I've been in business for almost 9 years and my main source of contention with this business is the lack of good help.
First, some background info:
At my largest (in 2002)I had 11 employees with over 60 client accounts plus a contract with my capital city to clean out section-8 housing units in between tenants. I had just gone back to college and the old adage "the mice will play when the cats away" explains exactly what happened. Jobs weren't getting done and the ones that did get done I had tons of complaints, my cleaners would not take direction from my secretary and refused to listen to her ect ect. This sent me into a downward spiral and I began having major cashflow issues.
Since I felt getting my college degree was important to my career advancement I scaled back the business, canceled my office lease and moved the company back into my home. I kept 3-4 cleaners on plus the accounts I could handle. Last year about this time I started having problems again when one of the cleaners stole prescription pain pills from a customers house. I fired her the second I found out about it. Turns out she also stole from about 5 other customers of mine. I almost was sued for negligent hiring over that one because as it would turn out she had a record for shoplifting in another state that I was not aware of (even after doing a background check). Less than 6 months later another cleaner (who had been my very first employee and had been with me almost 8 years!) was diagnosed with arthritis and started having chronic pain. She was then caught stealing pain pills out of customers houses! I guess she got the idea from the other cleaner. After almost getting sued the last time I freaked out and let the rest of my cleaners go and spent the summer cleaning the houses myself with my teenage girls because I felt I couldn trust anyone.
I've only just started getting over the trauma of these incidents and feel ready to get my company back on track. I will be graduating from college soon so that is not an issue anymore.
I ran an ad in my local paper (sunday edition) this past week. Over the last 5 years the price of a help wanted ad has gone up from $60 a week to over $1000 and one sunday ad is over $200! This is very cost prohibitive for me and I really can't afford to run $200 ads that give no results. I have tried the local town papers plus online helpwanted sites and they were a complete waste of money, not even one response. This past ad only drew in about 15 calls with only about 8 of them english speaking. Of those 8 only one person actually showed up to fill out and application. I sat around for two days in the office waiting for people who never showed. The last time I ran an ad, back in September, I had the same issue. I don't know what the problem is. I've never encountered this issue before. There doesn't seem to be anyone that is willing to do this kind of work and I am paying the same amount or higher than the other maid services in my area.
Any advice on finding good help? Someone who would just show up would be a start!
Finding clients has never been an issue for me because I have excellent word-of-mouth. What has prevented me from growing is finding employees to do the work! HELP!!!