Getting started in the cleaning biz
It may seem like a daunting challenge to insert yourself into an industry and carve out your own little slice of “profit pie”. The cleaning industry, however, has plenty of pie to share! Want to test this theory before jumping in? Here’s a simple test: grab a phone book, or check yp.com for cleaning companies in your area. Chances are there will be a couple. But just a couple. Now, how many companies and residential homes are in your area? Many. I assure you there are far more than a few cleaning companies can handle.
The larger franchises command far more of the market than you may think. The cleaning industry in total is a $50 billion a year industry. And over 30% of this market share is owned by as little as 50 companies. Franchises mostly. Now, when you are just starting out it can take as little as a few contracts to be making a full-time income. Do you really think as large as this growing market is (over 4% growth a year), that anyone is going to miss a few offices out of their portfolio? Doubtful.
Speaking from my own experience, it was very easy to offer potential customers a level of service that the large franchises couldn’t. Their account would be cleaned by me, cared for by me and any problems would be taken care of immediately by… you guessed it, me. Within my first few months of starting my own cleaning business I had taken a couple contracts from these larger cleaning companies and my new customers were not only grateful, but my new cheerleaders. Offering a top-notch level of service to your first customers will guarantee a strong future reference, not to mention future referrals.
I’ve never had a potential customer ask for references, but I’m confident if they ever did, these first contracts would happily give a glowing recommendation. If you present yourself as a professional and give the impression that handling a new office is right in your wheelhouse, there will be little hesitation in handing over the keys to their building. On the other hand, if you give potential customers reason to believe that you have never taken care of an office’s cleaning needs before, they may be leery when it comes time to ask for their business. I will cover this in great detail in later posts. Asking the right questions can make you seem qualified and legitimate right off the bat.
So, to make a short story even shorter, there are PLENTY of opportunities for someone to get into the cleaning industry and PLENTY of money to go around. I promise you that when you first start off you are not going to be making waves that are going to upset the “franchise ship”. Offer customers the service and attention that the larger companies just won’t/can’t compete with. I know from my own experience, and the experience of friends and family that have started businesses with my help, that this principle is tried and true!