My friend asked, “How can I start my own cleaning business?” “A broom, a mop, and ambition,” I answered.
Flippant perhaps, but it was an honest reply. Small start up investment is one reason that a cleaning business works. Anyone can begin a cleaning business.
A successful business begins with three components: a need, a plan, and labor. Every demographic in the United States has a need for cleaning services. From single homes in rural areas to public housing in big cities, someone has to do the chores. Where people can afford it, they will pay for the service and where people can’t, landlords or local government will.
A business plan for a cleaning business should include where the service will be marketed, what types of services will be offered and pay schedules. Local government regulations must be followed. Do you need a business license? How will you be taxed? Do you need to pay workers compensation? There are many types of insurance besides liability. A window washing service will pay higher workers comp than a janitorial service. A high-end condominium cleaning service will pay more for theft coverage than a pressure washing service. All expenses must be incorporated into the business plan in order to make it feasible.
The labor pool varies from city to city, town to town. Some areas are seasonal, such as beach resort towns. Other areas have a steady supply of workers though turnover may be high. An employer must keep accurate records on every worker they hire. Social security numbers, drivers licenses, criminal background checks; all of these are a must in order for the employer to cover their own liability. Random drug tests, quality assurance inspections and weekly safety meetings are also solid practices to promote health and well being in the workplace.
How can I start my own cleaning business is a good question but the next must be – who will my clients be? Will you specialize in residential house cleaning, professional office, new construction, move in, move out, boat, RV, aircraft, auto, or janitorial. There are companies that focus on window washing, others on pressure washing, parking lots, churches, vacation rentals, hauling, organization, and butler and concierge services.
Property management is a whole other business paradigm. There are plenty of clients. A relatively inexpensive way to market is to create one page flyers listing the services you provide and knock on doors to hand them out. Some neighborhoods and businesses do not allow soliciting; mail outs and telemarketing may be the way to approach those prospects. There are also many social and business networking associations in every town and city that give a new businessperson ample opportunity to shake hands and pass out business cards.
Once you have started your cleaning business and it is running successfully, your options may include selling the business, or even franchising. A competent accountant and lawyer are essential to the growth of any small business. Cleaning companies account for millions of dollars of tax revenue per year in this country. Your local Small Business Administration is willing to work with you to. Continue to ask questions and ask for help. Your company could be the next great American success story.
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