How to start a cleaning business from scratch
This article is about how to start a cleaning business from scratch and was contributed by guest author Lisbeth Larose. Once you set your eyes on the cleaning industry, you will need to follow a few general steps if you wish to see your business flourish.
At the bottom of the article you’ll find an Info-Graphic too.
1. Determine Your Scale of Work
Depending on your skills, budget, field of work, and transportation availability, you can do one or all of the following:
This involves visiting other people’s homes and cleaning those in accordance with your clients’ instructions.
To do so, you will need to have at least basic knowledge of how to properly use general cleaning tools and detergents, as well as a bit of cleaning experience. Although some individual customers can be quite picky, it’s safe to say that this part of your job is going to be relatively stress-free.
Commercial properties include office buildings, ballrooms, congress halls, TV stations, and many other types of workplaces. Cleaning commercial sites can bring you lots of profits, but it can also be a lot more demanding.
Commercial clients would usually expect perfect results, and for that you will need to invest in significantly more expensive tools and detergents.
You can also decide to specialise in a single type of cleaning. You can choose from:
- Carpet cleaning;
- Window cleaning;
- Oven cleaning;
- Refrigerator cleaning;
- Other types of cleaning.
Specialising in a certain cleaning service has its positives and negatives. For example, since you focus on just one type of cleaning, you can lose a lot of potential bookings that include, say, general domestic or commercial cleaning.
Another disadvantage is the fact that you will need to invest in the latest modern equipment if you want to get noticed on the customer’s choosy radar.
The good news is that you can do a lot more jobs a lot faster and deliver better results. That is, if you market yourself well.
2. Do a Market Research
You need to know what you’ll be dealing with out there before your start your business. Begin by researching:
- The competition. What do they have on offer? How much to their products cost? What’s the area they operate in? What’s their scale of work?
- The clients. What do they need? What’s missing? Are they pleased or displeased with the cleaning companies that they currently use?
- The services. Investigate what the cleaning services offer right now and see what’s missing. Look at the tools they use. See if you can implement any innovations to make your name stand out.
3. Manage Your Finances
Depending on your capital investment, you can make a budget plan that best reflects your needs. Here are the things you might want to spend money on:
- Tools, detergents, and equipment. Depending on what type of cleaning branch you have decided to dabble in, this may turn out to be your biggest investment. For instance, oven detergents and carpet cleaning machines are pretty expensive, so always make a list of the things you need to get before reaching for your wallet.
- Transportation. If you already own a car, you can use it to quickly meet your clients’ needs. However, keep in mind that its constant maintenance could potentially turn into a serious money sink. If you don’t have a car, you can either buy one or, in case you chose a cleaning branch that does not involve heavy equipment, use public transportation.
- Telephone. It’s a good idea to grab yourself a separate mobile device, which you can then use for any business-related communication..
- Promotion. You can’t waste time on things that won’t make you noticed. And in order for the latter to happen, you will have to invest in a clever marketing strategy.
4. Promote Your Business in a Clever Way
When we say clever, we mean affordable, yet effective. The best tool to aid you in this endeavour is the almighty Internet.
The most affordable (and fun) way of promoting your brand name is via social media. The whole world is online, so this is the best place to tell them about the products and services that you’re offering.
Make a website
A well maintained website will not only allow people to find you in search engines quicker, but also give authority and credibility to your brand.
Not to mention that this gives you a much easier way to get in touch with your customers. Don’t forget to also implement online booking forms, chat features, Q&A platforms, and the like.
Create a blog
A blog is the place where you can tell everyone what you do and how you do it. This will allow your customers to see that you are serious about the work you do.
Your blogging platform’s comment system is another way to establish a two-way connection with your clients. Besides, it would give your readers an incentive to share your writings on other social media platforms.
Look for organisations
Receiving an electronic seal of approval for becoming a member of a cleaning organisation is, perhaps, the highest honour that your website can receive. Not only that, but your name will become known in the respective cleaning field and will be proof of your quality of work.
Of course, it’s not that easy to become a member of a cleaning organisation. You will have to cover all basic work standards first and then pay a periodic fee.
Volunteer for charities
People love to hire companies that give some of their profit to charity. If you’re able to afford volunteer work – go for it, as this will help you to promote your services that much quicker.
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Lisbeth Larose is a business writer for a UK cleaning franchise company called Join Fantastic. She aims to help young entrepreneurs find the right way to success. Her fields of expertise include business, lifestyle, home improvement, and travel.