When it comes to starting a cleaning business, either you can think of only catering to residential clients, or if you have plans of doing something bigger, you can look into both residential and commercial cleaning. Starting a business, though let me tell you, is not easy. It takes lots of hard work, patience, and commitment to be a successful entrepreneur. Nevertheless, if you are ready for this, here are some tips for starting a cleaning business.
There are certain qualities and skills that you will need to build upon in order to start your own cleaning service business.
- Physical Fitness: First things first, as cleaning is a very physical activity, you have to be in the best of health to undertake it. Build up your stamina and prepare your body to undertake the strenuous activities which cleaning involves.
- Communication Skills: To start any business, the most important skill that you need is communication. Right from the time when you have to convince people to invest in your business, acquiring new clients, to keeping the old ones satisfied so that they give you repeat business, you will need good communication skills at each and every step.
- Accounting Skills: Some basic finance and accounting skills are a must in order to carry on the day-to-day activities of a business.
These days, there are courses which train you to clean like a professional. So, you can take such a course to better your prospects. If you feel that you have all these necessary skills, the following steps come into play.
Any type of business does not start making money immediately. It may take months before you can actually profit from it. So, if you are starting a small business on your own, to be on the safer side, you should have enough finances to last at least for six months. A good idea here would be to keep your full-time job initially, and start this business part-time, so that you do not have to worry about your financial security.
Get a Business Name and Account
Give your business a professional sounding name. This name will be your business's identity from now on, and hence, should be chosen after a lot of deliberation. Make sure that you fulfill all legal formalities with regards to filing your name with the authorities as well as incorporating the business. Open a business bank account at a local bank. You can consider taking a business loan from the bank too.
Arrange the Business Inventory
The next step is to buy the cleaning supplies. Visit a few janitorial stores and take their help in getting the best supplies. These days, the trend is to use natural, fresh smelling cleaning products which are devoid of harsh chemicals. So, you can go for these and make 'chemical-free' cleaning your business USP. Two other things that you should have ready are business cards and a separate business phone line. Also, get listed in the yellow pages.
Get Insurance and Bonding
In order to increase the credibility of your business, get it insured and bonded, especially if you are venturing into commercial cleaning. This will dispel all apprehensions customers might have while letting some unknown person into their house or office for cleaning, thus, helping you in getting business.
Getting the first few clients can be very challenging for any new business. That's why, advertising your business the right way is very important. For residential cleaning, flyers and door hangers are a good medium to advertise in the neighborhood. However, if you want to acquire commercial clients, advertisements in local newspapers and starting your own website is a good idea. Meeting the contact persons in various offices, informing them about your business, and giving them your business card is another good way to get going.
Cleaning business, especially in the residential market, can grow leaps and bounds due to word of mouth. Once you start getting business, make sure that you offer your best services. When the business grows, you can consider hiring people who would do assignments on your company's behalf. Offering discounts, some free additional services that the competitors are charging for, such as cleaning the parking lot, etc., are some of the ways to get repeat business.
While deciding on what to charge, see to it that your rates compare well with the competitors. They should never ever be more than them, at least initially. Neither should they be so less, that you are unable to even cover your costs. Having your own business no doubt offers the flexibility of working at your own pace. The income can be pretty good too, provided you are focused and committed to offer your clients the best in the market.