Sergio and Johnny started Mary & A Mop in Orange County, California. They opened the business with $0 out of pocket in January 2022. Within four months of opening their fully remote home cleaning company, they are on track to $150,000 in revenue for the year. In the first month of January, they secured $12,000 in revenue with $4,000 in profit.
Although it can be done, these aren’t typical results for someone who has no experience and starts their first business. Both Sergio and Johnny own a window cleaning company that they started several years before founding Mary & A Mop. Their window cleaning company does around $700,000 in annual revenue, and they both came into this new business idea with a lot of experience.
Why did Sergio and Johnny start Mary & A Mop?
At the time, Johnny’s mom was working for Uber to make ends meet. The guys quickly developed the idea to start a maid service business to supplement her income. Using their skillset and experience, they succeeded in doing just that.
How much did Sergio and Johnny invest?
The guys started in an unusual way that is not recommended for most new entrepreneurs. When Mary & A Mop was started, the guys used an Amex credit card to fund their initial investment resulting in $0 spend out of pocket. By the time they needed to make a payment, they already had turned profitable. Keep in mind that both Sergio and Johnny had lots of previous experience, and they do not recommend taking this approach without any experience.
Running an already successful business gave them the edge because they knew where they needed to spend the money. Coming from a similar company, they knew Yelp would be a great way to kickstart Mary & A Mop. They turned on Yelp ADs and got enough clientele to bring in over $12,000 in revenue, turning a $4,000 profit. If you don’t have any experience, the guys recommend starting with a cash investment. They both mention that starting with a $1,000 is enough to get your business up and running.
If you’re going to start running ADs, they recommend making small investments of $100 or $200 at a time. If the campaign beings to work, increase your budget by small increments.
What sets Mary & A Mop apart from their competitors?
Online reputation and branding are a primary focus for Mary & A Mop. The guys mention that this is the challenging part at the beginning because you start with zero reputation. To combat this, you must focus on the best customer experience possible, provide excellent customer service, and offer features such as online bookings. If the customers are happy, they will refer your maid service to others, you’ll also gain online reviews, and you’ll slowly be able to increase your prices.
What marketing strategies did you use to kick start your cleaning business?
The first strategy the guys used to start the cleaning business, as mentioned earlier, was Yelp advertisement. Yelp was a 6 to 1 return on their investment. With the $2,000 initial investment, Yelp brought in $12,000 in revenue, giving the guys a great starting point.
Second, the guys leveraged NextDoor, to continue their growth. Starting in February, they had to reduce their advertising budget to pay Johnny’s mom. Since she no longer drove for Uber, she needed a way to get paid. As a result, the AD budget was decreased, and Johnny’s mom, who was already on the NextDoor platform, decided to leverage sweat equity to promote the business.
She started to engage in people’s posts and let them know that she was the owner of Mary & A Mop. She wasn’t overselling, but she was making herself known. Next time someone needed a cleaning, Mary & A Mop came to mind. This required more effort than throwing money at advertisement, but it was a creative tactic that proved to be successful.
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The third marketing strategy used was testimonials. Instead of asking for reviews, the guys asked their customers to share testimonials on social media. This strategy is used by their window cleaning company and their home cleaning business. They mention this strategy works so well that in the last week or so, they booked around ten jobs just from customers leaving testimonials on sites like Facebook and NextDoor.
As the guys continue their growth, they say these are the three main marketing strategies they will continue to leverage to hit $150,000 in revenue by year’s end.
How did you hear about BookingKoala?
After browsing through different software, Sergio and Johnny stumbled on BookingKoala. Right away, they knew that the software was created by someone who experienced all the pain points of growing a cleaning company. It had all the extensive features required to start and scale a cleaning business.
Once they started to use the software, they immediately implemented the booking form so they could provide online booking capabilities to customers. Automating customer communications by implementing automated emails and texts was also important. By doing so, customers could receive automated invoices and receipts. Another part was capturing payments online through a Stripe integration. These things saved Sergio and Johnny several hours each week, and $57 per month for software with such capabilities is a no-brainer.
How much time do you spend on the business?
The guys say that BookingKoala is so good that it makes running the cleaning company much more manageable. Johnny’s mom handles the day-to-day operations managed through BookingKoalas systems and processes. Johnny and Sergio mainly focus on running all the advertisements, checking that everything is working correctly while focusing on conversions, and making sure Johnny’s mom doesn’t run into any significant problems.
In all, they mention they spend a couple of hours each week on the cleaning company. Due to the help of BookingKoala, Johnny’s mom doesn’t need to rely on them so much due to all the automation and processes set. In turn, this helps the guys focus on other parts of the cleaning business and allows them to work on their other companies.
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Where do you see Mary & A Mop in 5 years?
The guys want to see $1,000,000 in annual revenue in five years, which they mention doesn’t seem that bad. It’s only around $83,000 in monthly revenue, and due to the recurring clientele, it looks like a 99% chance of their goal being met. As long as they focus on client retention, with BookingKoala’s help, they believe this is achievable rather quickly.
To reach a million dollars in revenue, they believe focusing on their reputation and branding is the only way to go. Having an excellent reputation is a huge selling point, and to say you have the most 5 star reviews in the County is incredible. They want to ensure they have the best reputation in Orange County and possibly some surrounding suburbs.
Would you recommend BookingKoala?
Johnny says that he would 100% recommend BookingKoala because it’s by far the best maid service software to run your cleaning business. He also adds that he isn’t just saying this because he is making this video. Both Johnny and Sergio found BookingKoala and fell in love with the software before getting involved in making this growth story video for everyone to see. Before using BookingKoala, they’ve tested other BookingKoala competitors, and Johnny says it’s a night and day comparison.
Sergio says that 10 out of 10 times, he would recommend BookingKoala. It significantly made a massive difference in how they run and operate a cleaning business. He believes that if he used a different CRM, it wouldn’t allow them to run their cleaning company remotely the way they do today. If you’re starting a cleaning business, Sergio adds that he would highly recommend starting with BookingKoala.
Do you have anything else valuable to add to our viewers?
The guys encourage anyone to start a remote cleaning business this year. They both believe it’s one of the best ways to build cash flow because of a few things.
First, customers are super easy to acquire because there is tons of demand in the industry. Everyone needs to have their home cleaned. It just needs to happen, and no one wants a dirty home. Second, the customers are sticky, and some of their clients have weekly cleanings, and a few even have a cleaning twice per week, which Johnny thinks is ‘nuts’. Third, it’s super asset-light, meaning that you don’t need trucks, equipment, or uniforms, making it very low cost to start. All you need is a website that BookingKoala allows you to build in just a few hours, included in your subscription, a software that also comes included in the subscription, insurance which costs $40 per month, and then, of course, your subcontractors.
To add, the guys say that this business model is great. When they first started their window cleaning business, they used employees, had trucks and equipment, and then discovered they didn’t need all of that. You can just hire others and subcontract all the work while focusing on marketing your company.
They both highly recommend starting such a business and using BookingKoala. Both of the guys wish they had a software such as BookingKoala when starting their window cleaning company because it would’ve made things that much easier.
Want to learn more about Sergio and Johnny?
If you’re interested in learning more from Sergio and Johnny, you can find both of them via their Twitter (Sergio) and (Johnny) plus on their combined YouTube, and TikTok channels. They focus on helping other entrepreneurs start a service-type business.
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