Guarantee Girls has been a highly-successful family-run cleaning business in Baton Rouge for over 33 years. It is now co-owned by Lauren Adams and her mother, who started the company a few months after she brought Lauren into the world. The pictures say it all—this is a fun company to work for and its clients are enthusiastic about the service they receive from such a happy crew.
Lauren’s family has deep roots in the cleaning industry, with her father starting a carpet cleaning business over a decade prior to her mother launching Guarantee Girls residential and commercial cleaning. “I’ve been cleaning all my life,” Lauren said. “We always worked in the family business. I used to roll up the quarters [for the bank] from the Coke machine when I was 13.” Her father also launched a fire and water restoration company, and Lauren would help clean houses that had caught on fire. “It was great experience— I learned how to manage responsibilities and how to be an adult,” she said.
Although she helped out with the family business through the years, she was reluctant to officially join them until about six years ago. Over the years, she had worked for many organizations, from her high school job at Subway to her most recent experience as a court secretary for the child support division in the DA’s office. This exposure gave her great insight into how to best treat employees, and when her mother had an open position at Guarantee Girls, Lauren jumped at the chance to put her ideas into action.
Lauren loves to bake and she makes a special dish for all her employees’ birthdays. “I bake their favorite cake, or if they’re on a diet I make something appropriate, like an egg-white omelet with turkey bacon and wheat toast. One woman wanted chips and salsa a few weeks ago for her birthday, so that’s what I brought her.” She recognizes that she went from employee to employer overnight and strives to be the kind of employer that she never had. Besides celebrating birthdays, she also gives out small presents on the employee’s anniversary. This effort to recognize people beyond their paycheck goes a long way to creating a loyal and productive staff.
Guarantee Girls is the oldest and largest cleaning service in Baton Rouge, with 22 employees; Lauren has a lot to manage, but she also does her share of cleaning jobs. “Although I own the company, I’m no better than anyone else. I have one customer whose house I clean every other Wednesday even though I’m five months pregnant, and I’ll do that until I go into labor! None of my employees can tell me that I don’t know what it’s like in the field.”
Lauren also has a two-and-a-half year old son, Harrison, who loves to clean. Her husband modified a Swiffer mop to be his size, and Harrison can frequently be heard saying, “I need my mop, mom!” before he mops their home. It’s clear that cleaning runs in the family!
Part of the reason that Lauren was reluctant to join the family business was that she saw how much it consumed her parents when she was growing up. “They always brought work home with them and worked all hours of the day. I’m so grateful for everything they did, but I wanted to have more of a family life for myself.”
Besides making sure her staff has fun at work, Lauren makes time to have fun outside work as well. “My dad is my best friend and we bowl in a league every Wednesday. Not only do I get to spend time with my dad but I also get to promote the company by wearing the company uniform when I come from cleaning my client’s house!”
Naturally, if you’re in the business for a few years, you come across some horror stories and other oddities. About four years ago she helped to clean out a hoarder’s apartment that only had a narrow pathway among all the stuff and with chicken wings left in kitchen cabinet drawers. “It was exhausting to clean… it took four people.” Another client had an 8,000 square foot house complete with a safari room with a stuffed lion perched beside the couch, and zebra heads on the walls.
With its location in Baton Rouge, the company was affected by the flood last August. “We lost several customers due to their houses flooding, and we helped out as much as we could. We’re starting to have some customers return once they finish their remodeling and rebuilding.” Besides helping out the community during times of flood, Guarantee Girls also participates in Cleaning For A Reason, an effort that gives free house cleaning to women who are battling cancer. Even here, Guarantee Girls goes above and beyond, doubling the amount of free cleanings they give to women beyond the minimum required by the non-profit.
A lot of the joy she gets from her work is wrapped up in the delight customers feel when they enter their clean home. A few weeks ago she was training a new employee and they did a deep clean for the daughter of a regular customer because the daughter had just spent a month in the hospital. The client’s mother was beyond pleased, telling them that the effort “touched her heart.” Lauren loves knowing that she and her team really make a difference to their community and they give clients their weekends back.
As far as advice for someone starting out in the cleaning industry, she says not to give up. “There will be a lot of hard days, but know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve had a lot of really stressful situations, but getting the right staff in place will help you get through it.” What’s the secret to finding good staff? Lauren laughs and says there is no secret except “Time. You think the person you hire is going to be The One, and you’re let down when they’re not. But time will bring you The One. You just have to be patient.”
If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, you can book a thorough and professional cleaning service with the happy folks at Guarantee Girls.
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