If you want to know how to start a cleaning business there are a number of things to consider but the most important thing to remember is to target work that will add the most value to your business and remember we’re talking about value of the business not income.
If you were to buy a cleaning business would you be particular about what type of contracts the business had?
Think about these two businesses:
Cleaning business number 1 has 5 large contracts worth £100,000 per annum each. They’re all leisure establishments i.e. bowling alleys, nightclubs, bars and restaurants. They all require cleaning seven days per week including bank holidays and none of those clients allow the cleaners to have access by keys.
Cleaning business number 2 has 100 small contracts worth £5,000 per annum each. They’re all small carpeted offices and are only cleaned during weekdays. In the majority of cases the cleaners have keys.
OK, we’re looking at two extremes there but I’m sure you’ll agree that the second business would be the most attractive and would therefore be the cleaning business that you would be prepared to pay more money for.
In the case of cleaning business number 1, there are obvious problems with service delivery. Absenteeism would be high as staff will ‘go sick’ on Bank Holidays and at Christmas time. When this happens you can’t react as you should because you have no keys. Access times are rigid and you have no flexibility to provide a good service in situations like this. Unless of course you clean yourself and this is something that if you want to build a business you can’t afford to do. When a problem occurs in example number one you could lose the contract and, of course, you will lose 20% of your business!
In the case of business number two, the situation is much more comfortable. There will be less absenteeism as your employees have a little more flexibility with access by keys. And if they are off sick you can easily make alternative arrangements to cover the work. If you ever do lose a contract you will only lose 1% of your business!
Furthermore, this type of contract is easier to clean (and therefore much easier to staff).
So, the type of work we should be looking for is carpeted office cleaning, serviced on weekdays with access by keys. The value of each contract should be between £400 and £1500 per month. Anything higher than that and you will have to adjust your profit margins to win the business and I will explain later why we absolutely must not do this.
Selling a cleaning service is difficult, there’s no doubt about it, but you can sell consistently each and every day if you follow a few simple rules.
‘Cleaning’ is hardly a glamourous profession is it? It’s no fun to sell and it’s no fun to buy – after all, who wants to buy a cleaning contract?
There’s a product sold in this country by the millions every day. People pay good money for it, yet nobody wants it! Any ideas?
It’s a drill bit! Nobody wants a drill bit – they want the hole.
Nobody wants to buy an insurance policy, they want the security that it provides.
Equally, nobody wants to buy a cleaning contract – they want to buy a clean building, a nice working environment, respect from their employees etc. etc.
I call it ‘selling the sizzle – not the sausage’.
Don’t try and sell somebody a cleaning contract. Sell them a clean building – there’s a world of difference!
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