Starting an office cleaning business comes easy if you follow the tips in this guide. I hope you find them useful.
As long as economic activities thrive in a city, offices are bound to be in their thousands. When looking at it from the business side of things, this presents huge earning potentials to anyone willing to take the necessary steps.
We are talking about setting up an office cleaning business.
Starting an Office Cleaning Business as a Beginner
Offices need to be kept tidy. As such, this cleaning activity is usually outsourced to cleaning companies. You will want to take advantage of this by getting involved. So how do you begin? It’s the reason this article is written.
Here, you will find all the information you need to move forward with your office cleaning idea.
There’s a critical decision to make when it comes to establishing any cleaning business. You’ll need to decide whether to start from scratch or to buy an office cleaning business. These two models of businesses have their advantages as well as disadvantages. You only need to know what works best for you.
Starting from scratch means you’ll be involved at all stages of the business. Especially its early growth phase. Starting one from the beginning is much more difficult than say, buying an office cleaning franchise. We will shortly provide details on these.
Buying An Office Cleaning Franchise
There are established and successful office cleaning or commercial franchises for participation by interested entrepreneurs. These are big names that have been major participants in the cleaning industry. In other words, they have seen it all.
This type of cleaning business eliminates all the difficulties involved in the infant stages of setting up one from scratch.
The cleaning franchise sets the rules and you only need to operate by such. Although office cleaning franchises are much easier to operate, it doesn’t absolve you of responsibilities.
You need to put in a lot of work to ensure it succeeds. Nevertheless, this is easier because you are guided throughout your ownership period.
Some of the best known and most successful office cleaning (commercial) franchises include Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc., Stratus Building Solutions, CleanNet USA Inc and Bonus Building Care.
Others are Systems4, ServiceMaster Clean, Anago Cleaning Systems, BuildingStars Inc., and Steamatic Inc.
Solid Business Plan
Whatever your scale of operation is, you need a good business plan for your cleaning business. This is a necessity as it contains all the strategies to be implemented. These strategies are meant to bolster your business operations significantly.
Your plan should also contain detailed information on finances as well as sales projection among other things.
As a blueprint that must be carefully put together, you don’t need to write it yourself. Especially if you have limited knowledge on how to go about it. There are professionals or business consultants whose job it is to provide such services to businesses.
You only need to tell them what you need. Of course, this service will come at a fee.
An operational structure is essential to the smooth running of a business. There are different kinds, each having their unique advantages. The most common types of structures for an office cleaning business include sole proprietorships, partnerships, and LLCs.
You’ll need to look up their implications and what they mean for your cleaning business.
You must go for an operational structure that is much more favorable to your type of office cleaning business.
Naming Your Cleaning Business
One of the most crucial steps in starting an office cleaning business is giving it a name. Now there are basic things to consider when giving a name. The first is that it must be descriptive. Secondly, related words must be used creatively.
You must also avoid imitating your competitors, also, to keep it simple.
Additional tips to choosing the right name for your cleaning business includes choosing a scalable name. In other words, it should be broad enough to remain relevant after the business expands.
Your domain must be relatable to your domain name and lastly, such a name must be available for use.
To find out if it is (available) an online name search should be carried out. Most states have online databases of all registered business names. Some other states will require that you mail in a request for a mail search.
Find out what applies to your state and follow accordingly.
Get Registered and Obtain Permits
Depending on the state you live, registration requirements may differ. However, one thing is certain, and that is, the need to get registered and obtain necessary cleaning permits.
To register your office cleaning business, you’ll first need to approach your state’s business regulatory agency.
Your office cleaning business may be classified as a contractor. This will require obtaining additional permits. You’ll thus need to ask for further clarification. As a business with employees, you will need to obtain the Employee Identification Number (EIN). This number is issued by the IRS to businesses.
After obtaining the EIN, you’ll need to register with your state’s tax office. These are necessary for all office or commercial cleaning businesses.
Fix Your Rates
All commercial cleaning businesses must do this. You want to establish set parameters through which your cleaning rates will be fixed.
For instance, certain office cleaning jobs might be charged per square foot or hour. It all depends on what works best for you. For a better understanding of this, try finding out what the industry average is.
Another way to fix your cleaning rates is by calling office cleaning companies within your area to find out their quotes.
Different contract types may require different approaches. Long term office cleaning contract types may require calculating the number of visits with time spent.
Conditions can also influence pricing. Certain offices might be much easier to clean than others. All of these details need to be worked into your overall pricing structure to come up with something beneficial.
Discounts and Deals
This is part of the process when rates are being fixed. You need to stir up your clients by giving them a deal they won’t resist. This is used often as a marketing ploy to get increased patronage.
However, you need to set a limit to how low your rates will go. It is necessary because you don’t want to provide cleaning services at a loss.
Business Bank Account
Never make the mistake of merging your bank account with your business account. It doesn’t matter how small your business is. The advantages of account separation are several.
Firstly, your cleaning business’ financial records are much more organized. You can file taxes much more accurately.
Other benefits include being able to accept credit card payments. Cash payments only cleaning services have a limited client base. The last but not least includes adding a professional feel to your operations.
You also benefit from creating a beneficial relationship with the banks.
To be able to operate an office cleaning business, you must have insurance. Apart from the regulations requiring it, clients are turned off if you have no insurance coverage.
Cleaning is an activity that is likely to result in injuries or damage to property. Having this insurance coverage protects your business and workers.
It also adds a layer of assurance that your services are worth patronizing. There’s also worker’s compensation insurance coverage to obtain.
Bonded office cleaning businesses are given preference over those without it. So essentially, being bonded means that your client is covered whenever things go wrong such as thefts.
This is one of the highlights of starting an office cleaning business. Marketing is all about showcasing your cleaning services to your target market. Raising awareness about the type of cleaning service you offer will prompt potential clients to enter into a contract.
Cleaning marketing is achieved through several means.
The most common, yet effective include distributing flyers and business cards from office to office. Specially targeted ads can be designed to reach such businesses. These will include emails and cleaning proposals sent to such offices.
This calls for creativity as little or nothing can be achieved without it. You might want to seek the help of marketing professionals for this task.
Going for the best location can be the secret to getting high-value clients for a cleaning company.
An office cleaning business situated in a small town won’t be getting as much cleaning contracts as one located in a large city. The reasons are obvious. Large cities provide lots of client opportunities for cleaning businesses.
You might want to consider if your current or intended location suits your needs. If it doesn’t the best thing to do will be to relocate to a more favorable location. This might come at a higher cost but is worth it when done well.
Have Expansion Plans From Day 1
This is similar to having a definite growth plan. Starting an office cleaning business can be quite challenging at first. However, such challenges are surmounted eventually with perseverance and diligence. Not having a clear growth plan means your business will only drift with no real goal in sight.
This leads to its eventual decline.
These are the ways to start an office cleaning business. The whole process begins with a framework upon which the operations of the business are structured. The above steps form the needed framework.
Your drive and dedication will eventually pay off when you stick to implementing these strategies.