If you are looking for a business idea that requires little investment, and that you can start relatively quickly with little effort, a cleaning business may be the ideal venture for you.
However, you should keep in mind that, as it is an easy type of company to mount, the competition will also be high, with an industry dominated mainly by small organizations.
Therefore, 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.
So read the 5 simple steps you need to take to get started on the road to success, and some helpful tips …
1. 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 centers), for which you will need a team of workers, and your role will consist more in managing than in cleaning itself.
- Specialized: Here are hundreds of niches that you can explore, from cleaning windows, to schools, cars, or even crime scenes (yes, there are companies specialized in this).
You must think about the talents you have or what you want; Are you ready to clean every day, or is yours more the administrative part of a business?
In turn, analyze what is the best market opportunity in your area. If you live in an area full of shops, perhaps it is ideal that you dedicate yourself to commercial cleaning. Think well and analyze your locality.
2. Investigate, investigate, investigate
As I told you before, researching your potential market and the local demographic will be key in determining the type of cleaning business you should start.
If you plan to run a housekeeping business, make sure that people in your area are financially able to pay someone to do the housework.
Or, if it is a business, that it has enough sales to invest its profits in paying you.
3. 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 venture that you can grow slowly, but steadily, and that you are the one in full control, your best option is probably to set it up on your own.
However, if you want quick profits, and you are concerned with some aspects of how to start or run such a business, consider becoming a franchisee for another cleaning company.
4. Make a budget for your equipment
The cost of equipment cleaning may vary considerably. Household cleaners, for example, usually receive these materials from homeowners (detergents, mops, etc.)
But if you plan to launch a commercial cleaning business, you will need to invest in some basic equipment such as …
- Cleaning trolleys to carry products
- Vacuum cleaners or industrial steam machines
- 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 the time it will take to recover it with your benefits.
Without forgetting of course that, if you hire others to help you with the tasks, they will have a salary to collect and that you will have to include in your budget.
5. Create a marketing plan
Once you have thought about your business model, what type of cleaning you will do, and have obtained the money for the necessary products, equipment, or employees, you can start your cleaning business.
But the next step is possibly the most important part: getting customers. And you will only achieve this with a good marketing plan. Depending on your type of business, some posters or newspaper ads may be the best place to start.
Do not rule out other methods such as social networks, or paid Internet ads (in search engines like Google), especially if your cleaning business is specialized.
Don’t be afraid to go door to door leaving some business cards for your potential clients – cleaning is a personal business and there is nothing better than the first time they meet you face to face instead of through a poster.
4 tips to keep in mind for your business
Both before starting your cleaning business , and while you are running it once it is up and running, there are four key tips to follow if you want to achieve success and a stable income.
1. You must build trust in your customers
One of the most important elements in this type of business is trust (after all, your clients will let you enter their houses or their jobs). And one of the things that transmits the most confidence is the image , be it of a person, or of a company.
Make sure that …
- You and your employees look clean, in a good uniform or at least clothes in good working condition.
- Your invoices have your business logo printed on them, and are made by computer (a hand invoice may seem unprofessional)
- You and your employees have a friendly and polite treatment when you talk 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 enhance your image as a trusted professional.
You won’t need a training certificate either, but if you can get one (just like your employees) it will be a good way to increase your credibility.
2. What price to put on your services?
Putting a price on your services can be tedious and time consuming, but especially at first, don’t rush this process.
If your rate is too low, you will be “stealing” yourself from the benefits you get or you will be forced to lower the quality of your work to match it with the price; If your rate is too high, you will surely lose many clients.
Remember that in the cleaning tasks (especially in the domestic ones) your most direct competition will be your client. If you charge too much, he will think “for that price, I can do it myself or myself.”
In the first days, carefully analyze how much you have charged and the price of the total work you did to have a good real estimate and know if your established rate is adequate.
3. A vehicle is more important than it seems
Because your work is done in different places, having a vehicle only 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 a suitable one for your type of cleaning business and that is in good condition. For a domestic cleaning service, a utility car or minivan will suffice.
If, on the contrary, you are going to dedicate yourself to commercial cleaning, you will need a bigger car depending on your equipment and its size. Don’t forget your employees either if you hire some.
Make it clear from the first day that you hire them if they will be the ones who will have to put their own car , if in this case you will pay them for gasoline or not, or if you will provide them with a car.
4. Choose where you will base your business
Many cleaning businesses today have their “headquarters” in their own houses : it is a good way to save money on issues such as renting a premises, electricity and other expenses associated with these types of spaces.
If your type of business will be domestic cleaning, surely in your own home you will have a small space to store work materials.
But what if you want to dedicate yourself to commercial or specialized cleaning? The most obvious thing is that you do not have enough room for the machines you are going to use.
So think carefully if you will need a place to establish your office and warehouse there, or if with a small furniture repository you will be able to manage at first until your clientele grows.
Finally, keep in mind if there are health or safety regulations related to this business in your country or city, since cleaning involves handling sometimes very dangerous chemicals.
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