Starting a janitor service is an excellent home business opportunity. It is a relatively low-tech profession with minimal overhead. All you really need to get started is a strong work-ethic and some basic cleaning supplies. However, to get your business off the ground, you will need to employ some smart business strategies. Here are seven tips to help you get started:
1. Do Your Research – Before you begin your janitorial business, you should have a thorough understanding of the services typically offered by janitor services, the tools needed to complete these services, and the going hourly rate. You should also find out how many other janitorial services there are in your area, the services they offer, and the markets they target. Try to determine if there are any markets where the demand is higher than the supply and if you could reasonably enter said markets.
2. Establish Start Up Capital – As you do your research, determine your startup costs. These should include buying supplies and tools for the job, investing in marketing materials and business cards, paying for business licenses and insurance, and hiring employees, if you plan to do so. Remember that you will not usually get paid right away, so you will need enough money to get you through at least the first month of business, possibly longer if it takes a while to establish several clients. Take the time to build up your capital before you start your business so that you have a cushion if things do not go well at the beginning. This may mean delaying the start of your business, or only operating on a part time basis at first while maintaining a full time job.
3. Start Simple – It might be tempting to offer all possible janitorial services right at the start so that you can reach the largest market. Instead, start with the basics – mopping, vacuuming, dusting, emptying garbage cans, cleaning bathrooms – and target a defined group to begin with. Choose tasks that require relatively low-cost supplies and tools that require no additional training to operate. Doing a few things really well will earn you a better reputation right from the start. You can always expand your services once your business has been established.
4. Get Liscensed, Bonded and Insured – It may seem unnecessary at first to shell out the money for a business license and for insurance, but these are critical elements to having a professional business. Not only do you protect yourself from potential liabilities, you also appear more professional to clients.
5. Invest in Quality Products – It will be tempting to buy a cheap vacuum and the cheapest cleaning products you can get your hands on to increase your margin of profit. Instead, research your options and invest in products that will offer the best results. Put some money into a high-quality, industrial vacuum. Buy a few different floor cleaners and mops and figure out which ones work best. Using high quality supplies will not only improve the work you do, it will also make you more efficient, allowing you to do more in less time.
6. Focus on your Reputation – Make your customer service a top priority. Janitorial businesses are built around repeat and long term clients so make sure that you not only do an excellent job cleaning, but that you present yourself and your employees as professional, honest, hard-working, and client-centered. Clients want to hire people they trust to be in their facilities after hours, without having to worry about things getting broken or stolen. Make your business policies client-friendly and try to resolve any disputes with future business in mind.
7. Don’t Rely on Fliers – Or newspaper adds, for that matter. Those are passive methods of advertising – you post something and wait for the clients to come to you. Instead, employ some active marketing strategies. Take note of newly opened businesses in your area and give them a call – better yet, stop by and introduce yourself. You can also offer to clean for free the first time, or offer a discounted rate for signing up for several months at a time. To encourage word of mouth referrals, offer incentives to current clients for every new client referred.
Following these easy tips will help your new janitor service find success quickly.