A cleaning business is a great idea for a low-cost startup that you can operate from home. While the task of setting the business up is pretty straightforward, it comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, since the business is relatively easier to set up, and requires negligible initial investment, the competition is tough. In Australia, the cleaning industry has seen a number of businesses sprouting in the past few years, and the industry has been dominated by small, locally owned cleaning businesses.
To be successful in this kind of competitive business environment, one has to have a clear and concise strategy in place. This includes knowing how you are going to position your business, and which niche will you be serving.
You can choose the niche of commercial cleaning services and cater to office spaces, schools, and other such organisations, or you can choose to cater other households in your area. Similarly, there are specialisations to choose from, like carpet cleaning, window cleaning and vehicle cleaning. Doing so would help you position your business as a specialised service, and help you stand apart from the competition. Here are five steps that you need to follow in order to setup a profitable cleaning business:
Step 1: Research
Research is the most indispensable task when it comes to starting any new project or business. A thorough market research will reveal hidden opportunities, and help you identify your niche. Research will also help you determine the feasibility of your business strategy.
For instance, if you are planning to serve residential properties in a certain area, research will reveal how inclined people in that area are, towards getting professional cleaning services. Think about it, without thorough research, you might end offering your services to people that cannot afford them.
Step 2: Budget
As mentioned earlier, the initial investment that is made for a cleaning business is negligible. In reality, it largely depends on the kind of business model you have. If you are thinking about starting with a franchise, the upfront costs are high. Moreover, starting with a franchise is not really a good option as it puts you in enormous amount of debt before even starting out.
If you decide to do everything on your own, and grow your business organically, the cost of startup totally depends on what you can afford. Even if you only have some cleaning supplies and nothing else, you can start sending quotes to households and commercial establishments. Similarly, if you can afford to spend a little more, you can get equipment that suits your need. For instance, if you are going to specialise in offering window cleaning service, invest in a water-fed window cleaning pole. Similarly, for carpet cleaning you will need a steam carpet cleaner.
Keep in mind that the investment does not end with the equipment. You will need a van to transport these to different locations. Thorough budgeting involved considering all the overhead costs that you will have to bear.
Step 3: Create and implement a marketing plan
The most challenging task for any small business is to build a good client list. For this, you will need a solid marketing plan, and will also need to allocate some budget to the marketing of your business. Traditional methods like giving out fliers and getting listed on local classified have still not lost their touch. If you want to take your marketing efforts a step further, you can consider online advertising over different search engines. Some forms of search engine marketing may work wonders for your business as they now allow some very specific targeting for your advertisements.
Keep in mind that your marketing efforts will only bring about one-time customers. Turning them into repeat business will depend on your ability to form good business relationships, and offering great service.
Starting a cleaning business might seem easier than it really is. Having said that, a cleaning business is extremely easy to operate, has some of the lowest overhead costs, and offers unmatched flexibility. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below.