Your workplace, whether it employs two people or two hundred, will likely require cleaning services on a regular basis, regardless of its size or the number of people who work there. Cleaning and sanitising the office on a regular basis is crucial to the health of your business. Your customers will appreciate it, and your staff will appreciate that you provided it.
Though it's true that cleaning can be fun on occasion, a larger workplace will require more time and effort to keep clean and comfortable for employees. Fortunately, this is where professional cleaners come in; seasoned businesses will have refined efficient cleaning procedures and products over time, allowing them to deliver excellent results quickly. You may be wondering how you can possibly choose the best business out of the myriad of options available to you in the modern world. The following are some things to consider when choosing a professional cleaning service to handle your regular or occasional cleaning needs:
Reputation And Experience Of The Company
A company with access to your workplace when you are not around and work unsupervised needs to be reputable and trustworthy. It is therefore important to do your research:
Start Your Own Business or Buy a Franchise?
In the beginning, you'll need to decide if you'll be starting your own cleaning business from scratch or if you'll be buying into an already established cleaning franchise. Both have their pros and cons, and ultimately the decision will come down to your own preferences and circumstances.
In Conclusion, Start your own business and reap the rewards of working for yourself (just make sure you have adequate support and resources to help you succeed) while also fulfilling your own unique vision for success and happiness.
- Established brand name
- Proven business model
- Marketing support
- Ongoing help and advice
- Upfront capital / investment required (from $5,000 to $100,000)
- Ongoing fees (usually a monthly/annual fee and a % of sales go to the franchisor)
- Restricted growth (small territory, advertising restrictions and limited services)
- Your success is linked to head-office success (your reputation can be damaged if the parent company gets negative feedback & you are reliant on your franchisor for help and support – some provide it, but some don't!)
Start Your Own Business
- Complete control & flexibility
- Low start-up costs
- You retain all profits.
- No ongoing costs or royalties to pay
- Easier to sell the business in future
- You are on your own (which can be quite challenging and lonely when getting started)
- You have to learn by your own mistakes (although there are guides, case studies & start-up plans out there)
- No established brand
Charging on a recurring basis (which are typically paid on a monthly or annual basis and also include a percentage of total sales that go to the franchisor).
The Essentials – Business Registration, Licenses, Training, Insurance & Tax
Your franchise's success is tied to that of the parent company (bad press for the parent company can have a negative impact on your reputation, and some franchisors provide helpful resources while others don't). If the parent company hears anything bad about you, it could hurt your reputation.
State Licenses & Local Council Regulations
Most cleaning services in Australia are not governed by any laws, so their provision does not necessitate any specific levels of training or experience on the part of their employees. However, you should contact the state licencing board and the local council to find out if there are any additional requirements you need to fulfil (e.g. health regulations).
If you don't have any experience as a cleaner, you might want to take a course before knocking on people's doors to offer your services. If there are no formal prerequisites or stated requirements for participation, it is still prudent to prepare for the possibility of such. Earning a recognised credential will equip you with the knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to carry out cleaning tasks in the most effective and efficient manner possible. You can also learn the skills necessary to become a professional cleaner by enrolling in a training programme that will instruct you in the use of the necessary equipment and cleaning supplies. You can use your credentials as a selling point to set your company apart from the competition in your industry.
It is highly recommended that you purchase public liability insurance with a minimum coverage amount of $5 million if you will be working on a client's property; however, some commercial clients may require as much as $15 million. You can rest assured that any unforeseen incidents or property damage will be covered by this. When you hire employees, you must also protect them with workers' comp insurance. You may also want to consider other types of insurance, such as coverage for your company's vehicles, protection against business interruptions, and income security. Consult with your company's attorney about the legal insurance requirements that are applicable to your business.
Keeping Business Records & Tax
Get in touch with a qualified accounting firm immediately. They will help you set up your business and your books properly. In the long run, hiring a good accountant can help you save money because they will be able to explain all of the deductions you can claim to lower your taxable income. With this, you'll be able to cut costs considerably. It is imperative that you keep all of your invoices and receipts (you must keep records for a minimum of 5 years). Keeping your financial records and paying your taxes doesn't have to be a time-consuming or difficult process as long as you stay on top of things. If you don't start by putting in place the appropriate system from the beginning, you'll end up in the long run running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Choosing the Right Equipment and Cleaning Products
Take That, Your Competitors! How to Set Yourself Apart from the Rest
Check out the local area, but don't limit yourself to the typical tourist spots. One might get the impression that there are already a great deal of rivals, and one might find this to be the case. To stand out from the crowd and attract new customers, however, doesn't take much work. In a world where only a tiny fraction of businesses actually care about their customers, the ones that do tend to get all the word-of-mouth promotion they need without ever having to pay for it. If you really care about your customers and put in the time and effort to exceed their expectations, you will stand out from the competition. Having a pleasant tone on the phone and keeping commitments are two easy ways to do this. A handwritten note to a client, a discount for loyal customers, or a birthday card on a client's special day are all examples of the kinds of small gestures that can have a big impact (and cost very little to do).
Move Over Competitors – How to Stand Out from the Crowd
One of the most effective forms of advertising is forming partnerships with other businesses that already have a clientele, such as real estate agents and property managers. Newspaper ads aren't the only form of advertising that can bring in customers; community events, flyers, and leaflet drops are all viable options as well (especially in community publications). Let's say you're considering opening your own cleaning company. Since most people now use the internet to find the data they need, traditional directories, such as the Yellow Pages, are not likely to be of any use.
Become a Specialist
You should think about how to make your business visible when people are conducting online searches for cleaning companies in your area, as the vast majority of people now use Google (or another search engine) to find a cleaning company in their immediate area.
Placing highly in Google's search results can generate a steady flow of new leads every day. To promote your cleaning service website, you can either pay for advertising (like Google Adwords) or hire a company that specialises in organically increasing a website's ranking on page one of search engine results (this is known as search engine optimisation).
Pricing – Getting It Right!
Don't try and compete on price. We know it's tempting, especially when you see your competitors offering crazy deals, but you'll end up with low-profit margins and feel like you are working for nothing. In our experience, the worst customers and clients are the ones who haggle over price. Put a value on your service and be proud to tell people what you / your services are worth. You'll find that people are prepared to pay more for quality service. By positioning your cleaning business as a 'premium quality business, you'll be able to raise your prices and attract the best clients & customers.
No More Cleaning! Employing Staff & Systemising Your Business
Build a thriving cleaning service, with the end goal being to "get out of business as quickly as possible." The amount of money you make cleaning on your own is directly related to the number of hours you are able to put in. Don't expect to get paid if you have to call in sick or take time off for vacation (and might lose clients to your competition).
If you want to build a company that will allow you to live the life you've always imagined living, you need to start working "on the business" rather than "in the business." As a first step, write down how you intend to complete each of your current tasks. Afterwards, someone who has no trouble following these guidelines can take over. Training costs can be reduced and quality maintained with the help of a well-detailed procedure. There are essentially two ways to bring on more hands: contract out to a third party or hire full-time employees. The advantages and disadvantages of each choice are different.
Think about the benefits and drawbacks of both starting your own cleaning business and investing in a franchise. You can achieve your own personal goals and the financial independence that comes with working for yourself if you launch your own business. The decision to operate as a sole proprietor is the cheapest, most convenient, and least time-consuming option. Some of the groundwork items to think about include: registering your business, obtaining required licences, conducting required training, purchasing necessary insurance, and reporting and paying taxes. One of the disadvantages of operating as a sole trader is that your cleaning company will not be recognised in law.
You will be taxed at the same rates as an individual citizen. Each month or every three months, GST-registered businesses must submit a "activity statement" (BAS). There are no laws governing the provision of cleaning services in Australia, so there is no mandate for particular levels of training or experience on the part of the people providing them. If you want to be sure, though, you can always check with the state licencing board and the local council to see if there are any other specifications. Consult an established accounting firm right away.
They will assist you in making the appropriate preparations for your business and its accounting records. You must keep all of your bills and receipts. Paying your taxes and keeping accurate financial records doesn't have to be a hassle. The competition is fierce, so it's important to show that you value your customers. Keeping promises and maintaining a pleasant phone tone are two simple methods.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, one strategy is to develop expertise in a specific area of service and market that to customers. Think about how much you're worth and flaunt it whenever you can. You can charge more for your cleaning service if you market it as a "premium quality business." New clients can be won over most effectively through word-of-mouth promotion. Joint ventures with complementary companies are a tried and true method of expanding brand awareness. More help can be obtained in two ways: either through a third-party contractor or by hiring additional employees.
- The success of your company depends on how meticulously you keep the office clean and sanitary.
- When deciding on a professional cleaning service to take care of your occasional or constant cleaning needs, you should keep in mind the following.
- Credibility and Length of Service Provided by the Company
- You need a company you can trust to come into your place of business when you're not there and to stay there unattended while you're away.
- Which Is Better: Starting a Business from Scratch or Buying an Existing Franchise?
- You'll need to choose at the outset whether to build your own cleaning company from the ground up or join an existing cleaning franchise.
- There is a pressing need for you to start your own business.
- Before making any business decisions, you should talk to your accountant and lawyer.
- The decision to operate as a sole proprietor is the cheapest, most convenient, and least time-consuming option.
- One of the disadvantages of operating as a sole trader is that your cleaning company will not be recognised in law.
- When two or more people form a business entity together, they share the rewards and burdens of the enterprise in the same way that a sole proprietor does (as set out in a partnership contract).
- A corporation is considered to be a legal persona unto itself.
- The Order of Operations and Working Mechanism
- A lot of people get their feet wet in the business world by starting as sole proprietors (mostly because of the lower entry barrier), but once their venture takes off, they often decide to incorporate.
- With the training and experience you gain from pursuing a recognised credential, you'll be able to clean buildings and facilities with maximum efficiency and minimal waste of time and resources.
- To become a professional cleaner, you can take part in a training programme that teaches you how to operate the cleaning machinery and supply you will need.
- You can differentiate yourself and your business from others in your field by emphasising your expertise and experience.
- Talk to the company's legal counsel about any mandatory insurance coverage requirements.
- Consult an established accounting firm right away.
- If you stay on top of things, keeping your financial records and paying your taxes won't take up much of your time or stress you out.
- Depending on the specifics of your intended market, your cleaning business's initial supply of supplies and tools will vary.
- Explore the area, but don't just visit the typical tourist stops.
- However, it doesn't take much effort to distinguish yourself from the competition and win over new clients.
- To distinguish yourself from the competition, show genuine interest in your customers and make an effort to go above and beyond what they expect.
- Because of this, it is highly likely that a manager of a large office will hire a specialised office cleaning service rather than a "general" cleaning service.
- One way to distinguish oneself from competitors is to become widely recognised as a specialist in the provision of a particular service (think the end of lease cleaning, office cleaning, commercial carpet cleaning).
- In order to clean the outside of your home, you can do things like use a pressure washer, wash the windows, and clear out the gutters, just to name a few.
- Never try to undercut their prices.
- Cleaning service marketing that positions you as a "premium quality business" allows you to charge premium rates and appeal to the most desirable clientele.
- Word-of-mouth is the most effective marketing strategy for reaching potential new clients.
- Incentives for current customers to refer you to new customers, such as a free cleaning service, are a great way to boost your business through word of mouth.
- Say you're thinking about starting your own cleaning business.
- Promoting your cleaning service website can be done in two ways: either through paid advertising (like Google Adwords) or by hiring a company that specialises in organically increasing a website's ranking on page one of search engine results (this is known as search engine optimisation).
FAQs About Professional Cleaning Service
Is it physically present in your city, town or service area? This will be very important when a prompt reaction is needed, and emergency meetings or inspections need to take place.
The company working with many accounts tends to be a good indicator of a solid reputation. Additionally, if the company works with facilities similar to yours, it will better understand and accommodate your needs.
Before saying 'yes' to a company, make sure they will meet all your cleaning needs.
Since 30th October 2019, all cleaning companies have been regarded as labour-hire providers and must be licensed to operate legally in Victoria. Ensure the company has a proper licence to operate as a labour-hire provider. Request proof of insurances to be certain that everyone is covered for any mishaps – an insured company will be responsible if an employee is injured at your facility and liable if anything gets broken or damaged.
A professional company will visit your site to learn your cleaning needs, see the workspace they will be dealing with and finally be able to provide a customised quote. Please make sure the company doesn't charge you for this little trip; a quote should be free of charge and exclusive of any future obligation should you choose not to accept it.
It is most likely that you will not want any hassle with cleaning whatsoever; after all, this is why you are hiring a contractor in the first place. This means that you will want the company to supply their cleaning equipment, tools and chemicals. You may want to take this a step further and explore the possibility of outsourcing the restocking of consumables to the cleaners or even having them manage your waste collection. Think ahead what other responsibilities can be given to the cleaning company to free up your own time, which you can then invest into growing your business.
Define how cleaning is done to make sure the services suit your needs – do the cleaners do washing, scrubbing and sanitising, not just simple dusting and vacuuming? What rooms will need cleaning, and what will need to be addressed in each room? Try and go into as many details as possible to find out what you are getting.
Different types of facilities have different needs and cleaning requirements. Experience matters here, and the company that has worked previously in a facility similar to yours will better understand your needs and know how to meet them. Ask the company to provide you with a few references to check on.
What is the most convenient time or day for you when cleaning can occur? When hiring a cleaning company, you may not want them to deliver cleaning services while working in the office or children have class. Instead, you will want cleaning done after hours or even before opening early in the morning. Make sure you check with a potential cleaning company if they can accommodate your schedule and if the cleaning crew can work unusual hours, even night shifts, weekends or holidays.
Maybe you want to have the house cleaned by professional cleaners twice a week, or you need a major sweep once a month? These are some of the initial areas you'll need to consider before hiring a cleaning company. Ideally, it would be best if you went for cleaning services that will fit your schedule and a cleaning company that will accommodate your needs at times that are most convenient for you.
You will want a company that offers a good deal for their time. Although price is not always indicative of the service level you will receive, try to determine how well the company repays the cleaners. A poorly paid cleaner will surely not bother to mop the floor behind doors or underneath a bin.
Many companies will also offer a discount for the initial clean or add extra services at no extra cost, such as a free window clean. In any case, it is worth asking what you can get. Frequency also matters when determining the price. Usually, the more regular the service is, the cheaper it will be in terms of cost per visit.
Make sure to request a flat rate per service to ensure you always pay the same price, no matter how long the service might take. With a flat service rate, detailed cleaning specifications will need to be defined in writing, so you know exactly what is included in the price. Anything beyond the scope of work will be considered additional cleaning services and will be quoted separately on request.
A quality cleaning company will assign to you a dedicated account manager who will be available for support and respond quickly to your concerns and questions. Having one person to deal with all your cleaning needs ensures that this person understands everything going on at your site and can provide you with the best and most effective solutions.
A cleaning business can be extremely profitable, rewarding and flexible. The start-up costs are low, demand for cleaning services increases, and profit margins can be high. There are many six and seven-figure cleaning businesses operating in Australia today. Most of these businesses were created from nothing by someone in the same position as you are today!
Start with just one or two core services, and add more as you grow. This will keep things simple, help reduce your start-up costs (you only have to purchase one set of equipment or products) & give you time to refine your systems and processes. Then, as you expand your business, you can add additional and complementary services quite easily and quickly.
For many people starting their cleaning business from scratch, providing a domestic cleaning service is the ideal place to start. Start-up costs are very low, and demand increases every year as people look to 'outsource' their home cleaning. All you need to get started are some professional cleaning supplies & public liability insurance – and you are in business. Because the start-up costs are low, it does mean that there can be more competition; however, if you follow our marketing tips, you'll never have to worry about the competition!
If you wish to offer a more skilled 'niche' cleaning service, you'll need to be willing to invest more money to purchase equipment and time to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications. For example, to start a professional carpet cleaning company, you'll need a high-quality portable or truck-mounted carpet cleaning machine (which will cost at least $10,000 and up to $100,000). However, the higher investment costs do mean competition is lower. As a result, you can demand higher prices, which is why we recommend adding on these additional services once you have established your business (& have existing customers to sell to!).