A Very Inexpensive Way to Own A Business
With the right strategies and planning, starting your own cleaning business can potentially be a very inexpensive way to own a business of your very own.
It can be very lucrative to start a cleaning business. There will always be houses that need to be cleaned, and it is a task that people are very happy to have someone else to do for them. Just ask Katie Pearse, a cleaning industry expert. Over a 7-year period, she was able to triple the hourly rate of her cleaning business from $62 per hour up to $180 per hour. What is even better is the upfront investment that you need to make can be practically nothing, especially when you are willing to do most of the work on your own, to get started.
Disclaimer: You Will Need to Spend a Little Money
To legally operate a business, you will need to follow the laws within your local area. At a minimum that will usually mean you need to register your business. Although you are not always legally required to have, you might want to look into business insurance. You will also need to purchase the essential cleaning supplies. That includes the right cleaners, scrub brushes, bags, and rags to get the job done right.
Let’s focus now on the things that you can do to get your cleaning business started that doesn’t require you to spend any money upfront.
Target the Right Clients
When you clean homes by offering a residential cleaning service, it is an easier business to get started in than commercial cleaning. The markets for cleaning offices and commercial buildings are often dominated by large janitorial companies. Cleaning at that scale requires labor hours and equipment that require a big starting budget. Attracting new residential cleaning clients is also easier to do.
Do the Cleaning on Your Own
To get started, do all of the cleaning work yourself. That is an obvious way to not have labor costs that come with hiring people to do the cleaning. You can schedule your cleaning jobs in the evenings or on weekends around your full-time job, depending on what your schedule is.
Doing the cleaning yourself also allow you to ease into the new business you have started, which helps to take the pressure off of having to find a large list of customers immediately to keep your employees busy. When you take it slow it allows you to focus on providing a quality service as well as build up your reputation, instead of having to build up a client list quickly by offering low prices.
At some point, you will know that is time for you to quit your job so that you can grow your cleaning business on a full-time basis and soon after that you might decide to hire your very first employee. Those exciting future steps can follow after your original plan of handling cleaning jobs on your own initially.
Get an Easy Uniform Created
It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of money on a fancy uniform that features your log when you are just getting started. A simple dress code you can use is dark or all black pants and a colored t-shirt. That will work just fine. Wear an apron to achieve an additional layer of polish and keep your uniform cleaner for a longer period of time.
When it comes to your uniform the key is being consistent. If you have the same look every time you interact with your clients, your professional image is going to have a greater impact than if you just show up to their house wearing random graphic t-shirts.
Utilize Word of Mouth Marketing
A client will most likely to refer a business that has a professional image to their family and friends. To get your very first customers, ask your friends and tell them you have started your own cleaning business to see if they know of anyone that is interested in trying your services out. After you have cleaned somebody’s house, tell them you are searching for new clients. You could even offer them a discount on their next cleaning job if they refer someone to you.
Word of mouth is a very powerful way to generate new customers, so make sure your cleaning service is first-rate so that your customers will rave about your business and refer to people they know.
Customize the Experience for Your Clients
Keep in mind that customers are hiring you to help make their lives easier. Therefore, to ensure the satisfaction of your clients, tailor your services to meet their needs.
Ask them what they need from their cleaning session. They might want help with de-cluttering or someone who will spend extra time on vacuuming pet hair from their couches or cleaning their carpets. They may appreciate small touches such as folding the ends of the toilet paper in an elegant way.
When you take the time to talk about the details with your client it can really help to develop a good relationship with your customer and help you stand out from your competitors. We have a free Client Profile Template that can help you with collecting and managing the information.
Get Your Brand Established
Client profiles, a consistent uniform, attention to detail – all of those details that we have discussed all contribute to a trusted and strong brand.
Writing your company values down will help you better communicate with your customers, so they know what to expect from your company, and how you are different from your competitors. Perhaps you use environmentally friendly products or promise to always be on time or offer customized experiences.
Company Logo and Name
After you know what your company values are then you will be a good position to decide on your business name and get a logo created. You may want to select a name that is a play on your values (incorporate the word green, for example), or you might want to get creative and come up with something that is catchy.
Get a logo created by a designed for your business to add to your professional appearance. Add your logo to your receipts, invoices, and quotes and you will look like a true professional from the very beginning.
Get a Facebook page set up for your business. That is a free way to get your online presence established. You can take it a step further by claiming social media handles on Instagram, Twitter and other key sites for your business name so that you will be ready if you decide you want to use them.
Get an email address set up with your business name so you will have a professional commercial channel to use with your customers and so that your business communication doesn’t get lost or mixed up with your personal emails.
Finally, since you will most likely be booking first appointments via the phone, make sure your personal phone does double duty by making your voicemail greeting work for your new cleaning business.
Use Free Tools
There are many helpful resources on government websites for new business owners. They offer useful information such as legal information on how to start a business, business planning advice and checklists.
There are free Jobber templates that are available. When you are first getting started with your business and have just a few clients, you might want to keep track of your schedule and clients on paper or use free software. While you are growing your client list and making the transition from operating your business on a full-time business, a paid software such as Jobber can be very helpful to keeping track of invoices, jobs, and clients to save you a lot of time on administrative tasks.
It is never too early to begin using software such as Jobber that you can use to help you manage your business, particularly if your goal is growth.