If you're thinking about starting your own business from home, consider cleaning services. This year has been a year unlike any other - and cleanliness and sanitation is at the forefront of everyone's minds. Be it homes, school, offices, buildings, parks or other - the coronavirus pandemic has created a demand.
Whether it's been your long time dream or passion to start a company, or circumstantial that you are creating a business now - cleaning services is a fairly risk free business because it has lower up-front costs than other businesses, and doesn't require certifications or formal training. This means you can get going quickly on making a profit. What makes cleaning services successful is a great service, trustworthy work, and communicative customer relations. Here's how to begin:
Research your local competition:
To begin building your business, first do some research on what competition is in your region. Whether you're in a town or city - do you plan to walk or take a vehicle to get to jobs? How far will you go for business, how far are other businesses traveling? What are other services specializing in - commercial cleaning only, residential only? Are other companies touting organic cleaning products, or using Covid-19 guidelines set by the CDC? What do you need to incorporate into your company to stand out and compete smartly with other ventures?
Learn about Pricing Your Business: How Much is Your Time Worth?
Financing in the beginning:
Your upfront costs for a cleaning business are essentially the cost of cleaning supplies, equipment and products, insurance, business licenses and permits, and the funds you want to put towards advertising and marketing. Consider that your two ongoing major expenses will be supplies and transportation. Knowing this baseline cost will help you to budget accurately and set aside enough money.
To legalize your cleaning services business, you'll need to register your business and pay taxes. If you are creating it by yourself, set up a limited liability corporation (LLC) to separate your business and personal finances. Note that you'll need to distinguish yourself as either a consumer cleaning service in private homes, or a commercial cleaning service for work with state or corporate businesses. Additionally, if you are thinking to bring help on board, you'll want to utilize 1099 contracts for anyone who will make more than $600 annually.
The nitty gritty of registering a business is more cumbersome than it is a financial burden, but you will need to do it at some point.
Getting started with your business:
Once you have determined your offering and overhead costs, be it a speciality in wood care, carpet cleaning, eco-friendly products, pledging to hire a team on fair wages or whatever the path, it's now the exciting time to turn your plans into reality.
We recommend creating an online presence which can validate your professionalism and offering. Create your social media profiles, stand up a quick web-page with booking and business information, get a free business phone number through Google Voice, and utilize some low key customer management tools or email newsletter tools so you can manage communication with customers easily. It's important for inquiring customers to be able to find you online, and have your profiles match what they want and what you discuss with them. You can set up well designed and professional online profiles for free or low costs, and create free branding assets like logos, iconography, free fonts, and more.
The 30 Best Free or Low Cost Business Tools For Every Function
Given the pandemic, a lot of people are more sensitive to people coming to work in homes and offices. What guidelines do you intend to set for yourself and your team to relieve that stress? On the flip side, what will you enforce from the people who hire you so that they are also adhering to safety guidelines and keeping you and your team safe?
Think about how you want your service to be perceived and talked about. Do you want to be efficient and detail oriented? Do you want to be described as punctual, flexible, and kind? Think about the mission you want to align with, the reason you want customer's to work with you again, and build that into the way you speak, market, and advertise your business. Then of course, make sure that these are true and practiced values.
Get your first customers and offer referral incentives:
However you get your first customers, be it friends, families, or people within your network, the real key will be to get new customers and repeat clients. A lot of that can be done through word of mouth and less so because your business is being discovered online. In fact, cleaning services typically utilize an online presence to validate offerings and make scheduling easy, but a lot of new business discovery comes from referrals and references. That means a lot of getting new business rides on the quality service that you do, and how well your customers like you and the team you work with.
Guide to Getting New Customers: Advertising and Marketing
Invest in yourself:
As the months go on and you find yourself running a business, reflect on your business plan. Are the costs you initially set up for supplies, transportation and a team still allowing you to make a profit? How much weekly and monthly business are you doing, and do you need to do more or edit the schedules you're working with? Where can you invest money back into yourself to garner more business and new conversations? Additionally, as Covid-19 information changes and new guidelines come out about social distancing, infection rates, and transmission details, you will want to keep your customers abreast of this news and continue to ensure safety and sanitation for all.
Learn How to Improve Your Business
Cleaning services may seem like a simple service, but during a pandemic, everything comes with a caveat. It's a business that you can start at any time, even as a side hustle or project before turning it to full time.
Ready to get started? Here at