Commercial cleaning services have felt the pandemic crunch more than most. Among the first of the expenses to be trimmed when employees began working from home, the competition for new contracts has risen to a whole new level.
If you want to start up your own service now, keep these tips in mind to stay competitive.
1. Target a specific market
Many new start-ups fail for lack of a focused plan to find and acquire clients. Most insurance companies require an idea of your geographic radius of operations, but make sure to center yourself where there are lots of commercial buildings.
2. Second-hand equipment is cool
Successful commercial cleaners generally encourage a client to have 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.
With so many companies down-sizing, buying good quality used items like a 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 even some of your preferred cleaning solutions can be done on the cheap for a small company.
3. Accounting software
Most businesses require their commercial cleaners to invoice on a specific schedule, but may not necessarily pay right away. Be prepared for that by having great software (and a savvy bookkeeper to operate it!).
Also, make sure that it allows invoices and reminders go out by email, and 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 unintentional damage to an expensive computer system).
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. Finally, and arguably most importantly 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.
If you have bid the job very low and will be doing the work very quickly, be sure to know the areas which will be noticed the most by your client and keep them ship shape. 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.
Starting a business can be very tough, but staying in business is much harder. The competitive climate we are in right now means commercial cleaners have to work quickly AND with thoroughness.
Be sure to quote the right price for you and your quality work, and you will keep your clients longer with less headaches over price in the end.