Residential Cleaning in the Olden Days
On May 6th Custom Maid will turn 32. In May of 1985 I cleaned my very first customer’s home. It was terrifying! I thought I was prepared, but standing in that blue tiled shower, trying to remove years of mold from the grout, I wasn’t so sure. What to clean, what to leave? (I still have the $30 I was paid that day.)
Back in 1985, not a lot of info existed out there to research how to run and grow a residential cleaning company. Not a lot of residential cleaning companies existed. 1985 was the wild west of residential cleaning. Most of my “competition” was individuals who had a few clients and no intention of growing a business. These individuals operated outside the economy. They did not pay taxes, nor were they insured. The franchises had not yet entered my market although they began tp open here by 1986.
In my first years I NEVER turned down a job. I polished brass and silver (just once!). I did windows and got locked out on a client’s roof. (long story). I bought a carpet cleaning company and I bought an ultrasonic blind cleaner. All of these things distracted us from our major focus. But we survived them all. And we learned lessons of how we wanted our company to operate.
I certainly did not get here on my own. Custom Maid was VERY lucky in the beginning. My first three employees, Janet, Carla and Anita all stayed with me for about a year and a half each and if not for them I might not have survived. So thanks to all three of you! Thanks to my loyal clients. I still have a few customers that were acquired back in 1985 that first summer. I remember sitting in a client’s living room and hearing him tell me the story of his wife’s long, losing battle with cancer and how he was left caring for his 11 year old daughter. He is still a client, and a grandfather. Thank you Mr. C!
I also want to thank all of you who have trusted Custom Maid to care for your precious homes over the years. Thanks for all your kind words and referrals.
Thanks to all the dedicated and loyal and hardworking employees who have worked tirelessly in the service of our clients.
I’m proud to have a close relationship with the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International which has allowed me to grow as an individual. Thanks to all my ARCSI buddies!
And especially thanks to my family without whose support Custom Maid would not have survived. Thanks Al and Susan!
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in May 2014. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.