Mony Gueorguiev, the founder and owner of Maidily own a cleaning business based out of Atlanta called Maid to Glow. He started that a few years ago but he wanted to focus on growing the business instead of working for it, so he automated everything by building a custom back end (simple solution back then).
It allowed him to organize and grow the business, as well as offer customers an online checkout solution. The business took off, and 1 year ago they started building out that custom back end into a full-blown web based cleaning business software solution called Maidily!
Was it a lightbulb moment or gradual moment to start Maidily?
I own a cleaning company in Atlanta and initially when I started that business I knew I had to use software that would allow me to keep organized, schedule customers, and send out customer reminders, and many more tasks! Unfortunately I didn’t have the funds to pay for any software that was available then. The cost was around $100+ with extras that I wasn’t interested in having or needed.Luckily a friend of mine who helped me create the cleaning business website was able to build a temporary database (very basic repository to hold info) that was connected to my maid service website and it housed the customers, jobs, and schedules.
I always wanted to revisit the idea of building that out into a full blown product/solution (cleaning business/maid service software) but never had the time, but more importantly I never had the confidence to do it.
Once the cleaning business stabilized I revisited that idea and decided that I was going to build it out into software that could help other cleaning business/maid service owners around the nation!
How did you validate the idea?
It took about 1 year to build out Maidily and we validated it by putting my cleaning company into Maidily as well as running a pilot program for others to join in for free!
How did you get your first three customers?
It took about 1 year to build out Maidily and we validated it by putting my cleaning company into Maidily as well as running a pilot program for others to join in for free! After our official launch, our first 3 customers came from 2 places: ads and direct outreach (cold emailing/calling and social media). Fortunately we are self funded so we are able to focus on every single customer as if they are the only one. We moved at our own pace (and still do), customers love the fact that this is built BY cleaning business owners FOR cleaning business owners - they love how much we care about each and every one of them.
We won our first 3 customers through heavy cold calling and cold emailing! Maybe 20-30 outreaches per day, incredibly targeted based on company information. I spend as much time as I need doing research before reaching out to someone. After days of grinding and no luck, I started to get traction by following up! That led into conversations, which led into demos that ultimately led to our celebratory 1st monthly customer ($12 per month)! It was an incredible morale booster, and we needed it by this point.
Who is your target demographic?
Our target customers are small to medium sized cleaning businesses with 1-10 users/employees. We can, and do, support larger sized businesses throughout the world through our Enterprise plan! We have customers in Australia, and the UK. We plan on continuing our expansion into major countries throughout the world!
What is the funniest/most strange customer request you’ve had?
One of the coolest requests we’ve had so far (it’s been an amazing learning experience working with them) is to completely redesign Maidily to fit a bin cleaning business based out of Australia.
How did you fund the idea initially?
From the start I knew that building a software company would be expensive but I did not want to use outside financing, I had a bootstrapping mentality from the beginning. I knew it would be a massive undertaking – one that I’ve never done before – so I had to rely on building out the perfect team to help me tackle this idea. They have to believe in the vision, they have to have that creative input, and also be able to back me from a technical perspective.
Where did you meet your co-founder/founding team?
I partnered with a developer that I had worked with on a previous business venture (I found him on Reddit). After a few failed attempts of finding others we finally struck gold by pitching the idea to an entrepreneur friend specializing in helping/consulting startups.
He got on board (Patrick-CTO) and from there the 3 of us have been managing the build as well as hiring other …really smart people…
Did you run any companies prior?
Prior to this I had built out a successful ecommerce business ($300K+ in sales the 1st year) that I grew into 6 brands/products and sold 2 years in. I also own a cleaning business called Maid to Glow out of Atlanta, it’s live and fully operating - $120K revenue in the 1st year – completely automated! At this point, Maid to Glow is still automated and our team has been on board long enough to know how to handle situations and operate accordingly.
What motivated you to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted to start my own business, even as a little kid I was thinking of what services I could offer in my neighborhood (lawn care etc.). I used to offer concrete polishing services for garages to our neighborhood by securing the equipment and creating a brand, website, and flyers! We had 2 customers.
At a certain point I was working in sales, but always had a technical/computer oriented mind, while I was good at sales the fact that I was working on someone else’s dreams and creating that income for them and not myself struck a nerve in me. It was time to apply those skills towards my own life. I spent 1 year listening to entrepreneurial podcasts and devouring every piece of content you could think of (articles, YouTube videos, seminars, and so on) that had to do with business/entrepreneurship.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
I’ve learned a lot throughout this process and continue learning even MORE! I’m constantly surprised and intrigued at how complicated even the smallest of tasks are in software development. It’s been the most challenging and difficult project I’ve ever taken on - an absolute roller coaster ride. The amount of detail and the technical complexity behind the scenes required was staggering to me.
At times things can be tough, you run into development roadblocks, impossible bugs and so on. Motivation and morale are fleeting at this point. What keeps me going and motivated is remembering the bigger picture of what we’re trying to achieve and not to forget how far we’ve come. You’ll be tested at some point but you have to push through by keeping that vision alive. I even created a video montage from the early day sketches of Maidily to where we were today for some perspective on results as a reminder to myself.
What is stopping you being 3x the size you are now?
At this point in time the only thing stopping us from going 3x or 10x is time. We need the time to develop and improve the platform. We have a solid customer base and they’re just as excited about version 1.1 as we are! I’m excited to see what the rest of the year brings in for us.
What are the top 3-5 apps your business could not run without? Why are they essential?
One of the most valuable apps we use (heavily use) is Slack! That’s the brain and starting point of Maidily. It’s incredible how much of an impact it’s had on our team, our communication, collaborative work, and even serves as a repository of sorts for files (1000’s of files)! There is no one on our team/department that doesn’t exist in Slack!
I’d say right behind that is HubSpot! Great CRM tool, very easy to use interface for managing contacts and the chat/support ticketing system is simple enough but as effective as any. I personally also like HubSpot’s marketing email tool – love creating emails on there for our customers/trial users! We don’t use HubSpot as actively as we do Slack so the difference between 1st place being Slack and 2nd place being HubSpot is exponential.
What are the next products you’re working on? Are there any releases you can tell us about?
We’re currently wrapping our V.1.1 update that will get rolled out mid/late June – we have some awesome features that we’re pushing through and we’re super pumped about it! The next step for us is to focus on our expansion into Australia, Canada, and the UK! We’re taking on customers from there and we’re really excited to build out Maidily so it works across continents.
Where do you see the company in 5 years?
Our 5-year plan includes reaching our revenue milestones but more so growing Maidily out into a suite of helpful products for every cleaning business owner. Truly redefining what it means to be a 1-stop shop in the niche category we’re in! I want to make sure each and every customer that comes across our platform is fully and completely taken care of from A-Z.