As more and more people prefer to outsource their cleaning tasks, establishing a reliable cleaning service is an increasingly viable option for entrepreneurs wishing to start up their own business; particularly as it can be arranged with very low start-up costs.
If you think that the cleaning sector could be the business opportunity for you, here’s our 6 top tips for setting up a successful cleaning company.
1. Decide whether you want to purchase a franchise or create your own company
There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these options. Whether you choose to become a franchisee or to set up your own cleaning business will very much depend on your own personal preference, your business experience, and your personal financial situation. While franchises may offer you a ready-made business framework and ongoing support, there can be more potential for greater financial success if you are the sole owner of your company.
2. Plan your business before you start
You must get the basics of your business framework in place before you start. This doesn’t just relate to how you’re going to run your business and what kind of services you’re going to provide, but also refers to the legal aspects of setting up a business. As there are things like business registration, insurance, tax and licences to consider, you may want to get some professional advice before you start – especially if you plan to set up a partnership, a proprietary limited company or apply for your ABN.
3. Identify your core services
When you’re first starting out, resist the temptation to spread yourself too thinly and offer all kinds of different cleaning services. Many cleaning businesses start by concentrating on just one or two key areas, such as domestic house cleaning or carpet cleaning. By choosing to focus on just a couple of core services you’ll not only keep your set-up costs to a minimum, but it will also put you in a better position to refine the systems and processes that you’ve put in place.
As you gain more experience delivering your services, you can then begin to add on additional and complementary services. Perhaps you may want to add in oven cleans or exterior cleaning, or you may decide to specialise in one particular area and become the ‘go-to’ company for that service. People are usually willing to pay more for specialist services than for general ones, however you may need to invest more money in specialist equipment and training if you’re planning to offer niche services.
4. Invest in quality cleaning equipment and products
While it’s possible to start up a cleaning business with minimum outlay, it always makes sense to invest in high quality cleaning equipment and products, no matter what kind of cleaning services you are offering. Here at Alpha Clean we know and understand how important it is to have equipment that won’t let you down, as it makes any job significantly easier for you. No matter what kind of cleaning services you decide to offer, always remember that cleaning is a physical job that requires lots of energy, so having labour saving, quality equipment will go a long way to not only make the job easier, but ensuring that you always get a superior finish. Don’t be tempted to save money by purchasing low quality tools or products, as you’ll just end up spending longer at each job site in order to achieve the desired result, and you may even end up damaging your client’s’ property.
5. Have a marketing plan in place
One important factor to consider when developing a successful cleaning company is how you are going to make your company stand out from the crowd. What social media platforms will you use? Will you advertise on radio? Will you place ads in the local paper?
One way to ensure that you get repeat business and recommendations is to provide exceptional customer service by going above and beyond for your clients. Find ways to exceed the expectations of your customers, and you’ll gain a distinct advantage over your competitors. This could be by offering discounts off your next service, or by introducing some form of loyalty scheme. It could even be as simple as always turning up on time with a smile on your face.
Look at ways to build relationships with your clients and with other companies that may be willing to promote your services; for example, real estate agencies and property management companies may recommend you for end of tenancy cleans. And don’t forget the advantages of using social media to let existing and potential clients know about your services and any offers you may have.
6. Become a specialist
Most clients will choose to use a specialist company over a general cleaning company, especially when it comes to tasks such as oven cleaning, office cleaning or carpet cleaning. Choosing to specialise in a particular area and becoming proficient and experienced in that service is one way to enhance the success of your cleaning company. If you do choose to specialise, don’t be tempted to compromise on your prices, as you’ll ultimately reduce your profit margin and begin to feel that you’re working for very little money. People are always prepared to pay for quality, so charge a price that reflects the quality of your work.