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Posts Tagged ‘cleaning business plan’

How to Balance Building the Cleaning Company of Your Dreams and Still Working Full Time

How do I work full time and build my cleaning company?

The answer is to find your niche.

What I see far too often is people getting caught up in finding their perfect niche. Look at different businesses that are in a twenty mile radius from you and choose your niche based off of these specifics:

Find a niche that has lots of pain.
Make sure that niche has money to pay you.
Ensure that there is a high number of businesses like that near you.

RESOURCE ALERT: How To Appeal To Your Cleaning Niche

Being an expert on one niche’s cleaning needs means that you aren’t wasting time changing your marketing strategy to include every type of company. This cuts down on the amount of time that it takes you to create your marketing strategy and tells you exactly where to market your company.

Find your niche and then create a customized solution for their pains.

Now, time for the lightning round!

Lightning Round:

Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?
Keep it simple.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?
Waiting too long. If you want to go for something, go for it.

What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
You can get started today.

Getting Your Cleaning Company from Zero to Profitable

Today we’re talking with Scott Albaugh from SJ Cleaning Solutions!

Scott is dealing with a common issue MANY commercial cleaning professionals face. That issue is turning your cleaning business from a decent job into an actual business asset that can grow into a profitable enterprise.

You might be in a similar position… doing all the cleanings yourself, bidding on new contracts and getting paid on net-30s wondering when if ever you are going to get past this hump. If that is you, asking yourself WHEN will it happen for me?

Then this advice is for you.

Resource Alert: How to Bid a Cleaning Job

The first step to getting over the hump is realizing you are most likely getting in your own way. You need to step out of the cleaning job role and into the cleaning entrepreneur role. The first step to doing this is stop cleaning yourself. You don’t need to hire someone full time to do this. For most people at this stage, hiring one or two part time cleaners to handle your jobs will be more than enough to give back the time you need to start focusing on the business. If that seems like too much for you, then look to hire just one person to clean alongside you.

It is critical you get enough hours in the day to focus on higher level tasks for your business.

The next step is getting your bidding and cashflow in alignment with growth. For most people still doing the cleanings themselves, they underbid the actual cost of the job because they include their labor as free labor. STOP THIS! Charge your labor! Now that you’re bidding for the labor, you can hire someone to take the cleaning role from you.

In commercial cleaning bids it’s not uncommon for a business to pay you on a net-30 i.e 30 days after the completion of the job. Never give in to this form of cashflow. The cashflow needs to be given to you upfront. Too often a net-30 agreement becomes an interest-free loan that doesn’t get paid until net-60.

You are a cleaning company, not a bank.

Collect your cashflow upfront. This will relieve the stress on your operations significantly!

Now with employees and cashflows problems taken care of, it is time to focus on the final step – marketing.
You need to create a system that pulls in leads for you every day of the week. The way you do this is by developing the marketing system that works for you. Yet, you can only do this if you take care of someone fulfilling the cleaning role that isn’t you and when you have set up your cashflow properly.

All of these systems can be found in my course by the way.

Resource Alert: Get the Clean Profit Method

Alright, let’s dive into the Lightning Round.
Lightning Round

Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?

Don’t ever place limits on what you can achieve.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?

Not studying enough at the start. Need to do as much research as possible to understand what kind of systems you need.

What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?
Get a mentor. Find somebody that does business the way you want to do it, and emulate what they have done.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Setting Up Your Cleaning Company from the Beginning

Today we’re chatting with Matt Reese!

He’s actually friends Joseph Suldawn with Pro Clean that was on our show not too long ago. And today, he’s asking a good question, a two-parter.

The first part is how to get through some of the somewhat overwhelming details that coincides with starting a business, things like EINs, licensing, insurance etc. Well, I actually have a Get Started Guide you guys can use in the Profit Cleaning Method but honestly… don’t let this worry you too much.

While the details are important, they’re not make it or break it for you. Just handle each step one at a time and hire someone that knows how to navigate this stuff and you’ll be fine.

The second part to Matt’s question is all about growing his business. Initially, he was interested in raising prices and normally I would say this is almost always a good idea. Alas, for Matt, it is NOT a good idea for one very specific reason:

This client accounts for WAY too much of his overall revenue.

When you raise prices you want to be able to do so without the need to ask for permission. The mindset should be you have so many clients that you’ll be happy if a few tell you no and stop using you, because you have enough clients that will say yes that it won’t matter. If you only have one or two big clients and that’s it, then you are putting yourself at a huge risk if they say no that could tank your entire business.

One client should never represent more than 15% of your total monthly revenue.

Knowing this, I told Matt there were THREE major steps he could take to revolutionize his business.

Step 1 – Hire More Cleaners.

This will free up his time to grow the business, and get him out of the actual cleaning portion of the business. Remember, your first goal is to always remove yourself from the actual labor aspect of your business.
Resource Alert: Best Practices for Hiring Cleaners for Your Company

Step 2 – Dilute High Earning Clients with More Clients

Now that you have some leverage, it is time to start designing your client attraction systems to bring on more clients. Remember, we don’t want ANY one client making up more than 15% of our revenue. That can create just too many swings in our business and too much stress.

Instead, focus on getting many smaller clients that you can send your news cleaners out to.

Now that you’ve diluted the client pool it’s finally time to…

Step 3 – Raise Prices

Once you have the ability to raise prices without worry if someone says no, that is when it is time to do it. By doing this you’ll either thin the herd of how many clients you have which will leave you more time to focus on getting new clients while getting paid the same, or all your clients will say yes and you’ll make WAY more money for the same exact work.

Resource Alert: Raising Your Cleaning Prices

Either way, it is a win/win at this point.

Alright, now that I’ve revealed the 3 main steps, let’s dive into the Lightning Round.

Lightning Round

Best advice you’ve received either personally or professionally?

Don’t confuse with being a perfectionist with just being afraid.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business we can all learn from?.

Not charting and plotting out your course before hand. Not taking the time to break down your actions into goals and timelines.

What’s one idea cleaning nation can put into practice to improve their business or their lives immediately?

Always make sure you got back ups. Things like extra mops, rags, cleaning chemicals etc.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

How to Build a Successful Cleaning Company

Today we’re chatting with Janice Resendez who has just opened a new cleaning company in Denver!

Janice, like many new cleaning companies, wants to hit the ground running and be able to get a large amount of clients very fast. Who wouldn’t want more clients from day one? The thing is there are a TON of tools to go out there and get clients, but they will cost you something.

The two resources these tools require are either time or money. Since most cleaning companies just starting out don’t have a lot of money to spend yet, that means they’re going have to clock in the sweat equity and really pump the hours required to gain new clients.

One thing that won’t be working in Janice’s favor here is that her target market are commercial contracts. Typically, commercial contracts pay way more than residential but they often take a lot more effort to get. Since clients are only buying when they’re ready versus when we’re selling, trying to get these clients fast can be a challenge in of itself.

A better way is to set up good marketing systems that will provide valuable content to your target market over the long haul. This way you can catch them when they are ready to buy, instead of hoping your sales pitch is good enough to convert them right away. While this is a great option for long term growth, it won’t get the ball rolling.

So what will?

I call it my TIME Method.

TIME stands for:

Telephone – Doing cold calls to businesses is a classic, free and easy to implement way of gaining clients
In Person – I’m not a big fan of cold canvassing in the traditional sense. Instead, I would use the phone to get invited to come by the office to show a full presentation of what you can do.
Direct Mail – Mail is a fantastic option to get clients relatively quickly, though it won’t be as potentially quick as the telephone option. You’ll need to spend time on creating the copy, buying a list of businesses and the actual cards to send out, and distribute your mailing. This all takes time. Plus, if you’re short on money, this might not be the method for you since it does take some initial investment to get going.
Email – Cold emails are free to send. You need to be careful though and make sure you’re following all ICANN-Spam regulations to make sure you’re not spamming people

Resource Alert: How to Create a Lead Generating Machine for Your Cleaning Company

For most people in Janice’s situation, the phone is going be there go-to choice for acquiring clients quick. You need to have the right expectations before you begin. If your goal is to get 5 new clients in two weeks, then you’ll likely need to give a presentation to at least 15 people since not everyone is going to accept your proposal. In order to get 15 people that say yes to you bidding on the job, you’ll probably need contact close to 500 businesses.

That means if your goal is to get those 5 new clients in 14 days, you’ll need to be cold calling at least 35-40 people per day.

To increase your chances of success, it is to understand how a cold call works. Instead of going into a sales pitch right away, do a pattern interrupt. This could be as simple as asking someone how they are doing. Next, you don’t want to sell your services but rather position yourself as someone looking for help. Tell them you’re a cleaning company and you were just curious if they’d at all be open to helping you figure out what is more important to them when it comes to hiring cleaning companies.

Most people hate being sold to but they love helping others. You can play into this to really find out what their pain points are, and then when it comes to your bidding you can make sure to include how your service will solve all those pain points for them.

Resource Alert: How to Get Commercial Cleaning Contracts Without Cold Calling

Finally, provide them value.

You want them to know you won’t be wasting their time. You could use humor like saying you’ll give $100 to their favorite charity if they didn’t like the meeting (almost zero people will actually tell you to give $100 to a charity after a meeting), or you could do something simple like baking them some cookies when you go to the meeting. Little things like this go a long way in converting prospects into genuine clients.

Now, can you ACTUALLY get 5 new clients in just two weeks as a new cleaning company?


Is it easy? Noway.

It will take a lot of hustle, grit and determination on your part. You’re going have to go through the No’s, and A LOT of them to get to your clients.

But if you do it, and persevere, you know you’ll have the ability to generate clients any time you want. They’re just a phone call away.

Alright, let’s dive into the Lightning Round!

Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Tranitioning From Being a Cleaner to Owning a Cleaning Company

Today, we’re speaking with Jessica DiCandia.

It is no secret that many people starting their own businesses have A LOT of self-doubt. This is especially true for people just getting started. You might think… well when can I REALLY offer a contract that my clients would willingly sign?

When can my clients stop thinking of me as their “cleaning lady” and start thinking of me as their go-to cleaning COMPANY?

Well, that answer is… right now.

Typically there are two types of people that start a cleaning business.

The entrepreneur that gets their logo, sets up their business’s legal entity, gets an accountant and an office all right away. They might spend three months on this and still have zero clients.
The entrepreneur that just gets to work. People pay them money to clean their places and they go about cleaning them.
Both of these entrepreneurs have issues in different ways. The first one hasn’t started their business, and the second one started their business long before they came to realize they had a business!

The truth is, the moment someone pays you for your services rendered, you have a business. There is nothing wrong with acting like you are a business at this point because you ARE a business!

Your main job for growing this business is focusing on two systems:

System to attracting new clients
System to attracting employees
Resource Alert: Attracting the Right Employees to Your Cleaning Business

Both of these systems should attract people that match your company’s core values and culture.

By the way, you don’t need much to level up your business from looking like a one-man show to looking like a “real” company. (I put quotes around that because if you’re making money, you already are a real company.)

Here are some quick tips that can increase your company’s brand:

Create a legal entity such as an LLC if you don’t have this yet for your company.
Create a website. This can be as simple as using a landing page builder such as ClickFunnels. A website can be part of your system for attracting new clients too and it is easy to set up.
Creating a 1-page landing page that speaks to your niche’s pain, such as stay at home mothers who don’t have enough time to clean. Your headline might be “Spread Too Thin? Learn These 5 Ways to Spend More Time with Your Family”. You give them a free report on things they can do, and your thank you page offers your cleaning services as the next logical step to give them more time with their family.
Get rid of the notion that you need contracts. They are not a big deal unless you are planning on going court with someone or if you are planning on selling the business. Ultimately, someone who stops paying you, you just stop cleaning for them. End of story.
Raise prices. This is important and it can increase your profits dramatically while often halving the amount of work you have to do.
Resource Alert: How to Close More Commercial Cleaning Contracts

7 Items to Make Sure Your Cleaning Company is Set Up Right from the Start

Today we’re chatting with Arturo Villacorta!

Arthur had a common concern amongst new cleaning entrepreneurs. That concern is… how do you set everything up to make sure everything is kosher and good to go right away?

I’m a big fan of saying that until you get a paying customer, you don’t really have a business. Now, I am going to assume you DO have paying customers, at least one before you even start worrying too much about this stuff.

Below are the 7 things you need to setup your cleaning business correctly. Please, if you have deeper questions revolving around your personal situation, make sure to reach out to a professional that specializes in one of these areas. So many of these things change based off your state, city or even the county you’re operating in so you will want some professional advice to make some of these decisions.

Alright let’s dive into them.

#1 Create a Business Entity

This is super easy to do. Creating an LLC will usually cost you right around $149 plus your local state fees. I prefer LLCs since you don’t need to do any annual reporting and they tend to be simpler to understand. You could also go with an actual corporation based off your needs and wants, but you’ll need to research what is right for you.

It is important to have your own entity though, as that way if anyone does try to sue you, they won’t be able to get access to your personal assets not part of your business. This is good to have as it protects you and also makes other things on this list a lot easier by having one.

#2 Get an EIN

An EIN is basically the social security number of your business.

All you need to do is Google how to setup an EIN and you’ll find the right government site for it. It will ask you a dozen or so questions that will take you about 15-30 minutes to complete and then it will spit out your EIN number right away without any need to wait.

Getting an EIN is a good idea, especially if you plan on doing any kind of corporate commercial work since corporate clients will usually ask you for your EIN.

#3 Create Business Bank Account

It is never a good idea to mix business and personal banking accounts. When you’re small, this will be a bigger temptation. Just don’t do it, set some boundaries between what is business money and what is personal money.

Also by having different bank accounts it will make taxes WAY easier for you so I highly recommend it.

#4 Get Insurance

There are two main types of insurance we’ll be getting. The first is Liability Insurance. For a brand new company this is pretty cheap, costing right around $1,000 per year that you can often pay in monthly installments.

This is the kind of insurance that covers accidents on the job like one of your cleaners breaking a client’s vase or something similar. It is a good idea to have just in case.

The second kind of insurance is Worker’s Compensation. While your cleaners aren’t construction workers and it is unlikely they’ll ever get hurt, it is cheap to have and their job DOES have some mild straining occasionally. Like Liability Insurance, this is usually pretty cheap when your payroll is small.

You can often use the same insurance company to get both of these insurances, but it is worth looking into to see if there is any government programs within your state that offer cheaper alternatives. Sometimes this is a great way to save money depending on the programs.

Resource Alert: Insurance and Hiring Cleaning Employees

#5 Licensing

This will vary based off state to state with what you need. One thing to note is the possible need for a sales tax license if your state, city or county requires you to pay sales tax. Usually this is just $30-50 bucks per year and it’s not a big deal.

One thing you need to realize though is that your cleaning company should always charge the sales tax to the client. The actual tax people don’t care whether you made the client pay the sales tax or you pay the sales tax out of your own pocket, but either way they’re going to come to you and demand you pay the sales tax accrued regardless of whether you knew you had to pay it or not.

They are often worse than the IRS and they can shutdown your business, so it is important to Google this or seek some professional advice on what is right for your situation.

#7 Payroll

While you could use a software like Quickbooks to do your payroll yourself, just remember you will be liable for any mistake you made.

Usually, I prefer to go through a payroll company. When you’re a smaller company, these payment processing companies are super cheap and they’ll take the responsbility for any mistakes they make in their bookkeeping rather than you.

A huge time saver and stress reliever. Plus, you can focus more on marketing your company versus managing the books so it’s a win-win.

Marketing Ideas for Your Cleaning Company that Won’t Break the Bank

Setting up Your Cleaning Company Structure Before Hiring for Management

Today Mike coaches Angie Emerson, owner of Angie My Cleaner on how to set up her cleaning company structure for management positions.

So many people start at the end when they realize “I am doing a bunch of work I don’t want to anymore, maybe if I throw a bunch of money at someone, they will do it for me.” You will have better luck starting at the beginning and planning out your cleaning company structure.

Mike explains an org chart and how to start breaking down jobs within your cleaning company.

When you first start out, your name is likely going to be in every box. As you grow, you will fill other people’s names in those boxes and promote yourself out of those boxes.

Listen in as Mike breaks down the 3 main categories of any business. Follow along and fill in your boxes!

KEY POINT: When you hire for all these positions you want to keep them separate

Usually someone who is good at accounting isn’t good at sales and marketing or managing people. Just like a good sales manager might not be the best with managing finances or day to day operations. It’s best to hire slow and fire fast. Don’t make the mistake of letting someone manage one or more of these positions poorly because you just don’t feel like doing it. They can do much more harm than good and cause you way more work in the long run.

Avoiding turnover and burnout

Have you ever hired someone who is amazing but then a few months or years down the road they are your worst employee?

The mistake that many owners make is they just hire someone, give them money and tell them it’s a huge mess that you don’t want to deal with anymore and to figure it out. That employees gets overwhelmed because they have no idea how to untangle a mess that you as the owner couldn’t even do and run away.

Find out how to use an org chart to properly plan your cleaning company structure.

RESOURCE ALERT: Canva offers a free Org chart builder, check it out!

To recap the steps:

1 – Create an org chart
2-  Decide which piece of the pie you want to sub out
Step 3 – Make sure you have a profitable model

Within your business there are a couple different types of expenses. Costs of Goods Sold (COGS) and Overhead.

COGS are the things you need to spend money on to do the job. Cleaning Supplies and labor are COGS. You charge $100 to clean and it costs you $50 in materials and labor. But if you don’t do any jobs, these expenses go away.

Overhead -Recurring expenses you must pay regardless of your workload. These may be low when you start out since you probably have no office, no office manager, no cars, maybe a cell phone and some insurance. But these expenses stay the same whether or not you have a huge month or a slow month.

When you hire a manager that overhead goes up. The COGS never hurts you because it’s proportionate to the income you are getting as long as you are bidding the job right. That margin between your income and your COGS is your profit. When you hire an office manager, that cost comes out of your profit margin.

Make sure there’s enough margin in your business to pay for an office manger to take some of that headache off your plate.

Finally, be careful when you hire. Often times owners will want to promote a cleaner to a manger because they know them, they’re already there and it’s easy. But the skillset it takes to manage a group of cleaners, hire, train and encourage them is very different than the skillset it takes to clean. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist but it’s something to keep in mind.

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