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How to be a True Professional in Your Cleaning Business

With the large number of cleaning businesses out there, how do you get your company to stand out? Being a professional in all aspects of your cleaning business will go a long way towards showing your customers and potential customers that you are serious about doing the best job that you can do

professional, cleaning business

Copyright 2006 The Janitorial Store

With the large number of cleaning businesses out there, how do you get your company to stand out? Being a professional in all aspects of your cleaning business will go a long way towards showing your customers and potential customers that you are serious about doing the best job that you can do. Do you have the background, knowledge and experience to become a professional? You bet! Doing the best job that you can do and having a professional attitude is what it takes to show your clients you go that extra step.

There are several factors that come to mind when you think of being a professional in the cleaning business: appearance, dependability, continuing education, pride in your work, treating customers and employees with respect and honesty, and abiding by general etiquette rules.

Appearance: As a cleaning contractor you most likely won't be wearing a suit and tie, but your appearance is still important and it can leave a lasting impression on people. While cleaning an account your clothes will no doubt become soiled; however, when meeting with clients you should always have a neat and clean appearance. Work shirts with your company name and logo also give you one more way to market your company. Besides your personal appearance, your equipment and company vehicle should be clean. After all, if your clients see that your equipment isn't clean, what faith will they have in your cleaning abilities?

Dependability: Your cleaning clients depend on you to provide timely services so their buildings are clean for their employees, customers and visitors. Your employees should show up on time and do the work as required. Whether it is just you or your cleaning staff, your clients are depending on you to not only clean, but to do so without breaking items or ruining carpet, flooring or furniture. If something does happen, you need to be a "professional" and let your customer know you will take care of the damages.

Continuing Education: There are constant improvements in chemicals, equipment and cleaning procedures. It is important to realize you can never "know everything", but be willing to spend a little time every week reading and learning what is new in the industry.

Pride in Your Work: No doubt some jobs will be easier than others, but putting 100% into every job, large and small, can set you apart from the other cleaning companies in your area. There is also nothing more satisfying to any professional than seeing a job well done.

Treating Customers and Employees with Respect: Cleaning customers can be easy to work for or extremely difficult and demanding. It is always easier to smile and say hello to a friendly face, but it is just as important to be friendly to those demanding customers.

Although you may have started your cleaning company as a one-person business, once you have employees on board, treat them as individuals and valued members of your team. Ask for their opinions and be open to their ideas. Make sure that your employees know what you expect of them and that they too are expected to act as professionals.

Honesty: Be honest with your clients about the services you provide and what those services cost. Stick by the guidelines set out in the agreements that you have with your clients. And don't be afraid to let a cleaning customer know there are services that you do not provide if you do not have the staff, equipment or knowledge to do a job properly.

Also abide by the following general etiquette guidelines:

* Leave your personal problems at home and your work problems at work - even if you work out of your home make sure there is a separation between the two.

* Avoid the use of foul language.

* Don't eat, smoke or drink on the job.

* Stay out of desk drawers and file cabinets and don't read loose papers that are left on desks and tables.

* Don't take any items from customers even if it something that they threw in the trash.

* Don't use a customer's phones unless you have permission to do so and then only in an emergency or if it is required for you (or your employees) to clock in and clock out.

Your cleaning company can stand out from the crowd by incorporating the above guidelines into its everyday routines and practices. A true professional is someone who takes pride in their work and is always willing to go that extra mile. Putting that little extra in to what you're doing will show your customers that you are the best one for the job!


How to Start a Cleaning Business on a Shoestring Budget

No matter where you live, there is always a need for cleaning services. After all, life is messy! By taking the right steps at the beginning, you can start your cleaning business with very low up-front costs, and, unlike many small businesses, you can actually clear a profit in your first year of operation!

how to start a cleaning business, shoestring budget

Copyright 2006 The Janitorial Store

No matter where you live, there is always a need for cleaning services. After all, life is messy! Commercial buildings of all types and sizes need to be cleaned daily, weekly, monthly, or somewhere in-between. By offering commercial cleaning services you can satisfy a need in your community and can build a profitable cleaning business at the same time. By taking the right steps at the beginning, you can start your cleaning business with very low up-front costs, and, unlike many small businesses, you can actually clear a profit in your first year of operation!

What are the advantages of starting a cleaning business as opposed to owning and operating another type of business?

* A successful cleaning business can easily be started by one person who does everything from billing to marketing to the actual cleaning. You can start the business part-time and keep a full-time job until the business grows and can support your lifestyle.

* You'll provide the cleaning services at the client's building, so more than likely clients will never go to your "place of business". Therefore, you can easily run a commercial cleaning business out of your home. A spare room or garage can hold your supplies and equipment, and you can use a spare bedroom or small corner of any room to do your paperwork. Working out of your home saves the cost of leasing or owning a building and you can write off part of your home mortgage and utilities as business expenses.

* You can start a cleaning business with only a small investment in supplies and equipment. As your business grows and you offer more services such as carpet cleaning or stripping floors, you can buy or lease equipment.

* When just starting out you will probably do most, if not all, of the work by yourself. If you need employees you can work with a temporary employment agency and avoid the challenging tasks of payroll and paying employment taxes, social security, unemployment, and worker's compensation.

* A cleaning business can start out as a sole proprietorship, which is the easiest and cheapest way to set up a business entity. As the business grows you can consider changing the structure to a corporation or limited liability corporation, which may require an attorney and an investment of several hundred dollars.

What steps are needed to not only start a cleaning business, but to make sure that it is a successful cleaning business?

* Begin by writing a business plan. This does not have to be a long document, but a three-to five page document that you prepare to help you focus and decide the basic parameters of your cleaning business. Include the following in your business plan: business name, location, geographic area you will serve, competition, business structure, marketing plan, accounting procedures and a cash flow spreadsheet. Remember, a business plan is to help get you focused - it is not a hard and fast document that outlines the day-to-day operations of how you will run your cleaning business.

* After deciding on a business name and business structure, it is important to decide on a particular "niche" for your cleaning business. Do you want to clean small office buildings, large office buildings, medical clinics, banks, new construction or government buildings? It is much easier to start with one particular niche and focus your marketing efforts on a select group, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

* When just starting out your cleaning business you can easily operate on a shoestring marketing budget. Avoid the expensive and often ineffective newspaper and radio ads. Market your cleaning services through networking (especially through your local chamber), cold calling (in-person and by telephone), talking to property managers, and watching for new buildings going up in your area.

* Once you decide to start a cleaning business, develop a relationship with a janitorial supplies distributor. Although it may seem like buying supplies through a distributor is more expensive than buying through a "big box retail store", there are many advantages in working with a distributor.

A distributor can teach you how to use supplies and equipment properly, which will save your cleaning business time and money. A distributor has knowledge of new products and can let you know when a cheaper product works just as well as a more expensive item. Through a distributor you will be able to buy concentrated and more effective cleaning chemicals. Knowing what chemicals to use and how to use them can directly affect your bottom line. This is advice you cannot get from a big box store! And besides giving advice and training, a janitorial supplies distributor may have leads and referrals that can lead to profitable cleaning accounts.

* Another important person to find right at the start of your cleaning business is an accountant. A good accountant does much more than figure out your taxes at the end of the year. He or she will provide financial advice and guidance throughout the year and help you make important financial decisions such as when to buy or lease a piece of equipment or whether you should rent office space. This will help to save you money.

Hard work, dedication and attention to detail will keep your cleaning business going. Taking the time to make plans for your cleaning business will help to ensure that your cleaning business is successful!


How To Start Your Own Residential Cleaning Business And Make Extra Money

With rising fuel costs it just seems like everything we buy on a daily basis is going up in price. For some people it's becoming hard to make ends meet and getting another job on the side to work for eight dollars an hour isn’t going to make a huge dent in anyone’s pocket book. An easy way to make extra income as your own side job or business is to pick up a few cleaning accounts.

cleaning supplies, cleaning information, janitorial supplies, janitorial distributor, vacuum cleaners, mop buckets

With rising fuel costs it just seems like everything we buy on a daily basis is going up in price. For some people it's becoming hard to make ends meet and getting another job on the side to work for eight dollars an hour isn’t going to make a huge dent in anyone’s pocket book. An easy way to make extra income as your own side job or business is to pick up a few cleaning jobs. There are two types of cleaning businesses, residential and commercial. Residential cleaning is becoming a sought after skill and for some a profession. In today’s busy world some people don't have time to clean and end up coming home to a messy house night after night. For some of these people who make a little more, paying you $50 dollars a day to clean their house is a good deal. To clean and organize a home on a cleaning schedule can take as little as 1 to 2 hours after a routine is set up. With just two residential cleaning accounts you could be making an extra $3000 dollars a month for 2 to 4 hours a day of light cleaning and organizing while being your own boss. You can start your own cleaning business for as little as $500 in tools and supplies and permits. There are a few things you need when starting your own cleaning business but following the right steps can save you a lot of hassle latter.

When you first start up a cleaning business you need to create a registered company in your state. Taking in income without paying taxes is illegal and people do get caught every year by cheating the IRS, play by the rules and you'll come out ahead. When you register your company make sure to list it as an LLC company to protect your current assets. By shielding yourself behind a limited liability company you are in fact protecting yourself from a lawsuit just in case something should happen at your cleaning account. Things that can happen at a cleaning account are you could be blamed if something turns up missing, a fire could start when you’re their cleaning or you could just be blamed for something that is not your fault. It costs around $100 to set up an LLC company in most states and its well worth the money should something happen. The next thing you need is to be insured and bonded. Being insured and bonded can protect you from mistakes that you might make like ruining someone’s counter top, or staining their new hardwood floor by the toilet with an acid bowl cleaner. Call around your local insurance companies and ask for quotes, make sure to let them know you're shopping around and the best price is needed.

The second thing you're going to need when starting a cleaning business are clients. Start small and don't get discouraged, this is the hardest part of starting your cleaning company. A great way to set up your cleaning plan is to make a list of the cleaning chores you do around your own home and type the list up neatly so you can present it to your clients as an ala carte cleaning menu that they can choose cleaning tasks from. Everyone is different and every client will expect extra detail in some cleaning task or another depending on how clean they like their house. Advertising is easier than most people think. The easiest way to advertise is to network and tell others about your cleaning company endeavors. It usually always works out that some body knows someone who is looking for a part time cleaner for their own home. Another good way to advertise is to run a small local ad in a weekly shopper newspaper or have magnetic signs made for your car, this can cost as little as $75 and is well worth the investment. If you have a computer which you should if you’re reading this article you can also print up simple flyers and hand them out in a middle to upper class neighbor hood in your town (check with local ordinances on handing out flyers before you do this).

After you have gotten yourself one or two clients it’s time to set a price. Meet with your clients and present the list of cleaning tasks you are willing to perform. Get a good idea of how large the area is that you are cleaning and how well they want the cleaning task done. Come up with a fair price and write down their cleaning expectations for each cleaning task you are to perform. Some examples of cleaning tasks are cleaning windows, cleaning surface areas, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping, cleaning toilets, cleaning bathtubs and showers. Keep it simple to start because you can always add cleaning duties at a later date for an extra fee. Keep a record of their cleaning expectations so you can reference it if they question a duty you are performing.

After you’ve got your client and your list of cleaning tasks you'll need some basic cleaning supplies. When running your own small cleaning business keep you’re cleaning supplies down to the basics. You'll probably need a vacuum cleaner, surface cleaners, cleaning towels, a mop, mop bucket, window squeegees and bathroom cleaning chemicals and utensils. Don't buy more than you need and check your cleaning duties list to see if you really need it. When you first start out buy a run of the mill vacuum cleaner that’s not fancy and will get the job done. You don't need a commercial vacuum at this time because your watching your investment money and a two motor upright vacuum cleaner with all the bells and whistles is just overkill. If you're unsure of what to buy don't be afraid to ask. Most cleaning supplies companies and janitorial distributors are more than willing to steer you in the right direction and it's alright to let them know you're on a tight budget.

Once you've got your cleaning supplies and you've set up a schedule with your clients it's time to go to work. With your first cleaning account you'll want to do an extra good job. Word can spread fast if you do a good job and more accounts could come your way quickly. The same goes for if you do a bad job, word can spread quickly and you could be out of business before you know it. Be honest and always keep good communication channels open between you and your client. When it's time to bill your client don't get fancy, a bill written out on paper is as good as one that has been professionally typed. If you do a great job cleaning your work will speak for itself and who knows you might be able to even quit your day job and work half as much while being your own boss.


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