In these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has been shaken up, leaving many people perched on the edge of a financial abyss. Savvy entrepreneurs are having to pivot their investment strategies, injecting their money into niches and industries that are more likely to ride out the economic turmoil.
For potential entrepreneurs with a relatively small pool of capital, there are a few industries that are worth taking a punt on. One of these is the cleaning industry.
Be it commercial or domestic cleaning, entry into this sector isn’t as capital intensive as other industries would be. However, this doesn’t mean that success is a sure thing in this area. You have to know what you’re doing and be able to navigate the various hurdles you’re likely to encounter.
In this piece, we examine some actionable tips you can implement to get your cleaning business off the ground.
How to kickstart your cleaning business
As an up-and-coming entrepreneur, partaking in the cleaning sector is a great way to test your business acumen.
Here is a handful of ways you can get the ball rolling.
Acquiring capital to invest in the business
The COVID-19 scourge sweeping across the globe has put many individuals and small businesses in a precarious financial situation. Before this, you could walk into a bank and more than likely walk out having secured a business loan.
However, in this financial climate, financiers are more reluctant to part with funds. They are skeptical about the success of small businesses in these trying times. This is why it’s absolutely critical to make sure you prepare a thoroughly detailed and convincing business proposal.
Make a budget
Once you have acquired financing to start the cleaning business, you need to create a budget. This ensures that you allocated funds to the areas that will build the business.
These are the items you should include in the budget:
- Licenses and permits
- Equipment and cleaning products
- Transport to premises and sites
Additionally, if you have enough funds, you can apportion an amount to marketing. You won’t get contracts if no one knows that you’re offering the service.
Since many people are indoors due to the pandemic, many of them are glued to their mobile devices. It’s, therefore, a good idea to leverage the power of social media. You can get the word out via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Research the industry
It wouldn’t do to just jump in with both feet without assessing the lay of the land. Researching the industry gives you an idea of how things work and what exactly you’ll be dealing with.
Checking out the industry will reveal the standards that your future clients expect from your cleaning activities. With research, you also uncover the average costs of operation as well as what other players are charging.
Additionally, you get to note how your potential competitors run their outfits. This enables you to find areas you can improve to get a leg up on them.
Choose your market and specialty
The cleaning sector is made up of two main arms; residential and commercial cleaning. It can be a big undertaking to tackle both kinds of cleaning from the outset.
As a new company, you need to focus on one element of cleaning and perfect it before you can decide to branch out and partake in other aspects of the cleaning business. This slow but sure approach enables you to master all aspects of the business so that you can apply them with more expertise when expanding the business further down the line.
If you choose residential cleaning, master how to clean the various aspects of the home. This ranges from bathrooms, living rooms as well as outside areas like gutters and trenches.
On the commercial cleaning side of things, you can choose to focus on one aspect. It could be the interior or just cleaning the glass facades of office blocks.
Be hands-on in the initial stages
Once you have zeroed in on the specialty and niche, you need to make sure that you keep an eye on the day-to-day running of the business. This means that you have to be on site at each of the cleaning gigs.
This adds a personal touch, endearing new clients to you. As the proprietor of the new business, the clients will be glad that you hold them in such high esteem to personally appear on the site to clean. Not only does this impress them but it might also cause them to show their appreciation by passing on your company’s contact to friends and colleagues.
This personal approach also ensures that other employees – if you have any – maintain the standards required.
However, be careful when you and your employees go out to a site. You need to don personal protective equipment so that you don’t contract the novel coronavirus. On the flip side, the client might also require you to do so to prevent you from inadvertently spreading the virus to them.
Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance web content writer and Content Solutions Provider (CSP) focusing on business reporting, HR management, IT and digital marketing.