Feeling Stuck - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of Old 01-17-2015, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 15
Question Feeling Stuck

I am a solo cleaner in a small rural town. I joined a business networking group and also built a website to promote myself and it's worked well for me.

Right now, I am about maxed out on what I can do on my own and Im wishing I could clone myself. Since I can't, I decided to place some ads looking for help. I've had some interest, but when I eMail an application, I never hear back from them again. I am thinking it's because right now, I can only offer them min wage ($9 an hour) as an insured (workers comp) hourly employee.

I'd really like to offer them more per hour, but in order to do that, they'd need to be an Independent Contractor and the one thing that makes me the most nervous is how they can sue me and the homeowner for medical expenses should they get injured on the job. I am really scared to take a risk like that and put me and my customers in that position.

However, it seems that most (or a lot of) cleaning services do it this way. WHAT is their secret to protect themselves??? Is there some sort of legally binding contract I can have an IC sign stating that they will not sue should they get injured? What would this sort of contract be called? (If I had a name for it, maybe I could do a search myself online)

There HAS to be something out there that is legal and already drawn up, right? I can't afford to hire an attourney right now, and even if I could, I would not even know what kind of atty to hire for this.

Thanks for any help!
NunJoBizness is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of Old 01-17-2015, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
 
sprintcar93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 961
You could offer $50 an hour and still have the same problem. I've offered $20 an hour and still had the same problem. I've talked with thousands of cleaning business owners about it that have the same problem and just yesterday the fastest growing cleaning service in the US said they still have the same problem. Turn over rate is 300-400 percent for residential cleaning services. That means that even if you have lots of employees and pay great, you still lose most of them 3 to 4 times a year and have to replace them.

As for emailing an application.... why would you do that? The point of an application is to actually talk to the person. I know most business don't utilize that but really what good is an application? Anyway, if you don't want to meet them at McDonald's (most never show up by the way) then have them call you or you call them and do an interview. WRITE DOWN specific questions you want to ask. Then, do a 2nd phone interview with them and if you want to hire them.... do so. The actual odds of them showing up for work are slim to none but you must continue to do this and eventually someone will show up for work. And then they will work a day or 2 and you start the whole thing over again. And finally you will find someone that will stay with your for awhile.

As for your other question, there is a way to protect yourself... insurance. That's the whole purpose of it. As for writing something up.... you can write up what ever you want but it won't protect yourself. As for protecting the home owner... they are actually liable for anything that happens on their property no matter if you have insurance or not.

You say lots of services do it that way and what do they do? They do a thing called.... WINGING IT. That's when you wake up in the morning and say.... Lord I hope nothing happens today or we will be screwed. Amen.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.
sprintcar93 is offline  
post #3 of Old 01-18-2015, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 15
Thanks Sprintcar. I appreciate your time taken to help.

I guess Im kinda old fashoined that way with applications. I eMailed them as a way to weed out the flakes and I guess that is serving it's purpose since I cant seem to get any one to return them to me. I am a solo cleaner and I REALLY don't like talking on the phone if I don't have to as I do not hear very well any more. I cannot take calls while I am on the job either. So, hence my feeling of being "stuck". If I could get someone to at least return an application, I'd be glad to talk on the phone and then meet them tho....

I know of the high turnover rate and that is another concern of mine....that I'll hire someone, then they will quit and I will be swamped with a bunch of work I can't possibly do on my own. But I guess that is a concern for a later time.

I guess what I am looking for is some sort of protection from being sued. I am located in California - one of the litigious states in the country so I'm a bit "gun shy" when it comes to these things. I am 45 and when I was younger "winging it" was something I did well, but now, at middle age, with 2 kids, owner of 2 properties and a host of other things I don't have the years to make up should I lose them, I am not as prone to taking chances I don't (or shouldn't) have to.

I thought maybe being able to offer more money would help - but maybe not. Either way- paying them $9 an hour is like paying them nearly $20 anyway with the payroll taxes, workers comp ins. , etc. This issue is something I've been tossing around for months now. :(
NunJoBizness is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of Old 01-18-2015, 02:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 122
I use the local state unemployment office. I ask the people there to NOT send me anyone they would not hire.

I require a handwritten application from the unemployment office. mailed to me at my office. I do not want a typed or e-mailed application. We hand-write invoices and service reports. If I cannot read the application, because of poor writing, or misspelled words, they fail. If they insist they will hand deliver the app, that tells me they cannot follow simple instructions. They fail. If there are gaps of more than 2 months in their work history, they fail. Eighteen month gaps are the worst, that means they were in jail. If the references are for work more than 2 years old, I do not call them. Who remembers anyone after 2 years, unless the person is so bad they are unforgettable? If a reference is a preacher, who says the applicant is a nice person who needs a break, bad sign. toss that app in the trash! If I find an app that may interest me, I immediately call the references they list. First question, would you hire that person again? Why not? Realize because everyone is afraid of being sued, most people will only say, that person is or is not eligible for rehire. If you get past those questions, call the applicant on the phone and tell them the job duties, and benefits. Most will BS you and tell you they are a great person and they want to work for you. When you get a couple of applicants, have them stop in for the application folder and set up an interview. I require a copy of the drivers license, which is sent to my vehicle insurance agent. Because hope springs eternal, I have my girlfriend listen in to the interview. My office is in my home, so she sits in the front room so she can hear, but is out of sight. I ask what they can do for me and my customers. I tell them I will let them know in the next 2 days, and thank them for their interest. Then Dee and I discuss the applicant. If they pass that interview, I set up a time for another interview. My employees then get to ask them questions, while I just listen. My girlfriend is also at that interview. I allow 45 minutes between interviews. If they pass that interview, I hire them. They work with the other employees for a day or two. If they make it past a day with each employee, I work with them for a couple of days. Then we meet, (w/o the prospective employee) and discuss the newbie. Working with the boss, people are on their best behavior. When working with other employees, they tend to let down their guard and show their true colors. If they make 90 days, they get company shirts, company jackets and are part of us. No one gets a company credit card or gas card. They get one chance to lie to me, they get one chance to steal from me or a customer. Every time I vary from those 2 rules, I have been bitten in the ass!

Hiring is a pain in the ass. Those who are hired are representing you and your company. They can cost you money, reputation, and customers. Not to mention the problems of theft, drug use, alcohol abuse, and just plain people you do not like or trust.

If you are at the point of hiring, maybe you should just raise the rates you charge.
Douglas Hicks is offline  
post #5 of Old 01-18-2015, 02:56 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 122
I thought maybe being able to offer more money would help - but maybe not. Either way- paying them $9 an hour is like paying them nearly $20 anyway with the payroll taxes, workers comp ins. , etc. This issue is something I've been tossing around for months now. :([/quote]

I asked a friend who was the manager of a large grocery store, how to motivate people. He told me if I hired someone who would not work for the $12.50 I start people at, paying $20.00 an hour would not motivate them. He told me he did not know how to motivate people, He said whatever motivates people comes from within the person.

Good luck on your search.
Douglas Hicks is offline  
post #6 of Old 01-18-2015, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 15
Thanks Doug.
Actually I have raised my rates and bid my jobs as if I had employees at about $35 per man hour depending on the condition of the house which is somewhat average for my area. I live in a small rural little town, but there are a LOT of wealthy people here who live in 4000 + sq foot houses.

I was starting to think maybe my application was a bit too detailed as I added a lot of things to it (like drivers lic and policy number for auto insurance, etc) but then again, second guessing myself is not the answer either. I also started to realize that these applicants were having trouble opening it on a mobile device. Say what? You're trying to fill out an application on a phone? I understand not everyone can afford a desk top and printer, but for gosh sakes, go to the library or a use a friends PC. Sheesh.

Like I said before, maybe my standards are just too high. I wish I could just clone myself sometimes. Utilizing the unemployment office is a good idea. I will research that.

Thank you...
NunJoBizness is offline  
post #7 of Old 01-18-2015, 03:31 PM
Senior Member
 
sprintcar93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 961
Dang, I'd never pass the hand writing test. Heck, I have a hard time reading my own..... on the off chance I hand write something. For example, our Christmas cards are all hand written, envelope and all.... by an employee who writes well and much faster than I do. But I can type 170 wpm. lol

I have a way to stop theft by 99.9% but I can't say because I don't want it to become the industry standard. It's one of the ways I stand out from the crowd.
----------------------------------------------
I find it funny that you say you are OLD FASHIONED and use email. lol And then you also say you are surprised people are trying to open things on their phone and mobile devices. Get used to that.... within the next 2 years almost everything will be opened from their phone or tablet. In 2000 not everyone had a computer and then by 2007 most everyone had a computer. In 2000 very few had cell phones. In 2007 most people had cell phones. In 2007 very few people had 'smart' phones. In 2015 almost everyone has a smart phone. Don't get left behind by thinking people won't try to open things on a mobile device if you SEND them things over the INTERNET.

As far as not wanting to talk on the phone for ANY reason.... tough it out. If you are serious... you will find a way. Lots of people don't like it. Go to ebay and buy a pair of blue tooth 2 eared head phones for $25. I've been around sprintcars my whole life so my hearing isn't great either but these headphones are great!
sprintcar93 is offline  
post #8 of Old 02-07-2015, 07:46 PM
Junior Member
 
Roxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: MO:Kansas
Posts: 26
Red face

[QUOTE= "You say lots of services do it that way and what do they do? They do a thing called.... WINGING IT. That's when you wake up in the morning and say.... Lord I hope nothing happens today or we will be screwed. Amen."


.....lol...This is my exact place in business right now also...
Roxy is offline  
post #9 of Old 02-07-2015, 07:52 PM
Junior Member
 
Roxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: MO:Kansas
Posts: 26
Red face

[QUOTE= "I thought maybe being able to offer more money would help - but maybe not. Either way- paying them $9 an hour is like paying them nearly $20 anyway with the payroll taxes, workers comp ins. , etc. This issue is something I've been tossing around for months now."

...lol....love your name NUNJOBIZ.... I'm in the exact same shoes your in, hun. exactly. Been rolling this around in my head for years also.
Roxy is offline  
post #10 of Old 02-07-2015, 08:14 PM
Junior Member
 
Roxy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: MO:Kansas
Posts: 26
Red face Hiring

...hello again.....lol...this is exactly the info I was looking for. Didn't think I'd find it on this thread.

"Because hope springs eternal" What does this mean, Douglas? I didn't get it. The rest was great tho.

Years ago, I sent applications by email, just testing to waters way before I was ready to hire. I got lots of response. I'm like you Nunjobiz, overly protective of myself and my business. High standards. Maybe there's an online app for applications? lol (I use to hate the "LOL" dealie) Also, I spoke to a few people on the phone, that was clear back in 07 when I had two jobs. Just testing the waters. Then I did this again in 2012. Just feeling it out, what it would feel like to hire. Takes getting use to. I'm scared to death. Scared of success.

Enjoy your help, as always SprintCar93. I'd plant money and see if they'll steal it to check for honesty. Letting client know its routine.

Thanks for all the help!
Roxy is offline  
post #11 of Old 02-26-2015, 07:41 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 111
Post in your ad that you are looking for an experienced cleaning person.

The truth is if you can get someone that has experience,does a great job and is dependable you could afford to pay more.

I'm like you in that I had to have the insurance.I never did 1099.Ever.

Keep in mind that if you hire someone even for a bit more than the $9.00
You will be getting more jobs and making more $$'s...

I do believe it is better to interview face to face.
You want to see that people actually care enough to get out of bed,look their best and apply for a job.

Their appearance is important to you and your company.

As well,it might be better to hire 2 part timers for certain days than 1 full timer.
You would have someone to use in the event that one of them left you hanging.

As the business grew you could give them more hours or hire another part timer.

You could also pay them by the job,this would allow you to cap their pay knowing that you would be adding the other costs.You will know your total expenditure for each job.They will know what they are being paid.

http://selz.co/1Eq7peH
Lorster is offline  
post #12 of Old 03-13-2015, 04:13 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Fripp Island, South Carolina
Posts: 20
Your concern of "hiring someone, them not showing up, and you being swamped with a bunch of work you can't do on your own" is something that in reality most likely will happen to you no matter how organized and efficient you are. Last busy season I hired 10 girls, and only one is still with me. I currently have 40 residential clients, and have made the decision this season to just stay in a holding pattern instead of adding more accounts. This way I am not digging myself further into a hole. The extra income is not worth the stress and worry it will cause me. So I'd just stay as self-sufficient as you can for now until you want to venture out into uncertainty. Yes, cloning would solve so many things!
Islander is offline  
post #13 of Old 03-13-2015, 04:30 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 111
I hate hearing that some of you want to continue to do all the work yourselves, and not grow : (
Don't give up~
I did the same thing for a very long time;finally I made the decision, that I would find some good people,and I did.
I ended up with 28 good people.
There are people out there looking for you I promise! Keep trying...

http://selz.co/1Eq7peH

Last edited by Lorster; 03-14-2015 at 12:23 PM.
Lorster is offline  
post #14 of Old 03-14-2015, 04:50 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Fripp Island, South Carolina
Posts: 20
Lorster,
How specifically, did you go about finding these good people?
Islander is offline  
post #15 of Old 03-14-2015, 07:33 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 111
Do not ask me why this worked so well,but this is what happened.

For over 19 years I ran my company out of my house.

My garage was full of vacuum cleaners and ladders,floor machines,cleaning chemicals,wax and yes even my rappelling gear and piles of various size ropes ( I did alot of high rise window cleaning,pressure cleaning in conjunction with my contracted interiors)

I finally rented a small office from a friend in a commercial location

about 2 miles from my house.

That office is what made the difference.

When people had a location to go to when applying for a job they were

more comfortable.

From that day until I sold my company in 2012 I always had more help than

I needed.

However,I do not want those of you that are working out of your home to give up looking for extra help.

You have to remember that I still managed to find enough help to do an enormous amount of contracted work for 19 plus years.

Since I was a contractor on construction sites for the most part...I would ask

the various trades (like the yard workers,painters,) if their wives were looking for jobs.I also passed out flyers by hand, in grocery store parking lots,in working class neighborhoods.

I know this sounds crazy,but it worked! really well in fact.

Finding high rise window guys was tough and I never knew of another high rise cleaner that was a woman in my area,but me.That was the tough one.

In my area the high rise guys travel north by summer and south for the winter;like birds.Trouble was I did mostly high rise buildings,but only those that were connected to my contracts and during the winter I only had enough work for 2 guys for a few months instead of 5 or 6 months.


Hiring those particular guys (or gals) is a tough one.Which is why I was the backup.

So if I was going to start another company tomorrow I'd make a simple flyer
and I would start walking up to people...and handing it to them.

At bus stops,grocery stores,fast food restaurants...it works.

Also stay as close to your own neighborhood as you can when passing these out.Makes it easy to carpool.
Lorster is offline  
Reply

Tags
contracts , employees , hiring , independent contractor

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Stuck on Removing Old Tape bdjanitorial Windows & Gutters 12 03-24-2017 01:26 PM
Rug pad stuck to floor Changeling General Discussion 7 09-14-2014 11:57 PM
Feeling Cheated jbell0129 General Discussion 11 04-22-2014 08:21 AM
Stuck on the 20th Floor bslappingyou General Discussion 2 01-25-2007 01:40 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome