“Year End Questions” every new cleaning business owner should ask themselves

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by Suzanna Watson on December 29, 2013

We all want to have a profitable year, a happy year, a healthy year, and of course we want it to be the best year ever!

The question is… How are you going to make it happen? It certainly won’t happen by accident, so you need to prepare for it.

While everyone prepares a little differently I always like to prepare some questions for myself. I believe they help push me in the right direction as the new year approaches. Some of the questions I’ve asked myself over the years are below…

Where is my cleaning business going next year? This may sound simple but at some point you need to just be blunt with yourself. Do you plan on staying put or growing the business? That’s the “in your face” way of phrasing it in my book.

How do you expect this year to be for you? One word that comes to mind for me is… “Positive”. I will have a positive attitude! I will “positively” finish my projects! I will positively encourage my family, employees, to be the best that they can be! Lastly I will positively get my business in the best shape possible! I want my business to be as “fit” as it can be.

What are your goals for the new year? So many people don’t bother writing any goals down, which is sad because goals are your roadmap (they measure progress and or the lack of it). Ideally you should have a 30, 60, 90 day plan to go along with your long-term goals.

Keep your goals “where you can see them”

What words can you come up with as a compass to help you? Doing so will keep you focused and help make your goals become reality. Write them down and put them in a place where you see them everyday. You need to “face” those goals daily!

Also… If you have unfinished projects, put a date to finishing them. Nothing is more daunting than having unfinished projects laying around. And if you plan to advertise your business more then do it now, not at some distant time in the future. It will take some time to get that new business “on the books”.

Do you plan to get in shape? Everyone seems to around New Years! If so don’t say “I’m going to”. Instead say I will. Then put a date to it. Say I will be in shape by Memorial Day (or whatever date seems hard yet workable with effort). By being in physical shape it puts you in good mental shape as well.

What about financial shape? Personal skills too! You must work on them to keep your business going strong because they all tie in together in different ways. Now what about fun? Do you plan to have fun? Yes I said fun!

How do you have fun? This is a big part of the equation too. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy as the saying goes. And it seems to be true. So go out and have fun as that allows you to re-focus on the tasks at hand.

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 Courses. 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.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Raul Perez December 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm

i have been following your mails closely and recently got cut from my work so i guess this is the best time to start pushing my company but the problem is that i don’t know how 🙁 i have already post some fliers here and there and hand out some fliers and business cards but with no success, what i am doing wrong? any tip or advice please. i really need to make some money out of this project for my family and as you already know bills Don’t wait, i made my own website is not that professional if you want to take a look at it, i do carpet cleaning, pressure washing and general cleaning and one of my friends does stone works but we haven’t get any luck yet any advice? thank you for your time reading this e-mail and sharing some of you wisdom with a desperate men. God Bless you

2 Messias Carvalho December 30, 2013 at 12:22 am

That was a good article.I find that different people get motivated by differentways.Its difficult to keep motivation factors going in the right direction when road blocks or obstacles get in the way.But persistence is the key and staying focused on our goals is a daily routine.I have found that out the hard way.One goal I keep in plain view is……Are you selling,or are you quoting….. that pretty well sums it up.And its easy to get discouraged when the !!NO!! factor rears its ugly head…..Good luck to all in the new year

3 joyer webbe January 1, 2014 at 8:44 am

I have learn so from you and continue to read the information thank and happy new year

4 Tom Watson January 1, 2014 at 8:52 am

Hi Messias! Very good points. Roadblocks are everywhere at times, but we all must deal with them. Thanks for commenting!

5 Tom Watson January 1, 2014 at 8:55 am

Hi Raul! Flyers need to be good quality and in large numbers (handing out 20 or 30 won’t work, as it needs to be HUNDREDS or more regularly). If the website is not professional then it’s doing you no good, put it on the back burner and have one done professionally when you have the money. Feel free to call me and I’ll spend a few minutes to see what exactly it is you are doing and give some tips on correcting course.

6 Tom Watson January 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

Thanks Joyer! Happy New Year to you and your family too!

7 Kelle January 1, 2014 at 11:46 am

I am thinking about starting my own cleaning business, but not sure where to start. I live in Midland, Michigan and I am not sure if I need to be bonded, licensed, permitted, or insured. Also, I have been looking at the Michigan Business One Stop scenarios and it keeps asking me for an NAICS Code and I have no idea what it is or how to figure it out, I entered janitorial services and was answering the questions and it told that wasn’t it, then I used a different misc. one for dwellings and buildings and that wasn’t it. I am so confused right now. Can you advise me on what the NAICS Code is or if I even need one and also if I need to be bonded, licensed or insured?
Thank you in advance. And have a safe and happy new year.

8 T.Davis January 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Hey Tom,

I don’t know if you now or ever purchased email lists to target office managers as a form of marketing.If so,what company or online source could you recommend? Thanks for your continued support.

9 Tom Watson January 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Hi T. Davis! I never did email lists, so I can’t recommend any companies… I only did direct mail. If you do give it a try, let me know how it worked out, I would love to do a post or podcast on it.

10 Tom Watson January 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Hi Kelle! You probably don’t need to be bonded, but you do need to be insured. License of some kind is needed (you need to register the business via a DBA or some more formal method ie: LLC or similar). To register go to town hall and ask the clerk for info on how to proceed. Each area is different so I can’t give detailed instructions. NAICS code will probably be 561720 for a cleaning company.

11 Kelle January 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thank You Tom for the information.
I found out I will need insurance and to register my DBA and then sometime in the future if I do office building I will need to be bonded. I also want to say thanks for the NAIC Code. I will try it and see if it works.

Thank you again, Kelle

12 Tom Watson January 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

You are very welcome Kelle. Keep me posted as you move forward.

13 Brandon January 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Hi Mr. Watson,

Based off of your personal experience, would you do business with some of the national janitorial management companies that are looking to sub contract their accounts to local independent commercial cleaning companies?

14 Tom Watson January 3, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Hi Brandon! Me… NO! And I DO NOT recommend it either. There is no money in it for you… they keep the profit… YOU do the work (not a good deal!).

15 Brandon January 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Thank you! I received a voice messeage from one of those companies earlier today, and they basically wanted to know if I would be interested in working with them. Why do you suppose many independent cleaning companies are so eager to work with these management companies for very low profit margins?

16 Tom Watson January 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hi Brandon! Because they don’t know any better. Most people who do are new and for some reason can’t get business on their own, so they work for the big firms. Sadly, when you do this you make no money (you would be better off getting a job washing dishes in many cases). The big companies know they can always get some newbie to work for them, so they promise the stars yet don’t deliver.

17 Rosa Brown January 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Mr Watson:

I bought your commercial cleaning kit about 5 months ago, I Have decided to start the business this year, I registered the name, I got insurance quotes, and bank information on a business account, I’m in the process of getting a phone line, I will start the marketing material soon,
After reading your blogs and podcast, thank you for all the great information, starting with small accounts such as medical offices seem the best way to get started.
Should I also start with a website immediately ? Would that bring more chances of landing an account?
In your experience would you recommend to have that set, before making any flyers and business cards?

18 Tom Watson January 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Hi Rosa! Nice to hear from you. My advice usually goes like this… if you have the money, a website is a good idea. If you are on a shoe string budget, then let it wait until you get some customers under your belt. Whatever you decide to do will work out just fine!

19 Mark Schirmer March 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

We have done emails but not by buying a list. We worked with a local company that built up a substantial size list in our area. Sent out an email with a couple different cleaning service offers and voila, we ended up with a ton of business! About 15k emails went out.

20 Tom Watson March 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Mark!

21 Ron May 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Hi Tom! You really give great advice about the cleaning business and I am learning a lot from your imput. I started handing out flyers for my cleaning business but I could have made them a little more catching I think. What would a catchy flyer look like?

22 Tom Watson May 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Hi Ron! A VERY BIG HEADLINE is the most important. You need to GRAB their attention FAST or they are GONE. I normally just went with black and white printing because it’s much cheaper. If you wanted to add some PUNCH, you could add color, but that drives the price north.

So go with the big headline that ADDRESS a concern (Tired of DIRTY BATHROOMS?), then create a SHORT paragraph that explains how you SOLVE that issue. From there you just need to add some contact info in big bold letters.

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