You can start your own cleaning business, whether commercial or residential cleaning. You can offer janitor service, cleaning of carpets, mattress and all types of cleaning.
Cleanliness leads to godliness is one such famous quote we have grown listening to all our lives. Clean environment and surrounding is a hygienic and secure living that keeps us away from diseases and other types of ailments arising from it.
Though just being a small aspect from our view, the cleaning industry is a very large industry not only in the United States but all over the world. Almost all governments have their separate authority and department dealing with cleaning services.
But not everything gets covered by the government. Certain aspects of cleaning are private in nature like cleaning your house, your residential apartment, society, buildings, commercial buildings like hospitals, shopping centers, office complexes, cleaning of articles like carpet, mattresses and many more.
For this, there is a whole private cleaning sector that is deployed by people to do the cleaning work at different levels as per requirement. For example, commercial cleaning is a whole industry that uses professional cleaner services for the cleaning work. Similarly, residential societies also hire professional cleaning staff to look after their residential complexes for cleaning work.
There is a whole industry out there that manages the cleaning work. This industry is very huge and runs into billions of dollars in the United States. This whole industry is a 61 billion dollars industry with 3.24 million people working in the USA in this industry. This does not include maids and housekeepers.
So, if you are also attracted by this industry and the scope and return it offers then this article will guide you in the direction of starting your own cleaning business. There are certain points that are important to be cared about before starting this business.
An Overview on How Cleaning Business Works
Professional cleaning services can be divided into two parts. The first one is the residential cleaning or consumer cleaning mainly dealing at a small and individual level that caters to residents in home. The other one is the commercial cleaning mainly dealing at a broad level with janitors who are deployed for regular cleaning basis.
Janitor cleaning is basically cleaning of property using a wide range of equipment like vacuum cleaners to bathroom cleaning equipment. They charge generally on an hour basis.
Carpet cleaning is basically cleaning of floors that can be both residential and commercial in nature. It may also require equipment especially designed for cleaning on mass scale.
Third is the window cleaning usually for commercial scale cleaning used to clean wide windows in commercial buildings. They may require a host of staff and equipment like ropes to scale the window and clean.
Cleaning of furniture, mattress, sofas, etc. also counts in cleaning services mostly using dry cleaning methods and vacuums. As you are planning towards starting your business, you can read into these types of cleaning and determine which field you want to enter.
Commercial cleaning is mostly based on contracts for a few months or years with regular schedules and dedicated staff. Residential cleaning is mostly seldom like once a week or so with not many but two or even one staff with limited tools to clean.
Charges for both differ. Residential cleaning can be costly as it is charged on an hourly basis while commercial cleaning charges are counted based on size of property, floor space, nature of cleaning and frequency of cleaning yet it has better returns since the payment will be in larger amounts.
Steps involved in Starting a Cleaning Business are as follows:-
Formulating your outlines to start your business is necessary. It starts with deep research over the subject and field you aim to enter. Carry out feasibility analysis of the cleaning business in order to get an insight of the sector you want to enter.
Second step is to then jot down your plan as to how you will start your business in a step-by-step manner. This plan of yours should be in great detail mentioning minute points that will help you in later stages as you proceed towards your incorporation.
Few things that needs to be covered can be summarized as:
- Find the specific niche
- Get to know about the resources required
- Build your team
- Get required vehicles
- Get office and warehouse
- Get finance and calculate returns
- Other aspects like marketing, pricing and building your business
#1. Find The Specific Niche
When starting, it is important to be very specific about the nature of your business. As it helps in concentrating more on the quality of your business, targeting your customers and to also remain well in your budget.
Whether you want to do residential cleaning or commercial, whether as janitor or domestic cleaner, carpet cleaning or window cleaning or something else. Determine and conclusively decide your niche.
It is not that you cannot add other niches to your business but just that it will help you in targeting your customers. The locality where you aim to start your business also matters. If your location has residential apartments therefore going for residential cleaning would be a profitable option.
Similarly, you can determine your niche after evaluating various aspects like your competitor, your budget and resources along with your administrative capacity. Obviously, money and profit also matters.
#2. Get to Know About the Resources Required
There are certain resources that are essential in cleaning business. It also depends on the specific niche of cleaning your business will be about. You will be required to have them in certain numbers as you may be required to attend two or more clients at once.
Cleaning tools can differ based on requirements. For commercial purposes, you may be required to use sophisticated tech based machines like vacuum cleaners. There are dusters used to dust mattresses, carpets, sofas, etc.
You will need brooms, mops, certain cleaners, detergents, lots of clothes, napkins, etc. You can have them based on your requirement. You can also have them in wholesome in order to cut extra prices.
Lastly, you will need a vehicle or even more to travel to the destined client location as and when required. Get a decent vehicle and you can add numbers when required.
#3. Build your Team
In order to carry out cleaning activity you will need people to do the real work. In initial times you can also be part of the cleaning work but you certainly need your team of staff since it cannot be a lonely task especially when you aim to grow your business.
Give them proper training of cleaning and using tools and machines correctly. Handling these machines with care is essential to avoid any unwanted incident that can be damaging to your machine.
You will also be required to hire your office staff in case you are also attending your clients. If you are into commercial cleaning then the size of your team can increase since commercial cleaning requires lots of manpower.
Based on requirements and the budget you have based on what you charge from your client, decide the number of staff. You can determine the wages of your staff obviously while adhering to labor laws.
Training is essential for your staff since your staff will be the brand ambassador of your business. His behavior and work will determine the standard and character of your cleaning business.
In customer service centric business, maintaining a professional team of staff is very essential as it can have repercussions on your business if you are staff is rude or unprofessional.
Be very vigilant and active with your staff. Be nice and understanding to them while ensuring they are paid decently. Instill punctuality in them as being late to work can frustrate your client.
Cleaning service works on word of mouth advertisement. No matter how many ads you publish around, a word of mouth ad is much more powerful and effective. Ensure the clients you work with have positive words for your business.
#4. Get Required Vehicles
In initial months, you may not require more than one vehicle but as you gain more clients and get more appointments everyday, you may be required to attend two clients at the same time. This obviously requires you to have another source of transport.
You can also team up with a cab service that can ferry your tools and machines along with your staff. You can also rent vehicles for this. Using public transport is also a viable option for you.
As and when your business grows and when you feel that you can afford to own or rent many vehicles, you can definitely have them in numbers. All depends on taking a pragmatic and profitable step.
Moreover, you can also use other means of transport for your staff and tools.
Lastly, when you are maintaining your vehicle, ensure that it works properly with seating arrangement to at least accommodate 4 persons along with tools and machines.
You can design the interior as per need along with getting it painted with the color your business has on their logo. You should also get your logo and name of your business printed on each vehicle of yours.
The same should be followed everywhere. On your tools and machines along with the uniform of your staff with a logo and business name. This not only helps in advertising for your business but it also helps in building your business brand. Lastly, it also helps in maintaining a standard and gives a professional reflection.
#5. Get Office and Warehouse
In order to run your business and manage everything from clients to staff, you will need a place to sit with desks, furniture, chairs and computers. Since your work is more of a site based on the client’s location, you don’t need a posh or big office space unless you have many office desk based staff.
The location of the office also matters. In the initial years of your business, you can choose to work from your home office as it avoids unnecessary expenditure in the form of owning or renting office space nor maintaining it.
Secondly, as your business grows into a brand, you can any day shift to your new office that is located at some commercial office zones. Ensure that your office has your business name printed along with the business logo.
You will also be required to maintain a warehouse where you can keep all your tools, equipment and machines. If the size and scale of your equipment are too big, you may be required to keep it in a separate warehouse.
If the number is small then you can keep them in your own home in a shade or garage wherever you find space. Also, you can also allow your staff to carry the tools and machines with them to their home as it will not only ease them by allowing them to directly reaching to client site from their home without going to the office or warehouse.
This will also ease the burden of keeping the machines at certain warehouses. You can rent or own the warehouse based on your budget and profit.
Lastly, you might also need parking space to keep your vehicles parked. You can rent a parking space or you can allow the driver to take the vehicle with him at the end of the day and bring the vehicle back to work next day.
#6. Get Finance and Calculate Return on Investment
Calculate the cost by considering the above expense in different utilities. Your feasibility analysis report will help you in determining the cost. Research more and consult with businesses that are also into the field you aim to enter.
Try to cut costs where there is no need. Be specific in expenditure and also be reasonable and pragmatic. It should not always be grand and majestic but sensible and profitable.
Return on investment comes as and when you start to get clients. Good marketing and ads can help you in getting new clients. Secondly, if you are from the cleaning industry or have worked before in the field, you can use your network to get clients for yourself.
It can take a year to get decent and profitable returns for your cleaning business. Ensure that the clients you get remain with you for a long time. For this, exemplary service is necessary.
#7. Other Aspects of Cleaning Business
Service industry works more on word of mouth advertisement models. Therefore, ensure that your clients are served well to their satisfaction.
In the initial period, don’t run too much for money. There should be a fine balance between cost incurred and money earned. Profit should be such that it is also very balanced in all terms.
Don’t let your quality fall for money and clients and also don’t let yourself get into losses as business means profit. Use market rates to fix pricing based on competitors and the value service you are offering.
In order to build your business to a brand, resilience, perseverance, grit and dedication is important along with professionalism and punctuality.