The Entrepreneur's Hands-On Guide To Starting A Cleaning Business: A Step By Step Guide For Your Janitorial Start-Up

The Entrepreneur's Hands-On Guide To Starting A Cleaning Business: A Step By Step Guide For Your Janitorial Start-Up

Are you someone who loves to keep their homes spic and span? Are you really driven to keep your surroundings tidy? Well, in that case, starting your own cleaning company can be a great idea. Now, even before you jump to the conclusion of starting your own business, get one idea really clear- cleaning your own home and starting a professional cleaning service is not really the same thing. When your clients do pay you for the service, they expect spic and span homes with utmost meticulousness. So do you have what it takes to run your own business? Well, in case you do, here’s a complete guideline on how to start a cleaning business. As you read through the guidelines, you will get a complete idea about how to plan your business, obtain customers, license and supplies. Once you get this idea, you’ll know exactly how to start your own cleaning business.

Plan Things Out

When it comes to starting your very own cleaning business, the first thing that you should focus on is the type of business you’re looking to come up with. Take some time to decide whether you want a side business for generating some extra cash, or a completely full-time business that’ll require all your time and commitment. I’ve known many individuals who’ve successfully used house-cleaning as their side gig to earn some extra cash. So if you can’t really devote all your time and are looking to start something small but steady- a cleaning business can be a great idea. Try starting out with one or two clients every week and you can then eventually increase the number of clients, depending on the success of your venture. If you do plan to work with a side gig, try focusing on brief cleaning services that covers the basics like dusting, vacuuming and mopping.

However, if you plan to make this cleaning gig your full-time business; make sure it provides in-depth services. To put it simply, your company should provide a lot of extras besides the simple dusting and vacuuming. Some of these extras can be blind cleaning, curtain cleaning, window washing, window polishing, mold removal and so on. These additional tasks will require more time, so make sure the rate card reflects this.

Whether you’re running a part time business or a full time gig, make sure you have a clear idea of the time that’ll take for your entire task. This will assist you in understanding the job and its basics more easily. In either case, it is always better to have a standard set of services. This, on the other hand, will assist you in calculating the time more easily.

Get Your License

After you plan out the basics, it’s time to get the license for your business. Here, whether you need a cleaning business license or a regular business license will depend on the location of your business and the rules prescribed by your local and state government. In most cases, even before you get your business licensed, you might also need to get it bonded. Here, bond stands for the license bond. Although, not every state and local government has this specific requirement, your business should be licensed and bonded for landing certain specific contracts. But does one get their business licensed and bonded in the first place? The idea is simple- you have to start out by filing a doing business as’ license application with your local municipal government to open a bank account for your business. After this, go through the license and permits page for small businesses to check if your business actually’ requires a license to operate in that specific area. In case it does, file the required applications and send in the required fee to become a licensed cleaning company. Once your license is approved, you can operate without any more glitches. Also, when you do apply for the DBA license, you'll also be provided with an additional vendor’s license that’ll need you to collect the sales based tax from your clients.

For getting a bond, get in touch with the insurance companies for their license and surety bonds. Most of them reply to your applications within a couple of days. Here, you’ll either need the license and permit bond or the janitorial bond. The license and permit bond is for those individuals who have a license from their municipal government. These bonds ensure that the local government is sued if a particular area is affected by poor cleaning services. These bonds will protect the municipal government from potential lawsuits. The janitorial or the housekeeper surety bond, on the other hand, is designed to reimburse the clients who pay for a specific service they haven’t yet received. If your cleaning company fails to provide the services it promised, this contract bond reimburses the concerned client for the amount of money they’ve spent. These bonds not only secure contracts but also uplift your reputation among your potential clients.

A proper license and bond provides much more than basic financial coverage. This is a way of reassuring your client that you are indeed a professional, and that you will readily reimburse the required amount, in case you fail to deliver a specific service. Several clients want this specific reassurance, even before they sign a contract with your cleaning business. So once you get this done, it’ll help you build greater credibility and authenticity.

Getting Your Very First Clients

Probably the most difficult part of starting your own cleaning business, is obtaining your very first clients. But if you’re wondering how to start your own cleaning business, this is the very next step that you should be focusing on. Most of your clients will want to know since how long you’ve been operating for. They might also ask you for references. The best thing to do here is to be honest with your clients and let them know that you are indeed new to the business. But while you say this, don’t forget to reassure them that even if you’re new, you’ve properly researched on the different aspects of the business and are completely aware of what you are doing. Constantly reinstate the fact that you are completely capable of getting their homes cleaned according their specific requirements. Be really confident. Your clients would love the confidence you exhibit while discussing about your services. It’ll relive them from worrying and let them understand that their homes is indeed in good hands. But having said that, how do you even land clients, particularly when you have no experience in the business? Well, you needn’t worry about that because I’ve got you completely covered. Here’s what you have to do-

Get References-

One of the easiest ways to get your first few clients is by getting a couple of good references as you start out. You can always ask a couple of friends or family members for these initial references. Get their homes cleaned for free or at a great discount and ask them for references. The very idea of working for free might not seem interesting, but it’s totally worth your time, if you're looking to fetch in some solid testimonials. As you clean your first couple of homes, try to focus on the quality and not on how fast you can get the home or the property cleaned.

Cleaning a property efficiently takes a huge chunk of time. But as you start gaining experience, you’ll see that you’re able to clean both homes and commercial properties in a relatively shorter time. After you finally get the clean up done, make sure you double check every room. This will alert you if you accidentally missed out on something. When you manage to impress the first few clients, you will soon gain greater popularity with their testimonials.

Advertise About Your Services-

Another great way to generate more leads for your cleaning company is by simply advertising your business online. You can always choose a business cards, brochures or post card for this advertisement. If you're wondering if these cards are still going to have an effect in our incredibly in our digital media centric industry-wide let me tell you, that they'll always do. A good business card will help you in establishing a proper image among your potential clients while also offering you the type of visibility you always wanted.

Use The Local Paper For Advertisement-

You can also try running an ad in a local newspaper. Try to make sure this advertisement is eye catching enough to grab the attention of your potential clients. Make sure you don’t sell the services at cheap rates. If you are offering quality services, charge the right amount for it. Also, while you do come up with an advertisement make sure it is attractive enough. The cleaning industry is teeming with competition. So if you really want your ad to stand out, make sure you add some eye catching and interesting.

Come Up With Your Website-

Nowadays, everyone is incredibly busy and they hardly have the time to read papers. So if you're looking to go an edge ahead of your competitors, try coming up with a website. This website should list everything about the services you offer. Also try to make sure it is interactive and user friendly. According to an estimate almost 90% of the businesses ended up with greater traffic from their website if you're looking to mark your spot, make sure your website is appealing, intriguing and user friendly.

Use Facebook-

If you thought that Facebook is just another tool for communicating with friends and acquaintances- think again. This social media biggie is currently one of the best platforms to target new customers for your company. Yes! Facebook comes with a new targeting feature, where you can actually target your audience according to their location, gender, age and profession. Once you use this feature, it’ll automatically add more visibility to your business. Every time a Facebook user searches for cleaning companies in your area, they will get your company as the top search result. This will increase both the traffic and the profits of your business. So if you’re just starting out, this is one tweak that’ll never fail you.

Come Up With Referrals-

If you offer great bonuses to your existing clients along with a lucrative discount for the ones who avail your service for the first time- you’ll soon end up gaining way more popularity than you could ever think of. So conceptualize a great referral and grab all the traffic that you wanted to!

Get Your Commercial Cleaning Supplies

Whether you plan to clean homes, commercial properties or both- you will have to buy the necessary cleaning supplies. Here, a good idea would be to buy these supplies in more quantities, if you intend to work for commercial properties. This is primarily because most of the restrooms and lounges are way larger than the small rooms in houses.

Some of the most popular cleaning supplies that you’d need are mirror, floor, door and window cleaners. In addition to the cleaning sprays and other agents, you also need to have the necessary cleaning supplies. Some of the most popular commercial cleaning supplies are trash bags, liners for garbage cans, mopsspray bottlesdustersbucketstrucks and cartstoilet brushesragssqueegeesspongesair freshenerssoap dispensershand sanitizers, broomstissueswipes and so on. In case you plan to work on larger areas, consider buying bigger equipment like vacuum cleaner and carpet cleaner. Both of them are equally necessary for business and commercial properties.

You can also visit to check some of the biggest cleaning and janitor supplies. In most cases, you’ll need greater amount of time to figure out the exact amount of cleaning supplies that you’ll need. Once you gain the necessary experience, you’ll have a clear idea about how much you should be keeping on hand.

On A Concluding Note

Now that you know, how to start a cleaning business, brush up on the basics and get started with your business right away. If you follow all the guidelines mentioned here, you’ll soon end up making money. So what are you waiting for? Get started right away!

Recommended Reading: 
The Salesman Who Doesn't Sell by Brian J. Greenberg

5th Mar 2018

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