Of all the commercial cleaning businesses out there, starting an office cleaning business is, without a doubt, the easiest and least expensive to get into. You can start with a small overhead, a few tools and little cleaning experience, and that’s a startup business that’s hard to beat.
Opening a commercial janitorial service may not be a glamorous undertaking, but it sure can be profitable. However, not all commercial cleaning services are created equal. For example, you will not be cleaning an office the same way you clean a hospital. This site will focus on the janitorial office cleaning business.
Watch a video on how to properly clean an office building here.
First off, it is possible to start some businesses from home if you don’t have the funds to rent an office space. If you decide to go this route and before you do anything else, make sure that your City will allow you to use part of your home as your office.
Some places won’t approve a home office unless the zoning where your house sits allows a business to be transacted from the property. Sometimes approval will depend on the type of business that will be conducted from the residence. Since your prospects won’t be coming to your home office and you won’t have a bunch of people coming and going, chances are your home office will get approved.
Once your office building cleaning services business takes off, (and it will, with proper help), you can then rent an office space which will give your business even more credibility with consumers.
Here’s a video on office building cleaning that shows the proper way to clean an office. The methods shown are professional, practical and responsible.
There are initial steps you need to take before you can actually start soliciting customers for your office cleaning business. If you don’t want to waste time, follow the tips below to open or start your janitorial cleaning service as soon as possible.
Choose a name for your business that’s easy to remember and somewhat catchy so that it sticks in your prospects’ minds. If you plan to advertise in the Yellow Pages (yes, people still do look there), choose a name that starts with an “A” so that you’re at the top in the Yellow Pages directory.
- Forming a corporation can be pricey but will be more appropriate if you have business partners.
However, if you are the sole proprietor, the least expensive way to conduct business is by filing a DBA (Doing Business As also known as a Fictitious Business Name). A DBA allows you to conduct and start an office cleaning business without using your legal name.
If you don’t want to be bothered to file a DBA yourself, a number of newspapers can handle this process for you. Call the smaller newspapers as their fee might be less than the larger newspapers.
In some places, you will not need to file a DBA if you use your legal name in your company like, “Joe Smith’s Janitorial Services.” But many business owners are uncomfortable with using their names as part of their business name. Just do what you’re comfortable with.
Apply for a business license with the City. Additionally, you will need to register your business with the Franchise Tax Board if you’re in California. Laws vary, so do some research to find out what other government agencies you need to register with in your area to make sure you are in compliance.
When you order your business cards, make sure the design is simple and elegant. I’m sure you’ve heard that “less is more,” and that also holds true for business cards. A busy-looking card will turn off prospects. Do you believe that your business card reflects on you and your business? Believe it because it does.
Here’s something really important. You will need to obtain liability insurance for your office cleaning business in the event you incur damage in a client’s office during your cleaning process. Some prospective clients might also require you to be bonded, so you might as well look into that too and start shopping around.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples
Have you ever heard of using a USP when marketing a business? Using a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to make your office cleaning business stand out by putting it on your card, Web site and flyers can be very powerful.
But what exactly is a USP? Here’s the definition according to Business Directory:
It is the real or perceived benefit of a good or service that differentiates it from the competing brand and gives its buyer a logical reason to prefer it over other brands.
Huh? In other words, it should answer the question: Why should they hire you instead of your competition?
Here are some examples of really cool USPs:
Metropolitan Life: “Get Met, It Pays”
M&Ms: “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand”
And here’s my favorite from Saddleback Leather, a leather bag company:
“They’ll Fight Over It When You’re Dead”
Very clever, don’t you think?
I’m sure you get the drift of what a USP is and how powerful a memorable one can be for your business. If you make an effort and create a USP that will make you stand out from your competitors, and you provide excellent service, your business will explode, guaranteed. But make sure that you can back up what your USP promises!