When Cheryl Schantz realized her company was making four times what she did for each house she cleaned, and decided to strike out on her own, it was a major Financial Turning Point for her.—and for her three kids.
I started having children when I was young, and had three by the age of 20. I’ve been on my own ever since, and, for years, I struggled to find good work.
Instead of being able to get a good education, I was a full-time mother. I got jobs occasionally just to get by. But I always ended up doing the same type of work—mostly housecleaning and waitressing.
I worked for several different companies as a housecleaner and, being the clean freak that I am, I was good at it. I also retained information about other aspects of the field, like pricing, bidding, and how they sold the job.
After gaining years of experience, I felt like I was just working too hard for too little pay. And that’s no joke. Say a client's price was $150. I went into the home and had three hours to get the job done. I would make $27. The supplies might cost $8. The rest went to the company.
Subtract $35 from the $150 fee and the company was making an average of $115 per house! That’s more than four times what I got. Imagine if they had three houses per day per employee, I thought: They could make about $345 per person per day. Wow!
I kept my job at the cleaning company initially because I figured business would be slow at first. To start out, I advertised my business, Cheryl’s Touch, on Craigslist. In my first month, I made $1,600! That's very good compared to the $70 I was making cleaning three houses a day.
People were telling me to not be discouraged because cleaning businesses usually start out slow. But mine did not. Cheryl's Touch really took off. It was so successful that I actually had to quit my other job way before I thought I would.
My business continued to grow, and now I have all the clients I need. I'm making enough money—finally—to live comfortably.