There are many businesses that were badly hit by the sudden onslaught of COVID-19. But the business of residential and commercial cleaning is not one of them.
Businesses in the cleaning domain offer services like dusting, laundry, vacuuming, power washing, disinfecting, floor waxing, carpet cleaning, window washing, maid services, and a host of other janitorial functions.
For the cleaning business industry, the pandemic came as a blessing in disguise. There was an initial hiccup because the cleaning service providers couldn’t send their crews to their clients’ houses or offices.
But that was just a short-term brunt they had to bear—the long-term prospects for cleaning businesses are very bright.
The market for cleaning services was booming even before the pandemic situation came along. For instance, a 2017 report had projected the cleaning service market to grow into a $74,299 million-market size by 2022.
That forecast is going to see an upward trend after the COVID-19’s dust settles down because—in the post-pandemic world—cleanliness is a top priority for everyone.
The cleaning industry is already witnessing an upsurge in the demand for various cleaning-related services.
Since the outset of the coronavirus spread, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been busy drafting interim guidelines for businesses and residential communities to disinfect, fumigate, and sterilize their establishments for the safety of their occupants.
The demand for household and commercial cleaning will skyrocket as the government is considering stringent regulations to make cleaning and disinfection mandatory.
Besides, the market for cleaning services is largely recession-proof. Bad times may come and go, but people (and businesses) still need to keep their households clean, disinfect their establishments, and comply with health regulations.
And the best part about starting a cleaning business is—it’s one of the easy business ideas with low overhead and slim operation costs but high returns.
Your mileage may vary, but you can start a cleaning business with as low as $3,500—if you take the franchise route, for example.
Unlike other small businesses such as a restaurant or a nail spa, a cleaning startup doesn’t demand a big real estate investment.
You just need a front office for customers to contact you, a back office for your cleaning crew to assemble for the day’s work and punch their attendance sheet, and a small storeroom to keep your cleaning supplies and inventory.
You may require a larger space to house big cleaning equipment and add more functions to your service offering as you grow.
Cleaning is a relatively low-tech business. You don’t need any expert knowledge to get started. It’s also easy for you to hire workers from a wide pool of talent.
In return, you will create new job opportunities in the local community when you open a cleaning service business.
The business for cleaning services is going to grow at an unprecedented speed, and there has been never a better time to get your hands dirty in it.
We’ll go over:
- Financial considerations to start a cleaning business
- How to legally register a cleaning business
- How to start a cleaning business
- Finding and keeping customers
Financial considerations to start a cleaning business
If you are thinking about starting a business, you might have the same question everyone in your position would ask—where and how do I start?
For all intents and purposes, it’s best to start with the financial aspect of things. In the context of starting a cleaning services business, you have to figure out the following things:
- What’s the initial investment?
- How many people should I hire? (or, should I even hire at all?)
- How much to pay my employees?
- How should I price my services?
- What will the profits look like?
- Are there any additional costs?
These are all great questions to ask yourself to get clarity on what to expect out of a successful cleaning services business.
You can get most of these questions answered while working on your business plan. For more details on how to write a business plan and establish the business essentials, refer to chapters 3 and 4.
Let’s try to answer all of the above questions one by one.
What’s the initial investment?
This depends on what kind of cleaning business you want to set up. For instance, you can either target the residential market such as individual houses and apartments. Or, you can go after commercial clients like hospitals, local businesses, corporate offices, theaters, and so on.
The advantage of servicing residential consumers is that your initial investment cost will be lower because you won’t need as much manpower or equipment. You can invest anywhere from $3,500 to $20,000 depending on many variables.
On the flip side, the residential cleaning service also offers a lower profit margin compared to the commercial market segment.
Commercial clients have deeper pockets and are easy to retain because of the legalities and contracts involved in the process.
Whether you choose to serve residential or commercial clients will influence all of your other business decisions such as financing, hiring, inventory buying, and marketing.
If you have sufficient capital to back up your business, perhaps you can even consider going after both the market segments.
There are other considerations for investment, too. For instance, you can either choose to start your own cleaning business from scratch or buy a franchise.
Building a business from scratch demands time, effort, and learning. But once it’s profitable, the profits are 100% yours to keep.
Getting a franchise from an existing cleaning company is a low-cost option and offers many advantages. For instance, you can get started in a relatively short time, you will have the necessary guidance from the franchisor, and you don’t have to invest extra in marketing your business.
The only downside is—you will have to be prepared to pay your franchisor a one-time initial fee to obtain your franchise status AND a percentage of your profits to them on a recurring basis.
For instance, Georgia-based Jan-Pro Commercial Cleaning fees have 11 different types of initial franchise fees, which add up to $3,615 at the lowest and $66,355 at the highest.
Additionally, it has 24 different types of “other fees” that one has to pay in order to become their franchise. It’s hard to calculate the total of these fees since they are proportionate to the percentage of your profits.
But don’t let the numbers scare you—this is standard procedure for any franchise-based business. Starting a franchise business is often a profitable and sustainable model because associating with a well-known franchise makes it easier for you to scale your operations and increase your business’s valuation.
How many people should I hire?
Like all the most complicated questions in the world, the answer to the above question is—it depends.
Many of the residential cleaning services like housekeeping, maid services, dusting, vacuuming, etc. are one-person jobs. If you have the willingness and skills to offer these services on your own, you may not even want to hire anyone else.
Many solo cleaning professionals start by marketing their individual cleaning services on local business listing sites like Craigslist.
But if your ambition is to offer full-scale cleaning services and earn higher profit margins, you can set up a team of 5–10 people to start with.
And if you decide to go after offering cleaning services for commercial establishments, you definitely want to have a crew of at least 5–10 people.
That’s the minimum bandwidth you would need to be able to service large business spaces. It’s also easy to get the business from commercial clients when you can showcase a team of professionals in your business.
You can consider expanding your team size based on the market demand for your services or your company’s growth.
How much to pay my employees?
The average hourly wage for cleaning laborers is $12 per crew per hour. There are a few factors involved in this too, such as your state’s minimum wage, overtime pay, the complexity of certain cleaning services, etc.—some of which demand a little extra pay.
As an example, theaters need deep cleaning services at least three days a week. But they ask their cleaning services vendor to work at night so their cleaning doesn’t interfere with their daytime business.
Businesses that employ their staff to work during weekends and night shifts—in addition to the regular 40 hour workweek—usually pay at least 1.5 times more in hourly wages.
How should I price my services?
On average, most cleaning service businesses spend anywhere between $0.05–0.10 per square foot when cleaning. It’s important to understand the investment on your part so that you can price your services reasonably and keep your business sustainable.
You can either bill your services based on a flat-rate price model, hours of work, or square foot measurement.
It’s common for cleaning service providers to offer flat-rate and hourly pricing to their residential clients because their property’s built area is smaller and the nature of cleaning jobs is fairly easy.
The cleaning service’s industry average for one-time flat-rate pricing ranges between $100–400 for a single-family home, based on where you are located. Many vendors offer discounts to clients who hire them on a weekly or monthly basis.
The hourly rate average is $75–100 dollars per hour, depending on the built area, cleaning complexity, and a few other factors.
We recommend you keep your hourly rate flexible and offer a quote to clients only after you do a visual inspection of the property.
The billing based on square foot measurement usually falls between the range of $0.05–0.20 per square foot. Here is a table to help you understand how it looks for different client sizes:
|Property size (in square feet)||Price per square feet($0.05–0.20)|
What will the profits look like?
A cleaning business is a very lucrative business that will earn you anywhere from $30K–50K every year—if you can keep your costs down and add more customers into the fold.
For commercial cleaning businesses, that base revenue potential is pegged at over $100K per year.
The total addressable market (TAM) for cleaning services is huge, and it’s growing at a breakneck speed. The more you can market, network, and expand your business—the more you will earn.
Are there any additional costs?
Yes, there are a few other costs you will have to bear in addition to the initial business investment.
These costs include renting an office, registering and licensing your business, paying legal fees, buying insurance, getting inventory and supplies, perhaps buying a company vehicle, and so on.
On top of these upfront, one-time costs, you will also have to be prepared to incur recurring monthly charges like your monthly lease, employee wages, utility bills, fuel charges, office supplies, advertising and marketing expenditure, etc.
With the right kind of budgeting and accounting, you can easily keep a tab on these costs and leverage them to your business’s advantage.
Let’s dig into insurance and licensing as they aren’t just cost-related concerns but also come with legal considerations that you should be aware of.
remote-ready business in 10 steps
How to legally register a cleaning business
After you are clear about the costs involved in starting your own cleaning business, you would need to think of a name to register your business as a legal entity.
Make sure it’s short and easy to remember and pronounce. A catchy brand name helps you create an easy brand recall among your customers when you market your services.
Let’s look at the different options there are for you to register your business.
1. Sole proprietorship
This is the simplest (and perhaps the oldest) form of registering a business where you as an individual own and control the company all by yourself.
As the sole owner of your business, you are responsible for all liabilities, profits, and losses. These responsibilities can have advantages or disadvantages, depending on the circumstances.
For instance, the licensing of sole proprietorship businesses is the easiest to obtain, maintain, and dissolve. You also have significant tax advantages over other types of business entities.
You aren’t subject to pay “double taxation” when you register your cleaning business under your sole proprietorship—for example. You just have to pay a personal tax once, as the single owner of your business.
But in a partnership and other forms of business entities, you have to pay tax twice, i.e., once as the business owner and again as a legal business entity.
The downside to a sole proprietorship business is that you are legally and personally accountable to everything, including unfavorable business circumstances like debts and lawsuits.
If, for instance, your business goes bankrupt, the bank that offered you a loan can legally seize your house or your personal bank accounts to recover their debts.
The filing fee to incorporate your business as a sole proprietorship varies from one state to another.
The law also requires you to formally register your solo venture under your own name or a fictitious trade name under the Doing Business As (DBA) category.
If you have two or more owners in a business, you have to incorporate your cleaning business as a partnership.
Forming a partnership business is less expensive than forming an LLC or a corporation. But the taxation processes involved in partnerships are a little more complicated than that of sole proprietorships, LLCs, and corporations.
For instance, if you are opening your cleaning business with your sibling or your spouse, you both have joint liabilities in the partnership agreements like paying the taxes equally.
Partnerships can be further categorized into three different kinds:
General partnership: Each partner has equal and shared rights, ownership, and liabilities towards the businesses.
Joint venture: A temporary arrangement for two or more individuals (or companies) to start a business or co-own a project for a specific amount of time.
Once the business achieves its defined goals or the project is over, the partnership either dissolves entirely or the partners can continue their collaboration by re-registering the business under a general partnership.
Limited partnership: It’s a mix of a general partnership and joint venture, where there are general partners who are fully liable to the business and there are limited partners who are liable only to the extent of their investment in the business.
Unlike the above-mentioned company types, owners (often referred to as “shareholders”) of a corporation aren’t personally liable to the business. That’s because the US law treats corporations as a “person” separate from the people who own it.
So if your cleaning company is registered as a corporation and somebody sues your business, the case would be filed against the company and not against you (or your partners).
The disadvantage of registering as a corporation is that your business will be subject to double taxation and you have to spend a significant amount of time and effort into recordkeeping.
Business corporations are of two types:
All corporations are C corporations until you convert them into an S corporation by filing IRS Form 2553 with the Internal Revenue Service. C corps are taxed separately from its owners.
S corporations are one-owner businesses where you preside over the role of the sole shareholder, the president, and the director. Registering as an S corporation saves you money because you aren’t subject to corporate income tax.
The government filing fee for incorporating a company as a corporation ranges between $50 to $200, depending on which state you are filing in.
This fee is in addition to the filing fee that you have to pay to the Secretary of State and any attorney’s fees for lawyers you might have hired, which can cost you one-time up to $700–5,000.
4. Limited liability company (LLC)
An LLC derives all the good features of a sole proprietorship, corporation, and partnership—thus, offering the best of all worlds.
As an LLC owner, you aren’t personally liable for the company’s debts or losses. As an example, you won’t be dragged in court personally if your business defaults on loans or if it’s bankrupt.
That means you can legally protect your personal assets and properties separate from your business in case your company faces legal troubles.
Unlike partnerships, you also don’t have to pay a business income tax when you register your cleaning business as an LLC. You can enjoy the perks of personal tax benefits—just like in a sole proprietorship.
And although the US law treats an LLC as a separate legal entity, you don’t have a complicated record-keeping requirement like that of a corporation.
LLCs are a popular choice for opening small businesses in the US because of the ease of its business structure and simple taxation involved.
Registering as an LLC offers you the option to either stay nimble as a local business or grow as a multi-state business.
The cost of registering an LLC varies by state. You can file your company as an LLC in Colorado for a one-time fee of $50, for instance. The same process will cost you about $630 in Illinois and $300 in Texas.
How to start a cleaning business?
Once you decide on how you want to register your cleaning business, here are the next steps for you to get started formally.
1. Apply for an Employment Identification Number
Most small businesses in the US need an Employment Identification Number (EIN) to open a business bank account, file taxes, or apply for a loan. It doesn’t cost you any money to apply for an EIN.
The US federal government is the issuing authority behind a EIN, and you can apply for it online through the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) website.
It might take you about 15 minutes to complete the online application process—given you apply within the IRS’ daytime working hours.
2. Open a business bank account
Regardless of whether you register your cleaning business as a sole proprietorship or an LLC, it’s a good idea to obtain a business bank account to handle your company’s finances before you start taking your first client.
Opening a business bank account helps separate your company’s finances from your personal finances and makes your bookkeeping job a lot easier.
For instance, you can easily keep track of your taxes or save yourself from a lot of hassles in case the IRS decides to audit your company’s finances.
It will cost you money to open a business bank account—the rates vary from one bank to another.
Just make sure that you choose a bank that doesn’t require you to keep a hefty minimum balance every month or charge you a monthly fee.
3. Get your business insured
Most states in the US require you to insure your business by law. For example, the US government demands small businesses with employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance.
While many of the other commercial insurances are optional, it’s a good idea to protect your business against any future uncertainties or damages. Getting your business insured can cost you anywhere from $500 to $4,000 per year depending on your specific requirements.
For instance, getting commercial auto insurance will cover you against any damages on your commercial vehicles. A professional liability insurance protects you against certain professional services.
Similarly, a janitorial bond or surety bond will cover your clients’ assets in case a cleaning crew member steals something (unfortunately, employee theft is more common than you would imagine).
Don’t ignore the process of insuring your cleaning business since it’s not only a precaution but also a legal prerequisite in many cases. Go through the US Small Business Association’s website for more information on different kinds of insurance.
4. Obtain licenses and permits
Most states in the US require you to get a general business license for running a cleaning services business.
You will have to visit your local city hall or your county’s administration office in person to fill out an application form and pay a one-time fee (usually under $100).
In addition, you might also have to obtain certain permits before you open your business for customers.
For operating a cleaning business, you will need a wide range of permits related to zoning, building, health (if food is involved), parking, fire safety, air and water pollution control, signage, etc.
Failing to comply with local licensing laws or obtain one or more of the above permits might result in hefty fines, penalties, or even shutdown of your business.
5. Purchase cleaning inventory
You will need a lot of cleaning products and equipment to start taking in clients. For example, you will need professional chemical supplies like concentrated bleach, antibacterial sprays, and industrial-grade disinfectants every week to clean your clients’ properties.
You will also need cleaning tools like high-quality dustpans, brooms, mops, mop buckets, vacuum cleaners, etc.
The cost of buying these inventory depends on your business capital as well as the estimated number or size of customers’ properties you are prepared to serve.
On average, a broom costs you $10, while a heavy-duty professional vacuum cleaner starts at $200. The cost of chemical cleaning solutions fluctuates based on your usage—the lower you can keep your inventory cost, the higher your profit margin.
Here’s a list of cleaning equipment you will require as part of your cleaning supplies inventory:
It’s a good idea to partner with a local cleaning supply manufacturer to buy your inventory directly from them at a price lower than the market rate. You can find a list of local suppliers and manufacturers near you if you look them up online.
Alternatively, you can also bargain-shop your cleaning inventory from online stores such as HD Supply.
6. Hire people and train them
If you decide to hire people for your cleaning business, you will have to give them some basic level of training on cleaning, handling chemicals safely, marking job sheets, filling out paperwork, and etiquette when dealing with customers.
Launch a buddy system to train your new hires. For example, pair new employees on your team with a more experienced member. The latter can guide and support the new hires until they are comfortable on their own.
Never send new recruits to a clients’ property by themselves. Make them shadow an experienced colleague or a supervisor until they are up to speed.
Create a cleaning checklist for all employees to follow. It gives a standard structure to your cleaning procedure and prevents your cleaning staff from forgetting anything.
Train your employees to have the customers sign-off the cleaning checklist once their jobs are over. It’s a great way to get direct customer feedback and improve your customer relationships.
Here’s an example template that you can use to create a cleaning checklist for your business:
As your team grows, identify someone from your team who is good at training and delegate the responsibility of training new employees to them.
As a side note, consider purchasing work uniforms for all your employees. It’s a standard thing among most cleaning businesses.
It also presents your business as more professional when your employees visit your customers’ properties dressed in branded uniforms.
Finding and keeping customers
The real fun (and challenge) of starting your own cleaning business begins when you have to find new customers and keep them.
Let’s look at all the important things that you need to keep in mind in order to market and grow your cleaning business.
1. Pick a niche
Like we discussed earlier in this chapter—the total market size for a cleaning business is immense. If you can market your business well and meet the growing demands of your clients—the sky’s the limit.
But there’s also a contradictory viewpoint to that. Most businesses that need on-site physical visits—like a cleaning business—are better off focusing on a niche.
This strategy will not only make your marketing strategy easier and more effective, it will also help you develop your brand’s specialization and therefore get a competitive advantage in that niche.
Take a look at Rozalado Commercial Cleaning from Chicago, for example. They are a locally owned cleaning service provider who are very clear in their brand positioning and targeting.
So before you start marketing your services, decide which demography you want to target in your advertising. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you in the business of residential cleaning or commercial cleaning?
- Or, do you want to service both segments?
- What does your ideal customer persona look like?
- Where are most of your target audience located geographically?
- What makes your business different from others in your area?
Your marketing approach gets easy once you have near-accurate answers to the above questions.
2. Double down on marketing
Once you have clarity on which niche you want to target, you can start creating marketing assets that will help your customers discover your business.
There are two ways to market your business:
i. Free marketing
ii. Paid advertising
As a new business with a tight budget, you should direct your energies towards the first option to keep your costs low.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of free marketing activities you can do to get your name out there.
1. Facebook page
Creating a Facebook page is a great alternative to paid marketing activities—such as creating your own website—which demands a significant amount of time and resources. A website is a must once you start getting traction to your business.
Create a Facebook page and start posting content that will advertise yourself to your target customers. And while it’s totally free to create a Facebook page, you still have to invest a lot of time and dedication to engage with the right audience.
Facebook also allows you to communicate your phone number, email, and hours of operation, and it lets you chat with your customer from within your business page.
You can post photos and videos of your services, your client testimonials, or share relevant content with your page followers to build social proof around your brand.
2. Google My Business
Just like creating a Facebook page, you don’t have to pay anything to Google to create a business page.
You can just go to the Google My Business page and create your company page to help local customers find you through Google Maps.
You can add photos, videos, and encourage your past/existing customers to give you positive reviews in Google Maps to improve your online brand presence.
3. Capitalize on free branding opportunities
When you are just starting out a new business, everything you do as a company can add value to your marketing and branding.
For instance, you can design your company vehicle into a moving billboard that will market your services to prospective customers for free.
Take a look at this example:
The vehicle’s body has everything that a marketing copy should have—the brand name, the types of services they offer, how long they have been in the business (that’s a social proof), and their phone number for customers to call.
Similarly, you can design your crew’s cleaning uniforms to market your cleaning brand every time they step out in the public.
You can also come up with several other inexpensive brand merchandise ideas to marketing your business.
Here’s a list of items you can gift to your clients—or prospective customers—to market your business for free:
- Free toiletries with your brand stickers
- Branded desk calendars
- Branded hand towels
- Pens with your logo on them
- Aromatic candles with your brand logo
- Business cards with a referral offer on the back
- Artisan soap bars with brand stickers
- Branded chocolates or sweets
- Branded rubber ducks for kids
Yes, this idea might cost you a little bit of money. But technically, this doesn’t fall into the traditional sense of paid marketing idea. You can order such brand merchandise from local suppliers in bulk at a low cost.
When you leave your branded merchandise behind after finishing a cleaning job for your customers, not only do you market your brand but also create a “wow” customer experience.
Let’s also look at some paid but low-budget marketing ideas that you can benefit from.
1. Bulletin boards
Creating Facebook and Google pages for your cleaning business are great ideas to market yourself online in today’s largely digital world.
But because a cleaning business is mostly a local affair, you can market your services through traditional channels such as posting an advertisement on bulletin boards across local grocery chains.
For example, create and print 100 copies of 8.5×11” posters that communicate your business name, the services you offer, and your contact details.
Here’s an example of a pamphlet ad for a local cleaning service business.
You can use free online websites such as Canva or Adobe Spark to create marketing posters for free.
2. Local events
If your city sees a good variety of events or trade shows every year, take part in such events to network with your customers.
Print 200–500 copies of business cards with your name, contact number, and service details and pass it around to people you meet in those events. Printing up to 1,000 business cards should cost you $100 or less.
If your budget allows, you can even buy a booth space to showcase your cleaning services to the right audience. Or, you can sponsor the local event to make your marketing more effective.
Advertising your cleaning services on bulletin boards and local events works effectively because marketing gets you good results when you advertise your business in relevant places with high foot traffic.
3. Create a website
Having your own business website is very important in today’s age. It’s like having your virtual office on the internet.
Customers are more likely to trust and do business with brands that have a website because it positions you as a serious and credible brand.
The Rozalado team have done a wonderful job of creating a website that answers almost all the questions that their customers have about their services:
Once you create your website, you can create pages to list all the services you offer, showcase your past work, add client testimonials, or create a sign-in form for customers to contact you directly.
You can write your own website copy or hire a good copywriter to do it for you.
Invest some amount of time and money to create helpful content like writing blogs or adding photos and videos to your website to make your website discoverable in search engines.
4. Run ads
If you have enough marketing budget or if you are in a hurry to reach more customers, you should consider investing in ads to market your business.
You can choose from traditional options of buying newspaper ads, erecting a billboard next to the local interstate, or sending direct mail ads to your target customers.
Alternatively, you can invest in bidding for Google Ads (aka, search engine marketing) or run ads on Facebook to make yourself more discoverable online.
Unlike the traditional style of mass media advertisement, online ads are highly targeted to the audience of your choice.
The cost of running these ads will depend on your marketing goal, the size of the audience you want to target, the type of ad, and a few other variables.
For instance, you can pay Facebook anywhere from $7 per week to $50,000 a week to run ads on their platform. The point is—platforms like Google or Facebook let you set your ad budget.
If you are not comfortable buying online ads on your own, you can hire a freelance search engine optimization (SEO) professional to help you run online ads.
Combine all or a few of these paid advertising activities with discounts, offers, or contests to get more attention to your marketing campaign.
Here’s an example:
3. Offer referral discounts
Referrals are a great way to find new clients for your business and keep them for the long haul.
Research says that most businesses get 65% of new customers through referral channels, such as your customers’ friends, colleagues, or acquaintances.
Stats also show that 92% of customers trust business referrals that come to them through people they know.
Ask your existing customers to refer your business to their network. Do this mostly with your best customers who are happy to put in a good word about you to others.
It’s best to build a formal system for getting customer referrals. For instance, every time your crew finishes cleaning a customer’s property, ask them to give the customer a short survey to rate your service quality.
If they give you a five-star or 10/10 rating, it means they are pleased with your service. You can use this insight later to contact the customer and ask them for referrals. You can also ask them for testimonials to use on your Facebook page or online ads.
Here’s another way to get more customer referrals—offer your clients an incentive to do so. For instance, offer them a 50% reimbursement on your next visit for each new referral or give them a 1-out-of-5 free cleaning service every time they refer you to a new client.
4. Get into long-term contracts
This is easier said than done—especially if you are in the niche of residential cleaning. Residential clients are mostly individual households who prefer to order cleaning services sporadically.
The only way you can get your residential clients to pay you on a recurring basis is by offering them maid or laundry services—two things that most residential customers need frequently.
And this is where the value of getting into the niche of a commercial cleaning business holds more importance. Commercial clients have more spending budgets, have daily cleaning requirements, and have formal processes for hiring cleaning vendors.
Formalize a contract that you can work with when onboarding a new commercial client. Here’s a sample template that you can take inspiration from to create your own contract:
Getting into contracts with clients makes your business more committed to the service while making it difficult for your customers to get out of it.
It’s a lock-in marketing strategy to keep your customers for longer while also persuading them to renew the contract.
A monthly or yearly contract also gives you enough visibility into your revenue stream so that you can budget your marketing and spending accordingly.
5. Apply retention tactics
The best way to retain your customers from going to your competition is by offering quality cleaning services.
No matter how good your marketing or how complicated your contract is, you can’t keep your customers for long if the services you provide don’t meet your customer expectations.
Earlier, we talked about giving discounts and offers to acquire customers.
You can apply the same strategy to delight your existing customers so that they either hire you repeatedly or stay with you for the next term.
For instance, offer your existing commercial clients a renewal discount to get them to extend the contract. Or, give your residential customers free bathroom cleaning services if they hire you more frequently.
The other thing that you can do to keep your clients is giving them a personalized customer service experience. Customer service might sound like a big word for a small cleaning service business, but it’s more of a mindset than a business function.
It’s a system for you to address your clients’ complaints or dissatisfaction and fix any problems they might have gone through in relation to your service experience.
Delegate the function of customer service to specific people on your team if you have enough budget and team bandwidth.
If you are small, train every staff member on your team to handle customer grievances either on the spot or when clients contact you via phone, email, or online chat.
Make it a habit to formally process and record customer problems or complaints and solve them in a timely fashion. It will give you important insights into the most common problems your customers face and how to efficiently deal with them.
A little extra touch of good customer service makes a world of difference to your customers. And the next time they need a cleaning service, they will most likely think of you because of the positive experience they had in the past.
Seeing the pristine opportunity beneath the fog
If there’s something that the current pandemic situation has taught us, it’s the value of keeping ourselves informed, safe, and shielded against impending health risks. And regardless of how soon we bounce back out of this global health mess, cleaning is going to occupy a huge mindshare across residential communities in the years to come.
In addition to being a low-overhead startup business idea that promises a lucrative future, a cleaning services business also comes with the sense of social responsibility to keep the community around you healthy and safe.
Given the explosive growth and demand cleaning business are witnessing, this might be the best time to enter the business of cleaning services. We suggest you scrub off your apprehensions about it and get down to business.