Q. How can I start a cleaning business when I have a full-time day job?
A. Granted, it is a challenge. However, there are ways to start your business part-time. You want to only quit the day job when your cleaning income has increased to equal what you make during the days. So, it can take longer to build the business to make a good living. One plus is that smaller accounts are normally cleaned once a week on the weekend. They may only bring in $200 to $400 a month, but several of them can add up. Pursuing small accounts in your local area is the best place to start.
Networking with others is also the soundest marketing strategy. Since you may not have a list of current business references, you can try this approach. Ask friends, neighbors and relatives to help you in getting bid opportunities. It isn’t about who you know, but who they know.
One incentive is to ask your contacts to help you obtain bidding opportunities, and then give them a gift certificate when you land the contract. A nice meal for two is a good gesture. By following this strategy, your circle of friends will vouch for your performance, integrity, and dedication to keeping the building clean. Their personal word of endorsement may carry a lot of weight, and convince the business owner to choose you.
Medium size offices can take a couple, two or three hours for a 2, 3, or 5 times a week clean. So that is also doable, and you can survive the extra hours, and still get up in the morning. Putting in long hours is sometimes the short term price of building your own successful cleaning business.
There are customers that are ok with you working days and cleaning at night. They feel you are extra ambitious. You can always return their phone calls during your breaks, lunch hour, and after work. Texting is also good for communications.
On a day off you can pass out marketing flyers (you will have 40 of them in our Janitorial Success program). Start with businesses closer to home. That way you can tell the contacts that you live just down the street.
Explain to your prospects that you are a local family business. They don’t have to call a corporate headquarters in another city or state, and put up with red-tape and long waits to get their needs met. Since you live in the area, all they need to do is pick up the phone and you will be there.
A lot of smaller accounts prefer a local business that gives personal attention. They might have been burned by large corporations promising everything and delivering little. To close the deal it helps to convince them that you are out to prove you are the best cleaning company in the area. By doing so, it builds your reputation and you gain referrals, and word of mouth advertising. And that is why you are motivated to do a better job. Convince the prospect they will be extremely satisfied with your service.
In summary, here are the steps to follow:
- First invest in the National Pro Clean Contractor Training program. You will have JanBid and Janitorial Success to ensure your bids are accurate and professional, and your marketing appears professional.
- Start small, near your home and set goals to land once a week cleaning accounts.
- Recruit friends, neighbors and relatives to help you obtain bid opportunities. Tell them you will buy them a nice gift certificate of appreciation when you land the contract.
- Don’t be afraid to let the prospect know you are a small, local, family business.
- Consider taking the Contractor Training Test and receive your Professional Cleaning Contractor Certification from our Pro Clean College. Your diploma will impress the prospect that you are qualified to provide the best service available.
- Use your spare time to pass out fliers and answer phone calls during the day.
- Assure the prospect you will do a better job because you are motivated to keep happy customers.
- Manage your business by using our Cleaning Managers Dashboard and inspect your cleaning quality by using our Q.C. Inspection Form to ensure you are doing a good job.
- Keep repeating steps 2-8 and you are on your way to success. You own your own company and call all of the shots. You can build it so a team of workers do the cleaning for you, and you manage their work.
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