HOUSE CLEANING BUSINESS START UP
Mileah K Shore
The world is full of small business owners. There are people who want to make it on their own, be their own boss, and take charge of their own lives. What most people do not understand is that when they open their own business they have many bosses and we as business owners have to keep them happy. That is how we get more business. There are many businesses that are available to start up. I am here to discuss the house-cleaning business.
House-cleaning can be a tricky business to start-up. I realize that in theory it may sound easy enough but trust me, it is not. I clean houses to help pay the bills while I concentrate on improving my writing skills in order to get my "first big break" in the freelance writing world. I am doing OK with my cleaning jobs and below are my tips for becoming the most sought after "home helper" in your city.
1. Know your schedule: Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can clean four or five houses in one day. You will want to do the best possible job you can as word-of-mouth is the absolute fastest way to grow this business. Filling up your schedule with too many houses, no matter how much money you will make, will certainly lead to failure.
2. Know your clients: Take the time to get to know those that you are not already acquainted with. Be interested in their life but keep a safe distance. You really do not want to know too much. Be almost transparent with your own life as well. Make your new clients feel comfortable. Make them feel that they can trust you. I talk about my daughter and her sport and my clients love it. They cannot wait for me to share the next success story. Doing this will make you the big part of their family and they will look forward to seeing you.
3. Accept your duties: You will no doubt come up against some pretty filthy conditions and maybe some homes will be extremely cluttered. Whatever you do, do not panic. Do the best you can and while you are wading though that mess just envision the smiles of joy on their faces when they walk into their home and see the great job that you have done. Accept most challenges and look at them as opportunities. Doing so will ensure a great reference and make that word-of-mouth advertising work for you even more.
4. Be firm with payment schedule: Many clients will want you to wait for payment. This is fine if you have been cleaning this client's house for a little while. I would not suggest waiting for payment on the first visit. If they simply cannot do it, then on the next visit if the payment is not there then I would not go back. There are too many clients who are willing to pay for this service to waste my time on someone who is trying to rip me off.
5. Be somewhat flexible with your schedule: Let's face it, we got into this business in order to have a little freedom and to be our own boss. We want to work when our schedule suites us and most clients will accommodate your schedule. They are happy for the help. Sometimes you will have to bend a little to accommodate your clients and keep your schedule full.
6. Keep track of everything: Use a daily planner to schedule appointments, quotes and to keep track of business expenses such as mileage, cleaning supplies, advertise expenses and lunches. I used a palm pilot once and wound up with a total disaster. By accident, I plugged in the wrong charger to the palm and fried it. My whole business was in there including three new clients that I had not done yet. Needless to say, since I lost their number and address, I lost their business. "Hard copy everything" is now my motto.
7. Be selective: Do not jump into this business thinking that you can take on any home that comes along. I personally will not do a bachelor's home unless he will not be there. This leaves both parties open for some rather unusual and unsafe situations. My favorite homes to do are for the elderly. I get a sense that I am actually doing something for someone who cannot do it themselves. I also like to clean for people who are extremely busy. These people are the most grateful. The golden rule with accepting new clients in this business is "if your instinct is telling you NO, then go with the NO".
I would say that the most important thing to do in growing a house-cleaning business is to do everything better than the house-keeper they had before. You can advertise in newspapers or with fliers at first to get started. In order to get the really good clients all you need to do is a fabulous job with the clients you already have. You will soon find yourself with more clients than you know what to do with.