You may have awoken one day and wanted to start your very own cleaning company. Or, it may be the dream business you’ve been planning for, for years. Either way, whatever your vision – be informed, considered and strategic in your approach.
If you need expert advice to help you get started with this new business of yours, here are a few things you should know:
Figure out how much you will charge
Before you do anything, you must figure out how much to charge for house cleaning. It’s essential to establish how much you’re going to ask for your company’s services if you want to know if your venture is going to be profitable or not. Also, remember that incorrectly pricing your service can negatively affect your business in the long run.
Moreover, determining your prices will allow you to make a comprehensive business plan. A good business plan includes your budget, financial planning, services, products, pricing, marketing strategy, and an executive summary. You need one if you need to get loans and attract investment, helping you get your business started.
1. Get funding and familiarize yourself with business loans
Fortunately, cleaning businesses are inexpensive and easy to fund. However, it doesn’t mean that you should only rely on your savings to start one. You always have the option to source some parts of the funds.
Two of the first sources you should check are business grants and business loans. Depending on where you live and your situation, you may receive a grant for your business. If you qualify, then you’re good to go. The best thing about it is that you don’t need to pay anything back. However, do know that it may take a while before they’re approved.
Even if you don’t like loans, you should become familiar with all business’ financing options accessible to you. Remember that there are different kinds of business loans, each of which can help you out in specific scenarios. Here are some of them:
- Term loan: Most entrepreneurs get this loan to fund a new startup or expand their business. The interest rate and total cost of the loan you get depends on the institution that provides you the loan.
- Equipment loan: Typically, most businesses take equipment loans to finance heavy machinery and vehicles. In your case, you may need to get one if you decide to get a van for you or your crew.
- Business line of credit: A business line of credit allows you to access withdrawable money you don’t have. The max amount you can get depends on your credit limit. It’s a flexible option when you need to source funds since you’ll only pay for the amount you withdraw and some additional fees for maintenance and draw.
2. Determine your service area and target market
Depending on your current equipment and demand for cleaning services, you need to determine your target market. Conduct industry research and ask around your neighborhood. Is there a demand for residential cleaning services? If there’s none, go downtown and check if there’s demand for commercial cleaning services.
Aside from knowing if there’s a demand for your service, also check if there is any competition. Ideally, you want to have none, but such a condition is rare. Be prepared to do some research on other businesses and freelancers as well. Find one who’s doing poorly, identify why and provide a better service. Equally, work out who is doing well and what you can learn from them for your business.
Next, determine your service area range. Do you have a van or car you can use to move around? Or, do you prefer to start small and walk right up to your customer’s houses or establishments?
Establish your specialty
While some people may think that a cleaning service is a simple job, it encompasses plenty of different work, especially for commercial customers. In some cases, you may want to specialize or focus on a particular type of cleaning service.
Below are some of the specializations you can choose from:
- Basic residential house cleaning: While it’s a general cleaning service, it’s still considered a specialization in the industry. It involves performing regular chores like sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and polishing every room in a house.
- Spring or deep cleaning: As the name implies, it involves comprehensive cleaning tasks like cleaning stoves, washing cabinets, and even decluttering.
- Sanitization: It’s currently in high demand in the commercial sector, but its demand in the residential sector is on the rise. This service primarily involves dealing with kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
- Pressure washing: Before, landscaping contractors only offered this service—primarily to clean walkways and driveways. However, because of the multiple applications of pressure washing, most cleaning companies also offer it now. It mainly involves pressure washing windows, walls, roofs, garages, and even floors inside homes.
3. Set your business up
Once you have chosen the cleaning service you want to provide, determined your pricing, established your service area, and acquired funding, it’s time for you to finally set your business up. You can start with your supplies, transport, and equipment.
When it comes to supplies, you need to shop around and look for the best cleaning bulk retailers around in your area. You may also want to consider shopping around online for supply wholesalers.
Also, you should note that some of your clients may prefer that you use their own cleaning supplies, so don’t overdo it with the shopping. And, don’t forget about your office supplies as well. It will really help you to be organized and prepared with everything you need in the first instance.
Even if you want to start small and serve clients within walking distance away from you, you need to think about transportation as early as now. In time, your business will grow, and the amount of equipment you’ll lug around will increase.
Speaking of equipment, invest in the ones required by the service and specialization you offer. Don’t think of using rentals or consumer-grade equipment. Aside from making it expensive and tiring for you to do your work, letting your clients see that you’re using them may damage your reputation.
This article isn’t all-inclusive as there are many steps you need to take to ensure that you can start your business scot-free. And it doesn’t end there. It would be best if you also looked into advice regarding marketing and keeping your business afloat.