What It's About
A cleaning service that takes the headache out of the hangover.
Words of Wisdom
Find a niche market and develop a business strategy that is new and will be remembered. Make sure you have developed an easy to use website and can capture your audience's attention straight away with a clear message of what you do, who you are and why. Finding the right staff is also key as they are the face of your business. This is one of the reasons we haven't grown as fast as we could have. Finally, make sure you commit 100%.
The cleaning industry is worth around $4 billion annually to the Australian economy. That huge amount of money means there are over 62,000 people employed as contract cleaners. With so much money and job opportunities out there it’s no wonder that there are literally thousands of cleaning companies across the nation. By picking a niche market James was able to stand out from the crowd and carve out a nice little side business for himself.
Notes from Chris
Drinking too much on a night out certainly has its consequences. You’ll likely wake up the next morning with a ton of regret and a wicked hangover to match. All most people want to do in that situation is lie in bed and wait for the storm to pass. However, today’s side hustler thinks a little differently. Meet James Hookway, a full-time chartered accountant from Perth in Western Australia. For James, it was while hungover after a Christmas party in 2014 that he came up with a unique business idea. He and his wife had thrown the party and the next morning, they lay in bed, dreading the inevitable after party cleanup. While procrastinating about when to start the job, they began talking about how great it would be if there was a service that would clean up after you big party and maybe even bring you breakfast in bed. After having a good laugh about it, they dragged themselves out of bed, had a big breakfast, and got to removing all traces of the night before. But the idea stuck with James and, like a fine wine, it actually got better with age. Fast forward to July, six months later, and the concept still excited him. He decided to do some research and realized that, although there were a lot of cleaning companies out there, none of them were marketed specifically at the after party/hangover crowd—which can be a large market in Australia. They were all fairly generic, boring companies with terrible branding. Figuring there might be something there, James decided to test the concept. To keep things simple he created a Facebook page describing the proposed service and shared it with his friends and family. The name for the page almost wrote itself. He called it Hangover Helpers! Perhaps it was the perfect name, the concept itself, or maybe the right person just so happened to share the page. Whatever the cause, what followed was one of the craziest weeks of James’ life! He was contacted for interviews on TV shows, radio stations and by journalists from major publications all over the country. They loved the novel concept and wanted to talk to the creator of such a unique idea. He had achieved national exposure in less than two weeks. That’s something most larger companies are never able to do despite expensive and time-consuming campaigns. With all that free marketing, it was inevitable their first customers would come on faster than a headache after too many gin and tonics. And that’s exactly what happened. Their first booking came that very week. James had no cleaning equipment, so he had to buy some to get started. He picked up basic cleaning products and a Ghostbuster-style vacuum cleaner as well as some food supplies for the breakfast. It was a hell of a party to start the business on! The house was a total mess, but that didn’t phase James too much. It meant he was able to get some great before and after photos to showcase the type of work he was capable of. After the cleaning was done and the party hosts had enjoyed their breakfast burritos, James knew this could be a viable side business. Just under a year after their successful launch of the Facebook group. Over the next 12 months, the revenue from the side hustle doubled and hit $30,000. Not bad at all for a weekend cleaning gig outside of a full-time job!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Hangover Helpers: Take the headache out of party throwing—head on over to James' website to learn more about this niche cleaning service!
- College Student Earns $20,000 a Month Cleaning Houses: A Washington, D.C. student identifies problems in the cleaning industry, then starts a customer service-driven company
- Yoga Teacher Cleans Up with Home Organizing Business: After attending a live podcast taping, this longtime side hustler starts a new project that helps people declutter while donating items to local refugees
- Florida Woman Gets Paid to Remove Poisonous Frogs: In this ribetting feature, a high school science teacher earns an extra $3,000/month removing an invasive species of toads throughout Florida
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work! Yours in the revolution,
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