It can take a lot of time and effort to gain the skills needed to clean professionally, but to some people the job can be easy and enjoyable because they do not have to commit any personal investment and can simply take pride in doing an excellent job. If you are thinking about starting your own cleaning business, then in order to be successful you need to be physically fit, be okay with dirty work, and have the patience to slowly build up your client base, which you can start by marketing your services to family, friends, and others.
Are you suitable for a cleaning business?
Before you actually start a cleaning business, you need to make sure you are cut out for the job. Cleaning professionally is strenuous, a lot of work, and requires you to be in good physical condition as you need to do repetitive actions for long periods of time as well as kneel down, reach up, and bend over. Other qualities that make you suitable include the following.
- Good office skills and basic accounting skills
- Good communication skills
- Able and willing to build customer relations
- Cleared criminal history
- Have backup money saved up (if you plan on leaving your day job)
Planning your business
If you decide to start a cleaning business, the first step is to plan your business. Here are some of the things to consider.
- What type of cleaning service are you developing?
- Will you be cleaning general homes or have more specialized services such as cleaning with green products, open home cleaning, removing smoke, party cleaning, etc.
- Do you plan on offering multiple types of cleaning?
- Does your business plan on using its own products or on using the client’s products?
- Where is the area you plan to operate in?
- What are your transportation options?
- What do you plan on charging?
After researching and coming up with a solid plan, you will need to set up your accounting system. You then need to install an accounting software which allow your business to keep track of expenses, invoices, sales tax, etc. At this point you will need to find out how much to charge for your services. You may decide to charge by the hour, by the room, or a flat rate per square foot or per house. Be sure to take into account the number of occupants, pets, and contents of the house, and remember that no two houses are the same. It can take a while to gain the experience needed to create an efficient cleaning system.
After deciding on a reasonable rate, next would be to secure insurance bonding for your business. Having insurance guarantees some back-up for you and your services and reassures your clients.
The next step in the process of starting a cleaning business is choosing the supplies and products your business will use. It may be best to buy from a wholesaler as you can save money. Here are some things you should consider when making buying choices:
- Try to use non-toxic cleaning products that are naturally made. This is a particularly strong selling point as there are many people who have children and pets who are concerned for their health and safety.
- Try to use only trusted brands. It is much easier to sell as products that your client may have heard of.
- Customers do prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. Though some will have special cleaners in which you will use.
- Generally you will be using your client’s vacuum cleaner, and you will not have to carry your own from house to house.
Marketing and advertising
After completing your business plan and acquiring the necessary supplies, you will need to begin developing your brand in order to market your services. You will need to decide on an image to use for branding purposes or you can create a logo. You will include this on all of your advertising and on your website. Now if you don’t have a website, then you should strongly consider investing in one as the internet is mainly where prospective clients will be able to find you.
Creating a website for your business shows that you are serious about your business and allows you to present your credentials, service offerings, promise, etc. Afterwards you will need to secure some advertising for your business which will help your services be recognized. Here are some good advertising strategies:
- Try advertising in your local paper.
- Try using your vehicle. You can place your business name and contact information on your car for a great way to advertise.
- Try designing and printing flyers. You can hang flyers at businesses such as bakeries, restaurants, hairdressers, laundromats, grocery stores, etc. You can also place flyers on cars that are parked at local businesses and go door-to-door
- Try creating door hangers. Door hangers may be more effective than flyers or junk mail that can be quickly thrown away.
- Make sure you claim your business with google so that people can find your cleaning service page online.
If you are indeed deciding to start professionally cleaning, be sure that you are the right fit for the job and that you are knowledgeable about how the business works. Remember that in order to be successful you need to plan your business accordingly, get the necessary supplies, and perform the proper marketing and advertising.