How to start a home, house, office cleaning service
How to start a home house office cleaning service:
Choose a niche
The first thing you want to do is pick an area of specialization. Cleaning services are quite broad as a niche.
You can decide to focus on industrial cleaning, regular house cleaning, drainage cleaning, specialized roof cleaning, real estate cleaning, post-building/construction cleaning (cleaning newly built houses), there are quite many, So pick one and stick with it.
You can also combine all the niches under one umbrella but as a beginner, this might not be the best.
You need the focus and specialization before you can gather the ability and confidence to launch out into other areas.
Get the skills
Cleaning your home and professional home cleaning services are quite different things. In fact, the difference is like traveling from Lagos to Abuja on foot.
When you start a cleaning services business, people expect a degree of professionalism from you. When people hire you, they expect to come back and meet the place spotless.
This takes more skill than just being able to sweep your house. So take some time and get the skills.
A good way to get the skill is to intern for an existing cleaning services company. If none exists, then you can use your network and offer to work for your family/friends for free or at a substantial discount.
They already know you and they know you are just starting out. They will be more willing to review your work and even serve as references for future work.
You need to be physically fit
Cleaning services is a physically demanding job.
You will bend this way and that way; you will twist and turn and climb.
More importantly, you will be working in dirty, mostly dusty, areas. Ensure you are physically fit for this. If you have health conditions like allergies, asthma, or respiratory disease, this is probably not the best area of work for you.
You will be putting yourself in harm’s way if you start this business without adequate considerations for your health.
The cleaning business carries its own risks, especially home cleaning services. You don’t want to have a legal suit against you for missing property.
If you will be working in an already inhabited home, take inventory.
Make sure there’s a record of everything before and after your work in that home. If possible, get a police clearance.
Also, get some insurance to cover damages and such.
Buy home cleaning equipment
Since different jobs will need different equipment, it would be difficult to expect and buy everything you will need. But you need some basic home cleaning equipment to start with. You can purchase other things when the needs arise.
Some basic equipment you will need are listed below:
Water (lots of water)
Brooms (long, short, hard, and soft)
Buckets of various sizes
Brushes (same as brooms)
Window trigger spray mop (For windows where your hands can’t reach)
Liquid soap and detergent
Cover all, safety boots, nose mask, hand gloves, helmet (if you need to climb)
Vacuum cleaner, etc.
As much as possible, unless they are not available, use natural cleaning products instead of chemicals.
You will get more jobs if people know you use organic products instead of chemicals.
Again, do not use chemicals on your client’s furniture. Only use chemicals for the floor tiles.
Getting your first client
Your first client is always the most difficult.
This is because people will want to know your experience and references (to make sure you are not a thief, lol).
This makes it harder to land your first job. As I said before, leverage on people you already know and offer to work for them. The cleaning services business flourishes with word of mouth referrals. So start with people you already know and have them give you reviews and spread the word about your service
Other ways to market your services include:
Invest in a webs
Use social media to your advantage, Create a Facebook page, complete with your professional brand name, logo, and everything.
Invest in building a reliable brand (professional logo, tagline, business name, etc)
Produce flyers and posters for offline marketing
Visit building construction sites and introduce yourself
Announce yourself in your social and religious gatherings
Brand your car and invest in branding other public transport vehicles
Generally, use your marketing creativity.
What to charge
What you charge will vary with different jobs
If you have the chance to meet other home cleaning services, try and find out from them the going rates for different assignments. You will set your own competitive prices, of course, but it helps to have such information.
Never undervalue yourself, Because you are starting out, you might be tempted to charge for only yourself and increase your charges when you hire more staff.
This might not be a good idea. Charge as if you are already employing workers.
Expand when business increases
You can start with outsourcing jobs to freelancers, menial workers, and anyone who would work on a contractual basis.
When business increases, you will do well to invest in an office space and employ more regular workers.
Employing regular workers ensures you work with only people you trust.