What does it take to build and as importantly run a successful cleaning company?
Marketing, selling and running your company is hard, hard, hard work. Did I mention it is hard work?
Why is it hard? Well firstly every Tom, Dick and Harry believes they can start a cleaning company with low cost/skill entry barriers being cited. This however is no longer true, sure back in the day when being uninsured, having no H&S or HR knowledge was ok this may have been true. Nowadays you better have all the essentials covered otherwise no client in their right mind should be taking you on even though you maybe able to offer lower costings due to lower overheads. This is just not going to work now, you need to be fully insured, you need to know all about H&S and be fully compliant with contract employment law & you better make sure you meet all the statutory requirements or you will get burned and if you do get some clients by some miracle without everything in place they may well get burned as a 3rd party employer.
Ok, you’ve now got everything in place, what next? Well you need to get the best cleaners out there and make sure you train them well and keep monitoring them continually. Get your systems in place, who is going to cover cleaner A when they take a sick day, whose is going to step in and do the same great job as cleaner B when they go on holiday?
Running a cleaning company means being unbelievably well organised, if you start becoming successful, for a large part you will operating with the number of employees of a large company but with the resources of a small company, so make sure your systems are watertight from the start.
Marketing and sales come next, where do you get you get the budget for this from? What budget? You need to learn to become a great ad person and know how to promote and sell your brand.
So now your day is looking pretty busy, employing the best cleaners, making sure all your bases are covered, sorting out your marketing and trying to generate sales – when do you get some sleep?
Before you think about that, you better brush up your accounting skills, any successful company is built on a solid foundation of sound accounting and you need to understand and learn these quickly. You cannot run a good cleaning company without these, period. You need to know how much to charge to be competitive – and trust me it is a lot lower than you think will be possible, but you cannot do this unless you know how much your overheads and staffing costs will be or what your cash flow is like.
Once you’ve got the accounting down and good solid accounting principles & you have started picking up some clients, all is going ticktey boo right? Wrong, many businesses will see you as nice access to free credit, they will use your service (and it better be great btw) and then pass your invoice onto the accounts dept where it will sit until you go broke. You need to get into the dreadful world of credit control, chase, chase, chase until you get paid.
Now you’ve got a nice solid cleaning business up and running, what now? Well customer service, you have to now more than ever deliver amazing customer support. This is vital, because despite of all the barriers listed above the cleaning industry in ferociously competitive, and if you do not deliver brillant customer support clients will simply up and leave. Delivering great customer support cannot be underestimated, from when they first get in touch to when dealing with an invoice query it is all about delivering a great service.
If you can do the above, and with some luck and experience you may well be on the way to running a successful cleaning company.