The portion of people in the world with the entrepreneurial spirit is relatively small, but this type of industrious person is in for a treat if they see their dream through to completion. There are many business archetypes out there that are available for you to try out, but many of them require significant investments of both time and money. However, there are also a few business models out there that require very little work or money up front to get started. One such business type is the humble house or office cleaning business that services relatively small establishments.
If you’re servicing regular sized homes and small workplace environments, you can easily fill a few evenings up with a handful of jobs that you can complete on your own or with minimal help. Whether you want this job to be full time, or just an evening job to help you save money, it’s a simple job that you can get started with relatively quickly. In addition to being simple to complete, cleaning jobs are often a relaxing and fulfilling way to spend your evenings or weekends. Although the jobs themselves are quite simple, most who are just getting started could use a few tips on building up their client base and starting the business initially.
Define Your Target Market
There are numerous kinds of establishments that are available for you to clean, and in order to help you reach the largest pool of clients it would be helpful to decide exactly what type of building you’d like to clean. The various types of establishments that need cleaners offer different pros and cons which are helpful to understand beforehand. At first, it may be easier to find work cleaning homes, but this will probably only work for you if you are free to work during the day. When cleaning residences, the homeowners are likely to want to have their homes free to themselves in the evenings, and thus usually prefer that you come to clean their home while they’re at work. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but the daytime is by far the most common for residential cleaning.
In contrast, cleaning banks or stores will usually require you to clean in the very early mornings or in the evening after the business establishment has closed. Although there are businesses who will require some light cleaning to be done during business hours, most of the other tasks would best be completed when there are no customers around. Vacuuming, mopping, and dusting are generally cleaning tasks that need to be performed either before or after the business’s operating hours.
With this in mind, it’s best to have a specific type of establishment in mind that you are equipped to clean. If you want to keep your day job, for example, you should probably target businesses rather than residential markets. It may even be helpful to define the specific types of businesses that you’re capable of cleaning as this can make it easier to land specific jobs. For example, you could mention on your business cards or websites that you specialize in bank cleaning if you want to target banks aspotential clients.
Offices generally require cleaning to happen both during business hours and after they close as some general clean-up is required during the day. Employees will, of course, be using the company’s restrooms, kitchen, and other facilities throughout the day, which means that they will get dirty. Trash receptacles will need to be emptied, kitchen equipment may need to be cleaned, and restrooms will need to stay stocked throughout the course of the work day. However, there’s also need for extensive cleaning after employees have left for the evening. What that means for you is that regardless of what your schedule allows, offices are an establishment that you could potentially target.
In addition, there are more specific types of cleaning jobs out there that pay better rates in some cases. For example, carpet cleaning and window washing require more skill and will also require specialized equipment. For those reasons, you may need additional capital to be able to start a specialized cleaning business, and you may need to have professional experience getting these jobs.
Determine Your Staffing and Supply Needs
Depending on the type of job that you’re hoping to bid for, you may or may not need additional staff. This should be something you carefully consider before you start bidding for jobs. If you hope to clean larger business establishments or do specialized cleaning jobs you may actually need a bit of help. It may be wise to start out with smaller establishments to find out how much you can do on your own, and then expand from that point.
If you haven’t had any experience cleaning professionally, you may have a hard time determining just what your supply costs are going to be. You may be able to contact other professionals in the business and simply ask them how much of a particular product they go through when cleaning an average sized office. This will help you to understand the costs when you actually go to purchase your supplies. Purchasing cleaning supplies online can help you to save some money, so be sure to look for great prices on supplies before you start purchasing them. Buying your supplies and equipment from your nearest grocery store is going to be very costly over time.
Pricing is a more significant decision and will affect the market you can reach, as well as the amount of money you actually make. It’s very important to factor in the costs of operating the business as you decide on your pricing strategy. You need to account for travel costs, equipment, chemicals, taxes, and staffing, as well as day to day operations. Even if you’re going to be running the business entirely on your own, remember that you need to be paid for the time that you spend acquiring clients and managing the business. In general, it will also cost you some money to acquire clients in the beginning, so this should also be factored into your pricing strategy. Pricing is extremely important here because you may end up with a job that will last for months or even years. If you price yourself too low, it’s going to be very difficult to negotiate a higher price later on.