Starting a home cleaning business may be the last thing on your mind, especially if you’re not used to cleaning your own home or have stowed away the vacuum in some obscure corner. However, cleaning professionally has its perks, one of them being generous amounts of money. Besides, this is one of the businesses that won’t go belly up if the economy takes a bad turn as everyone needs a clean home. If you think this is the business for you, scroll down to see the steps you should follow.
Assess Your Suitability for this Work
Cleaning isn’t for everyone. Even if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t let a dust speck stay on your furniture, you need to make sure that this is the right work for you. Cleaning is hard, strenuous work, so you need to be in good shape and capable of bending over, reaching up, and doing repetitive actions for a considerably long time. You may need your doctor’s permission if you had experienced injuries in the past.
Next, consider your office and accounting skills. These should be perfect in order for you to be organized and, ultimately, satisfy your clients. Complementing these skills are your communication skills. You need to show that you’re open, honest and friendly to make your clients like you, choose you and retain you. In addition to who you are now, your clients will take your past into consideration. You be unwelcome at homes, businesses or near children if you have a criminal record or are going through legal issues. Therefore, clear these up before starting to work for someone. Finally, don’t leave a full time position to start a cleaning business unless you have at least six months’ worth of savings.
Decide Whether to Buy a Business, Become a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Traditionally, you have three options to start a cleaning business by:
- Buy an Independent Business – If you know someone who is selling their own cleaning business, you may be in luck since you’ll get the necessary infrastructure at a low price. However, you need to take into consideration the business’ physical location, reputation, visibility and accessibility, and relationship with suppliers and the bank. The assets you acquire should also be in good shape or else you’ll be investing in a dud.
- Invest in a Franchise – A franchise with a proven track record, a strong customer base, and a good set of rules and regulations can prove to be the best choice for you. This is especially true if it provides setup, support and training.
- Start Your Own Venture – You can have an independent venture established if you have the funds and patience to start everything from scratch. The biggest advantage of this type of business is that you get to do things your way. However, this means more responsibility for you since you won’t have any guidelines to follow and will need to research every aspect of the business.
Decide on a Target Market
Decide whether you want to professionally clean for individuals or businesses. The first is less hectic since you get to deal with individuals, but it won’t pay you as much as commercial cleaning. On the other hand, cleaning for businesses is bound to be riddled with responsibilities and a load of contracts that protect your clients’ privacy. So assess which of these options to go for beforehand.
Get Your Business in Order
Regardless of which type of business you plan on starting, you need to plan your business. Here are some questions to answer:
- What type of cleaning will you specialize in? – There are many types of cleaning services for you to go for, starting from open home cleaning to removing smoke damage and all the way to green cleaning.
- What cleaning services will you offer? – In addition to the services related to your type of cleaning, include niche services in your plan to revisit for future expansion.
- Will you be using your own products? – Cleaning products are your biggest expense, so you need to know whether you’re going to use your own or those of the client. The latter may be out of the question at times since your client will believe you’re paid enough to get your own.
- Where will you operate? – Do you intend to deliver your services nearby or go the extra mile and beyond your comfort zone.
- Do you have reliable transportation? – You can’t transport your supplies in the family car, at least not for long. You can’t even rely on public transport since people will be annoyed by your products and tools. So find a way to transport yourself and your trade necessities.
- How much will you bill? – Find out the existing service charges. In many cases, the franchise will provide you with a price list. However, if you’re running your own business, you need to find out how you can undercut your prices without going into the red.
- Do I need employees? – How many employees you get depends on the amount of capital you have and the volume of clients you expect to have. Initially, you may need to shoulder the burden on your own. However, you’ll need to expand your employee base from one to many and even hire personnel for administrative chores. On the other hand, some cleaning businesses, such as janitorial businesses, only require part-timers. You can expand later once your profits grow.
One of the best ways to get your clients to trust you is by getting liability insurance. This type of insurance will depend on your insurance carrier and where you’re located. You’ll also need to increase your insurance once you hire people, especially since you can’t vouch for your employees. Just remember to only add employees on your payroll as sub-contractors may not be covered.
Market Your Business
Once your supplies, transportation and staff are planned for and ready, it’s time for you to market your business. Initially, you’ll need to get the word out through friends, relatives, former colleagues, neighbors, social groups, and religious acquaintances. Once you have enough money, invest in a website and invest in online marketing methods. You can also market your brand through business cards or via a referral program.
Once your business starts growing, you can speed up the hiring process and start managing your services rather than providing them yourself. Just remember to ensure high quality and deliver beyond expectations to meet up with the success you deserve.