Categorized | Shoestring Startup Clean House with the Click of a Mouse

From Idea to Fruition

Living in New York City and working in the finance world, one group of friends, including Michael Russell unsuccessfully searched for a quality cleaning service to tackle the mess in their Murray Hill apartments. After plowing through a long list of cleaning services, and never being satisfied with their experience, Russell and his friends posed the question, “What if you could eliminate the hassle of finding and booking a cleaning service by creating an online experience that provides quality service and accessibility?” With this, (MyClean) was born. Russell, a Product Manager at CitiBank, abandoned his corporate positions with dreams of creating and expanding this new venture.

A Tech Savvy Solution Clean House with the Click of a MouseImagined in 2009 and officially launched in January 2010, MyClean is a Manhattan-based home and commercial cleaning service that sets itself apart from competitors by utilizing unique software to support its online platform. MyClean is eliminating the middle-man by creating a website through which its customers can get an instant quote, book an appointment, pay with a credit card and even input special cleaning instructions. In addition to creating a website with functionality that surpasses its competitors, Russell founded MyClean with a dedication to providing excellent customer service. In MyClean’s early stages, Russell realized that the online platform could not be successful unless the quality of service matched its innovation. Soon, Russell brought Michael Scharf, former Equity Derivative Sales Associate at Bank of America, onboard. Scharf says, “We brought something unique to the marketplace and we were able to transform our business from a technology focused business to a service business.” Now, MyClean clients are guaranteed a personalized experience from professional cleaners who are insured and bonded. Aside from its tech-based appeal, MyClean separates itself from other cleaning companies by going the extra mile to offer customers the option of GREEN cleaning supplies and the opportunity to gain reward points that can be used toward future cleans.

The MyClean Evolution

“Launching any service that it typically paid for with disposable income is a risky move during a tough economic landscape. But, we assessed the risk and decided to take the plunge. In turn, the economic climate may have helped MyClean to some extent…being based in New York City we see constant move-in/move-out opportunities and many families now have dual working parents who require help from an outside cleaning resource,” Says Russell.

Initially launched using partner money and a zero dollar marketing budget, Russell and his friends utilized their networking smarts to attract interest within their personal and professional circle. Through viral social media marketing, utilization of free online services, and word of mouth referrals, MyClean managed to generate substantial buzz with minimal costs to their company.

These free resources include:

From January 2010 – September 2010, growth was initially slow as the company gained only $10,000 in monthly revenue. However, after establishing Scharf as CEO in September 2010, MyClean’s monthly revenues steadily increased from $10,000- $70,000. Shifting from the finance market to the household services market was a transition for MyClean founders, as they were forced to adjust their skillset to a foreign industry. Scharf attributes the company’s successful turnaround in September to the development of a more customer-centric approach. Scharf says, “Developing our software to have more client information allowed us to make intelligent, information-based business decisions.” As these former financial-thinkers delve deeper into this new market, they live by a basic piece of advice: “Know your market and provide a product or service to satisfy that market demand. As you grow, continue to focus on how best to improve your product or service.”

At A Glance

Within the past two years of business, MyClean has secured a client base of approximately 3,500 clients who fall into one of three categories:

  1. Clients looking for a specific one time clean in anticipation for an upcoming move, construction project or special event.
  2. Clients looking for a regular home cleaner on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis
  3. Commercial clients looking for regular office or showroom cleanings.

MyClean averages 150 – 200 appointments per week with appointments ranging from $66 – $420 depending upon the level of cleaning, range of tasks and square footage of the area being cleaned. MyClean’s catered approach to the cleaning industry acknowledges the varying needs of its clients and personalizes each appointment according to individual requests. Current annual revenue is approximately $840,000 with projected annual revenue of $1.5 million in 2012.

Looking Ahead Clean House with the Click of a MouseAs MyClean grows, it seeks to expand its geographic reach and its comprehensive list of offered services. With this, additional capital for marketing and operational improvements is the key to transforming MyClean into the nationally franchised brand that it hopes to soon become. After its recent expansion to the Brooklyn borough, MyClean shows no signs of slowing down. MyClean founders set their sights high for the future, as Russell projects MyClean’s annual revenue to reach $20 million within the next five years. Currently, MyClean is working with two expansionary models, which include an owner operated model to combine in-source and subcontractor work, and a pure franchise model to provide the necessary tools for franchise owners to be successful. Russell says, “The ultimate goal is to become a household name within the cleaning industry, and we will.”

To find out more about MyClean, visit their website at or email them at [email protected]


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