How I Started My $1.5M/Year House Cleaning Business In Seattle

Published: June 22nd, 2023
Chris Mondragon
$125K
revenue/mo
2
Founders
25
Employees
Queen Bee Cleanin...
from Seattle, Washington, USA
started January 2015
$125,000
revenue/mo
2
Founders
25
Employees
market size
$900M
avg revenue (monthly)
$243K
starting costs
$18K
gross margin
90%
time to build
270 days
growth channels
Advertising on social media
business model
Subscriptions
best tools
Google Drive, Quickbooks, Instagram
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
40 Pros & Cons
tips
4 Tips
Discover what tools Chris recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Chris recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Queen Bee Cleaning Service? Check out these stories:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

My name Is Cristobal Mondragon, I own and operate Queen Bee Cleaning Service in Seattle, we offer house cleaning and Airbnb cleaning services. It all started back in 2015. My wife suggested we start our own cleaning business,

Now, I'm not gonna lie, we had no idea what we were doing. We had zero experience in the house cleaning industry, but we were determined to make it work. In just three short months, we generated a whopping $26,576!

I couldn’t believe it! Fast forward to today Queen Bee Cleaning has made over $5.8 million in sales & generating $1.5M per year.

queen-bee-cleaning-service

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I'm from Michoacan, Mexico, but I've been living in Seattle, since 2004. Since I arrived in The United States I have held many different jobs: I've been a landscaper, a dishwasher, a cook, a chef, a construction worker, & even a car salesman.

You see, since I arrived in The United States I held many different jobs: I've been a landscaper, a dishwasher, a cook, a chef, a construction worker, & even a car salesman. You name it, I've probably done it. But in 2015, I decided to take a chance on something completely new - starting a cleaning business with my wife, Sandra.

Now, I'm not gonna lie, we had no idea what we were doing. We had zero experience in the house cleaning industry, but we were determined to make it work. And boy, did we ever. In just three short months, we went from making $1,740 to a whopping $20,576!

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

The business was started with only a thousand dollars. All we got was a vacuum, cleaning supplies, and some business cards, I started to call some of my competitors to see how much they were charging, once I had my pricing I hired a person on Fiverr to build me a quick website for $250, registered my business on Google and also I started calling property managers in my area and started offering our services.

Look for mentors, I wish I did that when I started, instead, I was learning everything by myself and that cost me a lot of money.

Describe the process of launching the business.

I figured my best chance was to partner up with other businesses, that way I could scale faster, I started offering online booking, which took my business off.

All I knew at the time was to post ads on Craigslist and run ads on Yelp, but that was all it took to start growing my business, I still use Craigslist to this day but now I also run ads on Google and Facebook.

I learned that by replacing the “in-person estimates” I was able to sell my services so much faster and with a better closing rate. Usually, you have to go in person to check a property before giving a price, in my case I started providing prices without seeing the property and that allowed me to sell my services quicker.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Honestly, having excellent customer service (7 days a week 7 am to 9 pm) offering top-notch services has allowed me to retain my customers and also attract more.

Also, I’m running ads on these platforms:
- Google Local Services Ads
- Google PPC Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Craigslist Ads

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We currently do about 16 to 22 homes per day, The goal for the end of this year will be to do 26 to 30 homes per day, we are also planning on adding 2 new services: duct cleaning and pressure washing. These new services should be very easy to sell to our existing customers.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Yes, you have to learn how to manage your time, otherwise, you will always be busy and will burn out, the strategy I use is called 12-week year to help me manage my time and keep my goals in check. It’s a strategy that helps you set up goals every 12 weeks instead of creating goals for the year. It allows you to keep your projects moving and your productivity goes to the roof

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

BookingKoala: schedule jobs, run credit cards, assign jobs to cleaners
CleanCore: sending text offers, create review campaigns, email campaigns, recruiting
OpenPhone: making and receiving calls and SMS
Slack: used for team internal communication with the cleaners and the office

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Think and grow rich
10X
Buy back your time

By far these 3 books have allowed me to change and rewire my self-limiting beliefs and have allowed me to grow as a person and business owner.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Look for mentors, I wish I did that when I started, instead, I was learning everything by myself and that cost me a lot of money, so my advice is to get someone who has already done what you want to achieve and approach them.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Always! We are always looking for more cleaners.

Where can we go to learn more?

Want to start a cleaning service? Learn more ➜