“I had this fire… I wanted to try out all these marketing tools and ideas that I couldn’t try at my day job.”
Meet Katie Pearse
Meet Katie Pearse, a cleaning entrepreneur who also happens to be an online marketing specialist. In 2008, Katie co-founded a housecleaning business in Canada called the Green Clean Squad. Just three-and-a-half years later, the company made its first million. And over seven years, the company’s hourly rate tripled—from $62/hour to $180/hour.
Growing a Million Dollar Business
Before starting a housecleaning business, Katie worked in web communications. She was also fascinated with online marketing and would spend her free time learning about the latest in this field. Because of her background, interests, and an adventurous spirit, Katie tried to do things that hardly anyone else in the housecleaning business had even thought to do.
For example, to evaluate the performance of her cleaning staff, Katie started a mystery shopping program. Clients would get 50% off a cleaning if they completed a detailed evaluation of the staff who came to do that cleaning. The clients loved to get the deal, and the staff even loved it too, because they would get a bonus if they received a good grade in their evaluation.
She was also fearless about experimenting with ways to do things differently in the hope that she would come up with a better way. One of these experiments, which worked out quite well, was online quotes. Even though most companies would visit a potential new client in person to provide a quote, she thought that practice was inefficient, so she came up with a way to provide quotes online.
She also sought to create an exceptional customer experience for her clients, going the extra mile in a number of ways. This high-end customer experience was why the company was able to charge such a high hourly rate.
Lastly, Katie and her partner were incredibly driven to work hard and grow their business. “We would never turn a client away, because we were trying to build it, build it, build it,” she says. “It was snowballing all the time.”
Katie learned a lot from her experience with the Green Clean Squad, and we’re fortunate to have her sharing her knowledge throughout this guide.
From Zero to Millions: Katie's Business Timeline
Katie and her business partner launch their housecleaning company. Her partner has cleaning expertise, while Katie has a keen interest in online marketing and wants to try out what she’s learning on her own company. In the beginning, they work part-time, doing all the cleaning themselves at nights and on weekends while holding down full-time day jobs.
Business is going well enough that Katie decides to quit her day job.
Katie and her partner hire their first employee.
The business makes its first million in sales.
Katie and her partner start a health benefits plan for their staff. This dramatically improves not only staff retention but also the quality of job applicants.
The business makes its first million in sales in one year.
Katie puts more money into advertising. In about 3 months, monthly revenue jumps from $80,000 a month to $115,000 a month.
Katie leaves the business to parlay her success into consulting and other entrepreneurial ventures.