Have you ever heard (or said) this: “No one will hire me because of all the illegal cleaners that will work for $10 per hour, they will just get all the jobs!”
I am not going to dispute this phenomenon, because it is actually very true. In fact, I am going to expand on this notion, to give it an even broader context.
First of all, please understand that it is not only illegal immigrants who will work for low pay. That immigrant may indeed be in a tight spot and agree to work for less than they would if they had the luxury of citizenship. But make no mistake about it. This behavior, working for cheap wages, is not only reserved for those lacking citizen status. Taking low wages is something that a certain personality type will do. This type of person will get the jobs they deserve. In turn, their clients will get the service that they deserve. You actually do not need to worry about this phenomena one bit. Ignore it!
The reason that this particular situation does not concern your cleaning business (if you design and implement it correctly), is because you are only going to focus on clients who are specifically not interested in hiring cheap labor. You will only focus on obtaining customers who value quality and success.
If you implement your service the right way, your clients will be the type who values expertise, longevity and a shared resonance between themselves and you. Far more of these jobs exist than you could ever exhaust. So right this moment, extinguish the idea or belief that clients like this do not exist. They exist alright. In fact, chances are good they exist in your area by the dozens. And of those dozens, you only need twelve to twenty customers to establish a vigorous cleaning business.
Why would someone pay $150-plus to have their house cleaned, instead of $30? For a whole slew of reasons. Many good, many bad. But what do you care? Would you not rather be making the $150-plus?
Different range of values
It may be hard for you to accept, but there is a client out there who thinks that $200 to clean their house is a reasonable and fair price. Perhaps they are worth millions, and $200 to them, is like $2 to you!
Seriously, I have had clients give me “junk” that they did not want, that turned out to be worth thousands of dollars. I did not use eBay then, but I certainly could have eBayed them for a tidy sum. One famous artist I worked for gave me one of his signed paintings, and it will be worth more than my business one day.
have a widely varying set of worldviews in which they live in
accordance. The client may be patriotic and not want to hire an
immigrant who they might suspect to be not legally able to work. Or
they may simply value a successful entrepreneurial business that is
above-board and plays by the rules. They may even be prejudiced. The point being, it is not all about saving money, even with the people that say it is!
Prejudices & preferences
I often landed high paying cleaning jobs because I was perceived as being relaxed, mature and well-spoken. My persona contrasted greatly with many of the professional cleaners they had dealt with in the past. I guess I seemed rather sophisticated for a cleaner. This made them feel comfortable, after all I was in their home! These folks even understood that I was making a really good living, earning a higher salary than many of my college-educated friends, and they respected my entrepreneurial spirit. I never talked business, politics or religion. I was the zen house-cleaner who came and went like a whisper, and they really liked that.
Sometimes a client really just likes you as a person, and wants to give you whatever you want. I know it sounds crazy, and certainly not every client liked me to that degree, but over time I found it quite easy over time to edit my schedule so that I worked only for customers who treated me well and enjoyed my company.
Some people pay their service-people well because it makes them feel good, or alleviates their guilt about having such obvious financial advantages.
I once had a millionaire client who had inherited her money and felt guilty about being rendered suddenly rich. I think her guilt drove her to severely overpay her service personnel. She paid all of us very high wages – the Gardner, the property manager, the cook and me. It was a bit awkward at first, but somehow we all managed to learn to accept her generosity graciously.
The myth of too much cheap competition, as you can see from these examples, is really not anything to fret about. For the person interested in setting up a cleaning business, and applying sound work ethics, more than enough high-paying work is available.
To learn more about setting value and profiting huge with your own cleaning service, please read our cleaning business blog.