7 Fundamentals of Running a Commercial Cleaning Business

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How to be successful

While there is no magic formula to guarantee your success in the commercial cleaning services industry, this guide should help you get the basics right so that you have the best possible platform to go on and succeed. Many people rush into the market without making sure they have everything in place, so the best thing you can do is think it through properly.

Research the industry

Do your research on the industry as a whole and understand everything you need to know. You should make sure that you are fully aware of the kind of jobs you could be asked to do, even if some of them are unlikely to come up very often. You should make sure that you are prepared for any possible opportunity in case it comes up.

You should make sure to also do this research so that you know what your competitors are charging so that you can charge accordingly. The world is changing a lot at the moment and the going rate is constantly in flux. You can use this research to find out where you can cut ahead of the competition and gain a market share. Solid preparation is the best preparation.

Make sure you are a good fit

While we have already stated that it is important to do your research on others, it is equally important to do research on yourself. By this we mean, make sure that you have the qualifications necessary to do the work as well as to run an entire business. Depending on where you are based there might be certain qualifications you might need to hold.

Having the right mindset is also vitally important because working in the commercial cleaning business is a customer orientated profession and so knowing how to deal with, sometimes demanding clients, is very important. Keeping your customers happy enough is one thing, but the main goal is to earn repeat business so that you have a steady income.

Be able to make a plan and then stick to it

You need to have a planner so that you can remain organized if you want to run a truly successful commercial cleaning business. You will often have multiple clients on your books, and so being able to keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when, especially if you have people working for you, is critical. It’ll likely be confusing so good planning will go a long way.

Having a plan of action when working on-site will also be important if you want to be successful. It will allow you to allocate your resources in the most effective way possible. Knowing which tasks to tackle first will ensure that you can get the tougher jobs done first so that you can always aim to finish the jobs both on time and within the allocated budget.

Have the tools for the job

 The equipment you will need for jobs won’t come cheap, and so you will need to decide if it will be worthwhile renting certain things if they won’t be used all that often. This might be an issue if you need to use it but somebody else has hired it. Generally, this is a cost-effective method for people who are new to the business who do not have much capital to spare.

You will need to make sure that you have the right tool for every job, and even if you don’t think you will need it, try your best to bring it anyway. The worst thing you can do when working with a client, especially a new one, is seem unprepared because this can make you look unprofessional. The key thing is to impress new customers so that you are hired again.

Have a designated place of work

Many people are choosing to operate their businesses out of their homes because it is becoming more and more expensive to hire out office space. In this industry this is especially important because you are unlikely to spend much time in the office. You will of course need somewhere to do the paperwork but might not need a whole office.

Choosing to base your business from your home might sound like a great scenario, but you should make sure to check whether your home insurance and mortgage provider actually allow you to do this, as well as whether you need to register it with the local authorities. In a world where work is not guaranteed, not committing to an office space might be smart.

Be able to travel around easily

Your work will almost always exclusively be at the site of the client, and so being able to get around easily is of the utmost importance. The vehicle you decide to use will not only need to be good for getting around but also be able to carry all of the equipment you might need for the job. Some jobs will require larger equipment and so you should keep that in mind.

Another factor when choosing a vehicle is whether it will reflect the business in a positive way. Going for a more economic vehicle might make sense if you are just starting out but if it doesn’t look the best, it might make the business look unprofessional. When working with clients you should always do everything you can to appear as though you are the very best. 

Know your value

As we touched upon earlier, knowing what to charge your clients is absolutely integral if you want to succeed because there is a fine line between undercharging and overcharging. If you undercharge clients you will struggle to cover your expenses, which can be very high, while overcharging clients could make the client choose to go with one of your competitors.

An interesting option that some businesses do when first entering the market, is to do something called ‘penetration pricing’. This method involves charging just enough to cover your expenses so that you can get a good share of the work available before gradually increasing your prices in line with your competitors once you have built your brand.