How to Start My Own Cleaning Business
In the perpetual search to find extra sources of income, starting your own business is the ideal way to make a great income on your terms. You are the boss, you set your hours, you set your rates, you set your own rules.
Starting your own cleaning business is a lucrative venture, when properly executed. You can start up with little to no money at all. Keep in mind the more you invest the more it will pay off. But, if you're hard up on cash, you don't need much money at all. You will, however need a more of a grass roots, organic marketing plan.
1) Decide on a name for your business. Down the line, you will want to get a business license and Tax ID number. For the beginning you will just want something catchy for people to remember, business cards and flyers.
2) Buy some business cards. Vista print offers 250 cards for $10. Pretty cheap, if you ask me. Basically business cards will be used to network, market, and just get your name around.
3) Make some flyers. The UPS store can print out 250 black and white flyers for about $20. You will want to pic some asthetically pleasing graphics and fonts. You want your branding to look friendly and professional.
4) Create a blog. This is free! You can buy a domain, of course, if you want it to sound a little more professional, but basically you want your business to be searchable. You will want to put your terms, hours, rates, etc. on your site. Be sure to include a phone number that you can be reached.
5) Create a facebook fan page. This is great if you attach it to your personal facebook, it spreads the word through people you know.
6) You may want to consider a prepaid phone just for your business. It sounds a little bit more professional with a voicemail saying your business name.
7) Get an email account. This can be a simple free account, or if you choose a domain name, you can get a more professional looking email.
8) Now that you have a few ways to be reached, you will want to make an organic effort to create business. If you are focusing more towards commercial business, you may want to take a few business cards and flyers and go business to business. This is a great way to put a face to your brand. Be professional and friendly. Ask to leave behind some business cards. If you are concentrating on real estate cleaning, such as move outs or foreclosures, most agents will want business cards anyways, not flyers.
9) Once you get your first call, be sure to get a few pieces of information. The more you know of what's expected of you, the more informed you can be when giving your rate. Keep in mind, most housekeepers will be paid around $15-$25 per hour. You can charge either per hour or per cleaning. Some prefer per cleaning, because they can set the exact routine of cleaning and charge extra for any additional cleaning the client may require. This is something to think about before you offer your services. You may also want to decide on this per customer.
-Get the client's square footage. If you're doing it per cleaning, keep in mind the more square footage=more elbow grease.
-Get the number of rooms and bathrooms.
-Be sure to schedule a walk through before committing to anything. You may not want to charge for something before you see how dirty it is. You may end up spending many hours more than you expected on the first contact.
-During you walk through take thorough notes. Note how many different rooms, windows, doors, floor types, the degree of cleaning required. Take any additional notes that will help you create a fair estimate to you and to your client.
10) The final step, before the actual clean, is to buy the cleaning products. I do not suggest buying things before seeing your client's property because you may not need a ton of cleaning products, and you may need more than you expected.
Be sure to be thorough and fast. Clean top to bottom, left to right. Be quiet, professional, quick, and I guarantee you will have more customers in no time. Don't forget to pat yourself on the back, you are officially a small business owner!