Stacie McMillan is the owner of Clean & Simple Cleaning, a domestic cleaning service in Lynnwood, WA. She has worked hard her entire life and the employees she hires are equally as hardworking, dedicated, and reliable. Clean & Simple Cleaning offers many superb cleaning services that will leave your home looking immaculate. To learn more about our maid service, contact us. To meet Stacie McMillan, continue reading below.
What Makes Stacie Run?
Stacie McMillan, has just one item on her bucket list so far, but it’s a big one. Before she turns 50, she’s determined to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, an event that includes a 2.4-mile lake swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run.
Stacie attempted her first triathlon just three years ago, but she has always been athletic. In school she played softball, soccer and volleyball. She learned to ski at age four and still regularly hits the slopes with her family.
Two years ago she could barely run around the block for a mile and a half. This year she ran three half-marathons, most recently averaging a 9:40 mile. “It is pretty gratifying to see your athleticism return,” she says. Her fitness level has improved so dramatically, her 17-year-old son, an athlete himself, recently told her, “Gosh, mom, I don’t think I can run with you anymore.”
Stacie hired a coach to help her train for IRONMAN Canada. She’s confident about her endurance, but knows she’ll need other skills in order to prevent injury and prepare properly. The training regimen is formidable: as many as 8-12 hours a week with one day off and weekends reserved for things like 5-7 hour bike rides working toward rides of more than 100 miles.
“It’s a great outlet after work,” says this busy single mom of two active teens. “When I go home I have three choices: ride a bike, run or swim, so it’s not boring. I’m not good at any of them, but I’ve gotten better at all three.”
Pursuing her personal goal has changed the way she manages her work life. “I have way less time so everything in my life has a compartment: work, parenting, friends, fitness. I have to be super-organized.” Work has to get done at the office because after work there are sports, school activities, social commitments, and exercise to fit in. She plans ahead. Before a business trip, for example, when she knows she won’t be able to exercise, she’ll get up at 4 a.m. and ride the trainer in her garage.
Discipline, identifying goals, finding the path to achieving them, plus a willingness to seek and accept advice, all contribute to Stacie’s success as a business woman as well.
Much has changed since she started Clean and Simple Cleaning 21 years ago. Back then, her calendar was filled with estimate appointments. Signing up new customers was the most important part of her job. Now she delegates those duties to managers. “I never envisioned that I’d be spending my days learning about search engine optimization, blogging, social media and how the back end of a website works,” she says.
There is new technology to master and marketing is a bigger part of her job now. She used to create cleaning schedules manually. Now they use sophisticated software that maps the most efficient routes for the ten to fifteen cleaning teams dispatched daily. She works with technical support people to protect vital data, and with web designers and writers on marketing and promotion schemes. She reviews spending reports on those efforts and gauges their effectiveness by calculating the return on investment.
As her company approached a million dollars in sales, she increasingly felt in over her head. “I realized I didn’t know how to set the goals for getting there.” To help take the business to the next level, she hired a business coach and benefits from their weekly 90-minute sessions.
Networking and trade conventions provide Stacie with plenty of fresh ideas as well. “There’s no way my business would be where it is today without input from others, right down to the newest person on our team. From a housecleaning perspective, I’ve learned more from the people who’ve worked for me than from books or a convention, or a coach. That’s why we have a suggestion box.”
As a leader, Stacie sees her job as steering the ship. “If your staff isn’t happy you have a hole in your boat. If you aren’t meeting your goals, that’s another hole. If your managers aren’t performing, it’s like ripped sails. If your customers aren’t happy, you aren’t going anywhere. That’s why we constantly ask for customer feedback too.”
Improving service is a paramount goal for Clean and Simple Cleaning. Stacie is mindful that their customers’ needs are changing too. “Some have moved into bigger houses or downsized, some have empty nests or work full time or have retired. We need to keep up with their needs.”
Clean and Simple Cleaning’s claim to fame is the customer service they provide. “When we fall short, we will take care of it,” says Stacie. “We’ve had customers leave, only to turn around and come back. They become lifers. Maybe we were their first stop and they were looking for perfection. Then they leave and have a really bad experience. When you hire Clean and Simple, you aren’t just hiring what we call a “trunk slammer” to come in and clean your home. You are hiring a professional.”
Today Clean and Simple is one of the largest independently-owned cleaning services in Snohomish County, competing with major franchises that operate in the area. “To be able to play in their playpen, offering the same or better service, makes us pretty proud,” Stacie says. “They should watch out because we’re not done.”
Believe her, because Stacie is one determined woman. On August 25, 2013 she will be among the IRONMAN Canada competitors in Whistler, B.C. She has 17 hours to finish the grueling course. Five days later, she will celebrate her 50th birthday.