New to MN! Would love to have feedback on cleaning/mothers help business idea

(12 Posts)
lovethesummer Tue 29-Jan-13 14:08:01

Hi! Am new to MN so hope I'm in the right place!

After years (and years!) of being at home with the kids I'm thinking of starting a new local business offering new mums & mums-to-be some help around the home with cleaning, laundry, change beds, helping prepare for baby, preparing meals in their homes (either for evening meal or to put in freezer), running errands and so on.

Ideally I would like to be able to offer mums the chance to just be able to have a long bath/do nothing/sleep for couple of hours whilst I watch baby or get on with doing the house.

I'm an experienced nanny, PA and cook and will get a police check and insurance etc.

Could I ask whether you would use a service like this or buy a gift voucher for a friend maybe and if so what would you be prepared to pay per hour?

Sorry for long post but wondering whether to get flyers done up or not!

Thankyou all.

I do buy gift vouchers for friends from a local cleaning company. Just a couple of hours, enough for them to have their house hoovered and dusted but nothing indepth.

I have paid £10 per hour but I do live in a not-affluent area and the lady that does the cleaning is a friend of mine so she is happy to take a few extra hours here and there.

When I was a new mum I could not have paid for a service to let me get a bath or a kip as I was on mat leave and trying to stretch my money, sorry!

But I am sure a lot of others would. You'd have to be pretty targetted with your flyers to catch only addresses/places with pregnant ladies or new mums.

purrpurr Tue 29-Jan-13 14:20:06

I would have sold my soul for something like this when I worked full time hours away from home. I was barely in it, but I was still supposed to clean it. It wasn't just the cleaning though - it would have been nice to get home to a nicely arranged bouquet, for example (I can't arrange flowers) and to enough milk and bread. Now as a mum-to-be I wouldn't be able to afford this kind of help, but previously I would have happily paid £50 a week for someone to pop in on a Weds and Fri and have a tidy round downstairs, check for milk and bread (supply if none) and put some flowers up on a Fri. So an hour or two, at most.

Would you think about offering this to professional couples?

lovethesummer Tue 29-Jan-13 14:26:36

Thankyou for your replies. I hear what you say about the cost of this whilst on ML etc. I had thought first of all about offering this service to everyone in the area but then worried that maybe the market is already quite overstretched with people offering the same thing as me. I might look at it again now though!
Thanks

Ragwort Tue 29-Jan-13 14:31:07

Totally depends on where you live and if people have the money for this sort of thing but in general terms it sounds a great idea. The very best present I received when I had my DS was two hours cleaning a week for ten weeks (and then I extended it & paid myself) grin.

What does a cleaner cost in your area? Where we live it would be around £10 an hour.

lovethesummer Tue 29-Jan-13 14:38:40

Hi

Cleaners in my area vary but are mostly about £10ph but having phoned around for some quotes recently, some are charging up to £15ph! I'm thinking about £10ph but maybe offering a set price for a bundle of hours as a gift.

Thanks

bacon Wed 30-Jan-13 14:33:05

Yes but if you charge £10ph where's your profit? You are only getting £8ph (NI etc)which includes travelling, fuel, advertising, insurance, telephone calls = overheads. You would drive somewhere do 2 hours and drive home for £20? It is a lovely idea but has to be min 3hrs and I wouldnt do it for £10ph. Even if you did 1 job a day thats min £30 per day?????? With PA experience and all that surely thats low?

Nice idea you are aiming at the top though, most people wouldnt be able to justify this cost and many people I know had friends and family to do the chores. Even though I would of loved the idea hubby would of gone mad spending money on cleaner at that time. I do think its great but very limited audience.

As for cleaning if you have little experience then be careful. Ive had many cleaners here who havent a clue what chemicals to use and had furniture bleached! Its exhausting too.

I would def up your hourly rate to £15 if you are to do all these chores but then people would expect the earth from you. Plus you cant compete with the £10ph crew. Its a difficult one.

Is it just a thought as it isnt much of a business you may have a very low fluctuating income and driving here there and everywhere.

I do love the idea but not something I would buy for a friend as my usual max spend on a friend is £16 and not sure if my friends would rather a gift for the baby and not for them.

I have a cleaner who comes once a week for £10ph - she does 3 jobs a day 5 days a week and is exhausted.

I would do some maths first - on assumptions of one booking a week and be realistic what is the average bookings you would get. Work out overheads, NI contributions, holidays, sick, etc If you have a lifestyle that needs a decent income then work it out what your weekly income needs to be.

Agree quite a bit with bacon, although on the hourly rate, if £10 an hour is the going rate then you aren't going to get much more than that no matter how amazing you are.

I am self employed doing a number crunching type job. I charge a decent hourly rate. I have one full day for one big customer a week. This is my bread and butter money. The others are all 2 and 3 hours here and there, some with half an hour travelling. Even on a good hourly rate - if their 2 hours is all I have that day then thats all I can earn. luckily I have a couple of others outside the area that I work for 'remotely' via on-line connections to their system. Again these are 2 and 3 hours a week each and I fit them round the others.

Being paid hourly for as many hours as someone else wants you do work, can be a hard way to earn a decent income. I am happy doing it because it fits round school etc, and we don't have a mortgage any more. If I had bigger bills I would have had to take a 9-5 staff job for the regular income.

Regular repeat work is the 'holy grail' of self employment - so by targetting new mums you would not be getting a lot of that, and especially gift vouchers - you'd go for 2 or 3 hours, do a house that might be a disgusting mess and you can't make a dent in it, then never hear from that person again.

Sorry to be so down on it, but you have other skills and i suspect your pa experience would get you something better paid. If you've been out of the workplace now you'd be surprised how many jobs are part time or job share now.

lovethesummer Thu 31-Jan-13 10:36:57

Thank you all for your feedback. It's been really useful to hear from you and I will keep thinking!

brainonastick Thu 31-Jan-13 10:46:05

I wouldn't necessarily limit your target market to new mums. Mine are school/pre-school age, and I would happily pay a little more than my cleaners rate for someone willing to go the extra mile to help out - maybe 12-15 per hour depending on where in the country you are.

You would primarily need to be very good and quick at the cleaning though - no point paying you more to do the same job as the cleaner but in more time!

I would love someone to help with washing, cook a big pot meal for the freezer, run the odd errand if needed, ironing etc. Maybe even occasional babysitting.

If its particularly helping new mums that gets you interested though, you could look into becoming a doula. Some offer precisely this service, and charge a fair bit for it.

Ragwort Thu 31-Jan-13 12:32:45

Also, what about helping older people? A lot of elderly need care in their homes and there are so many 'rules' about Home Helps (if they are called that anymore) - not being able to change a lightbulb etc etc - I am sure you would have a market there if you could do some light housework, prepare simple meals, do a bit of shopping etc etc. Elderly neighbours of mine recently needed some help for a few weeks and had to pay a care agency a fortune, yet I expect the actual carer was on minimum wage.

lovethesummer Thu 31-Jan-13 13:54:13

That's an area that I had been thinking about in the past few days since posting on here. I am looking at that and seeing who else (if anyone) is doing it locally already. Thanks for help everyone.

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