A cleaning services business is a very lucrative undertaking despite it seeming like a demeaning line of business – it is not demeaning at all. Hygiene and general cleanliness is pivotal for the promotion of overall good health so a cleaning business is quite golden. The beauty of this business is that it is generally not capital-intensive i.e. you can start it with a low budget. With just a few hundred dollars you can start the business and of course, scale as it gains momentum. The other great thing about it is that there are many niching approaches. In this article we breakdown for you how you can start your own cleaning business.
Earlier we indicated that the niching approaches are plenty. This means the approach you will adopt is up to your discretion. You can choose to offer your cleaning services to households, corporate buildings, industrial complexes, tourist facilities, academic institutions, retail outlets and so on. You can also choose your approaches in as far as your cleaning services are concerned. What we mean is that you can choose to offer general cleaning or thorough cleaning services – it is you who decides on how to package your services.
Examples of services that can be offered is cleaning carpets, cleaning windows, after-event cleaning and so on. There are also several approaches to adopt in your working agreements with different types of clients. For example, some clients might want to enter into contractual agreements so that you become their resident cleaners. Some other clients can just require cleaning services once-off, maybe after an event, for instance. So there are many different and diverse approaches to take in how you will build and conduct your cleaning business.
You have to conduct a comprehensive market research prior to everything else. It’s important to also have a cleaning services business plan. Most people prefer to have their own in-house cleaning services so you must really establish the feasibility of your business idea. Ascertain the availability, size and type of market so that you do not waste time building a business that will not take off. The other important element you will be looking for is the type of cleaning services that are on demand.
Current players in the cleaning business domain (who will ultimately become your competition) are major case studies in your market research. You have to find out what types of cleaning services they offer, the types of clients they serve, their business frameworks, pricing regimes, their operational and marketing strategies amongst other things. Take note of their areas of strengths and weakness and fine tune everything to put together your own business entity. You can even draw insights from noting areas that current players have not yet tapped into.
Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Cleaning Services Business Plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The cleaning services business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your cleaning services business plan:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
Location And Premises
This will depend on the type of cleaning services you will offering and how you will be offering them. For instance, you might start off solo or at a small scale so much that you can operate from home. So the setting up of offices and store rooms might be applicable once the scale of operations becomes significantly large. Location would obviously have to be in the vicinity of your pool of regular clients. Premises must be secure, with sufficient space to store equipment properly and safely.
You will have to source a wide range of equipment. Some of the basic things needed are brooms, mops, dust bins, dust pans, cloth rags, brushes, paper towels – with these you can start modest cleaning activities. For more significant cleaning processes you will require equipment like multi-purpose vacuum cleaners and hoovers. The other related items needed are detergents, disinfectants, gloves, sponges, buckets and protective clothing amongst others. It is advisable to acquire most of your equipment in bulk to avoid possible inconveniences of things breaking or running out whilst being needed. A vehicle or vehicles might be necessary especially if your clients are scattered around.
Staff And Management
Not much in terms of management is required especially when operating on a small scale. You and some family members can effectively do that. Staffing requirements will largely depend on your scale of operations and the type of cleaning services you will be offering. You can either choose to hire full-time personnel or you can choose to work with freelancers or independent contractors instead. Since trustworthiness, attention to detail and diligence are paramount in this line of business you must make sure you hire or work with people who espouse those attributes. It is important for your workers to be very sociable, humble and tolerant.
With the widespread buzz about green products it is important that you take heed of that in the cleaning products that you use. It is recommendable to use natural or eco-friendly products that do not pose harm to both humans and the environment. In conducting a cleaning business, particularly for those doing the direct cleaning, safeguards must be put in place to avoid health issues. Protective clothing and the use of disinfectants after cleaning must be thoroughly exercised. Impeccable attention to detail and overall diligence is necessary for your business to grow. This is a business whose growth and sustainability heavily relies on getting positive reviews borne out of excellent service. So do not compromise and do not do shoddy work; be exceptional, be trustworthy! Another important consideration to make is the need to have insurance cover for your business. Especially when offering cleaning services to commercial entities (even households) incidentals such as accidental breakages can occur.