Hire A Housewife - 10 Minutes
From a young child I loved to clean, mum used to go out and I would clean while she was away so when she returned she didn’t have to do anything. I loved to see how happy this made her.
When I grew up I left school and had a few different jobs, both my brothers went off to university to study law and they thought it would be a good idea if I worked in their practice as a legal secretary, but I soon figured out I would rather poke my left eye out.
I then moved to Auckland where I worked for Empower in sales.
I then went on to work for world exchange, the telecommunications company. This helped me realise my true passion, Sales. Cold calling sales was hard, especially knocking on a door in the middle of winter, in the rain, just to have the door slammed in my face. But off I would go to the next house, door after door, rejection becoming a normal day to day happening, eventually giving me pretty thick skin.
When I made sales it was exciting. I loved the feeling of winning clients over, talking to people and doing my own thing.
After this I moved back to the Wairarapa where I am originally from. I carried on cold calling, selling security systems. I then moved on to try to sell and install smoke alarms in Porirua to people who could not afford them. I would put them on a payment plan , and install the alarms. This taught me a valuable lesson in business, if you want business you have to go and find it. It is ok if you get rejected because one of the doors you knock on, you will win a contract or make a sale.
A little after my 21st birthday I found out I was pregnant, cold calling got harder and harder, I wondered what job I could do that would get me inside, warm and was a little easier … I was drawn to cleaning and had a huge passion for it. So that is what I did I started cleaning for Focus, in home help.
After I had my son I moved on to work for a cleaning company, I was never truly happy working for anyone else. I would ask myself why was I making $13.70 a hour as an employee when I could be making $40 a hour as the boss. I worked out I could work two days to make the same as I would working a whole week so I quit and went out on my own. I soon formed a good client base in the Wairarapa. I just loved to clean and see the result and the difference I was making in my clients homes.
HOW HIRE A HOUSEWIFE CAME ABOUT:
One night I was talking to my brother having a few drinks and mentioned I needed a name for my company. We juggled a few names around, then he came up with Hire a Housewife! Perfect!
I then had another baby, a few years later I meet my husband Pete. He was a local Ag pilot working in the Manawatu and had 2 children of his own, it was a no brainer who had to move, so I gave up my clients and moved to the Manawatu.
I found myself with no job and again not wanting to work for anyone and be my own boss I went out on my own cleaning.
( this is the flyer I put around Palmerston North, I know it is terrible )
I picked up clients fast due to my standard of cleaning and my years of cold calling meant I was not afraid to find the work and risk being rejected. Word of mouth helped to get me more cleaning jobs and soon I become very busy. Some of those clients I still have to this day 8 years later.
Pete and I decided we would like to have children together and we had our son in 2014. I soon realised this would mean taking the big step to becoming an employer and expanding the company so I could stay at home with our son.
From there I went back on the tools and hired more staff as Hire a Housewife grew. Before long I needed help with administration so I broke a golden rule and hired my best friend. Nat Bourke. I had watched her for years go above and beyond for the company she was with. This has been the best thing I ever did as it took so much pressure off me.
Our first office was an old desk in the corner of our 1910 villa home on Lethbridge street. We also converted our wood shed to our supply room, the stuff you do to get a business off the ground aye! We brought one car after another until we grew to the point where the business had out grown our home environment. At that point Kesters building come up for rent and we have never looked back. Now Hire a Housewife has 18 staff in total and 7 cars. We work for about 10 building companies as well as regular domestic and commercial clients and real estate agents every day.
WHAT MAKES HIRE A HOUSEWIFE DIFFERENT
I believe some of the things that make Hire a housewife different to other cleaning companies is simply my passion, I didn’t fall out of a corporate office and see an opportunity to make money. This is my passion. I love the industry, I loved to clean, and I love to see my clients happy and the stress of cleaning come off their shoulders. I also love making improvements to our business like hiring a full time quality control officer.
Because I love the industry I have spent endless hours and a lot of money on marketing ( here is some of the things we now do that you can take home to have a look at) We have spent thousands on branding to set us apart and invested a lot on creating systems that improve our business. We are constantly looking for new ideas that make us a little different and a little than our competition.
We have created extensive training manuals for our staff and with health and safety manuals also constantly being amended there have been countless nights typing till midnight at home.
One thing I struggled with was hoping off the tools, I loved to clean, I had done it for 16 years and I never wanted to stop, it took my husband a couple of years to convince me I had to stop cleaning in order to keep up with admin and business management. The day I did this, Hire a housewife started expanding dramatically.
Systems we have in place now that sets us apart:
-Health and safety manuals
-We have created a Cleaning Academy for advanced Training of all staff.
-Policies and procedures.
-We have created a Hiring process so we only hire the best Executive housewives for our team.
I believe we have the best team in the Manawatu because we only hire the best ! We treat our staff with respect.
What else sets us apart is how fast we can get a job done, other companies can take a couple of weeks to do a quote. We have created a phone quote system so if you called us today we can send you a quote in 10 minutes, and aim to be able to do the job the same day if required.
We use a online system called Jobber, that has our rosters online, staff also clock In and out of this and we know where they are at all times, job sheets for our clients are online also. invoicing systems etc are all through the one program, this cuts our job down dramatically.
Our Quality control officer is Terri. She ensures our standards are kept to the highest standard. She also can see if any staff need further training in any aspects of the industry.
I have dedicated myself to a business I am so proud of, and all the hundreds of nights I have worked until midnight on it have been worth it. We have amazing clients and I am proud of the service we offer the Manawatu and the standard in which our staff conduct themselves in our clients homes. I am hoping to take Hire a Housewife NZ wide over the coming years.
I truely believe it doesn’t matter what you do in life you will be successful if you truely love what you do.
Thank you for having me and listening to how Hire a Housewife come about
- Natasha Harding, Hire a Housewife