ZenMaid Update: How We Grew To $120K MRR In 2021

Published: February 22nd, 2022
Amar Ghose
Founder, ZenMaid
from Palo Alto, California, USA
started April 2013
Discover what tools Amar recommends to grow your business!

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

I’m Amar Ghose, CEO of ZenMaid, a scheduling software specifically for maid services. We help over 1500 business owners every day to better manage their cleaning companies.

Last time we were re-featured on StarterStory we were in the 66k MRR range (up to over 50% from our initial story!). When that update was published we were in the middle of our worst slide in company history due to the Coronavirus. It’s been a busy, crazy year since. Crazy good, thankfully.

In July 2021, we’re over $120k MRR (just shy of $1.5m ARR!) and continuing to grow nicely each month (4-8%). Exciting times for small bootstrapped products we never thought would make more than 20k a month.

This year’s update is being written in Palo Alto, CA, where I grew up (previous Starter Story editions were published from Indonesia and Scotland respectively so this feels a bit boring).


Photo from San Francisco last week

Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?

For customers (product-wise) it’s been a bit slower on the surface the past year. While we have released a few cool new features we’ve spent a lot more time debugging and solidifying the foundation of ZenMaid in preparation for a run at $2m ARR.

In January we released a 100% free plan that made a huge splash in the industry. We’re the first ones to offer a truly free-for-life plan to maid services and it’s jumped our numbers across the board. In addition to the 1500 paying customers I mentioned above we’re fast closing in on 1000 free users (and many of them are looking at our paid options for the near future, which is of course the point)

The last 12 months have been very good for ZenMaid as a company. Our last update was right after the worst of the COVID pandemic, so that’s easy to say. Since bottoming out (we dropped ~40% of our MRR during 12 weeks) we’ve grown massively (that’s how it feels to us at least), literally doubling the business.

And the best part is our costs have not increased with our revenues for the first time in company history.

When we broke the $1m ARR mark in October 2020 it felt like things were finally coming together (and they are - knock on wood!).

On another quick note for readers of my past profiles: we’re doing the Maid Summit (our biggest marketing activity each year) for the 3rd time in a row this year and it continues to improve. This year we have almost 70 talks from industry experts (who knew you could find almost 70 experts who work specifically with maid services??) and will comfortably break 3000 attendees. It’s now the biggest event of maid services globally! And this year we’re allowing sponsors, and charging for some tickets so we’ve already collected 5 figures in revenue before it goes live (next week)!

And finally, we’ve started scaling our ad spend after finally nailing down our funnel. Our growth already makes me pinch myself given where we’ve come from and it feels like we’re only just getting started.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

Think long-term. Take into account a 10 year time horizon.

Even if what you’re currently working on doesn’t end up being ‘the thing’, the experience you’re gaining building your systems right now will pay for itself many times over as you try again and again over time. If you’re learning, you’re not failing!

The decision to launch our free plan took a lot of thinking, planning, and risk mitigation. It also might have hurt our short-term revenues. But on a 10-year time horizon, we believe it was 100% the right decision for our company, our customers, and our team. I’ve written more about the decision, and how long-term thinking played a part, here.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We just announced a big partnership with Gusto to help take payroll to the next level for our customers so we’re very excited about that.

The Gusto partnership is part of our bigger focus of doubling down on what we do best: scheduling. Previously (as recently as 2 years ago) we would have preferred our payroll solution instead of working with Gusto.

We’re also going to finally be rebuilding our mobile experiences from the ground up for our customers - this has been on the horizon for a long time now and it’s finally time to turn the ship. That’s going to take surprisingly long to do but we’re looking forward to the challenge!

Have you read any good books in the last year?

How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis - Terrible title, great book. Puts making money in perspective.

The 4 Hour Workweek - A classic: my lifestyle bible. I re-read this every few years and it’s always just as enjoyable as the first time.
Working Backwards - On Amazon’s inner workings and how Jeff Bezos has created a culture of innovation. Have me thinking about how to keep ZenMaid growing after I phase myself out!

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

It sounds cliche and is said a lot but: stick with it. Don’t give up.


Even if what you’re currently working on doesn’t end up being ‘the thing’, the experience you’re gaining building your systems right now will pay for itself many times over as you try again and again over time. If you’re learning, you’re not failing!

I’ve shared multiple times before about how it took us over 3 years (3 YEARS) to get to $10k MRR - while we were living in San Francisco. It was all worth it despite how much longer the reality was than our expectation.

Also, systems will set you free. Think about everything in your business as a series of systems, even if you’re personally the one executing on each one. That mindset will help you scale.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We’re looking to upgrade our mobile experience for our customers! If any indie hackers are interested in the challenge of building a mobile app from the ground up that plays nice with an existing web app, please message me! Twitter is the best place.

Current mobile stack is React Native + Expo.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!