A cleaning business can be a lucrative business with an easy start-up process and low costs to launch. However, there are some things that these entrepreneurs should avoid at all costs when first getting started in order to have a booming business.
1) Having an unprofessional attitude. Our society has a strange view of janitorial work: we prize clean surroundings, but we view janitorial jobs as undesirable positions. Don’t let that strange stigma get into your head, or worse yet, your attitude. From the very start, have high standards and a positive attitude. Don’t ever get tempted to shirk the duties necessary to do a first-rate job, wherever you are. Some of your clients will be pickier than others, but get in the habit of doing your best work for every client. When you are ready to hire employees, make sure they embody these values as well – you can teach cleaning methods, but you typically can’t improve someone else’s attitude. This leads to lots of word-of-mouth business and clients that stay with you for the long run.
2) Engaging in a price war. It is tempting for people starting out in every business type to get some clients early by merely charging less than all of your competitors. This is problematic on a few levels.
First, your competition knows your market, and probably better than you do. If your competitors have been in business longer than a year, they have figured out how much cash flow they need to stay in business – they are unintentionally telling you the minimum rate you should charge.
Second, when you have too little cash coming in, you won’t be able to afford to take on new clients or do as high a quality job as you could with your existing clients. For example, if I have a full day’s work for myself at minimum wage pay, I can’t afford to take on more clients, because there are only so many hours in a day I can work. If I’m charging as much or more than my competitors, I can hire employees to take on more business.
So do battle with clients in the areas of quality and customer service, but never price.
3) Cutting corners on quality. It also gets tempting to oversimplify your cleaning business with this line of reasoning: if I spend less time cleaning each client, I can pack in more clients and make more money!
This is only true to a point. While working quickly does help you be efficient, it is only profitable if you aren’t shirking on quality. See how quickly you can do a high-quality job, and then pass that method on to your employees, once you have some.