Today’s post is by Jessica Rehll the founder of Groovy Maids in Pittsburgh, PA. I always enjoy hearing how people got started in the cleaning business. Here is Jessica’s story.
Back in 2010, I decided it was time to get out from under my corporate job and start my own business. I was unhappy, working a ton, and barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. I had a small daughter and wanted to provide her the world. We were struggling and that wasn’t how I wanted to live our lives. I researched starting my own business and attempted to get in-home personal training up and running.
I found small success with this, but it wasn’t enough to sustain us, and certainly not enough to leave my job. In 2013, I thought getting into a gym to offer my services would be the answer I was looking for, so I did just that. I left my full-time job after I found an opening at a gym about 45 minutes from where we lived. I started out at this gym excited and determined, but over the next few months, I found myself spending 12 hours a day there and making $30 paychecks. It just wasn’t working out.
I eventually decided to leave the gym and started cleaning homes for people in my spare time. I built up a decent client list using Craigslist, but even with a full schedule, I wasn’t making enough for us to live on. I was exhausted and stressed. I needed to expand and hire others to help take on more jobs in order to grow. That’s where I hit a roadblock. I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t know how to do it.
In 2015, I gave up on running my own business and took a job at a large corporate office in my downtown area. It was a steady paycheck and would offer consistency. I needed that for myself, but more so for my child. This job was a typical day job. I sat in a cubical and completed my daily tasks. Sipped coffee with coworkers and enjoyed an extended lunch hour.
There was no excitement or surprise. It was the same day in and day out. This may work well for many, but it wasn’t working for me. My mind constantly led me towards running a business of my own. I was putting in work every day for someone else’s business when I could be putting work into building my own. The work was never the issue. I enjoy being busy and completing tasks but wanted to focus that energy on my own venture.
After about a year, I put my notice in and started from scratch with building my clientele for house cleaning. The clients didn’t come as easily this time. I had one client. It stayed that way for a while. I had no idea how to change it. With no new clients coming in, I began to freak out. Our bills wouldn’t wait for my income to stabilize. In desperation, I called the corporate office I used to work at and asked if I could come back. They said yes, but I would have to wait for an opening. I was on hold until then. Weeks passed with no word.
Every time I reached out, they told me I was welcome back and they would reach out when I was needed. With the stress building, I became desperate to find my way. As much as I dreaded the idea of going back to a desk job, I needed something immediately. I decided to put my resume out and applied to any job that offered a fair salary and a permanent position. This is when my research took a step in the right direction. I found a Reddit group that opened the door to the answers I needed to get my own cleaning service running.
I started researching ways to start a cleaning service with employees but soon learned that I could contract the work out as I grew, which made the start-up simpler. I bounced from forum to forum, joined business groups on Facebook, and talked with other business owners. Around the same time, the corporate office I worked for called me and told me a position was open. I thought about it for a moment and decided to pass on it. It was time to find my own success.
As I learned more, I began the footwork. Step one was getting my hosting and website set up. Step two was investing in the software to help keep me organized. Step three was jumping in head first. Enter the birth of Groovy Maid. Starting out, I hired a husband and wife team as contractors. I grew my clients with free marketing and the use of Thumbtack. We started out strong and handled the issues that came our way. Business was off to a great start and from that moment on, has grown steadily.
The business has made just over $100,000 in total revenue, and there are plans to double that number by the years end. Setting goals and achieving them keeps me motivated. Some days are easy, some are chaotic, and some are downright terrible, but it’s all worth it. For anyone out there that has struggled to find success, keep at it. Entrepreneurship is about failing repeatedly until you succeed. With each failure, you learn something new. Take it in. Each piece of knowledge leads you closer to your success.
If you’re looking for a maid service in the Pittsburg, PA area be sure to check out Groovy Maid.