A Cleaning Business provides a great opportunity to make money, and establish a credible lucrative business in the process. A Cleaning business is nothing to be frowned upon. If done properly a cleaning can prove to be super lucrative.
A lot of people miss out on great business opportunities and ideas to make money hoping for an idea from Mars. Not everyone will start another Facebook. But those willing to open their minds will no doubt make a lot of money. And a simple cleaning business can be the project that changes your life. We have seen it happen many times.
This article; The biggest lie about starting a business, may help bring things into perspective.
I am assuming you are interested in starting a cleaning service because you have a passion for cleaning. While passion is not a mandatory requirement in order to start a cleaning business, it does make it more fun. With a bit of passion you more likely to enjoy the work.
However, if you are not passionate about the cleaning itself then maybe you can be passionate about making money. I mean who isn’t right? The reason why passion is critical is that without it you will struggle for motivation.
The Love For Cleanliness
While it is not necessary to have a passion for the cleaning work itself, you must love cleanliness. It is mandatory for you to hate dirt. Cleaning is a very personal game. Your performance on the job usually reflects your own personal cleanliness standards. It may be an easy business, but I can`t see how a person who doesn’t keep a clean house can clean someone else`s. From our experience, people clean other people`s houses to the standard that they keep theirs
Why starting a cleaning business is the best idea you ever had?
There are too many reasons why a cleaning business is the best idea to make money. But for this article, I will discuss a few key ones.
Making serious money
The biggest and most important reason for starting a cleaning business is that you can make serious money. The opportunities to make a killing are vast. In fact, a lot of people have become millionaires from running cleaning companies.
Cheap to Start.
You don’t need to break the bank to start a cleaning business. It is a business you can start with a very small amount of money. Quite frankly it is a huge surprise why people are not falling over each other to get started in this business.
I have met people who built cleaning empires having started with nothing more than a sweeping broom, a mop, a bucket, and a bottle of floor cleaning detergent. I love this business because it goes against the conventional start-up narrative that you need a lot of money to become successful.
It has been proven time and time again that with a cleaning service you can make serious money starting with very little.
Quick And Easy To Set Up
This is another key advantage. A cleaning service can be started almost immediately. A lot of people spend weeks, even months in some cases, planning businesses without making any money?
And remember, a lot of money is spent during this planning phase without any corresponding income. And to make matters worse, some people end up not starting at all.
With a cleaning business, it can be as quick as deciding to start today, and getting your first client the next day. And boom you start making money right off the bat.
Easy To Learn
Now, you may not be a professional cleaner yet. But that’s okay. You don’t need prior experience to start this business. All you need is to be prepared to work hard.
The good thing is you will get better with more practice. A few days, weeks, and months of cleaning will see improvement in your work.
What is needed is an active desire for learning and personal development. Not only must you have a desire to learn, but also active listening skills.
Your client will usually tell you how you have performed. And you must take that on board. Client feedback can inform your Cleaning business about areas that require critical improvements.
So Many Niches To Choose From.
This is probably the biggest advantage of running a cleaning business. There are so many specialism options to choose from.
You can cut out your own lucrative corner in the industry and start making a killing. All you need to do is assess your skills set, consider how much money you have to start with then choose an area to go for.
Below are some of the operational streams that an aspiring cleaning entrepreneur can choose from. Depending on your situation you can start with one or more of these areas.
The business can then evolve, and expand organically in a lot more directions as you grow. The Operational options to choose from are;
*Pubs and Night Clubs
*Local Shops and stores
*Hospitals, Clinics, and medical centers
*Hotels and Motels
The sky is the limit to how big you can grow the business
Another reason to seriously consider getting into cleaning is that it is a very scalable business. As the subheading says, the sky is literally the limit. It boils down to your ambition and imagination.
It will help you to start developing the right kind of thinking for growth, expansion, and success.
Being Your Own Boss
Now isn’t this the greatest reason for you to start your own cleaning business? No more being locked to the 9-5 dead end. No more selling your time on the cheap while making money for others.
You take control of your own destiny. You get to become your own boss. Not only does being your own boss bring independence, flexibility, and freedom. But the added responsibility that it brings can be stimulating and highly motivational. Oh and yes there are the financial rewards that come with running a successful cleaning business.
The Disadvantages of starting a cleaning service
Like any other business, a cleaning business has its own disadvantages. We cannot ignore the challenges that you are likely to face when you get into the industry.
It is a highly competitive market.
The big negative about starting a cleaning service is that the barriers to entry are virtually non-existent. So it means anyone can join the party anytime.
And with each new local entrant, the slice of the pie becomes even harder to get. Depending on where you are located, the market can be crowded and competition rigorous.
More so, because the environment is very competitive, being able to differentiate yourself will not be so easy. Therefore not only will you be expected to do an efficient cleaning job, but will also be required to develop other key skills in order to manage and retain customers.
Of course, you must understand that this is not meant to discourage you. But we want to give you a sober idea of what lies ahead. It simply means that you need to start thinking about how you will compete. A crisp, effective, and efficient competition strategy is a must.
It Is Very Hard Work
I don’t know if this should be regarded as negative. But cleaning is hard and strenuous work. Now that you have chosen this route, be prepared to sweat for every dollar.
This is not a quick financial fix. It will take a long winding road to be able to build a profile, reputation, and credibility among clients. All that takes, time, patience, sweat, and great personal sacrifice.
So do not expect to be making tonnes of money right away. Do manage your expectations carefully and responsibly.
The Potential Customers Base
A Potential customer framework for a Cleaning business could be made up of, one or more of the following;
1.Residential home Owners
2.Pubs and Night Clubs
3.Local Shops and stores
4.Local Office owners
5.Hospitals, Clinics, and medical centers
6.Hotels and Motels
In this section, we will look at some of the things you will need to start. We will make this a very simple and easy model to implement.
- Equipment Trolleys – ($200 -$400)
- Professional Vacuum Cleaners ($200 to $600)
- Sweeping machines- ($200-2$2000)
- Broom and dusting supplies- $50
- Cleaning Chemicals–, All-purpose cleaner, Floor Cleaner, Window cleaner, Disinfectants
- Van – it doesn`t have to be a cleaning truck/van. You can start with your car and make use of the truck to carry your equipment.
- Permits & licenses – $30-$500 Depending on the type of business.
- Cleaning Essentials- Multiple pocket cleaning apron, Cloths, Latex gloves, Scrubbing brushes, Dusters, Paper towels –($40-80)
These are some of the things you will need. This list is meant to just give you a taste. Of course, you can tailor your own list to suit your own start-up requirements.
Business Name and Branding
Coming up with a good business name is important. The business name is one of the key components of a Branding model. So, coming up with a good business name is of critical strategic importance.
That being said, you should not waste a lot of time trying to come up with the perfect name. It is more important to start your business than to spend a lot of time thinking of a name.
So find a good name but be quick about it. At the end of the day, whatever name you choose, it will be the quality of your work that will be a priority to your clients.
So the important thing at the moment is to just come up with a name. You can always change it later if you think it`s not working.
Our article: How to name a business provides further insight about naming your business.
For a Cleaning business start-up, there are essentially two options for business structure. You can start operating as a sole proprietor, or you can choose to register a Limited Liability Company (also known as LLCs). At this stage, we advise starting as a sole proprietorship. That is because you want to keep things simple.
Your main focus must be finding clients, doing good work, and making money. A sole proprietorship allows you to do that without any issues. Limited Liability Companies have a lot of regulatory and compliance issues.
So you may find difficult to deal with such issues. And it`s not necessary to be dealing with that at this point anyway.
The main advantage of LLCs is that of limited liability. That means business liabilities are limited to business assets and do not extend to the owner`s personal assets.
However, as a new cleaning business starting on a bootstrap budget, you won`t be thinking of borrowing. The capital requirement for starting the cleaning operation is low enough.
So, you can easily raise it without the need to borrow. Therefore, there is no risk of creditor action being extended to your personal assets at this point.
However in the future when you have grown your business and are looking to expand, then you can register a Limited Company. Business growth requires extra funding. So, only then will the need to borrow arise. And with borrowing comes the need for limited liability insulation. But certainly not now.
All you need is to register your cleaning business as a sole proprietorship and start without unnecessary regulatory hustle.
This article, Types of business ownership provides further insight into the topic of business structure.
The process of cleaning presents risks of accidents. Wet floors increase the risk of falls and serious injury. Cleaning also means using some chemicals that can be harmful if accidentally consumed.
And what of the risk of breaking something while cleaning? Cleaning involves moving furniture and that increases the risk that something might fall and break. Therefore it is critical to take liability insurance for your cleaning business.
The last thing you want is to end up facing any liability that arises personally. You must protect yourself and your cleaning business.
Signing up for liability insurance must be one of the first things that you do. And that`s before you even enter your first client`s property. It is of extreme importance and must not be ignored. The consequences of not having liability insurance protection can be heavy.
You may also like to know that a lot of clients prefer working with a cleaning business that has insurance. They understand that accidents can happen. So knowing that their cleaning service provider has liability insurance gives them peace of mind.
Licenses & Permits
Depending on where you are, you may have to take out permits and licenses before you start. This is super-important. Do not operate a cleaning business without appropriate state licenses. It is unlawful.
As we mentioned earlier, things can go wrong on the job. It`s when things go wrong that people start to ask questions. And you don’t want to be found on the wrong side of the law. It`s not worth it.
More so, some liability insurances may be invalidated if it is established that you operated unlawfully. So if you work without a lawful permit you risk losing your insurance cover. And it does not matter if your premiums are paid up.
Furthermore, a lot of clients prefer to work with cleaning businesses that are appropriately licensed.
Price is one of the most critical factors in setting up your cleaning business. It is so important that if you mishandle it you will fail. Price affects a lot of things. But to keep things simple I will discuss just three key issues.
Your customers are directly affected by your pricing decisions. So you must make sure that you take into serious consideration your customer base. Two key things to think about when setting your price are;
1. Can my customers afford this price?
2. Are they willing to pay such an amount for a cleaning job?
You must be careful because the last thing you want is to price yourself out of business. Thoroughly understand how price-sensitive your customers are and adjust your prices accordingly. Offer prices that are fair but competitive.
Let us think of this one carefully. You are running a cleaning business to make money. You are not cleaning for fun or charity. After all your hard work, you need to gain something meaningful to show for your effort.
Therefore you must consider your profit margins when you are deciding on a price. Think of how much it is costing you to offer the service. Consider your chemicals, transport, marketing, etc.
Also, think about how much profit you want to be left. Do not charge too low because you will not be able to cover your costs. And you will have no profit left. If you don’t make any money your business will fail. So take this very seriously.
You also want to assess to see how much your competition is charging. You may choose to call them and pretend to be a customer. Then you can find out what they charge for their packages.
Use that information to model your won pricing. A point of warning though; you must never compete on price. A lot of new cleaning business owners think undercharging is the best way to beat the competition. Well, it isn’t. You may get the business but low prices mean you cannot cover your costs even though you are getting the work. You won`t make any money despite sweating for long hours.
And if your competition decides to react to your low pricing, then you will find yourself in a war that you can`t afford to fight. Price Competition is a race to the bottom.
If no one knows that your cleaning business exists no one will hire you. You need to come up with creative ways to get clients.
This article; How to become successful – 10 Qualities every entrepreneur must have, has a section that discusses the importance of innovation and creativity.
In this section, we will discuss some of the ways you can market your cleaning business and find new clients. However, I must tell you that as a business owner it is your responsibility to come up with creative ways to market your cleaning business.
You must continue to research new and effective ways to get clients. Once again this list is just to give you an introduction and a starting point. The responsibility lies with you to explore this further.
Remember your whole cleaning business depends on clients. Without clients, you have no business, and you will not make any money.
There are a few ways you can market your new cleaning service. Again we want to keep things very simple.
Read this Related Article: How To Develop An Effective Marketing Plan
Advertising is the function of communicating the sales message about your cleaning business, services, and offers. Advertising messages can be directed towards both potential and existing customers. Furthermore, advertising takes the form of both paid and free publicity activities. So let us discuss briefly some of the ways you can advertise your new cleaning service.
This involves covering large parts of your car with promotional materials about your new cleaning business and your offers.
Then you can drive around your community, targeting places where you expect to find potential customers. You could target local shopping centers and park at strategic points. Make sure to include vital information such as your killer offers, and phone numbers in your signs and sales materials. Again this will be very strategic in bringing visual brand awareness.
2.Brochure & Flyers
Another way to get clients is to distribute sales brochures and flyers. One thing to remember when you use flyers and brochures is that it can be very difficult to tell how effective the method is.
So you can ask those who call you to offer you work how they found out about you. That way you can know which channels of advertising is bringing in the customers and which isn’t.
Once you know this, you can then adjust your marketing budgets accordingly. Be aware that advertising can be costly, and if not careful you can lose a lot of money. So do not advertise blindly.
You must perform regular audits to assess the effectiveness of each method.
3.Social media advertising (Facebook, Twitter)
In this day and age, Social media is the way to go. It would be a catastrophic business mistake to ignore the power of social media. If done right, social media can make your business serious money.
You can use the following platforms to advertise;
Websites such as Craigslist offer you a chance to market your cleaning business to potential customers. And the fees for posting are not prohibitive. So if the cost is low then at least try it.
You can then audit the result to see how effective it is for your business. You should research other platforms that you can use to send out messages to potential customers on the internet.
You can also choose to runs ads for your cleaning business in your local newspaper and magazines. There are also Yellow pages and local business directories where you can advertise. The key is to always assess the correlation between advertising cost and results.
YouTube advertising is used mainly to build brand awareness and following. So your cleaning business can utilize this platform.
You will need to shoot videos about yourself and your cleaning business. The key is to make the videos interesting. Do not sell to people. Just entertain, and bring juicy, interesting, relevant discussion topics about the cleaning Industry.
People only watch if they think you have something of value that is worthy of their time.
So get creative. Start thinking of some of the interesting topics about cleanliness and the cleaning industry. What news is there about the cleaning business that you can make an interesting video about?
They key to remember is; provide information through entertainment.
8. Postal mail:
Postal mail is another highly effective method of communicating with customers-both existing and potential. And the best part is the fact that this method is very affordable.
You can reach thousands at a very low cost. It is a very useful marketing strategy to use when you want to communicate about discounts and other promotional messages.
You may send your customers cards during special holidays. Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fathers/Mothers` day, 4th of July, and so forth offer great opportunities to market and grow the business.
Therefore you should use postal methods to target both existing and potential customers.
9.Door to door
Door to door selling is a timeless method of building a client base. It never gets old. It never gets out of fashion. Be prepared to go around the neighborhood knocking on doors to grow your client list and make money. It is an effective way of acquiring clients. So your sales and marketing plan could include a framework for, door to door sales.
It is important to remember that you need money to live on while running your cleaning business. You will still have bills to pay. There is water, rents, power, food, clothing, and all other personal necessities.
Therefore you have to make allowances for spending money. This money that you take out of your cleaning business for personal use is called drawings. So you must make sure that you record this money separately.
That is the appropriate accounting way of doing it. There must be a clear separation between personal and business spending.
You must make a fixed schedule of when you take out drawings. Do not just take money out randomly. It can be an accounting nightmare when reconciling and separating personal from business spending.
For example, you can treat your drawings as a salary that you take out on a specific date of the month.
As a cleaning business, you will expect to be paid for your work. Therefore you have to decide how you want clients to pay you. This is important. A lot of people accept cash upon completing the job.
This is good and convenient. You may also choose to be paid by cheque. Another method is bank transfer. These days, transfers are easy, quick, and also very convenient.
Our advice is that you must stick to cash and/or bank transfers. That is because these forms of payments are quick. Bank cheques take time to clear.
Therefore, you may not have enough cash at the start to be able to function efficiently while the cheques clear. And that may affect your cleaning business.
However, we have noted that cash is very liquid and convenient. This presents a risk if you are not financially disciplined. You can end up using the business cash for personal use. This is a no-no. So, as we discussed above, if you do end up using business cash for personal use you must record this appropriately.