I was in Fort Worth/Arlington area for 11 years. I spent 8 of those years running a small maid service. At one time I was incredibly successful and turning business away. In 2005, I went through a nasty divorce and returned to the corporate world. That job ended when a company I worked for closed down during the recession of 2009. I returned to the maid service, and it was a different animal. I continued to do it off and on for the next five years, and it was tough. My biggest issue in that area was underbidding and cut throat pricing that put me, a reputable, professional in a pickle. I was forced to underbid and work for less than I did before. I found I was working far harder than ever before for far less. Finally, I adjusted my mindset. I decided seniors were my niche market. They pay a bit less, but they are loyal and Rarely cancel or reschedule. In addition they are extremely grateful for the help. It's not to say I did not get the occasional PIA, they still existed but for the most part I did very well.
In Jan 2014, my family was given a transfer. My hub went ahead to our new home and I stayed behind until the kids were out of school. I cleaned my last client there in May of last year. I've since started over again in my new city of Baton Rouge, La. It has been a bit difficult adjusting to the change, and getting new clients here was tough as well. It took me a while to determine who to market to here. As the market is different. At first, I continued marketing to seniors, and it was tough. They were more budget minded and wanted a lot more for far less. Now I am marketing to large homes only. I am still a one woman show, so I am doing one a day. They take me about six hours and I am paid far better than I was ever paid in Texas. I hope to hire at least a helper by November 2015. I am taking it slow and going through the pains of learning how to deal with "luxury" clients as they are a totally different segment, and expect a bit more but are willing to pay.
I guess for me, it's all in determining your market and working like mad to make it happen. Flyers did not work here at all, especially in high end communities. I am finding good old fashioned ads in the paper seem to work best. I've paid for a business card size and am marketing to certain sides of town. The phone does not ring as much, but when it does I close the deal.. and one home pays for the ad. I know from reading your previous posts you know your stuff, and have no fear that you will do well. I wish you much luck navigating the "shark" infested waters in DFW. Trunk slammers abound. If you are from that area, and have done business there in the past you know what I mean.