If you only have a little money and still want to start a profitable business, the cleaning industry could have the opportunity that you’re looking for. Getting started requires not much more than a few cleaning supplies and the motivation to get ahead.
Commercial cleaning being an essential service; earnings tend to not be greatly affected by economic downturns. Working in a ₤10 billion industry, you would never be short of business.
You would have little competition from large companies – a third of the industry is made up of single person businesses. For those who don’t favor the idea of starting an all-new business, the franchise model is a successful one too. If the idea of setting up shop in the cleaning industry appeals to you, here’s how you get started.
Do you have what it takes to run a cleaning services business?
Whether you plan to run a one-man operation where you function as both the owner and the cleaning staff, or hire a few employees, it’s important that you bring a few necessary qualifications to the job. You need skills in business, administration and accounting. You will also need excellent interpersonal skills to be able to find new contacts, negotiate with clients, persuade them that you and your staff are trustworthy and competent, and inspire your employees to work well. All of these are important parts of running a business. When you expand, these skills will become your entire job.
Being prepared for the costs involved
If you have around ₤10,000 to invest in running your own cleaning business, you could simply buy a franchise in your area. This approach has the advantage that you are up and running right away. You receive training, equipment and guidance, and to make a decent profit, you simply need to follow the methods that you are taught. If you do plan to start your own brand, a small, five-person operation will cost you no more than ₤2,000 in equipment, in addition to the cost of a vehicle.
Investing in compliance
Most clients will not hire a cleaning service that isn’t fully insured. They will want to know that should your cleaning staff cause any damage while on the job, you will be able to compensate them for it.
Cleaning staff need to use corrosive chemicals, handle heavy equipment and work late hours. Cleaning jobs being risk-prone, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement. While it can be expensive, it’s possible to lower your costs by using the services of a specialized insurance comparison service (e.g. MakeItCheaper.com).
A number of other laws apply to businesses operating in the cleaning industry. Investing in compliance is important.
The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations Act requires that when commercial clients hire you, their in-house cleaning staff have their jobs protected. Since your staff will need to stock and handle various cleaning products, you also need to be in compliance with hazardous substances laws. In addition, many commercial clients will ask you for a Criminal Records Bureau verification to make sure that your staff is safe to hire. You will need to perform thorough cost accounting of all compliance costs involved before you decide to launch your business.
Owen Hutchinson launched his own electronics import business in 2007. He likes to post about the things that have helped him find success in order to help others just starting out.
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