didn't mind Fridays, I'd let them know that they've been placed on the waiting list. Then I'd ask if they prefer to take next available or wait until a Friday opens up down the road. If I didn't work on Fridays, I would offer the waiting list and offer next available. This customer is likely high-drama and won't wait. I win either way. Over time, the right customers will say yes.
I've laid out a compelling strategy for growing your solo cleaning business and selecting your customers. But you don't have to do it this way. You can absolutely tighten your boundaries sooner, especially if you're a busy, single mom or working professional. This reduces your supply and will force you to build demand quickly to support your boundaries. It can be done. It's just harder.
Do you want to follow this Initializer, Stabilizer, Optimizer path? 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.
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