Before we start to discuss the pros and cones of starting a cleaning service business, we first find out what the janitorial/cleaning services are.
What are Janitorial/Cleaning Services:
Mainly there are two categories of janitorial services namely Residence Cleaning Services and Commercial Cleaning Services. However, there are some specialized niches in each category also i.e. End of Tenancy Cleaning, After Party Cleaning, Move in/move out Cleaning, Open Home Cleaning, Post Renovation Clean up, Windows, Carpet and upholstery Cleaning and many others.
Importance of Janitorial Services:
Everybody likes cleanliness. We need to keep our houses clean mainly for looking good and for hygienic living. Cleaning in offices and other commercial places are important because besides providing good hygienic conditions, it attracts customers which is essential for retaining the business. People like neat and clean offices, stores and plazas.
Starting Cleaning Services Business requires very low investment and is a very stable business. Cleaning services are required throughout the world all the times, even when the economy is in a state of depression.
How to start Cleaning Service Business:
The first and the most important thing before starting any business is plan, same is true for starting a cleaning service business. We will discuss major point to be considered under planning a Janitorial Services Business.
- What type of Cleaning/Janitorial Service Business you are planning to start? Well, if you choose Residential Cleaning Services, it can be started with very small or almost no investment. You may start providing maids to the clients or you can start cleaning houses yourself and become your own boss. It may be noted that when you are your own boss then in fact the client is your boss. You will work according to the satisfaction of your client. You may not need any equipment or tools because you may use the tools/equipment available with the client. However, keeping some of your own is essential. Some customers may ask you to use their own detergents and chemicals, but you must have your own supplies too.
- In case you go for commercial cleaning, you need to make a list of equipment and supplies required for cleaning large places, employees required and so on.
- Plan, whether you want to use a room of your house as an office and store or you want to open an office in the market.
- Assess your funds requirements for starting a cleaning service business. Do you have enough funds or you want to borrow some from your friends. You may think of going to some government agencies established for providing loans to small businesses.
- Give a name to your cleaning business.
- Look for legal requirements for starting a cleaning services business in your area. If you need a license, immediately apply for that.
- Identify your competitors. Try to get their price list for doing various jobs. If it is not possible, get rates on telephone. Make your own price list. Be competitive in your pricing. Initially you have to be on the lower side until you get a reputation.
- Target clients in your area.
What you need to establish a Cleaning Service Office:
You need the following to establish an office before starting your business:
- Essential part of your business is the availability of funds. As discussed above, at least a small amount of funds will be required to start cleaning business which may be provided from your own pocket or through loans.
- An office space in your house or in the market. If you choose to establish an office in the market, you need to pay for its security deposit and advance rent etc.
- Cleaning Equipment and tools like Vacuum Cleaner, good quality mops and Brooms, Dust pans, Buckets, Cotton Rags for dusting.
- Other Equipment and tools include Rubber Gloves, Coveralls, Dust Masks, Aprons, Paper Towels, Bags and Ladder etc.
- Supplies like good quality Glass Cleaner, Bath Tub and Basin Cleaner, Hard Water Stain Remover and Floor Cleaner etc. (Local Janitorial Supply Store can guide you on items required for starting a cleaning service business)
- A Telephone for communications.
- A vehicle for transportation and visiting clients.
How to promote your cleaning business:
Initially you need to aggressively promote your business. Every customer needs a reference. When you are starting your business, you may not have any reference for the first customer. It is very hard to find the first customer. For establishing a reference, you may request one of your friends to get his house cleaned by your establishment. Do the job and make him your reference for the first client. You can further promote your business by doing all or one of the following:
- Open the Telephone Directory of your area and start ringing up your targeted clients. Introduce yourself as a professional in this business. Request for doing the job at least once.
- Get your cleaning service business cards printed and distribute when visiting shops, offices and houses.
- Make some attractive flyers with a commercial look and distribute those through newspaper vendors. Also hang them on notice boards of different community centers. Also distribute to real estate offices, hair dressers, restaurants, bakers and grocery stores etc.
- Give ads on TV through local cable operators.
- Send e-mails to your potential customers through the internet.
Special Attention in starting a cleaning service business:
You need to pay special consideration to the following points while carrying out your business:
- You must ensure that you maintain a standard. For this purpose you may need to work yourself. Lowering of standard may decrease your customers. Do some thing special which your competitors do not do and make your work unique.
- You must avail a good reputation. Make your previous work a reference for the next.
- This is a job of TRUST. Never get your trust lost. Your employees must be well trained and trustworthy. Check the background of your employees too. Persons with criminal history must not be hired.
- Expensive items like carpet must be given special care. Before using any chemical for spot cleaning, you must be careful. Ask yourself whether the chemical will do the job well or will spoil the carpet. The customer may claim damages for your bad work.
- Pay attention to what your client wants you to do. Never ignore him. Good behavior and attitude adds a lot to your business.
- Before starting a cleaning service business, it is good if you get insurance and bonding. It will help to develop trust by client in your work. Get accident insurance for your employees for unwanted circumstances. Also get Liability Insurance cover for your jobs.
- Try to use non-toxic natural cleaning products and trusted brands. Avoid cheap brands.
- You and your workers must be dressed properly. Your cleaning service company logo should also be there.
- Study literature on cleaning and update your skills.
- Do not take more than what you can handle. Start slowly with gradual growth.
- Be careful to face the situations when you find some illegal drugs or weapons in the house.
If you need any guidance in starting a cleaning service business or any other business you may contact us