Routine cleaning is an absolute must in every house, condominium, apartment, school, healthcare facility and commercial building. Dusting furniture, cleaning windows, vacuuming carpet, polishing floors, removing clutter/debris, and taking out the trash can help keep living spaces and workplaces clean, sanitary, inviting and, in many cases, safe. Moreover, clean spaces make people happy and less distracted. For business owners, this also means greater employee productivity.
These are just some of the many reasons why the cleaning services industry in the United States is expected to grow at an annual rate of 10% over the next five years. This incredible growth is being noticed by entrepreneurs throughout the country, many of whom are launching their own cleaning businesses. If you want to make some serious profits and are not afraid to get your hands dirty, owning a commercial or residential cleaning business might be for you. In this Balboa Capital blog post, we explain how to start a cleaning business.
Carve your niche.
One of the great things about running a small business in the cleaning services industry is that you can specialize in a particular area. For example, you can opt to run a residential cleaning business and build a network of homeowners who want their living spaces cleaned on a regular basis. Or, you can choose to have a commercial cleaning business and promote it to office buildings and retail establishments.
Lastly, there are more specialized cleaning business opportunities that involve a higher level of cleaning using advanced sanitation equipment. For example, medical offices, hospitals, medical labs, dental offices and outpatient centers each require deep cleaning on all high touch areas using state-of-the-art cleaning methods and PPE equipment. If you decide to go this route, you can set your cleaning business apart by completing advanced training and obtaining certifications relating to the healthcare industry.
Develop a cleaning service business plan.
After you decide on the type of cleaning business you want, it is time to write your business plan. This might sound like a daunting task, but it can be completed in a relatively quick manner if you are prepared. To help you get started, you can check out some of the many small business plan templates that are available online. Your business plan will provide a detailed description of your cleaning company; it will also include a mission statement, executive summary, business description, financial plan, marketing plan, and sales forecast.
Name your cleaning business.
A good business name is one that instantly conveys your industry and communicates what your brand stands for. It should also be catchy and memorable. Deciding on a name for your cleaning business can be difficult because many of the best names are already being used by other cleaning companies. The best approach is to write down all of your favorite business name ideas and show them to your friends and family members. Ask them which names resonate best and communicate what your business is about.
Once you have two or three favorites, visit the US Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure the names are available. It is also recommended that you check to make sure the names are not being used in your city or town as DBAs. Once you have picked the perfect name for your cleaning business, contact your county clerk’s office and register it. You can also trademark your business name for a nominal fee with the help of a business attorney or intellectual property attorney.
Fund your cleaning business.
When you start a cleaning services business, you will need funding for things like rent, business licenses, permits, legal assistance, business insurance, business cards, and marketing. You will also need money to cover the costs of cleaning equipment and supplies, as well as safety equipment. Purchasing a cleaning truck for your company and leasing commercial office space are two of the most expensive investments you will make.
Getting an SBA startup loan can be difficult if you do not meet their participating lenders’ borrowing requirements, but there are other options available. Consider an unsecured business loan, which typically does not require collateral or a high credit rating. The interest rates are higher than a traditional secured loan from a bank, but the application process is easy and funding is provided in just a few days. If you need to buy a new or used truck for your cleaning business, commercial truck financing is an excellent option. It lets you obtain a vehicle for predictable monthly payments that suit your budget.
Differentiate your cleaning business.
These days, just about everyone is “going green” and using safer, less toxic cleaning products. A recent survey indicates that 68% of consumers prefer to hire cleaning businesses that use environmentally friendly cleaning products. This is a great way to differentiate your business and appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious homeowners and business owners. Not only are safer products better for the environment, they keep you and your employees safe throughout the cleaning process.
Advertise your cleaning business.
Once your cleaning business is all set up, reality will hit. The phone will not ring because nobody knows that your business exists. That is where advertising comes into play. As mentioned earlier, your business plan should include a section that describes your marketing plan along with a budget for your advertising costs. Advertising is an investment in your cleaning services business, and the messaging needs to be in line with your marketing and growth goals.
Some of the most affordable strategies to begin with include signage, business cards, online business listings, customer review websites, social media, and advertisements in local mailers. If you have a website, that is an excellent way to gain exposure online and communicate your services and value proposition.
Follow up with your customers.
One of the most important things to do as a cleaning services business owner is to follow up with your customers and clients after the job has been completed. This shows them that you care about the quality of work you provide and value their feedback. In addition, their responses can help you uncover potential problems that you might not be aware of so you can prevent them from happening in the future. Research shows that 90% of customers will stay with a cleaning company that provides them with an experience that meets or exceeds their expectations, so give your customers a quick call or send them an email once the job is finished.