When I started my first blog (Finance Fox) , I used it as an online journal to keep my self liable for getting out of debt. I knew the journey out of debt was going to be a long one, so I started with the basics of trimming my budget, putting more money towards my debt and even went cold turkey on shopping which you can read in my post called; It’s been 127 Days Since I Last Shopped.
Eventually the excitement towards debt freedom became tiring. And after months of sticking every last available penny towards my debt, I became exhausted and the road seemed longer than initially planned.
Something needed to be done. I wanted to eliminate my credit-card debt at a faster pace. And after weeks of pondering it, I picked up a part-time cleaning job at the local pharmacy. Fives days a week, two hours every night after working 9 hours in my full-time job. And it was worth it. The long hours and the extra money gave me the opportunity to dump more cash towards my debt, and 347 days later I became credit-card debt free.
This eventually motivated me and I started my own cleaning company called Father & Son Cleaning Services.
One of the biggest reasons for turning my part-time cleaning gig into a part-time cleaning business was due to;
- Low start up costs
- I already had one customer
- I ran it out of my home (invoicing and storage of supplies)
- Made easily an extra $500/month to start
The above four reasons were enough for me to start my own cleaning company, so without much hesitation I started it.
Low Start Up Costs
When I first started cleaning for the local pharmacy the agreement was that they’d supply all the supplies. All I had to do was show up each evening for 1-2 hours of cleaning.
After a few months of cleaning, they asked for some carpet cleaning to be done and windows washed on regular basis. We worked out a fair price and I did both on top of my regular cleaning.
I got a few extra cleaning supplies for the window cleaning and they cost me less than $40. The carpet cleaning machine I rented from my local Home Depot, and purchased the carpet cleaning solution to do the clean. The total for the supplies for carpet cleaning ran me $150.
Eventually I got around and got my logo designed for $80 and printed 1000 business cards for $75 (shipping included).
I went ahead and got liability insurance and a bond. This was kinda optional but not only does it protect me and my clients, it also helps me stand out from the crowd. Insurance and the bond cost me $65/month or $780 for the year.
My total start-up cost for my newly formed cleaning business was less than $1,000. And I didn’t have an issue forking the money out because I’d make it back in less than three months.
One of the best parts of doing cleaning part-time or owning a small cleaning business is flexibility. I control how much work I want to take on. I do the carpet cleaning, window cleaning and general cleaning around my schedule.
I don’t need to work a part-time sales commissioned job, which consists of standing around and if I don’t sell anything, I don’t get paid, but I still stood around for hours and had to be there.
Anytime I’m working, I’m actually making money. Not having a physical place of business also leads me to my next needed quality, running my business out of my home.
Home Business Space
Another amazing part of starting a small cleaning business is that you don’t need any fancy office space. I run my cleaning business out of my home. The second bedroom was converted into an office, which is where I do all my invoicing and customer contact. I’m also fortunate enough to have a large storage in my condo unit, which also happens to be the place where I store all my cleaning supplies and tools. Having a home office helps me keep the costs to a minimum, and therefore profits to a maximum.
My ultimate goal for this business is to eventually turn it into a 5+ employee business that brings in over $100K annually in sales. I realize that it will take time. If I charge $25 an hour and have costs of $15 an hour (payroll and overhead), then I would have $10 an hour profit. Which means I would have to work 10,000 hours per year. This works out to 192 hours per week, or 5 full time employees. Of course, these are very rough numbers, but it’s something definitely worth striving towards.