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How To Start A Green Commercial Cleaning Business?

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Working in a clean environment goes a long way to boosting an individual’s performance at work and ensuring employee wellness and workplace sustainability. This has led to an increase in the market value of the commercial cleaning business.

In 2019, the global contract cleaning services market value was USD$292.6 billion and is expected to expand at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of approximately 6.1% between 2020 and 2027. (1)(2)

With this forecasted increase in market value, you’re somewhat assured that if you do business in this arena, you have a good chance of thriving. Whether you intend to clean toilets, office floors, yards, or carpets, your business can be a profitable and successful one. 

Knowing where to position yourself in the market is incredibly important. An increasing number of consumers are rightly demanding greener suppliers, including from their commercial cleaning contracts. Consider carefully before you start whether or not to offer green cleaning services

Once you are confident this is the right path for your start-up, here’s how to get started:

1. Buy cleaning equipment, supplies, and other tools

First and foremost, it’s critical to know the equipment, supplies, and tools you’ll need for your commercial cleaning business. Here’s a list of some of the must-haves to consider when you plan and budget at the very beginning:

  • Cleaning equipment: You’ll need equipment like commercial buckets, dusting tools, floor washers, commercial brooms, floor waxing machines, carpet cleaning machines, pressure washers, and high-performance commercial vacuums.
  • Essential cleaning products: Go for cleaning products that don’t have harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. One way to ascertain their eco-friendliness is to check whether they’re certified by mainstream institutions, such as Greenguard or Ecologo. 

Some of the things you’re likely to purchase include hand soaps, disinfectants, general purpose detergents, bleaching chemicals, specialty cleaners, and trash bags. Consider eco-friendly carpet cleaning techniques if/where applicable.

  • Marketing and office supplies: For your brand to stand out, you may also need to design a professional-looking uniform with your company’s name and logo. Also, make sure to budget for other office supplies and equipment. You are likely to need access to a computer and business phone. 
  • Commercial cleaning business software: If you intend to have a team of workers, no-matter how small, it’s critical to get a reputable cleaning business app like the specialist one developed by Jobber. This will help you effectively coordinate and schedule jobs, and assist you in delivering a professional and consistently high level of service.

2. Register your business with the government

First, you need to follow the legal steps required in your particular jurisdiction. Most states and countries require you to register your business with the government. The registration requirements vary depending on the structure of business you choose. 

Your commercial cleaning business can fall under any of the following structures:

  • Limited Liability Companies: You’d want to operate your commercial cleaning businesses as a company if you want your personal assets to be separate from the business assets. Note that a limited company may comprise several directors, shareholders, and employees.
  • Sole proprietorships: This is the type of business where you own and operate the business yourself. But the business assets and your assets aren’t separate. So, in case of any financial risk or bankruptcy, your assets are at risk of getting auctioned. The primary advantage of this structure is that you always remain in control of your business.
  • Partnerships: You can team up with a friend or two and co-own the green cleaning business. This way, you reap the benefits of putting together several minds to work towards a given cause.
  • Corporations: Corporations offer the most protection to business owners, but they might be a bit costly to start. However, remember, you’ll still have to pay income tax on top of the business taxes you pay each year to the government.

Once you’ve decided on the business structure you want to adopt, you need to invest time in developing a unique and memorable business name. Once you’ve done this, you then register your business and get a business license. You’ll also need to register with your country’s tax authorities to ensure compliance with the tax regulations. (3)

3. Get insurance for your business

You need to protect your business and its assets by getting an insurance cover. A commercial cleaning business workers’ compensation insurance cover can help protect you in case your team members sustain injuries in the course of duty.

Also, if you damage your client’s property as you clean it, liability insurance should help bail you out. Thirdly, you can take equipment insurance to cover your expensive assets against theft.  

4. Craft a suitable payment model

The next thing is deciding how your clients should pay you for your services. Carrying out proper market research may help you understand your customers’ preferences and the average market prices of common cleaning services. Apps like the aforementioned one from Jobber make it super easy for clients to pay you by linking directly to the preferred payment method from the invoice.

When considering how to price your services, here are some models to help you decide:

  • Hourly: This is a good payment option, but note that some clients may expect you to work extra-hard without enough rest to justify the number of hours you spend on their job.
  • Weekly or monthly:This is a good option if you have a long-term contract with the client.
  • Flat project rate:Choosing a flat rate for any given project allows you to work at your pace without undue pressure. But make a point of knowing all the job details before proposing the charges so you don’t underquote for a heavy workload.
  • By square footage:This is what many commercial cleaning companies use, wherein you charge a fixed amount for every square foot you work on.

5. Create a sales and marketing plan

Without customers, there’s no business. So, you must devise ways to attract clients. Fortunately, you can easily get them by creating a solid sales and marketing plan. 

Since you’ve already conducted your market research and proved the feasibility of your business idea, all that remains is to attract customers to hire your services, despite the likelihood of there being several other cleaning companies in your locality.

A comprehensive marketing plan captures the current market situation, its size, competitors, your potential target customers, threats and opportunities, marketing objectives, the goals of your business, and more. (4)

Additionally, you need to settle on an effective advertising strategy. One of the best approaches is to identify where your customers generally hang out, and go there to hang out with them. If most of your target customers use a particular social media platform, it’s only logical for you to create an account there and advertise your services.

Conclusion

The green commercial cleaning business is currently on an upward trend globally. If you start this business, you’re assured of making high returns as long as you plan well and remain diligent. 

Some of the primary things you must do when starting a cleaning business include registering your business, getting insurance, buying cleaning products, setting the rates, and creating sales and marketing strategies. All in all, know that it’s a feasible business idea that prove profitable year after year with the right management, systems and processes in place.

References

  1. “Contract Cleaning Services Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Service Type (Window Cleaning, Floor & Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, Construction Cleaning), By End-use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027,” https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/contract-cleaning-services-market#:~:text=The%20global%20contract%20cleaning%20services%20market%20size%20was,rate%20%28CAGR%29%20of%206.1%25%20from%202020%20to%202027.
  2. “Cleaning Services Market by Service Type(Commercial) Window Cleaning, Vacuuming, Floor Care, (Residential)Maid Services, Carpet & Upholstery- Global Opportunities Analysis and Industry Forecasts, 2014-2022,” https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/cleaning-services-market
  3. “Legal Essentials For Business,” https://business.gov.au/Planning/New-businesses/Legal-essentials-for-business
  4. “The Ingredients Of A Marketing Plan,” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/43026

Have some inspiration about going green in all aspect of life. Views are my own.

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