Employee to Employer – Maid Starts Her Own Cleaning Company

Employee to Employer – Maid Starts Her Own Cleaning Company

Hi there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask
a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a housecleaning
question and I get to help you find an answer. Now, today’s question comes from a housecleaner
who has been working for a maid service. And for whatever reason, she’s decided she’s
not happy there and she wants to spin out on her own and create her own house cleaning
company. And her question is “Should I tell my current
employer what I’m doing? Or should I just kind of quit and go do it,
and hope they don’t find out?” I love this question because it’s a very controversial subject. And it is true that in the housecleaning business
there are a lot of house cleaners who will hire on to a company just to get training
and to learn how to run a business with the intention, of spinning out on their own and
starting their own house cleaning companies. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. So, the fact that this house cleaner is thinking in advance about how the employer might take it, is a really good sign. That’s a good business sign that she’s aware
that it could cause problems. Now having said that, it’s probably going
to cause problems. If someone has hired you and you are an employee,
for you to quit your job and then compete with that particular employer it’s going to
create some hard feelings. And so, now you’re walking on really thin
ice. Okay? You could bust and fall directly through into the cold water. So, what you want to do right up front, and
I have been in this scenario for 25 years. I’ve seen this happen time and time and time
again. I’ve seen people that just left and quit,
and they didn’t tell anybody in the hopes that no one would find out. But the new employer’s do find out and then
there’s a weird tension and there’s bad energy that goes on and there are bad, things that
are said about each other. And now with the advent of social media, it
can go viral and all these weird hate catfights that happen. Not good. Not good, okay? So, my recommendation to you is this. If you are grown-up enough to have a business,
do you know what that entails? Do you know what it takes to run a business? Because if you’re just an employee and you’ve
been showing up every day and someone else has been providing the accounts for you. And they’ve been providing the cleaning
supplies for you, and they’ve been paying taxes for you, and they’ve been paying insurance
for you, and they’ve been doing all the advertising and marketing for you. Do you really know what you’re getting involved in? I know it’s easy to think; “Oh, well, I
clean houses that’s my job. I’ll just show up and I’ll clean some more
houses.” It’s not that easy. There’s actually a whole entire business model
behind running a business. And so it requires some business smarts and
I’m not saying you can’t do it because maybe you can figure it out. Maybe there’s enough stuff on the internet,
maybe you take a course or whatever to learn how to run your own business. But running a business is very different than
just showing up to clean houses when someone else is running the business. So if you’re smart enough to run the business
you need to be smart enough to deal with all the different little nuances there are about
to hit you next. here’s what’s going to happen, when you go
to your employer and you tell your employer that you’re quitting if you are in fact a
really good house cleaner that’s going to throw them into a tizzy because now they have
to replace you. And those that have to replace you, they’ve
got to go back to the customers and say “listen we’ve got to find somebody new. Perhaps for a few days or a few weeks or even
a month, we can’t serve your account because we’re short staffed.” They’ve got to go out to the recruiting
process. They’ve got to find somebody they know,
like, and trust, that they can bring in. They’ve got to train that person and
get that person up to speed. So, whether you like it or not, you’re causing
a bunch of problems for your current employer. Now how do you do that with their blessing? What you have to do second of all, is a look
at your non-compete clause. Did you sign something when you took a job
at that company that said: “I will not compete with this company for 12 or 24 months after
I get fired, or I quit, or I retire?” Because if you signed a non-compete clause
the next thing is, you want to make sure you honor that. Because you don’t want to end up in small
claims court for breaking a contract that you signed, right as you’re about to get started
in the new business, right? There’s no quicker way to advance you into
business life than with a lawsuit. “Hi, welcome to business. Boom! Here’s a lawsuit.” You don’t want that right? So, don’t do that. You don’t want to, (and let me recommend you
do not do this) You do not want to steal customers from your current employer. Now, you might think “Well, I love my customers
they’re like family to me. I am the best I do that what I do for these
people.” That may be true. But if you’re grown up enough to start your
own business, be grown up enough to go out and get your own customers. Don’t take the customers from your current
employer. There’s no quicker way to build bad will then
to steal your customers from your current employer. That is bad, bad, bad, bad. Don’t do that, trust me don’t do that. The next thing that you want to do because
you’re a grown-up, you’re going to go to your current employer and you’re going, to be honest
and you’re going to tell them exactly what’s going on. You going to say “Hey Marty, I’ve been working
for you for 4 years. I gave you my heart and soul for 4 years. You provided me a great income to help me
pay for my kid’s college education. And you helped me raise my family and it paid
for my car and all the other things that this job provided for me. I really appreciate you hiring me. I love my time here, and as I mature through
my business I’ve discovered it’s time for me to go out on my own and start my own house
cleaning company. But I didn’t want to go behind your back and
I didn’t want you to find out through the grapevine. So, I wanted to be mature enough just come
right to you, just say it right to your face, I hate to leave. But because I’m entrepreneurial, because I
have the spirit inside of me that sending me on my way, I got to go do this. I got to do this for me and I wanted to come
to you first. You know me. You know my work ethic, you know my heart,
you know where I’m coming from, is there any chance you can write me a recommendation letter?” Now, you’ve put Marty in a bad spot. (And I just say his name is Marty his name
can be whatever. Her name could be whatever.) You put him in a weird spot because he’s about
to have to replace you, hire somebody, go through all the training, all that stuff,
but now he knows. Now he knows exactly what your intentions
are. And he might be very defensive and say “well
listen, you can’t you know, pick up any clients in this market?” “No, that’s okay I’m going 20 miles down
the road, and I won’t interfere with any of your customer base here. I will never go back to any of the customers
or clients that we’ve ever had. I don’t want to step on your toes. I’m not here to compete with you. All I’m looking for is a letter of recommendation
and your blessing.” Okay. Well, if you’re not competing directly with
him he has nothing to lose, right? You’re going to go anyway. Whether you go get a job as a waiter at a
restaurant or whether you go start your own house cleaning company, it doesn’t matter
to him because you don’t work for him anymore. Right? At the least he could do or she can do is
to write you a letter of recommendation. Alright! Here’s what just happened. You’re leaving, going out on your own, and
now as you’re starting your own business yeah, you have a lot of experience because you worked
for another company. But guess what? “Here’s a letter of recommendation that
came from the person I just left their company. Here’s a recommendation letter they sent
to me.” Now, if you work in an adjacent area, let’s
say that you work the next zip code over and this doesn’t interfere with the territory
of the current employer. If they have business that comes in that they
don’t serve, they could spin that business off to you. So, instead of creating this weird energy
that’s chaotic, and “I hope he doesn’t find out, you know I hope they’re not mad, and
all these things” go with their blessing. Go with their blessing. And when they have too much business they’re
going to send it to you. They’re going to send you their overflow
referrals. And you’re going to stay in touch with them,
I’d say every 3 months. Pick up the phone call them back. Say “Hey Marty, it’s Angela I just wanted
to touch bases and see how things are going over there. Did you find a new replacement for me? How are things? I just wanted to check in and say hi, I was
thinking about you. How are the customers?” Guess what? By following up with them you stay in the
front of their mind. Yeah, they’re sad you left. Yeah, it was a huge inconvenience because
they had to replace you. But, in the event, you get out on your own
and you decide for whatever reason that you’re not a good business person. And you can’t find clients, and you don’t
like paying your own taxes and you don’t like paying for advertising and marketing and all
the stuff that comes along with being a business owner. What if you pick up the phone when you call
Marty back and it’s six months down the road and you’re flat on your butt broke
and you’re like “man I need a job.” You call him back and say this “Listen Marty,
I tried it on my own. Thank you so much for believing in me. I screwed up. I totally screwed up. I’m not a business owner I’m just a housecleaner. Can I come back?” If you left on good terms they’re going to
go “yeah come on back. The girl that we hired to replace you totally
didn’t work out. Yeah, she’s M.I.A. (Missing in Action) right now she’s just she
vanished. Please, please come on back. So now you’ve left that doorway open. In the event that you ever have to come back
through it. So, if you’re just starting out on your own,
and you have no idea what you’re doing, that’s fine, don’t beat yourself up over it. But don’t beat yourself up by doing the wrong
thing on the way out the door and steal the employer’s customers. And trying to be sneaky, and trying to not
let them know. That is totally going to backfire on you. Do you realize that the housecleaning industry
is a very small industry? It’s a huge business, but it’s a very small
industry, everybody knows everybody. And everybody talks. And now we have social media where talking
is so much easier. With a simple text, you can text everybody
that you know. With the blast emails, you can blast everybody
that you know. So, don’t screw this up on the way out the
door. If you have to go out on your own, go out
with your current employer’s blessing. And I tell you what that is going to be the
best for them and for you. Alright, that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when
you found it.


7 thoughts on “Employee to Employer – Maid Starts Her Own Cleaning Company”

  • Hi Angela, can you address being hired by a cleaning company as an employee vs as an independent contractor? I had to part ways when my employer/friend decided to change my status from the first to the second. I didn't want to deal with the business end of things. She still maintains that I quit where as I see it as she changed the terms of my employment. As such, I have no qualms about cleaning in the same area.

  • You worked for a cleaning company and now started your own, how did you tell your employer? And what was their reaction, did they get upset or wish you well?

  • EXACTLY. I can tell when I've hired someone that really just wants to start their own business. They want to talk to me the whole time we are cleaning about how did I get so many clients, how much do I charge my client, how do I do this and that, that has nothing to do with actual cleaning. Needless to say I don't have them back.

  • I like how you’re firm and honest about the different factors that come with beginning a home cleaning service. It’s quite intimidating but encouraging at the same time. I’m still going for it! Thankyou

  • If you go to your employer and explain yourself honestly like Angela says, and they really like/need you, they will give you a raise. If they don’t then time to move on.

  • Benjamin Mwangangi says:

    Honestly speaking when your employer is reluctant to let you go, sometimes its not that they are against it.. . You have worked with him for some time and maybe they have observed that as much as you are so reliable, you are not ready for the challenges that that comes with running a business.
    Maybe they are telling you giving yourself like two more years to learn more.
    It's not easy to start and run a business. At the time of the day may you have great success in your business. God bless

  • Absolutely. Being upfront and honest with your employer is best. At the very least, you are being an adult and giving them the respect of telling them face to face instead of being deceitful and going behind their back. Regardless of if they approve or not, you will have the peace of mind that you were honest with them. Ultimately, you will do what is best for you and your family which is your responsibility. Good luck!

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