Excellence is Quality Driven – The Inside Scoop with Martha Woodward

Did you know that excellence is quality driven? It’s true, and when the quality disappears,
so does the excellence, and as a small business owner, we wear lots of hats and it’s very
stressful to try to manage all the details of your business, and then all the details
of the client situation, and then all the details of your employees. So as a business owner, you can get fatigued
and exhausted just trying to maintain the quality in your business. So today we’re going to talk about how you
do that and what is the best way to do it, and the quickest, fastest way to get from
here to there. Hi there, I’m Angela Brown and this is Ask
a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house
cleaning question and I get to help you find an answer. Now, in all fairness, there is a piece of
software, and I love telling you about software because when I started my house cleaning business,
there was no software, okay? Computers kind of existed, but they kind of
didn’t and nobody even had websites. Now there’s an app for everything, and I’m
having so much fun discovering what they are and how they can save you time in your business. The one we’re going to talk about today is
Quality Driven. This is a piece of software that tracks your
progress on a day-to-day basis so that you can track your details, you can track your
customers’ satisfaction, and you can track the satisfaction and the activities of your
employees. So instead of you waking up in the night and
your mind racing and you’re super stressed about all the things you have to do, you can
track it all now and the software tracks it for you. Boom. All right, to explain it to us, we have the
creator of Quality Driven joining us today. Now here’s a little piece of information that’s
kind of exciting. She runs this massive empire. She’s got a training business, she’s got a
house cleaning business, she runs this software that she created, right? And she’s on vacation in a cabin in the woods,
and she joined us today because she is on vacation and she had the time to do it. I’m freaking out and really jealous because
here I am running my business and she’s off there on vacation, having fun. I’m like, how do you do it? All right, well, she tracks everything, she
monitors everything, and she works remotely. So she’s going to share with us some of the
secrets so that you too can implement some of those solutions so that you’re not working
so hard in your business and it doesn’t bog you down. So please help me welcome the genius and most
brilliant, Martha Woodward. Martha Woodward: You recognize it when you
aren’t following your policies. That really is what it comes down to, and
I always tell people, if you can’t follow your policies and let your policies make the
decisions, not your employees basically running the show, if you can’t follow your policies,
then you need to loosen them up so that you can consistently follow them and everybody
knows what they’re supposed to do. I always say that lenient policies that you
actually follow are so much better than strict policies that are very inconsistent. I use the analogy of a parent to a child,
and that parent that constantly, “if you do this then I’m going to…”, and you see that child do that of course, and they continue to do it, and the parent feels very out of control,
but when you watch that, you’re sitting there thinking, “Why doesn’t that parent follow
through?” But you as the business owner are that parent,
and these employees are your kids that are getting away with murder and are going to
grow up to be very unruly teenagers, but yet you supported that every step of the way. You really have no other choice than to devise
policies and procedures that you draw a line in the sand and you absolutely will follow. Angela Brown: So it’s better to not enable
the behavior and be kind of the bad guy and follow the procedures and lay the rules down
and then you follow through with them, than it is to just be super nice and kind, and
then let everybody walk all over the top of you, and then you’re frustrated because you
no longer own your company. Martha Woodward: Actually, I feel like most
people make these decisions out of fear. They ignore what’s happening out of fear because
the fear is I’m going to be short-handed, or you know. That’s a fear and I absolutely get it, but
it just creates a vicious cycle, and your best employees will not stay with you if you
let other people get away with murder because they get tired of picking up other people’s
slack. They see people being able to call off and
they’re thinking, “Well, I got to pick up their jobs today.” Or they see people with poor quality and they
think, “Well, I got to go fix their mess because they don’t do what they’re supposed to, so
she sends me.” And they get fed up with that. So, you owe it to your best employees to protect
them and provide a work environment that they like working at, and they don’t respect you
or trust you when you have very inconsistent rules. They’re trying to follow the rules, but you
are saying, “Oh, I have rules but they don’t really matter.” So nobody knows what to do, and your worst
employees are going to be like, “Yeah, that’s right. I can get away with murder. She isn’t going to fire me, we’re too short-handed.” So it just spirals until you have that sacrificial
lamb, meaning until they start believing you and see that you’re going to do what you say,
then they start trusting you, then they start falling in line if they ever plan to do so. Now, some people won’t fall in line, but they’re
not the people that you want to keep or else you have to just decide, I’m going to be okay
with stress. Angela Brown: Now, one of the things that
I love about you, Martha, is you’re running this amazing empire and yet you take time
off. I can’t help but notice right now that you
are on vacation, and I think that’s so awesome because you have software and also mentoring
programs that are in place so that you can take the time off. So share with us a little bit about when you
get into that stage of all right, now I’m managing my business on a level where I’m
the boss and I can just take some time off and go on vacation in a cabin. That’s awesome, wherever you are right now. Martha Woodward: Eight, nine years ago, whenever
that was, I joke about this. I used to have to bribe my employees when
I would leave town for like three days for a conference. I would, sometimes I told them, sometimes
I didn’t, but I would say, “Okay, you all. If everything goes smoothly while I’m gone
to this conference, we’ll have a pizza party.” Or whatever the incentive was, and now I look
back and laugh at that because we had zero management staff in our office, everything
is remote. I go to the office once a month for the staff
meeting, and I can literally be on vacation all of that time if I choose to, and it’s
so freeing, and that’s really what I tell people I want for them and it really is. It is so freeing, you can decide to be at
the office every day, but you still have freedom because you don’t have to be at the office
to ensure things go smoothly. If you have to be at the office to make sure
things go smoothly, you know you have a problem. Angela Brown: So what would you recommend
for these house cleaners that are now frustrated and they’re like, “I think I’m just going
to go solo again.” Is solo the end result? Is that the light at the end of the tunnel,
or is it to create some kind of a system with software, like the stuff that you use? Tell us a little bit about that and how you
would start streamlining that process so that you just don’t end up being the only worker
in your business? Martha Woodward: Right. And you and I see that all the time where
maybe a person who went into cleaning houses themselves and then they bring on some employees,
and they say just that, “I’m just going to go back to cleaning houses myself because
I can’t trust these people.” Or whatever, and you have to realize that
ultimately, it honestly is not the employees. Maybe you made some bad hires, but that’s
still on you, not the employee. So you have to have your systems in place,
and for me it all started with making sure as much as I can that I hire the right people,
are following our policies and procedures, but then having checks and balances in place. So I could not do what I do unless I had a
scheduling software that allowed me to, when I need to check on people, I can see when
they’re clocking in and I can see a GPS point of where they’re clocking in, and that’s Service
Autopilot, but there’s a lot of them out there. Then the other software that I use, full disclaimer
is my software, Quality Driven. That software really wasn’t devised back then
with the idea, oh I can be anywhere and watch quality, but I needed metrics to know who
to keep, who to not keep, who to bonus, and like I say, who to write up. So, I use Quality Driven and I can watch that
data rolling in. I know when a trainee comes out of the training
program, I watch their scores and I know if those scores don’t start climbing, I see them
plateau or drop, they’re going to be gone within the month. Usually they self-exit because they don’t
like our program. They don’t like being scored. I want the people who do not mind being scored
because they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Angela Brown: It sounds like if you used a
software like that, it would reduce a lot of the mental fatigue where you wake up every
day thinking, “Oh, I’m going to have to fire this person if they don’t perform.” But if you’re both tracking the results, then
you both know, and it kind of removes you from being the bad guy of saying, “Hey, hey,
you did this, this is on you. You’re on your way out the door. So see you.” You know? Martha Woodward: Right, and we do these systems
where you basically tell them what they need to do to stay in good graces in your company. You are shifting the role of quality control
and attendance control and all that. You’re shifting that from you, management,
to the employee. I do require that my employees sign in, look
at their quality scores. I want them to look at the clients they have
for that day to see their past history, because we’re trying to retain clients with that software, as well as them to be self-aware on how they’re doing. They know what’s not acceptable, they know
what gets them in a bonus situation. So it really is up to them to make the choices
to be very detailed, to check their work, to do all those things that we need them to
do so everybody’s happy. Angela Brown: And is this software something
that is just for employees or could you also track the performance and the quality of independent
contractors that you hire? Martha Woodward: Oh, absolutely. It doesn’t matter if they’re employees or
ICs. We pull in the data from your CRM, your scheduling
software, and the data will have the client, the email, client’s email, and then the employees
on the job. That survey goes out and when the score comes
back, it’s attached to the employees or the ICs, whoever was on the job. So it’s just a matter of matching up who performed
the job to that score. Angela Brown: And could you also then use
it for virtual assistants? Martha Woodward: We actually have some virtual
assistant companies that use our software that send it out to their clients, their business
owners, twice a month to say, “How are we doing?” And then they use that feedback, especially
with most VA companies, it’s very remote, everybody is in different areas. So the software is perfect for measuring performance
from anywhere. I show a picture of somebody on the beach
checking their quality scores and you know “hey, things are going smoothly, or okay, I better have
somebody checking up on these houses.” Angela Brown: That is brilliant. Hey, tell our listeners where they can find
your Quality Driven Software and how they can start implementing this in their business,
because this is going to reduce a lot of employee management fatigue and fatigue with independent
contractors, and now virtual assistants. This is brilliant. Martha Woodward: So it’s QualityDrivenSoftware.com,
and then sign up, and it starts at $29 a month. No contracts, no sign up fees. So at most you lose $29 if you don’t like it. Angela Brown: And does the price change based
on how many people you add into the program? Martha Woodward: It is dependent on how many
jobs you do a month. So most people are on our $49 plan. Some are higher, some are lower. Angela Brown: So basically, for the price
of one- or two-hours’ worth of cleaning per month, you could totally do all of the
quality control in your business and you could keep track of all of the things that are keeping
you awake at night as a business owner. Martha Woodward: You not only help your employee
issues, but gosh, if you save one client, you’ve paid for it for the year. Angela Brown: All right, and that was the
amazing Martha Woodward, and I tell you what, she can save you so much time and give you
your sleep back by tracking your issues for you and your quality so that you don’t have
to do it inside your head. Awesome, right? And for the price of a couple of hours of
cleaning per month, it does it all for you. So thank you Martha, you just gave us hope
for small business owners. Right, if you found this helpful, please pass
this on to a friend. If you want to go grab a copy, and I know
you do, links are inside the show notes. If we’ve earned your subscription, please
subscribe, and until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.


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