What you need to set up your own janitorial cleaning services business
So you want to start a cleaning business but don't know where to begin? You've come to the right place!
Wray Bros works with many new cleaning businesses and though not experts in start-ups, we believe to succeed in the janitorial industry you need to be hard-working, self-motivated and have organisation. Hopefully, our tips will help you understand exactly what you need to get started with your own cleaning business!
Preparation prior to setting up your cleaning businessStarting a cleaning services business can work if you have a positive attitude towards cleanliness and you are naturally hardworking. You also need a savvy business brain too and be able to pitch for contracts with small and large businesses, councils and educational facilities.
Cleaning services can EXPAND; your simple service could branch out into window cleaning, gardening and even house clearances. Understanding what direction you want your business to go in with a five year plan will help with your success.
You may start off as a domestic cleaner so it is very likely you will do most of the cleaning yourself, splitting your time between day-to-day work and finding new leads. Most of this work would probably be undertaken between 9.00am and 5.00pm whilst your customers are at work. As your business and reputation grows you may need to hire more staff so you will have to develop your time-management and people skills.
Moving onto developing a commercial cleaning business will require managing a team of workers to clean a variety of businesses and offices. Your role and skill set will become less hands-on; having to be a good man-manger and salesperson as you promote your business and attempt to find new opportunities.
Another alternative is to specialise, for example: carpet cleaning or graffiti removal.
Good customer relations skills are essential! Regardless of who you are pitching to, trust will be key to their eventual decision. First impressions count and good administrative skills will make a difference to managing customer expectations especially if you are juggling various appointments.
Understanding the Cleaning IndustryUnlike other sectors, the cleaning industry is still growing. Large corporate businesses in particular often outsource their cleaning services to guarantee a professional job is done and to avoid an internal recruitment process which can waste valuable time. Hiring professionals on a contractual basis is much more preferable to many larger organisations.
When working with corporate businesses you will need to demonstrate your credibility with janitorial supplies, PPE industrial supplies used and awareness of health and safety matters.
Cleaning involves handling potentially harmful cleaning chemicals, so you will need to comply with acts such as the Chemicals Regulations 2002, Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Safety) Regulations, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Click here for help with COSHH Risk Assessments >
Handy Tips - Starting up your own Cleaning BusinessStart small – Don't tie up all your capital in equipment and chemicals before you’ve secured a few contracts; keep things simple and ensure you have the time and capabilities for every job.
Research suppliers – ensure you source commercial-standard cleaning products and equipment. Chemicals on the high street are expensive and you won’t be able to access the higher quality products that commercial clients will expect.
Maintenance Matters – ensure your business plan has factored in maintaining accounts once they’ve been won and managing all clients fairly and equally.
Have a Budget – with a little research you can estimate how much money you’ll need to spend initially to get setup, but factor in the cost of professional cleaning machines as well as your cleaning equipment supplies and items will need to be regularly restocked.
When working out your budget you should also factor in a portion of working capital to ensure your business survives. It may be some time before you can start paying yourself a wage but as you find more and more success this will become perfectly possible.
Invest in Marketing – if you invest properly in marketing then potential customers will find your business and the chances of success are much higher. You need to make people aware of who you are, what you do and how they can find you if you are needed.
Starting a business in the janitorial sector can be extremely fruitful if you have the right attitude and dedication to make it work. If you need any advice on product selection when you start up Wray Bros would be happy to help.
Further Reading: Why investing in employing a cleaning company makes sense >