Cleanliness is at the top of everyone’s minds at the moment, yet many would like to outsource this task. With this in mind, it’s a great time to start a cleaning company. Many people feel daunted at the prospect of getting started with a new business. However, by following small, manageable steps, it is easy to get your cleaning business up and running.
Step 1: Choose Your Market
There are two primary sources of clients for cleaning companies. You can either choose to focus on domestic clients, which means cleaning personal residences. The other option is commercial cleaning. This is cleaning more focused on office buildings.
Domestic cleaning is something you can start on your own with no staff; you just need to get clients. Most of the work will be during the day, while clients are at work themselves.
For commercial cleaning, you will need a team to get started. You’ll likely be taking on a more managerial role in this kind of business. As a result, you may not do as much of the actual cleaning yourself.
Step 2: Check If Qualifications Are Needed
For most domestic cleaning operations, you don’t need qualifications. However, for more specialised commercial cleaning, it may be necessary. Furthermore, having qualifications may help to set you apart from other organisations. A good resource for this information is the British Institute of Cleaning.
Step 3: Allocate Your Budget
Regardless of the market that you choose, there are going to be start-up costs. It’s a good idea to set a clear budget and allocate it before you start spending. It can be easy to lose track of your spending, making it even harder to get your company to turn a profit.
Once you know how much you have to spend, you can start thinking about where you’re going to spend it.
Obviously, you will need basic cleaning supplies, like mops, cleaning solutions, duster etc. But there may also be some more significant items you need to consider, like a van to transport your equipment and to advertise your business.
If you are looking to get into commercial cleaning, you may need to factor in equipment trolleys, sweeping machines and industrial vacuum cleaners.
It can be easy to forget that you will need to allocate some budget to getting clients. The hardest part of starting a service business is finding clients. You may need to use a mixture of traditional marketing methods as well as online ones. Both of which will carry a cost.
Of course, you can also go out and talk to people, which is an investment of time rather than money.
Another thing to consider within your marketing budget is your branding. Branding can be a valuable tool to develop recognition and engagement from customers. Branding stretches beyond a logo; it can set up the whole ethos and direction for your business. When it comes to branding, you will often get what you pay for, so it’s not something you want to skimp on.
If you plan to start in the commercial sector, you may need to assemble a team before you book your first client. You need to make sure that you have enough budget to pay your team for, at a minimum, their first month of work.
Depending on your payment arrangements with your client, you can find that it takes a little while for payments to come through. So you need to be prepared to keep your staff paid on time, even if the company doesn’t. Not doing this could cause you to lose staff while you’re still trying to find your feet.
Step 4: Set Your Prices And Get Business Ready
Once you know what sector you’re in and what equipment you’re going to buy, you can start planning what your business will look like and how it will run. Planning for all this before you get started can help you make your business profitable faster.
Decide On Services
The first thing that prospective clients will want to know is what services you’re going to offer. You may be limited by the equipment you can afford. So, make sure you know exactly what is involved in a job before you offer to do it.
Check Prices In Your Area
When setting your prices, an excellent place to start is looking around in your area and seeing what other people are offering. This lets you position yourself in the market. In addition, the prices you set should tie in with your brand identity. For instance, you may be offering affordable services or premium services. So it’s essential to clearly understand where you are placed in the market.
Get Your Admin In Order
There is a lot of administration involved in running a business, especially if you have staff to manage. It can help if you find a system to help you manage all the paperwork. In addition, most people will expect to pay electronically, so you need to have a system that can deal with that, which means keeping on top of payments and invoices.
Without a reliable system, you can miss out on getting paid for work you’ve already done.
It’s essential to make sure that you have insurance set up. Most customers expect to have some guarantee that their property is protected in some way. So, insurance is a must. This is doubly true if you have employees.
Step 5: Grow Your Business
Growth is an important step to think about when you’re setting up your company. Do you want to just grow to a business that you can manage yourself, or do you want to create a more significant business with employees and managers?
If you are going to grow your business, you need to plan to reinvest money back into the company to do that. You will also need to make sure you set up systems for HR and client referrals and continued marketing.
This is an exciting area to get into with lots of opportunities. However, to make the most of them, it’s best to be organised, flexible and ready for the challenge that’s involved.