Let’s be honest, starting a new business can be overwhelming. But once you start, you have set the ball in motion and you just need to take it step-by-step. If you are just doing some research into the different types of small businesses that you can start, then you will be happy to hear that a janitorial business is one that you can begin with a lower initial investment and you can even structure it to be a part-time business that you run before jumping all in and quitting your main day job.
People used to do most of the cleaning and household chores on their own. However, you may have noticed that life has become much more fast paced these days and people just don’t have the time to do the house cleaning than before. This opens up market space for the janitorial businesses.
Whether you are aiming to target business and public spaces or homes, use the following points to help you to set up your successful janitorial business.
Why Choose to Start a Janitorial Business?
According to statistics released by the IBIS, the janitorial market in the United States includes more than 900, 000 businesses with almost 2, 000, 000 employees. The janitorial market brings in annual revenues of over $50 billion.
What’s more, it is a fairly simple and inexpensive niche to get into. However, you will need to be patient as once you have all the below steps ticked off the list, it may take some time to build a loyal customer following. But once you have your long-term clients, you should find your business taking off.
How to get started?
Take a look at the following steps to get yourself started…
1. Make the Fundamental Decisions
You are starting a new business from the ground up, and this means that you need to lay your foundation. You can use janitorial software services to help you.
- You have already decided that you want to launch a janitorial business, now you need to decide whether or not you are going to further narrow down your niche, for example, carpet or window cleaning experts.
- Create a business model. Use free templates from the Business model Canvas to help you out. Remember, think of this business model as how your business is going to start bringing in profit.
- Think about your target market. Who are the people that are going to be using your service the most?
Now that you know what services you are going to offer and who you want to offer them to, it is time to move on to the next step.
2. Registering your New Business
Never skimp on the rules. If you do things right from the beginning, you will be eradicating potential future problems.
You also need to decide on your business structure. Do you want to register your business as a Sole Proprietor or as an LLC? If you are not sure, then do some research to help you understand how you should structure your business.
Once you have decided on what type of business you are going to register yourself as, you can actually register your business. Use this resource from the SMA (Small Business Administration) to find out how and where you can register your business.
3. Price your Services
One of the biggest mistakes that new business owners make is to price their services too low. Use these strategies to help you correctly price your services:
- Calculate the average time that you would spend cleaning at each place, in every room. Also, calculate the size of each room (square footage).
- Select a pricing model, price per square foot or hourly rate, and apply it to your rooms and/or time.
- Do not try to beat every one of your competitors’ rate. The main thing is to know your value and set your prices according to your value.
- Keep your pricing structure simple. Once you have an understanding of the value you are offering and the time it takes to clean certain spaces and/or sizes then you can start to charge flat rates.
4. Landing your First Clients
You are starting out new, so you may not know how to attract your first clients. It can help if you start to sell your services to people that you are already familiar with. In this way, you can break the ice and open the flow for new business to start coming in. Encourage your family and friends to write reviews and testimonials but remember that your time and service is valuable, so charge them accordingly.
After you have landed your first few clients, your business boat has sailed. The word is out, and others can begin hearing about your services. Couple this with your marketing campaign, and you should have a steady stream of clients within the first few months.
5. Start a Marketing Campaign
The first thing to do is to create pages on all the possible social media avenues where your clients may come looking for information about your business. Creating a Facebook page is a great way to communicate your brand identity and also interact with your clients at the same time.
Another great way to encourage marketing without spending cent is to encourage your clients to give your referrals and offer a rewards-based system.
6. Do it Yourself
When your business is in its infant stage, you need to be present and you need to be overseeing what kind of service you are offering.
Once your business starts to expand, you will begin to hire a team of employees that will be doing the cleaning. If you want to maintain authority and be sure that your team is working correctly, then you need to know the ins and outs of the business, and that means the first-hand experience.
7. Choose your Company Name
The most important factor when choosing a company name? Keeping it simple. You want your name to tell people who you are and what you do, not your whole life story. Choose a name that people will remember easily.
8. Choose a Uniform
A uniform is more than just a piece of clothing to wear, it is a way you can express your brand identity and also let your clients know that you are a professional service that they can trust- something that you will need to build as a new business. Check out these few tips when choosing a uniform:
- Your uniform should be more than just a T-Shirt with an iron-on decal.
- Put your company name and logo on the uniform.
- Make sure that the uniform is comfortable enough to wear all day while working.
9. Open your Business’s Bank Account
Open a business checking account at a bank that offers the best services for businesses or even at the bank you have used your whole life.
One of the most important things to do is to keep your personal expenses and money separate from your business. Even if you feel tempted to mix them, don’t! It is a mistake that can be costly and can take months to rectify.
10. Hire a Bookkeeper
While this may seem like an unnecessary expense in the first few months of your business, you will be grateful that you made this investment. New business owners are often so caught up in the outside factors, like customer interaction and the actual running of the physical business, that the books and numbers can be set aside for a ‘later day’ when you are ‘not so busy.’
Do yourself a favor and hire a professional bookkeeper from the start so that you can know that your books and numbers are all correct from the start and you can avoid problems further on down the road.
11. Consider Hiring a Lawyer
While this may seem like another outrageous expense too early, keep reading. You have done all the planning, all your papers are in order and you are slowly starting to get steady business. Now, imagine receiving a notice one day notifying you that in all of your attention to detail and planning, you did not realize that you violated the law.
It can be the smallest detail, it doesn’t matter- the fact is that this is likely to happen because you do not know all the intricacies of the law.
If this happens to you, you will be faced with the potential of lawsuits, headaches and the risk of losing your business. In which case you will have to hire a lawyer anyway.
Or, you could hire a lawyer in the initial stages of launching your business to ensure that you are law-abiding and if there are any changes that need to be made, you can make them before being handed a lawsuit or a fine.
While starting a business may seem difficult, the truth is that after the planning and implementation it is much easier than what comes next- maintaining the business. And not just maintaining the business, but ensuring that you deliver positive customer experiences on a consistent basis.
For any small business, the most important form of marketing is your clients’ positive service experiences that they can potentially share with others. So, remember- treat your customers well, as if it is an investment that you are making into your company’s future.