Thinking of starting a cleaning business?
Everyone needs a clean house… theoretically at least (wink). But the thought of going under the tables, chairs and beds is such a pain in the wrong place. That’s why quotes like this exist.
“A clean house is the sign of a boring person.” A quote that can be excused.
But if you are passionate about keeping homes and offices squeaky clean, you are in for some good business.
Now, let’s get this cleaning business up by laying out the easy-to-ignore building blocks at the strategic corners.
Get Your Cleaning Business From The Ashes Up!
Get your records right from the start.
While you may not award great importance to keeping records while the business is at its tender age, let’s talk about it right now. Noting down how much you spend in it is key to the success of your cleaning business; even if you are not receiving any cash as yet.
Record all your expenses, from the purchase of the initial equipment, detergents, meetings, transport and phone calls; put them on paper. It will help you know when you break even and move on to profitability. Not to mention, you will understand the origin of any loss coming your way.
Developing countries have this as a major advantage, the high cost of detergents force the people to seek alternative means; the birth of innovation.
Instead of buying expensive detergents, look for shops that sell industrial chemicals and ask them to guide you on making multipurpose soap, floor polish, bleach and toilet cleaning acid.
Become a keen student of the YouTube University, there is a lot you can learn from your fellow students there and save in millions.
Go an extra mile
While many cleaners focus on only the floor and windows, go an extra mile and look for rare details.
Think of the top shelves, fluorescent bulbs, fans and door knobs. Not so many cleaners focus on such. So even after a house or office is declared clean, dust reigns therein.
Instead of running a mop from corner to corner and calling the office or home clean, take a few more minutes to polish the floor and the wooden surfaces. Let your work shine.
It is easy to get ‘your cleaning bit’ done and walk away with the cheque feeling victorious for minding your own business.
But you can do more to give your client a better experience.
Imagine how they would feel if you warned them of the missing screw on the door, the dripping sink, broken pipe and naked wire.
Imagine how much you would save them by referring them to your carpenter, plumber and electrician. In fact, you will do well to have a network of such people who can step in to give your client a top-of-the world experience – at a fee of course.
Don’t forget to alert your client of any pest you find in their offices or homes, being a cleaning company; this is extra cash for you. Roaches are not relatives and mice are not nice, send them belly up!
Suggest new styles
Space is important, very important. Advising your clients on various ways to arrange their offices and homes will give them a neat and spacious look.
The advice may come as a free service, but when actualization steps in, your client will be glad to pay you.
To learn various ways of organizing a space, make a habit of studying interior design magazines. Such have volumes of information on space utilization, wallpapers use and gardening. Consider even studying a bit on Feng Shui.
Low ain’t Gold
There many other people running cleaning businesses; some have been in it for ages and are ‘kind of’ dominating the market.
Have no fear.
While it is important for you to study the market and understand pricing, don’t lower you prices to win clients. Charging too low for your services is detrimental to the growth and success of your cleaning business.
Consider keeping your expenses low while ensuring that everything you use in your business contributes to quality services; equipment, detergents and staff included. That doesn’t mean you underpay your employees or fail to pay yourself; it is un-businesslike.
What you need most is to prove your worth by offering incomparable services.
Invest a portion of your profits
Ploughing a portion of your profits back into your business will give you more money to expand your business.
While you may have begun as a simple cleaning company, maybe a one-man-show, consider also running a shop. You can sell detergents, air fresheners, scents, maybe event vintage furniture and home decor. That way, when you recommend a new style for your client’s office or house, they can buy from you.
Reward each referral
Gratitude is a sign of decency. Don’t assume it is your clients’ responsibility to tell their friends about your good works. No.
Make it easy for your clients to pass the positive word about your cleaning services to others by throwing in an unforgettable sweetener to the deal.
Identify a needy condition in their homes or offices and sort it out for free. You could patch their sofas or send them a week worth of scents. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something they will enjoy. That calls for you to be a great listener in every conversation you hold with them. Therein lays their deep cleaning need.
Create an easy feedback system
Not every client will go about singing your praise; after all, you are not in the sainthood business.
Whether through social media, website, email or questionnaires, make sure your clients have a way of venting about their discomforts in regards to your services. Consider such as their way of cleaning you back.
“Feedback is breakfast for champions.” Kenneth Hartley Blanchard, American author and management expert.
Feed on it and improve your cleaning business.
Train your own staff
Businesses that grow fast and profit invest a lot of time on training their staff how to operate the business’s activities.
Each one of your staff member should undergo orientation to enable them adapt to your business’ culture. They need to learn how cleaning is done according to your company.
But that’s not all.
Teach them what your company considers as ethical, the channels of reporting incidences and how to relate to both clients and would-be clients.
Inspire them to have and pursue their goals; personal development will go a long way into building responsible people.
Don’t worry about them leaving you once they have learned the tricks; fear breeds failure but faith breeds future. If you show them you care about their wellbeing, the training will translate to an investment and return to you with good tidings.
There may be one way of cleaning according to your company, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a new way from your employee or even a stranger. Try it out, weigh its benefits, innovate where necessary and adopt it.
The same goes for suppliers, while you may be a strong believer in a certain brands and suppliers, dare to change and see what works. Of course wisdom counts; keep your eyes, ears and mind open for suggestions but settle on the changes with wisdom.
Not every client is yours to keep
While you may want to have a bucket-full of clients, not everyone who needs cleaning services is yours to keep. Others are a one-time incident that you need to get off your list.
If a client doesn’t honor your work with the agreed reward, find out why, it could be a genuine situation. But if they aren’t prioritizing your payment, consider them an outcast.
Your cleaning business cannot run on air, you need the money to pay your workers, self and grow the company, a client who doesn’t value that fact is simply selfish. You have no business keeping them.
“There is no such a thing as something for nothing.” Napoleon Hill, self-help author.
Run the business, for real
When business environments change, be keen to find the way up without hurting your staff, self, suppliers and clients.
Tax changes affect everybody. And while raising your charges may be the easier way forward, consider the percentages. Rushing to double or triple charges may be translated as greed and send your clients away.
If you have to certain conditions in your cleaning business, let your clients know in advance how such will affect them. It will give them enough time to decide if they want to carry on with your services.
It is disrespectful and inconsiderate to them to make abrupt changes; prior notice goes a long way to show you care… and save your business.