I’m Neel Parekh, CEO, and Founder of the MaidThis cleaning business franchise that offers hassle-free house cleaning for busy individuals and vacation rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). I wanted to share what inspired me to launch MaidThis and why the franchise is such a great business opportunity for other entrepreneurial-minded folks who want to live and work from anywhere.
Inspired by a Random Post on Reddit
My journey with MaidThis began when I was working in the venture capital field, deep in the corporate world. While my career wasn’t bad, it felt a bit unfulfilling and I knew it was not what I truly wanted to be doing.
I dreamed of living a digital nomad lifestyle, where I could travel the world while working and earning an income. On top of this, I wanted to launch a company that my elderly parents could take part in, as they owned video rental stores that weren’t doing well. I knew I needed to launch a remote side hustle that would allow me to quit my current 9-5 job.
The question was, what kind of business would be promising? I tried out an array of different side hustles, including an e-commerce website, a dropshipping operation, and blogging about pet hair vacuum cleaners (I’m not kidding). None of these side businesses took off, so I decided to check out Reddit for possible business ideas….
I stumbled upon a random post by an entrepreneur who launched a successful cleaning company. He laid out specific steps to take to launch a cleaning enterprise. While reading through them, I thought “Sure let me give this a shot too”. I then went ahead and launched MaidThis in 2013!
Filling a Need in the Local Marketplace
To bring MaidThis into the market, I created a VERY basic and budget-friendly website that outlined our services and allowed potential customers to book cleanings online – it was so budget that I even made our logo in Microsoft Word. I then onboarded a couple of cleaners and did a ton of research to see how I could set my enterprise apart from the competition.
Since MaidThis was focused on Los Angeles, I looked into what other cleaning companies in the area were doing, analyzed their pricing structures, and considered what they were missing that my potential clients needed. In doing this, I made several big discoveries that changed the whole trajectory of my enterprise.
First, I found out that virtually none of the other local cleaning businesses were advertising themselves using digital marketing, and we promoted MaidThis through channels like Google Adwords and Craigslist. I also discovered that none of my competitors took bookings online (remember, this was back in 2013).
Also, most of the companies’ customer service was awful, which I knew likely turned away potential clients. This made me realize that even though MaidThis had a very amateur website, we were well ahead of our old-school cleaning company competitors when it came to innovation and answering customers’ needs.
The big turning point was a few months after we launched. Airbnb hosts started booking us to clean up their vacation rentals in between guests’ stays. I knew that these Airbnb hosts were well-versed in technology and needed a way to easily and quickly book cleanings and reschedule bookings whenever their reservations changed.
Moreover, I realized that there was massive potential in the short-term vacation rental market, as hosts would need cleanings on a much more frequent basis than the residential market that I was previously targeting. I then changed our whole strategy to primarily target the short-term vacation rental niche. MaidThis is the first and ONLY vacation rental cleaning franchise in the whole United States market!
Traveling the World & Expanding Into a Franchise
After two years of steadily growing MaidThis, I knew my side hustle had gotten profitable enough for me to finally leave my venture capital position and start living life as a digital nomad. I then booked a one-way ticket to South America to backpack around the continent for a year, but I had such a great time that I ended up traveling for five years!
It was beyond fulfilling to be able to live the life that I truly wanted to and manage my own remote enterprise that supported my digital nomad lifestyle. During my travels, I also grew MaidThis to reach millions in revenue.
After continually growing my company for years, I realized that I also wanted to give other entrepreneurial folks the opportunity to manage their own MaidThis franchise. So in 2020 I took the leap and launched our first franchise in Denver.
MaidThis has since then been called “the franchise for millennials”, given its remote model and digital-forward spin on the typically old-school cleaning industry. Franchisees can manage their own MaidThis franchise from anywhere in the world, just like I did for years.
MaidThis uses the latest technology and new-age software that make it a low-cost, fully remote franchise. Because of its virtual model, it is a very lean operation, MaidThis is a fantastic business opportunity for franchisees that place a high value on low overhead.
In addition, all franchisees get access to MaidThis’s proven playbook and in-depth training to ensure their venture is nothing short of successful. There is also a lot less risk, as franchisees can start their own MaidThis franchise as a side hustle while working a 9-5 job, then grow it to the point where they can leave their day job and solely focus on the franchise.
Plans for the Future
One of MaidThis’s biggest achievements was building a global team across seven countries. It has also been so exciting and fulfilling to visit our international team members and prove that a local enterprise can be done completely remotely.
My top goal is to grow MaidThis to reach over 20 franchise locations, all managed by highly ambitious and fulfilled franchisees who are excited to oversee a business that provides them with immense freedom and flexibility.
Our overriding goal for MaidThis is to ensure freedom and flexibility for our international team members and clients so they can live out their purpose. This is done by providing the easiest, most hassle-free cleaning available in the market.
By 2025, we also plan to provide $100,000 in micro-loans (via Kiva.org for now) to help less fortunate aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to follow their dreams and pursue their lives ’ true purpose.