What you need to set up your own janitorial cleaning services business

Starting up a cleaning business is not for everybody, it's hard work but it can be lucrative

Wray Brothers, whilst not start-up experts come into contact with many new and fledgling businesses, especially due to the work done in the past with the Prince’s Trust, which is where Wray Bros got its first helping-hand some thirty years ago.  Wray Bros believe to succeed in the janitorial industry you need to be driven, self-motivating and determined to work hard. Our tips will also help you understand exactly what you need to get started.

Help with setting up a janitorial cleaning business

Preparation prior to setting up your cleaning business

To start a cleaning services business makes sense if you have a positive attitude towards cleanliness. If you have a naturally hardworking attitude towards cleaning then you may be right for the industry. Of course it’s a lot more than that in the long run and you have to have a savvy business brain too as you need to be able to pitch for contracts with small and large businesses, councils and educational facilities.

Cleaning services may also be easily expandable. You may begin by simply providing cleaning services but can branch out into window cleaning, gardening and more – you could even move into house clearances. Understanding where you want your business to go and the five year plan you have in mind will go a long way to your success.

There are a number of paths your business could take or evolve into and the management skills and experience will differ from area to area. For instance starting off as a domestic cleaner it is very likely you will do most of the cleaning yourself, shuffling your time between doing the day-to-day work and finding new leads.  Most of this work would probably be undertaken between 9.00am – 5.00pm whilst your customers are at work.  Maybe as your business and reputation grows you could hire staff, when you will need 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 probably be less hands-on but a very good man-manger and good salesperson as you promote your business and attempt to find new opportunities.

Another alternative is to specialise in a certain aspect, for example carpet cleaning or graffiti removal.

You will find good customer relations skills are essential. Regardless of who you are pitching to the issue of trust will be key to their eventual decision. So, remember first impressions count.  Furthermore, good, robust administrative skills will make a difference to managing your customers’ expectations. Especially if juggling various appointments and site visits as no-one will remain too long with an unreliable supplier.    


Understanding the Cleaning Industry

Unlike many others the cleaning industry is actually still undergoing growth. Large corporate businesses in particular have taken the opportunity to outsource their cleaning services to guarantee a professional job is done and also avoid the recruitment process of their own cleaning staff which can waste valuable time. Hiring professionals on a contractual basis is much more preferable to many larger companies.

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 also 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. (more help with COSHH risk assessments)

Handy Tips - Starting up your own Cleaning Business

Starting up your business is the hardest bit and here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

Start small – it doesn’t make sense to tie up all your capital in equipment and chemicals before you’ve secured a few contracts. Keep things simple to begin with and ensure you have the time and capabilities for each job you take on.

Research suppliers – ensuring you source commercial-standard cleaning products and equipment is essential to keeping your business afloat. Buying your chemicals from the high street will end up 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. This shouldn’t be too excessive when compared to other businesses 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 when you do find success this will be perfectly possible.

Invest in Marketing – if you invest properly in marketing then others will find your business and the chances of success are much higher. You need to make your potential customers aware of who you are and what you do and then if they need you, they can find you.

Starting a business in the janitorial sector can be extremely fruitful if you have the right attitude and the dedication to make it so.  If you want help, advice on starting up on product selection Wray Bros, where possible, would be only too happy to lend a helping hand.

Further Reading:
Read our blog on why investing in employing a cleaning company makes sense