READER QUESTION: I’m New and Want to Start a Cleaning Business
This week’s reader question:
How are you? It was inspiring to read your story. I moved to the States from England recently – I reside in Massachussetts and am looking to start up a cleaning company.
Although I have no professional cleaning experience, I have always been a clean freak and enjoy it! And my cleaning is impeccable and I have also been told so on many occasions.
I feel I have the drive and determination to take it up professionally, though I have never had a business.
Just wondering what advice and help you could give to a newcomer who’s just starting out and wants to start a cleaning business.
Any advice would be most greatly appreciated!
Thank you for your time.
This Week’s Answer:
The fact that you enjoy cleaning and are a cleaning freak is an important step towards becoming successful in the cleaning industry, because let’s face it – 95% of people don’t enjoy cleaning and only do it because they have to. The rest of us or the 5% enjoy cleaning because we’re passionate about it, slightly nuts and total clean freaks. That’s why there’s such a demand for cleaning businesses – residential or commercial. Now that I’ve been in the cleaning business for over three years, everything has become second nature to me. Certain tasks that were once a chore, have now become easy and straight forward.
Are You Passionate About Cleaning?
Without passion you can’t succeed, whether you’re planning to start a cleaning business or any other business for that matter. Passion is what drives you, and on those really tough days it’s what makes you understand why you’re in the business in the first place. Far too many people start businesses without being passionate about the subject they’re starting the business within. They focus way too much on the green stuff (money), without much thought on why they’re about to get into the industry. Don’t become one of those people. Be honest with yourself, and asses your reason for wanting to get into the cleaning industry.
Cleaning Industry Has An Easy Entry Barrier
Gaining entry into the cleaning industry is relatively inexpensive and pretty easy. All it takes is your dedication, some home made flyers, cleaning materials and voila – you’re a small cleaning business. That’s why I’ve recommended to many people over time, that starting a cleaning business is a no brain-er. However, at the same time, it’s more about passion than the dollars. I started my cleaning business for under $200, and haven’t looked back since.
Research Before You Commit
I really think it’s important to do you research ahead of time before you commit to anything – especially starting a business. Read as much as possible, take notes, and ask a lot of questions. I’d also highly advise you to get together with an accountant, and see what your options are for taxes within your state or province. Maybe you’d like to incorporate your cleaning business and separate the personal and business taxes at the end of the year or maybe your accountant will recommend you stay small due to projected income you foresee earning.
Here’s a list of articles I’d recommend you read, as they’ll offer you some great insight:
You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on Marketing and promotional items in order to become successful. However, you will need to maintain a sense of professionalism in order for potential clients to take you more seriously. Start off with a logo and business cards. The reason why I emphasize on having a logo designed – your logo will brand your business. It automatically distinguishes you from the rest. Ask friends if they know of any graphic designers and see if you can negotiate a rate to have a custom logo designed for your new business.
The next step I recommend is to create business cards. Again, something that’s important to any business, especially when you pitch your service to potential clients, you can leave a business card with all your contact information. Two websites that create amazing business cards are MOO BUSINESS CARDS and JUKE BOX. For the slightly more budget conscious business cards, check out VISTA PRINT.
Finally, with your logo and business cards in hand, you’re ready to create flyers. For years now I’ve been creating my own flyer’s through Microsoft Word. I insert my logo on top of every flyer, and ensure that there’s a phone number where I could be easily reached.
Sales and Promotion
When I first started, I really didn’t know where to start promoting my business or my services. I think it took me almost three months to land my first client, but with a lot of dedication and perseverance I manged to land my first client. Please give yourself enough time as this is certainly not an overnight process. Be ready and open to talk to anyone and everyone about your business. Here’s what I’d recommend when you first start out:
- Have business cards ready to hand out at all times
- Let your friends, family members and acquaintances know that you have a business
- Send an email out to all your contacts introducing your business
- Develop a simple promotional flyer, and visit your local grocery stores and libraries to hang them in their FREE ad bulletin board
- Use websites such as KIJIJI and CRAIGSLIST to advertise your cleaning services
- Carry business cards with you at all times – in your purse, car and jackets
- Talk openly about your business – holding back doesn’t get you anywhere and nobody will ever find out about your services
- If you’re doing residential house cleaning, take a walk within your local neighbourhood and drop off flyer’s door-to-door
- If you’ve decided to get into commercial office cleaning, visit small businesses with your flyer and don’t forget to drop off a business card
Any beginning is difficult. Whether you’re starting a new relationship, job or business – there are certain challenges that you’ll need to overcome. Probably the biggest challenge any new business will face is drumming up new clientele. That being said, keep in mind that it’s all a time process. Establishing your business in the market and gaining sales takes time. Gaining new clientele certainly isn’t an overnight process. It’s very easy to get discouraged and give up, but if you give yourself enough time, stay determined and keep pushing forward, the results will be unbelievable and your income potential unlimited.