Starting a cleaning business has plenty of advantages. Start-up costs are generally low, and you can start small. Staff costs, materials and overheads tend to be lower and it requires a less skilled workforce. Win a few contracts or a host of regular domestic customers and your cleaning business is relatively easy to scale too. Today , I would like to talk about how to run a cleaning business.
From the outset it’s important to think about your long-term plans for your cleaning company. If you’re looking for a business that you can grow slowly and organically and that you can keep control of in the long-run then going it alone is probably sensible . However, to hit the ground running (and if you’re nervous about some of the elements of setting up a business) you could consider franchising. There are lots of franchises in the cleaning industry with average upfront costs of around £12,000.
How to market your cleaning business
Now it’s time to pitch! The ways you’ll attract clients, also known as your marketing channels, will depend on the market you’ve chosen. For example, if you’re a domestic cleaner, it might be as simple as knocking on doors.
Because so many people turn to the internet to search for cleaning services, you need to have a website for your cleaning business. On your website, be sure to include general business information, a description of your services, and your cleaning rates. You can also display previous customer testimonials and reviews to showcase your work.
You’ve learned some solid ways to start a cleaning business with no money, but there’s so much more to learn about running an efficient cleaning business. In this article we would like to mention the success our industry expert, Katie Pearse, experienced running her own cleaning business.
Systems provide a structure that allows you to work consistently and efficiently, and also let you create a company that will continue to run whether you’re there or not. Create systems for every function: cleaning, laundry, supervision, reporting, customer service, accounting and management.
As long as things get dirty, there’ll be a need for professionals to clean them. But economic changes can mean changes in your market. Residential cleaning services, for example, are often seen as luxuries, and an economic downturn could affect your customers’ willingness and ability to pay to have their homes cleaned. When business profits shrink, companies look for ways to cut expenses, which means they may examine their budgets for services that can be reduced or eliminated.
You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.
Cleaning yourself also allows you to ease into your new business, taking the pressure off finding a long list of customers right away to keep employees busy. By taking it slow, you can focus on quality service and building your reputation, rather than relying on low prices to build your client list.
If you’re going to be taking on staff there’s a number of regulations you’ll need to bear in mind. Typically cleaning work is not well paid – it’s likely that your staff will receive the minimum wage (currently £8.72 as of 1 April 2020) so you’ll need to keep on top of annual rises. You’ll also be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and if you’re taking on commercial cleaning jobs you’ll need to adhere to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – which state that when you take on a cleaning contract with an office or other business premises you must use their existing staff. Lastly, there’s a number of health and safety regulations to consider, as cleaning often involves working with potentially harmful chemicals.
Promoting your business
Getting new business is tougher for commercial cleaning companies. Start by contacting the firms and organisations to find out who manages the cleaning contract, and then write to them by name to introduce your business. It’s likely that another cleaning firm currently holds the contract, but ask when it’s up for renewal and see if you can quote nearer the time. It’s worth keeping in regular contact, and find out who the competitor firm is to see what services and prices they charge.
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Here’s a preview of what you should prepare for when learning how to run a cleaning business effectively .You know that starting a business requires a significant amount of work, but you may not realize just how much time goes into the daily operations and administrative duties once your cleaning business is up and running.
In order to save time, you need to make strategic decisions when it comes to learning how to run a cleaning business. One of the best ways to best manage your time is to invest in technology that helps you save time.
A POS for professional services, for instance, allows you to track and complete day-to-day operations all in one place instead of jumping around from system to system (a big waste of time). Here are some other technologies that can be integrated into a POS for professional services: Online invoices. As soon as you send an invoice, clients receive an email from where they can securely pay for cleaning services with a few simple clicks. You can track invoices on your computer or phone using the invoicing app.
If you start a cleaning business and hire multiple employees, you need employee management software that keeps track of employee hours with built-in time cards and breaks down sales by employee. Scheduling software. Clients can set up appointments online from your website at anytime, which creates efficiency for your cleaning business.
Business performance tracking. Integrated business analytics software allows you to track sales data in real time. You can see which cleaning services are most popular, how much revenue each service generates, and other sales data that can help you make strategic business decisions to help your business grow.
Marketing Challenges Traditional cold-calling methods are inefficient, and simple marketing tactics like handing out your business card may only have a minimal impact on your business. When you’re learning how to run a cleaning business, you have to come up with creative strategies to market your cleaning business that are effective, efficient, and can help you stay ahead of competitors in the neighborhood.
With email marketing software, you can send custom marketing campaigns that include exclusive offers and discounts to promote your business. And the more personalized the better — according to a study done about email marketing, short, personalized emails (like birthday wishes) are opened 2.5 times more than any other promotional email. Sending out monthly newsletters is another great way to keep customers up to speed with your business. Before you start sending, take a look at the best practices for email marketing. It can help you determine the types of emails that best fit your business. Customer Retention Challenges Cleaning businesses are always looking for ways to acquire new customers, yet most forget to think about how to keep those customers coming back.
Buying a franchise
If starting from scratch seems daunting, consider buying a franchise in the cleaning industry. In domestic cleaning, franchise prices start from around £1,500 up to £17,000 for well-established national brands such as Molly Maid. In addition, you’ll need working capital in the region of £5,000 to £10,000. With a franchise you’re buying the rights to an established brand name. You may get training and advice in running the business along with access to an exclusive territory, branded uniforms and vehicles with logos. However, attracting customers will still be your responsibility.
Bryn Glover Editor As Editor of Startups, Bryn runs content strategy and our annual campaigns. A lover of small business, you can find him writing about exciting entrepreneurs and UK industry trends.
Residential cleaning, where you’re cleaning homes, is an easier business to get into than commercial cleaning. Large janitorial companies dominate the market that cleans office buildings and the like, and cleaning at this scale requires equipment and labour hours that demand a large starting budget.
A Business plan
Before you go any further, you should consider writing a business plan. This document helps you to build a sound foundation for your venture as you start and grow it. Within your plan you’ll conduct market research, build financial plans, and work out your marketing channels.
Your cleaning business can be insanely profitable, but it can also be a major flop unless you’re managing it strategically. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to run a cleaning business effectively and tactfully. We say tactfully because there are challenges when you first start a cleaning business. One way to make sure that you aren’t overwhelmed by these obstacles is to familiarize yourself with top challenges faced by other people who run cleaning businesses. If you understand common industry issues — and are ready for them — you’ll be better equipped to turn those issues into growth opportunities.
With so many cleaning companies to compete with, how can you retain customers and ensure repeat business? One way to minimize one-time customers is by getting cleaning contracts. Cleaning contracts guarantee work for your cleaning business, create a steady flow of revenue, and are a great way to build and maintain a customer relationship. Square offers free contract templates you can use to easily create cleaning contracts for your clients. Another way to improve customer retention when you’re learning how to run a cleaning business is to focus on loyalty building strategies. Customer loyalty programs are a great way to incentivize customers to use your cleaning services. Many cleaning businesses offer discounts—or even give out a free specialty cleaning—after a certain number of services are purchased. This encourages a client to spend on your services and not jump around from one competitor to another.
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