If you have the idea of running your own company like a cleaning business, you need to be prepared for it. Running a company requires preparation, good idea, financial background, and legal and accounting support. And, of course, the best equipment that will bring your company real success on the market, especially if you link the best equipment with competent employees.
How to prepare for opening a cleaning business? It is an important question that you must answer at the very beginning of planning your business.
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Does the cleaning industry have prospects?
Of course! The majority of companies need professional cleaning. And more and more individual people are ordering such kind of home services, especially at the time of the covid-19 pandemic. There are a lot of good employees on the market because the work does not require special education but accuracy and willingness to work. That means you can plan to open this type of business without fear! You only need to convince the client that your services are professional and the best of the best.
What types of services can your cleaning company provide?
You can choose if you will clean the houses or commercial buildings. You need to decide what kind of works you will do. It is your decision, and you should think it over. When you gain the necessary experience, you will be able to choose clients according to your preferences. For starters, however, you need to build a solid client database.
You can clean the company buildings
Your company can regularly clean business buildings and public buildings: offices, restaurants, cafes, hotels, medical clinics, hospitals, libraries, schools and kindergartens, sports centers. Services such as commercial cleaning give you many possibilities, and you have to approach every client very individually. Cleaning and disinfecting of the hospital require different work than cleaning the office. Talk with the client about the details of his expectations and start working!
In the beginning, it may be difficult for you to get commercial clients if you do not have references and experience. However, do not give up and appreciate each customer gained to get the best opinions. If you build a database of private clients whose houses you clean, it will be easier for you to get to companies.
Cleaning office buildings is more time-consuming, you need to take that into account.
You can offer basic cleaning to private client
The primary cleaning works include vacuuming, cleaning furniture and floors, and cleaning windows from time to time. It all depends on the client and his needs. If you clean the customer’s house regularly, for example, once a week or every two weeks, the house will require refreshing and keeping it clean rather than profound cleaning. A thorough cleaning is needed every few months.
It is easier to get individual clients, and flat or house cleaning is easier than office buildings or public institutions cleaning.
You can offer a seasonal cleaning service (a thorough cleaning three, four times a year)
A thorough cleaning can be, for example, washing carpets, washing walls, or cleaning mattresses. Despite regular cleaning, the house needs some radical cleaning from time to time. And you can help them excellent with this kind of work!
You can prepare your client’s house before holidays and parties
Everyone who organizes a party at home must think about thorough cleaning, pretty decorations, and delicious food. Your company will be perfect for helping prepare the house to receive guests. Thanks to you, the house will shine, and the client will remember you in the future.
You can help your clients during the move-in and move-out
You can help the owner when tenants move out and clean the house or apartment thoroughly. You can help new homeowners prepare their ideal place on earth to move in.
Write your business plan
Thanks to the business plan, you will organize everything and do not forget about any aspects that you need to take into account when setting up a business. The business plan will be helpful to you and everyone who will want to evaluate and support your cleaning business. Carefully analyze each aspect and describe in detail all the necessary stages and assumptions so that nothing will surprise you. You can use the available business plan templates for your industry.
What should a perfectly written business plan look like?
Briefly describe all your goals and objectives. Introduce the resources you will need to achieve your professional goals. The summary should contain the most important information about the operation of your company.
Products and services
Describe your cleaning services, products, equipment. Write about innovative solutions that you want to introduce to the market. Thanks to this, you will plan the costs and show your advantages.
Describe how many people you plan to hire and who will manage the team in your company. It will help you plan your costs.
Characterize your clients, describe the problems you will struggle with, and picture trends in the cleaning industry. Think about what gap you can fill and what will make you stand out on the market.
Check your competition and find out how many similar companies operate in your area and what exactly they do. You can hire one of the cleaning companies to see how it works. It will give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your competition.
Think about what you want to achieve and what goals you have. Plan how you want to earn and what marketing activities you want to take to get customers.
Plan your initial costs, including equipment, people, and cleaning supplies. Pre-plan your revenues for the next year of operation.
What should you do in the beginning?
Take a good business lawyer
It is best if you hire a lawyer who works in the cleaning industry. He will know the specifics of your business and will help you. Set a specific legal budget to keep your finances under control.
Choose your business name & logotype
Choosing a company name is not easy because it may attract customers or reject them. It should be associated with your activity and be unique. It needs to stand out from other names for customers to remember. Check if the name you have chosen is no longer available on the market.
The logo must be associated with its brand and activity and be interesting enough to attract the eyes of a potential customer. Maybe you will use the talent of some local designer who will design the perfect business logo for you?
Select your business entity
Contact a lawyer and accountant and decide which business model will be the best for you in terms of legal, tax, and financial matters.
There are four types of business entities:
- Sole proprietorship. It is legally uncomplicated because there is one owner.
- Partnership. More than one person has a share of the profits and costs. There can be several business partners.
- Limited Liability Company. It limits the personal liability of partners.
- Corporation. It separates the company and its owners in terms of liability or taxes.
Set up your business accounting
Bookkeeping is a very significant matter. You need to hire a company or accountant to keep track of your income, expenses, payroll, taxes, and other things. You can also run your accounting if you have time and want to save money. However, this is connected with a huge responsibility. Maybe you have someone you trust in your family or friends? With the company’s development, there will be more and more accounting matters, and if you want to do it yourself, it may become difficult. Then it is worth considering cooperation with a professional accountant. Hiring such a company means costs, but also: accuracy, tax settlement services, timely services, and payroll processing services.
Check your business start costs
Check what costs you have to include. Some of them will be one-off costs, others will repeat every month. Remember about the most important costs that you need to consider.
Services and items
Transportation. You need a car or truck which will take you to the customer to clean the house or office. Choose a model that will work well when transporting all cleaning equipment.
Initial fees. In many cases, you need different licenses and registrations, so you need to include their costs in your business plan.
Cleaning tools. Everything you need for cleaning. Vacuum cleaner, mop, cleaning products, steam cleaner, brooms, sponges, brushes, garbage bags.
Think carefully about what equipment you choose because it is like your business card. Thanks to the appropriate equipment, the results of your work will be much better, which will change into more customers. Commercial equipment will be much better than ordinary cleaning equipment. The industrial vacuum cleaner has an industrial motor and much more cleaning power. It can manage with even more difficult dirt. It is also more durable, and it will last longer. Consider buying more items, in case one of them breaks or more than one job simultaneously.
In addition to the industrial vacuum cleaner, you will also need a portable steam cleaner that will allow you to thoroughly clean houses and offices. Most cleaning companies work with a steam cleaner and praise it very much. A steam cleaner is versatile and can be used to clean many different surfaces. Steam cleaning does not require the use of strong cleaning agents, and it is healthier and more ecological. And also much more efficient and economical. It is also perfect for the disinfection and elimination of fungus and mold. A steam cleaner can be your greatest asset.
When choosing cleaning products for your company, pay attention to the quality and costs of individual products. Select brands and companies suitable for specific commercial or home cleaning jobs. Stock up on sponges, paper towels, or disposable gloves. It will be most profitable if you buy it all in a warehouse. Choose an ecological solution if you want your customers to appreciate your concern for the environment. Do not forget about powerful cleaning products for special tasks that may be necessary for some situations.
Plan your finances
When running a business, you must plan your expenses wisely so that they do not turn out to be higher than your profits. For starters, you need to have the money to fund the basic costs. You also need to know where the money you will spend on investments will come from. If you have the money to start your own business, it will be perfect. It is a big saving just the very beginning of your business. You can also borrow money from family or friends if you have such trusted people. Another way is to take out a business loan. Make a good forecast of financial needs to be able to finance your employees and all bills. Make sure you do not have any cash downtime. A good accountant will help you. To save money, at the beginning you can buy used equipment or a used car and then gradually replace it with a better one. It all depends on your financial capabilities and your initial needs.
Different countries and different cities have their own rules. You need to check what is in force in your place of residence. You can call the office or check this information on the internet. You can submit the application online or in person, and then all you have to do is wait for permission to operate.
Open the company bank account
If you have the appropriate documents and information, setting up a bank account will not be difficult. A bank account may be necessary for various transactions with customers, paying employees, or purchases. Many banks do not even have to come to the office in person, you can just submit an online application, and the banks will confirm your details and accept the application. It may take several days. Before submitting the application, you can call the selected bank and ask for the necessary documents and data needed to register your account. These requirements may vary depending on what form of business you run.
Get the liability insurance
Such insurance protects you as a business owner from other business partners and their debts. It will also protect you against losses that your company may bring. It will save you from claims made against your company. Talk to an insurance agent to find the best insurance for this company.
Choose the location
Choose the place of your business, for example, the headquarters of the company. It can even be your home because you provide services to your clients. You do not need a professional office because clients will not come to you. However, in some cases, home business registration will not be possible. And then you will need an official registered office. Consider a suitable place. You may need to have a place to store all devices and cleaning products and a place to park the company car. Properly insure all your equipment and vehicles. When your business grows, you will have to rent commercial space in a good location and an adequate number of parking spaces. Remember to agree with the terms of the lease of such space well and consult them with a lawyer.
Plan your image
Think about who your customers are to define your brand and choose the right way of creating your image. Take into account what services you will offer and what will stand out for your business. Set your values and consider why customers should choose you. If you create such a customer profile, it will be easier for you to adjust the communication strategy. This will help you to conduct effective marketing and promotional activities.
Create the website
Thanks to a professional website, you have to work hard to design it. Make it one of the priorities. Encouragingly describe your business and services so that potential customers can get to know you and learn as much as possible about you. Present all your services and their prices, be transparent, and encourage your customers. Provide your contact details in prominent places so that customers can contact you. If you run social media, link them on the website.
Set your prices
When calculating margins, be sure to include fixed costs such as insurance, driving costs, mobile phone, and other costs that do not change.
It is a precise and legible way of settling accounts. When setting your hourly rate, take into account several factors:
- location of cleaning – it involves fuel costs
- the duration of the work – if you only clean an hour and the new power to your panes turned out to be insufficient to cover the costs and earn
- order execution frequency – consider a discount for repeat customers
You can also set a flat rate for a specific service. However, remember to take into account all the materials used and the costs incurred. You also need to estimate the working time well so that the order does not turn out to be unprofitable.
Selling additional products
You can sell your customers the cleaning products or air fresheners you use. It will be an additional source of income for you, and customers will surely appreciate the multitude of your services.
How to promote your business?
- Wrap your car or truck to be noticeable.
- Advertise in the local papers and other media.
- Get a business card and give it to potential customers.
- Use an e-mail campaign to contact your client and encourage them to review your services
- Use social media to show your services and your brand – this is a great way to contact your client and make some relations. Show your sales here and respond to your client’s review. Show yourself!
- Business-to-business selling – get professional brochures, get a list of local businesses, gain new clients in the same building. You have to get out to your customers and show them your best.
If you have a business idea and you have thought through your business plan, do not wait. Work! A cleaning company is a great idea these days. Get good equipment – for example, Fortador – and earn the trust of your customers.