John Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past seven years. He knows their ups, their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for WeClean Co-Founder Jared Hineman, who is offering flexible scheduling for their cleaning services.
1. Tell us your WeClean elevator pitch?
WeClean is an all-natural, contract-free home cleaning service with easy online booking committed to supporting local products and partners. Our team of highly-vetted cleaning professionals provides the best possible clean while our high-tech software makes the whole process convenient, quick, and simple.
2. What type of cleaning services do you offer?
From one-time cleanings, recurring cleanings, and vacation rental turnover cleanings to move-out, move-in, and partial cleanings… We do it all with no contracts or hidden fees. We also offer gift cards, which are perfect for new parents, sick loved ones, hostess gifts, or client gifts.
3. What communities have you launched in so far, and do you have plans to be available in the Fargo Moorhead market soon?
Our services are currently available in Bismarck, Central Oregon, and the Phoenix Metro area, but we are expanding into four more cities (including Fargo) by the end of 2020. We expect to be up and running in the Fargo Moorhead market in the next month or two. You can sign up to be notified when we launch in Fargo by visiting WeCleanLocal.com/Fargo.
4. Have you had to modify any part of your services due to COVID?
Like most companies, we’ve definitely made some adjustments to keep our cleaners and customers safe during the pandemic. Customers can now choose to have their home cleaned with CDC-approved products that are effective against coronavirus (at no extra cost) or they can stick with our standard all-natural cleaning supplies. In addition, we now have measures and reminders in place to ensure that clients and cleaners notify us and cancel if anyone in their home is feeling unwell.
5. I know your team is really into talking through, then establishing and documenting processes. Why is that important to you?
We are bound and determined to maintain our high quality and our 5-star rating while we grow! Creating effective, replicable processes for our cleaners is a critical part of our plan to continue scaling nationally. That’s why our cleanings are priced by the task instead of by the hour (so you know exactly what’s going to get done and exactly how much it will cost), why our cleaners send clients before and after pictures of each section of the home, and why we have such stringent standards for hiring.
6. How do you maintain that 5-star standard of service while having and hiring cleaning staff around the country?
It starts with hiring the right people. We do extensive interviews, reference checks, and background checks for everyone that we hire—we usually only hire one cleaner for every 10-15 we interview. The next step is training. Very few cleaners have been held to the high standards that we expect, so we’re creating an online training program called WeClean University to standardize our training process across the country and make every cleaning we do is a 5-star cleaning (no matter where it’s done). In addition, customers can choose their cleaners based on individual ratings and reviews during the booking process, so our cleaners are highly motivated to maintain their own 5-star rating. Lastly, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee because we are committed to getting it right, no matter what.
7. Your startup recently raised some funding. Based on what you’ve learned, do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who may think about raising money?
Starting a business is a community affair—especially a business like ours that is committed to supporting local communities! Before we started the funding process, we reached out to other entrepreneurs in the area who had successfully gone through the funding process before us, and we are immensely grateful for their insight into both the process and particulars. If there was ever a time to pull strings and tap into your network, this is it! We would also strongly recommend looking into state resources—North Dakota has so many incredible programs to support start-ups in the state which have been extremely helpful for us. Lastly, I’d say you really need to go into the process with the right attitude and expectations: Have a realistic idea of what you’re worth, understand how long the process takes, and start looking for funding before you’re desperate so you can take your time and negotiate a deal that works for everyone.
8. What is your WeCare Program?
It’s our favorite part of our company! We are deeply committed to giving back to the communities we serve, so every month through our WeCare program, we provide 4 hours of free cleaning to a family in need in every city where we work. Recipients are nominated by their friends, family or neighbors, and chosen based on need and circumstance. It’s a chance for people to support their friend or neighbor by meeting a tangible need in their lives and we just love facilitating that.
9. What makes WeClean different from all the other cleaning companies out there?
The cleaning industry is long overdue for an overhaul, so we created a new, more modern, and convenient way to get your home cleaned. Most of the big cleaning companies are totally behind-the-times—they have inconvenient booking processes that require you to call and/or schedule a home visit to get a quote or book a cleaning. Some even require you to pay and tip with cash or check. Plus, nearly all of them require a contract and price by the hour, leaving you susceptible to cleaners who work slowly and get nothing done.
With WeClean, you can build your own no-obligation instant quote online and book in under a minute. You can pay and tip online (but you’re not charged until an hour after your cleaning so you have time to review the results) and we’re always contract-free. We also charge by the task, so you’ll know exactly what we’ll get done and how much it will cost, no matter how long it takes. It’s a cleaning service for the modern age.
10. What can we do as a community to help WeClean succeed?
Get your house cleaned! We know it’d be a big sacrifice for you, but we’d be grateful for the opportunity to mop your floors and clean your bathroom while you live your best life. If you’re a property manager, we’d also be grateful if you’d give us a try—our automated system is designed to make complicated cleaning schedules easier and more convenient. We also love working with real estate agents to design beautiful, personalized cards for them to give as client gifts and we’d love to connect with realtors in Fargo to make that happen for them.