When people start a business they tend to have visions of landing super big accounts that “in and of themselves” make them wealthy.
While there are certainly plenty of large cleaning accounts to go after, there is nothing wrong with collecting a selection of smaller ones too.
Why you need small accounts in your portfolio
I’m a big fan of having a selection of both large and small accounts, and everything in-between as well. There’s a lot of reasons for this. The first one is large accounts tend to pay SLOW while small accounts tend to pay FAST.
By having a little bit of both in your cleaning portfolio you will probably avoid any cash flow issues when running your business. After all, if you only had BIG accounts and several paid you LATE, you would being going headfirst into a CASH-CRUNCH where money was tight. That would be NO FUN!
Another reason I like having a collection of accounts that are both large and small is because it protects you from GIANT SWINGS in your income. If you only had three big accounts and you lost one that will spell big trouble for you. You need to have a large foundation to minimize this in my opinion.
Small change adds up to BIG bucks
When I was new to the business I took whatever jobs came my way. I didn’t discriminate in any way shape or form. I still don’t, as you never know where that one tiny account may lead. Besides… all the small stuff collectively adds up to a nice pile of money over time. Some examples are below…
Interior Design retail store – High-end furnishings were stuffed into this tiny place from end to end making it a challenge to avoid breaking something, which we never did luckily. This account was only $260.00 per month for once per week service but the job only took two hours to clean. This worked out to $30 per hour for each visit. Yearly Income – $3,120.00
Frame and Moulding retail store – Countless frames and moldings used for framing pictures hung from the walls and displays located in the store. This twice per week account brought in just $320.00 per month but on the plus side it took but an hour (or less in most cases) to clean. This translated to $36.95 per hour worked! Yearly Income – $3,840.00
Machine Shop – Gritty industrial looking building is nothing to look at yet it’s a money-maker. Several offices, a long hallway and three small bathrooms bring in only $180.00 per month however this account is only cleaned every other week. This 1.5 hour job works out to $55.29 per hour. Yearly Income – $2,160.00
Accountants Office – Small condo style office has just three offices, one small bathroom, some cubicles and a tiny foyer. We clean it twice per week for $255.00 per month. We spend about one hour cleaning it (usually much less). This averages out to roughly $29.45 per hour worked. Yearly Income – $3,060
Town Library – Two small buildings right on “Main Street” sit side by side. One building was all children’s material while the other side was for the adults. The account brought in only $235.00 per month for a once per week cleaning of each building. At one hour of cleaning each, this worked out to $27.14 per hour. Yearly Income – $2,820.00
As you can see from the examples above there is some decent money to be had by collecting the accounts that many larger cleaning companies simply ignored. Collectively the accounts above total $15,000. That’s not too shabby in my opinion.
The final reason why I like collecting small accounts is because the “per dollar” amount you earn for cleaning far exceeds what you would get cleaning the larger corporate accounts where the competition is fierce. This is because when you market to where the competition doesn’t go, you get more leeway on pricing.
I know many of you have probably experienced similar results, so feel free to share them in the comments below to get the conversation started about how aiming for the lesser accounts actually gets you more per hour in most cases.
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