The cleaning service industry has two primary market groups: consumer and commercial. The consumer arena mainly consists of house cleaning services, along with carpet cleaning, window cleaning and various other cleaning services that are needed less frequently. The commercial arena is dominated by cleaning services, which usually provide a wider range of services than maid services, along with other cleaning companies, such as carpet and window cleaning that target businesses rather than individual consumers. While it is recommended that you decide on a niche and concentrate on building a business that will serve your chosen market, it is entirely realistic to expect to be able to serve several markets successfully.
Before you jump into the cleaning business, it's important to look with 20/20 vision. Although technology has certainly had an impact on cleaning services, this is not a high-tech business. There is also no luxury for that. And there will be times when you will have many problems like Rodney Dangerfield getting respect.
But the upside is that you can build a very profitable business that will generate income very quickly. Most cleaning service businesses can be operated on either a part time or full time basis, either from home or from a commercial location. the flexibility that gives this industry a strong appeal for a variety of people with various goals.
Another positive aspect of this industry is that in each business category the niche market cleaners and operating styles vary greatly. Salt Lake City cleaning service owner Michael R. said, "We offer a variety of services for very limited clients. We have refined our customer base for groups that we feel we can serve in ways that will enable us to retain those customers permanently. "
This means you can build a company that suits your personal style and talent. If you like to do the work yourself, you can stay small and do it. If your skills are more administrative, you can build and manage a team to do the work. For people who like to work outside, opportunities in services such as window cleaning and washing pressure abound. residential maid services offer quite predictable hours; disaster restoration and cleaning can mean calls at all hours of the day or night.
Some industries offer this extraordinary variety of choices and opportunities, and general and niche cleaning needs are expected to increase in the future.
Do You Have What You Need?
The required qualifications depend, of course, on the type of cleaning service you decide to start. But for all types of business services, you need determination to make business work, willingness to please customers and dedication to provide thorough cleaning work.
Another important requirement for owners and employees of each type of cleaning service is honesty. "Clients must have total trust in the people who come to clean their homes," said Fenna O, who has a maid service in Orlando, Florida. This is important whether they are cleaning the bathroom every week or the carpet twice a year - or dust and office dust at night.
A DDD is perhaps the simplest business in terms of the cleaning skills needed. cleaning services, carpet business and other niche cleaning operations often require the use of special equipment and / or cleaning solutions for which you must be trained.
Beyond really being able to do work, cleaning service operators require some basic business skills. You need to understand the administrative requirements of running a company, you must be able to manage your time efficiently, and you must be able to build relationships with your employees and customers.
Franchise or Independent Operation?
That the franchise will work with you as you start your business and take it to the point where it runs smoothly and profitability is profit, especially at first. But you might find that after you become established and financially secure, a franchise agreement is a sever loss.
For people who want to have their own business but would rather choose an opportunity that has proven successful for many others rather than gambling on developing their own systems, franchising is the way to go. Also, most franchises provide a level of marketing support - specifically in the area of national advertising and name recognition - which is very difficult for individuals to match.
In the long run, you will probably invest far less money operating as an independent service than as part of a franchise. Also, as an independent, you are not bound to pre-determined formulas for concepts, names, services offered, etc. That's both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you can do things your way. The drawback is that you don't have guidelines to follow. Everything you do, from defining your market to cleaning the bathtub, is the result of trial and error. As an independent owner, you must research every aspect of the business, both before and during the life of your business, so that you will start right and adapt to changing markets.
Most of our cleaning service operators talk about personal savings used to start their businesses, then reinvest their initial profits to fund growth.
- What's inside
- Market target
- the place
Open Commercial Locations
Many industry veterans believe that to achieve authentic business growth, you must get out of the house and become a commercial facility. Of course, this will help you create a successful and professional image, but before you start shopping for an office, think carefully about what you will need.
Your office area must be large enough to have a small waiting room, work space for yourself and your administrative staff, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. You might also want to have room for clothes and maybe even a small work area where you can handle small equipment repairs. Depending on the size of your staff, consider allowing for small resting areas.
Regardless of the type of business cleaning you have, remember that the chances are slim that your customers will never come to your office. So look for a facility that meets operational needs and is in a fairly safe location, but doesn't pay for a prestigious address - it's just not feasible.
Because your work is done on your customer's site, vehicles are as important to your business as your office location. In fact, your vehicle is basically your company on wheels. They must be carefully chosen and well-maintained to serve adequately and represent you.
For maid services, an economy car or station wagon must be sufficient. You need enough space to store equipment and supplies, and to transport your cleaning team, but you will not usually haul around pieces of equipment large enough for a van or small truck.
You can provide vehicles or have employees use them themselves. If you provide a vehicle, paint your name, company logo and their telephone number. This advertises your business throughout the city. If your employees use their own car - which is very common with maid services - ask for proof that they have adequate insurance to cover them in the event of an accident. Also, make sure with your insurance agent that your own liability policy protects you in situations.
The type of vehicle you need for cleaning services depends on the size and type of equipment you use and the size and number of your crew. The economy of a car or station wagon can work if you do relatively light cleaning in a small office, but for most cleaning businesses, you are more likely to need a truck or van.
For carpet cleaning services, you will need a truck or van, whether new or used, for each service person and his equipment. A good used truck will cost around $ 10,000, while a new one will run from $ 18,000 up.
Do You Need Employees?
Consider the staffing startup's recommendations:
For Service Providers: Your initial staff needs will depend on how much capital you have, how much business you want to have, and the volume of customers you can expect for service. Many independent maid services start with just the owner. Others will start with the owner and the appropriate number of helpers. If you handle administrative tasks, you probably won't need to hire a support office right away.
For Janitorial Business: You might be able to start with no employees - or just one or two part time. If you have available capital and businesses are lined up, you may need to hire more. You might also want to consider administrative people handling notes and answering phones during the day; after all, if you work all night, you need to schedule time for sleep. As your business grows, consider marketing / sales, customer service managers, and crew supervisors as well as additional cleaning personnel.
For Carpet Cleaning Businesses: Depending on the strength of your pre-opening campaign and your startup budget, hire at least one person service and maybe two because you started, along with an experienced employee in administrative work who can book appointments and handle administrative tasks. Even though one person might be able to handle most of the residential work you will get, you might want to consider staffing each truck with two people: senior technicians and helpers. helpers can help with preparatory work for each job (unloading equipment, moving light furniture, etc.), chemical mixtures, empty buckets, cleaning afterwards, etc. This will make each job faster, more efficient and cost effective and also produces greater level of customer satisfaction.
During the early days of your operation, you have to go back and see the true cost of each job when it's finished to see how close your estimate is to reality. Learning how to accurately estimate labor and correctly calculate overhead costs will let you set a competitive price schedule and still produce the profit you need.
To arrive at a strong pricing structure for your particular operation, consider these three factors:
Labor and materials. Until you build records to use as a guide, you must estimate labor and material costs. Labor costs include the wages and welfare you pay for your employees. If you are even partially involved in carrying out the work, your labor costs, proportional to your input, must be included in the overall labor costs. Labor costs are usually stated as hourly rates.
On. This consists of all non-collaborative, indirect costs needed to run your business. The overhead rate is usually calculated as a percentage of labor and materials. If you have the burden of the last effort to guide you, finding the level of overhead is not difficult. Your total expenses for one year, not including labor and materials. Divide this number by the total labor and material costs to determine your level of overhead. When you start, you won't have past costs to guide you, so use figures that are accepted by industry averages. You can increase or decrease the number then according to the reality of your operation.
The advantage. This is, of course, the difference between what it costs you to provide a service and what you actually charge a customer. Draw your net profit to your estimates by applying a percentage of profit factors to the combined costs of labor and materials and overhead. The profit factor will be greater than the actual percentage of your gross income will end with your net profit. For example, if you plan to capture 38 percent before tax from your gross income, you will need to apply a profit factor of around 61.3 percent to labor and materials plus overhead to reach that target.
If you extend credit to your customers - and chances are you will if you have a company account or if you are in the cleaning business - you must establish and follow a sound billing procedure.
Billing coordinate system with your customer's debt procedure ‘. Bright asks what you can do to ensure fast payment; which might include confirming the correct billing address and figuring out what documentation might be needed to help customers determine invoice validity. Keep in mind that many large companies pay several types of invoices on certain days of the month; find out if your customers do that, and schedule invoices to arrive in time for the next payment cycle.
The invoice must clearly indicate the point where you have extended credit. Terms including the invoice date are due, any discount for initial payment and additional fees for late payment. It is also a good idea to specifically state the invoice date to be past because it avoids possible misunderstandings. If you will be charged a penalty for late payment, make sure the invoice states that it is a late payment or rebilling fee, not a financial fee.
Finally, use invoices as a marketing tool. Mentioning upcoming specials, new services or other information that can encourage customers to use more of your services. Add fliers or brochures to envelopes - even though the invoice will be for existing customers, you never know where your brochure will end.
Even though the total market for cleaning services is amazing, you have to decide on the specific niche you will target. If you want to do residential cleaning, do you want to clean private homes, condos and apartments, or empty rental units? If you start a cleaning business, will you focus on offices, retail operations or manufacturing facilities? And will you target small, medium or large customers? As a carpet cleaner, will you clean residential or commercial facilities - or both? And what services besides carpet shampooing will you provide?
After you decide on a niche market, then you have to look at the geographical area you want to serve. If you start a service, you want to be able to schedule a check in a way that keeps your travel time to a minimum. The same applies to carpet cleaners. cleaning crew who have to move from building to building have the same concerns.
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