If you have the cleaning skills necessary or the ability to hire and successfully manage a team of skilled workers, then a cleaing business of your own may be the ideal choice for you. You can set your own rates, choose your own clients, and determine time schedules that fit your lifestyle.
A few of the things you will need to consider are:
– Will or operate form your home or an office?
– Do you want to hire employees or do the work yourself
– How will you finance your new business?
– What are your start-up expenses?
– Who will your target market be?
– What will be your marketing methods?
– What will you charge and how will you determine the rate?
– What types of payment methods will you accept?
Let’s explore these considerations in-depth.
The first thing to consider once you have decided to start your own cleaning business is where to run it from. If you decide to have few employees or to go it alone, your best bet is to run it from your own home to keep expenses down. You will want to have an extra room set up as your office specifically for business related tasks, such as paperwork, making phone calls, scheduling, and creating marketing materials. However, if you have more than a few employees you may want to lease office space near your home. As your employee base grows you may need to add clerical employees who will need some place to do their work, you may want to hold staff meetings, and you will need somewhere for potential employees to apply and for new hires to do their training.
When deciding whether or not to begin with employees you need to examine your reasons for wanting to hire and compare them against the extra costs and other disadvantages, such as how much to pay and how many clients you have established. A word of caution however is that your employees’ action reflect on your business. If you hire someone who in turn steals a piece of jewelry from one of your clients that will tarnish the reputation of your business and possibly lead to its down fall. If you need employees try to hire those who have references in a related area where trust with personal information or property was given and do a thorough background check.
How to finance your new business is always a concern to most. You can look into using credit, securing a loan, taking out a mortgage on your home, cashing in stocks or bonds, dipping into your 401K, or bringing in a partner or other investors. You must first determine your start-up cost which should include lease payment on an office space (if any), office supplies and furniture, cost of leasing vehicles for your company along with insurance, employee pay and benefits (if any), and equipment you will need to do the job. Once you have a firm number to work with you can then begin to look for ways to fund your new business.
One of the first things you must do before advertising your business is determine who your target market will be and how to reach them. Potential clients can include people with extravagant homes, those with large incomes, new mothers, households where both parents work and already have little spare time to enjoy with their children, and retired or disabled people who may not have the energy or ability to clean their residence. Once you know who you are marketing to you can determine where to advertise. Traditional methods of advertising include using coupons, posting fliers, handing out business cards, sending postcards, and taking out an ad in your local paper. You can also use the internet to your advantage by developing a website for potential customers to view. The URL should be on all of your advertising materials and important information such as rates, openings, areas serviced, and experience should be addressed on the website.
The last thing to decide is how to determine the cost of service and what payment methods to accept. You may want to charge per hour, per job, or have a set weekly rate for ongoing clients tailored their individual needs. You also need to choose whether or not to extend financing to certain clients, bill your clients, or ask for payment at the time of service. There are pros and cons for all three. For instance, you may miss out on a good ongoing job because that client may want to be billed instead of paying on the spot or if you extend credit to the wrong client you may never see your money at all. You must weigh the options to determine what is right for you and your business.
Much of this advice is taken from my experience with an extraordinary home cleaner who has made a name for herself throughout her community, and has now even worked her way to cleaning for some of her city’s NFL players, just by word of mouth. Not a drop of advertising or marketing and she has ran a successful one-woman business for over 20 years. What are her final words of advice? “You have to be better than the rest. If you can accomplish that then great jobs will find you, you won’t have to look for them.”