Looking for a life change? Want to be your own boss?
While these things are both appealing and terrifying, starting your own commercial cleaning venture doesn’t have to be. Check out our pro tips below to get started!
1. Figure out your market
Many new start-ups fail for lack of a focused plan to find and acquire clients. A good business plan should include an understanding of your target client, as well as a geographic radius of operations.
This will make both insurance and business loan applications much less intimidating and assure you will be able to smoothly move to the next step.
2. Build up an equipment pool
All successful commercial cleaners know that the ideal client has good quality tools in their office or business space, but that is rarely the reality. Having your own set of good quality tools will save you an enormous amount of time as well as headaches.
Owning at least one excellent vacuum cleaner (a strong suction wet\dry vac is an excellent choice), several types of mop (or one interchangeable handle with several choices of head for different surfaces), a pile of soft clean cloths, and some of your preferred cleaning solutions will make an excellent start for a small company.
3. Simple accounting software
Most new businesses need invoicing immediately, but may not necessarily invest in a package that allows them to keep track of their expenses and payroll. Having this in place at the beginning (and a savvy bookkeeper to operate it!) will make sure that first year goes much more smoothly.
Be sure to buy or use something that allows invoices and reminders to go out by email, but also has an app you can use to quote from your phone when you’re on the spot.
Even if your potential clients do not ask for this, it is as much for your protection as theirs. A good insurance policy will protect you if one of your team should happen to cause damage you can’t afford to fix yourself (think water damage from a spilled mop bucket to an expensive computer system, or an improperly stored chemical which makes people sick.)
Bonding also serves to protect your company in the event that something goes missing at the business, even if there is no evidence you are at fault.
5. A Salesperson
You may choose to be the face of your business yourself, but keep in mind that most commercial contracts are won from a pool of quotes. Making sure there is a friendly and open face in front of a potential client can really boost your success rate.
Having a good website with testimonials from past and present clients is helpful as well.
6. Last, but definitely not least, have a STANDARD
Inconsistency kills cleaning businesses. If the first month goes by without complaint and the bill is paid on time, assume the standard has been set.
Any calls from clients about missed items not only reflect badly on your business, but will loom large once the contract comes up for negotiation and can hurt your bottom line.