MaidPro was founded with a mission to provide consistently great service and cutting edge cleaning solutions. As founder and CEO of MaidPro, Mark Kushinsky has overseen the company’s growth from a one-market house-cleaning company into a franchise with 180+ locations across the U.S. and Canada. In this latest “Small Business Spotlight” interview, he discusses how to build the right team and how customer satisfaction starts with employee satisfaction.
I founded MaidPro because, personally, I could never find a cleaning company that delivered consistently great — or even very good — service. I believed I could beat the market by treating employees better than other cleaning companies and training them to use scientifically sound, safe, and effective cleaning processes and solutions. I also wanted to work for myself and residential cleaning seemed to be an excellent way to get into business ownership. Now we franchise the model, helping many entrepreneurs to start their own cleaning companies. House cleaning may not be sexy, but it’s a business with low start-up costs, growing demand, recurring revenue, no inventory or spoilage, and virtually no receivables, so it’s very attractive.
2. How do you balance the multiple hats that you are required to wear?
‘Many hats’ is an understatement as we have transitioned from being a one-market house-cleaning company into a franchisor with 180+ locations across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to front-end systems for delivering great cleaning and customer experiences, we have built and continued to optimize our back-office technology and systems for sales & marketing, customer relationship management, business analytics, financial accounting, and so much more. I balance the multiple hats by hiring exceptionally talented people who really understand how to scale an organization. We have effective leaders whom I trust managing every MaidPro function.
3. What are the top three company priorities that you focus on?
My top priority is culture. Everything starts with the people in an organization and we place special emphasis on helping our employees to be happy and healthy in their lives and to enjoy coming into work. From there I focus on strategy, brand, and technology.
4. How do you prioritize initiatives? Walk us through how you determine where you invest time, people, and dollars.
We are not a venture-backed company so we need to be extra careful and creative with our time and money. I always ask three questions before making big spending decisions: Will the investment help us to scale? Will it make our jobs easier and more fun? And, will it move the meter on growth or create other types of value for our franchisees (versus just busy work)?
5. Walk us through the characteristics that you look for when hiring top talent.
Desk jockeys need not apply! I want our leadership team to truly understand the daily joys and challenges of the departments they manage, which means they must be willing to be involved on the front lines. Our CTO needs to be a power user of our software. Our COO needs to know what it’s like to interact with customers and to juggle the scheduling of hundreds or even thousands of cleaning jobs each week so he can build tools that address real business challenges. Other important characteristics for me are honesty, loyalty, okay with being wrong, willing to share credit for successes, fun to work with, and passionate about our brand.
6. What are the keys to your company’s successful growth?
People, strategy and technology: If you have the right people working to execute sound strategies with the right tools, success is almost a foregone conclusion. You also need to be constantly in touch with your customers, actively soliciting their feedback, because unhappy customers don’t always tell you they’re dissatisfied. They tell others, or they simply walk away. The converse is also true. Happy customers tell their friends and relatives, and that’s a big key to how we continue to grow.
7. What is the one piece of advice that you want to share with executives of other small businesses?
Like the people with whom you work. If you don’t enjoy your days at the office, it’s a strong headwind to fight. You have to be patient with finding and hiring the right talent. Then you need to work at always being their employer of choice, so the great people you’ve hired, stay with you.
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