Taking The Plunge

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by Tom Watson on February 14, 2010

Just like diving into the water for the first time, the first step is often the hardest. However the good news is that you have already made the first step on your way to owning a cleaning business.

You have begun the process of getting some of your homework done by performing a search online. Learning as much as possible from people who have walked in your shoes is vital to making good choices from day one.

As the owner of a successful cleaning operation for over ten years, I will share some thoughts on how the business works with the absolute beginner in mind. One of the very first choices you need to make is what type of customer do you want to service. The two main choices are…

Commercial customers and residential customers

Each option has it’s strengths and weaknesses concerning starting and operating the business. You can make a considerable amount of money with either type of company. I’ll share some quick thoughts on each type below.

Residential Cleaning Service

This is all about cleaning peoples houses. This option would be the quickest way to earn extra cash. It would probably be the cheapest option as well (in terms of start-up money needed). This work is done during the day, so if you already have a job it would be tough to start a residential cleaning service (unless you work second or overnight shift).

Payment is generally done at time of service, so most times there will be no wait to get paid. There are two ways to tackle starting a residential cleaning service.

Option # 1

Do the work yourself. This is popular because you keep all the money you earn. Another benefit is you have complete control over quality. When you do the work you will know a good job is done because you did it! The downside is that one person can only do so much work before quality suffers.

When you take on more than you can handle you will begin to rush to get done which will lead to complaints. So think through this option before jumping in. I would think that someone who is looking to supplement their earning in a part-time capacity would be a good fit for this. You could make more in half a day than many make at a full time job.

You could also do all the work yourself and go full time as your business gains more customers. You would need some good time management skills to make this option work but it is not impossible. The money to be made going full time is impressive. Remember this though, you will have to love cleaning to have a long term future when you do it all day every day. If you can handle it, then by all means go for it!

Option # 2

You hire others to do the work for you. This option allows you to eventually earn much more for you that you could ever earn as a one person operation. Imagine having an army of folks going out to clean for you. Over time a fortune would be made.

One downside is that you would have a certain amount of employee issues, which is all but unavoidable. In addition you would need to stay on top of the quality that each worker is producing. Neither is all that difficult, you just need to be disciplined.

Having a crew performing the work would also create it’s fair share of office duties (paper shuffling) than many would like. In this operation you will be the CEO. With it comes good pay and perks but also ultimate responsibility. If you think you can stay on top of the responsibilities (it is not all that hard), than this option may be for you.

Commercial Cleaning Service

This option involves cleaning various businesses and non profits. These can vary from doctors offices, church’s, fitness centers to large office complexes. The ability to earn money quickly is not as easily done in the commercial market. Though it is not impossible to add accounts quickly (we have done it many times), it is on the whole a longer process.

This is because they probably already have a cleaning provider who needs to be fired before you can move in to their place. That can be thirty days or more right there. Another issue is that many times your not dealing with  the ultimate decision maker. They may have to submit your bid to the their boss which slows down the process. Also they may need more than one bid, which adds a little more time to the process.

Even though the start-up process may be a little slower because of the issues we mentioned, this is no reason to be discouraged. The potential upside is limitless. The average income from a commercial customer dwarfs the average residential cleaning account (you will need less accounts to earn more money).

This is because in general you will be cleaning much more often. Most house cleaning are weekly or every other week service. You will also get a few that are monthly. But many offices (doctors for instance) are daily, which means twenty-two visits per month. More if they need service on Saturday or Sunday. The math does not lie, commercial cleaning accounts yield the best income.

Another benefit the commercial cleaning market provides is that the customer has no reason to cancel service on any given day. While the house cleaner struggles with a busy homeowner who wants to change her cleaning day at the last moment to another day (which may already be booked), the commercial customer has no reason to change. The commercial cleaning business also comes in the two flavors we talked about in the residential market.

Option # 1

Do the work yourself. This is a great way to earn extra cash and keep your headaches to a minimum. Because most work is in the evening, going after your regular job is a easy transition. Like we mentioned before, when you do the work you have complete control over job quality. You can keep it part-time or go all out and make it a full-time endeavor. The choice is yours.

Option # 2

Hire other to perform the work for you. Greater income potential makes this a popular choice. The sky is the limit and only your effort determines how much money can be earned. You will have some staff and paperwork issues like a residential service would. This option is for those looking to be the CEO instead of the contractor doing the work.

At the end of the day you will want to think through your choices and then make a decision of which type of business you want to start. If you have any questions just remember to stop by the contact page to get a hold of us if you need help. Hope you enjoyed today’s post about taking the plunge!

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our Cleaning 4 Profit RSS feed. If you are looking for a step by step blueprint that will show you how to start your own cleaning business, then check out my Cleaning Business Training Manuals. If you need a great website or would like to upgrade what you already have then you may want to take a look at my Cleaning Business Website Packages.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 H.P. June 10, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Great Info!!!

2 Tom Watson June 13, 2016 at 10:06 am

Hi HP! Thanks for commenting!

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