Neel Parekh is the CEO and Founder of MaidThis, one of the top-rated national cleaning franchises. MaidThis offers hassle-free house cleaning for busy individuals and vacation rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). MaidThis has been called “the franchise for millennials”, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry. As he built his business to reach millions in revenue, Neel traveled for five years while managing a fully remote team — he is now on a mission to help others achieve the same! A renowned business expert, Neel mentors other entrepreneurs on the do’s and don’ts of managing a company, essential tips for franchise operators, how to be a successful digital nomad, and much more.
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Table of Contents
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Neel Parekh: I originally started my career in the cubicle-corporate grind, working in venture capital. My goal was to start a side hustle and eventually quit my job… I wanted the digital nomad lifestyle of working while traveling the world. Therefore, I focused on the traditionally ‘remote’ business model. This included things like creating an eCommerce website, dropshipping, blogging about pet hair vacuums (yeah, seriously), and more… none of it really took off at all. Eventually, I stumbled across a post on Reddit by someone who started a cleaning company — this inspired me to launch MaidThis!
Now, MaidThis is one of the top-rated national cleaning franchises, offering hassle-free house cleaning for busy individuals and vacation rental hosts (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.). MaidThis has been called ‘the franchise for millennials’, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry. The top factor that sets us apart from other cleaning companies is that we are the first and ONLY US-based vacation rental cleaning franchise that exists
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Neel Parekh: There are a ton of people who I can thank for my business journey, but most notably are my parents. They were both immigrants to this country and started a small company, which resulted in my interest in business and entrepreneurship at such a young age.
I originally came up with the idea for MaidThis based off of a post on Reddit, by someone named Rohan Gilkes. I have him to thank a lot for his inspiration and guidance.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons you learned from that?
Neel Parekh: When starting out, I really had no clue what I was doing or how business worked. For the first cleaner I onboarded, I didn’t know the best way to pay him. Electronic? Bank transfer? No clue what was normal in the cleaning business. So, after the cleaner completed his cleanings for the day, I would tell him to pull up his car outside of the corporate building I was working at and I would sneak outside to hand him a wad of cash for his payment.
Little did I know that everyone in my corporate office could see me handing cash suspiciously to a random person in a car. My nickname around the office quickly became known as ‘the drug dealer’.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Neel Parekh: I would define resilience as having a clear vision of what you want your future to look like and then being resourceful and making necessary changes to continue striving towards achieving that goal. It’s about understanding that just because you have a bad day, that does not mean you have a bad life.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Neel Parekh: Our goal is to make the customer experience super easy and super seamless – this is what a lot of people want but many local companies cannot provide. MaidThis meets the increasing consumer demand for websites that make online bookings and automated reservations a breeze. We leverage the newest technology and software to create a low-cost, fully remote franchise — this means it is easier than ever for entrepreneurial folk to become a franchisee.
Because the franchise is fully remote from day one, it is a very lean operation from a business perspective. You get access to our playbook and training on how to do it all! The coolest part – franchisee owners can start this franchise as a side-hustle and eventually quit their jobs and manage it full time, which means there is lower risk.
Another factor that sets us apart is the cutting-edge software we use that automates processes for our clients, our vendors, and our team members — clients rave about the automation that our systems provide. On top of this, we train franchisees in these simple software applications until they know them backwards and forwards.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Neel Parekh: Being resourceful has really helped me in my entrepreneurial journey. Things are not always going to go right in entrepreneurship, and that’s a guarantee. Therefore, having a resourceful mindset allows you to be nimble and solve problems quickly. Having a growth mindset has also been instrumental to my success. A business can only go as far as the leader, so constantly evolving yourself and striving for improvement will have a direct effect on your business too.
On top of this, having a clear vision has been instrumental to my success — you need to have a clear vision for what you want your life to look like, and how your business can fulfill that. This will allow you to weather any storms and constantly evolve. A vision of your life is key!
How important do you think it is for a leader to be mindful of his own brand?
Neel Parekh: It’s incredibly important! For most businesses, the leader of the company is the face of the brand, which is oftentimes the reason why people love or hate a brand. For example, look at Tesla’s rabid fanbase — a large portion of them are Elon fans. Thus, for most businesses, having a leader who is aware of his own brand is critical for growth. This does depend on the type of company you have though and how consumer-facing it is.
How would you define “leadership”?
Neel Parekh: I would define leadership as watching out for the well-being of those who put their trust in you, and doing what you can to ensure your team and tribe are taken care of. If you want to be an effective leader, you must also motivate your team members to keep them all on track towards achieving your business’s big vision. As a leader, you must also do the hard sh** that no one wants to do… the buck stops at you, so a leader takes full ownership.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Neel Parekh: Keep in mind that you’re never ‘ready’ to be an entrepreneur — you become one by just doing things, and then you figure it out along the way. As long as you have a growth mentality and are resourceful, those are the only qualities you need to get started. Try some stuff out, and even if it doesn’t work, just keep going.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Neel Parekh: My favorite life lesson quote is: ‘Well, what can you do now?’ – my Dad.
Any time a situation or problem comes up in life, he just says ‘well, what can you do now?’ and carries on with his day unperturbed. It’s the equivalent of ‘no use crying over spilled milk’. Can’t do anything about the present situation? Cool, don’t sweat it then. Deal with it and move on with your day. This helps keep me present and more stress-free in my business journey.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Neel Parekh for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Neel Parekh or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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