Startups

How this entrepreneur went from ING Direct to cleaning houses

How does one innovate in the world of housekeeping services? Two words: online booking. Meet Meticulous Maids founder John Harmon.

A look at the Meticulous Maids homepage.

(Screenshot)

Some entrepreneurs are inventors — they come up with something that hasn’t been done before that will make 21st-century life simpler. Others, like Meticulous Maids founder John Harmon, take something that exists, and make it their mission to do it better and more efficiently than anyone else.
Not too long ago, Harmon was working for ING Direct, the online-only bank that was once a dominant force in Wilmington, until it was bought by Capital One and rebranded.
“It was while I was working for ING Direct that I started seeing things differently from the status quo,” Harmon tells Technical.ly from his new place of business, his home in Pike Creek. “I always had the mindset that I would start my own business.”
Originally he’d planned on buying a franchise — but things didn’t go as planned.
“I was a day away from finalizing a deal when we found out my wife was pregnant,” he says. “At that point, it didn’t make sense to take everything we’d saved and put it into that business.”
Instead, he decided to come up with a way to start a business with a much lower overhead. Something that’s not a fad or part of a trend, but could still be improved on.
The answer: Cleaning houses.

The Meticulous Maids mobile. (Photo via Facebook)

The Meticulous Maids mobile. (Photo via Facebook)


“It’s an industry where the technology hasn’t changed much,” Harmon said. “Except for booking.”
And this is where coming from ING Direct helped.
“ING was online-only,” he said. “What we’re doing is all online, other than the actual cleaning. And we have transparent pricing.”
It’s true — a quick glance at the Meticulous Maids website gives you a a good idea of how much it will cost based on the size of your home, with lower pricing per session for regular weekly or biweekly visits. That means you’ll actually know more or less what to expect cost-wise before handing over your contact information.
Harmon started Meticulous Maids on June 23 with his wife, his son and his lead cleaner. Harmon projects that it will turn a profit by later this month.
“It’s been fantastic so far,” he said.
There’s something to be said for simple innovations.

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Companies: ING Direct
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