keep in mind that, being an easy type of business to set up, the competition will also be high, with an industry dominated mainly by small organizations.
That is why you will need to have a clear vision of where your cleaning business will be positioned within this somewhat saturated market and find the right niche for it.
If you are looking for a business idea that requires little investment, and you can get started relatively quickly with little effort, a cleaning business may be the ideal venture for you.
However, you should
So read through the 5 simple steps you need to take to start on the road to success, and some tips that will come in handy.
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How to start your own cleaning business in 5 steps
- Determine what type of cleaning business you will specialize in
There are three main types of cleaning companies:
Domestic. It consists of cleaning people's private homes (usually when they are not at home) and you can start it yourself. Over time, when you have a good clientele, it will be better to hire additional employees.
Commercial. This type of cleaning involves cleaning commercial properties (company offices, shopping malls), for which you will need a team of workers, and your role will consist more in managing than in the cleaning itself.
Specialized. There are hundreds of niches here that you can explore, from window cleaning, to schools, to cars, to even crime scenes (yes, there are companies that specialize in this).
You must think about the talents you have or what you want; are you prepared to clean every day, or are you more into the administrative side of a business?
Analyze what is the best market opportunity in your area. If you live in an area full of stores, perhaps the ideal is for you to be a commercial cleaner. Think carefully and analyze your location.
- Research, research, research
As I told you before, researching your potential market and local demographics will be key to determining the type of cleaning business you should start.
If you plan to run a household cleaning business, make sure that the people in your area are financially able to pay someone to do the housework.
Or, if it is a trade, that it has enough sales to invest its profits in paying you.
- Decide what your business model will be
Are you going to start an independent business, or maybe being a franchisee is a good option for you? In this part, it is important that you think about your long term goals.
If you are thinking of a business that you can grow slowly but steadily and in which you have total control, probably your best option is to start it on your own.
However, if you want quick profits, and you are concerned about some aspects of setting up or running such a business, consider becoming a franchisee of another cleaning company.
- Get a quote for your equipment
The costs of cleaning equipment can vary considerably. Household cleaners, for example, usually receive these materials from the homeowners (detergents, mops, etc.)
But if you are planning to start a commercial cleaning business, you will need to invest in some basic equipment such as
- Cleaning carts to carry the products
- Industrial vacuum cleaners or steam engines
- Floor scrubbers or mops
- And, of course, a car in which to transport all the equipment
As you can see, all the equipment listed above can cost you $10,000 or more, so it is important to think about whether you have the money or can get a loan to buy it, as well as how long it will take you to get it back with your benefits.
Of course, if you hire others to help you with the work, they will have a salary to collect and you will have to include it in your budget.
- Create a marketing plan
Once you have thought about your business model, what kind of cleaning you will do, and have raised the money for the products, equipment, or employees needed, you can start your cleaning business.
But the next step is possibly the most important part: getting customers. And this will only be achieved with a good marketing plan. Depending on your type of business, some posters or newspaper ads may be the best place to start.
Don't rule out other methods such as social networking, or paid Internet advertising (on search engines such as Google), especially if your cleaning business is specialized.
(Read: How to promote a business for free to get customers)
Don't be afraid to go door to door leaving some business cards for your potential clients either - cleaning is a personal business and there's nothing better than the first time they meet you face to face rather than through a sign.
4 tips to keep in mind for your business
Both before you start your cleaning business and while you are running it once it is up and running, there are four key tips you should follow if you want to achieve success and a stable income.
- Build trust in your customers
One of the most important elements in this type of business is trust (after all, your customers will let you into their homes or their jobs). And one of the things that transmits more confidence is the image, either of a person, or of a company.
Make sure that:
- You and your employees look clean, with a good uniform or at least clothes that are fit for work.
- Your invoices have your business' logo printed on them, and are made by computer (a handmade invoice may seem unprofessional)
- You and your employees should be polite and courteous when talking to customers
- You have all the necessary papers, such as licenses (if you need one), or health insurance for you and your employees
Subscribing to some type of organization in your sector will also be a guarantee of trust for your clients. And don't forget to ask for a criminal record certificate if you hire other employees.
This will improve your image as a professional you can trust.
You won't need a training certificate either, but if you can get one (as well as your employees) it will be a good way to increase your credibility.
- How much do you charge for your services?
Pricing your services can be tedious and time consuming, but especially in the beginning, don't rush the process.
If your rate is too low, you will either be "stealing" yourself from the profits you make or you will be forced to lower the quality of your work to match the price; if your rate is too high, you will certainly lose many customers.
Remember that in cleaning tasks (especially in the home) your most direct competitor will be your client. If you charge too much, he'll think "for that price, I can do it myself.
In the first few days, carefully analyze how much you have charged and the price of the total work you have done to have a good real estimate and know if your established rate is the right one. Get best cleaning tips from expert of apartment cleaning Chicago.
- A vehicle is more important than it seems
Because your work is done in different places, having a vehicle just for your business is as important as the other aspects; in fact, a car will be like your business on wheels.
You need to choose one that is right for your type of cleaning business and that is in good condition. For a domestic cleaning service, a utility car or a minivan will suffice.
If, on the other hand, you're going to do commercial cleaning, you'll need a bigger car depending on your equipment and its size. Don't forget about your employees either if you hire some.
Make it clear from the first day you hire them whether they will have to get their own car, whether or not you will pay them for gas, or whether you will provide them with a car.
- Choose where you will base your business
Many cleaning businesses today have their "headquarters" in their own homes: it is a good way to save money on issues such as rent, electricity and other expenses involved in this type of space.
If your type of business will be home cleaning, you will certainly have a small space in your own home to store your work materials.
But what if you want to do commercial or specialized cleaning? The most obvious thing is that you don't have enough room for the machines you are going to use. Maid service NYC to make your house clean.
So think about whether you will need a place to set up your office and warehouse there, or whether you will be able to get by with a small furniture store at first until your clientele grows.
Finally, consider whether your country or city has any health or safety regulations regarding this business, as cleaning involves handling sometimes very dangerous chemicals.