Starting a Cleaning Business
Starting a business usually requires up-front capital and investments, and is a difficult endeavor. There are, however, business opportunities out there for people who need to make a little extra money on the side and have very low startup costs. One option that is on the easier side of business startups is the commercial or residential cleaning business.
Every office has facility needs, and usually someone in the office has to take the time to keep the office looking and smelling clean. To do this right, it needs to be done regularly, and it’s hard for business owners or employees of a business to have to do that on a regular basis. There is already a need there, and if you can provide a service that alleviates the need for a reasonable fee, you may start winning some business.
The startup costs of a small venture like commercial cleaning lies in the supplies, the equipment, the personnel hours (your time), and insurance. You may also have a little expense in getting a business license and business formation done, but those will be less than a few hundred dollars. Your expenses in supplies aren’t much, as $20-$30 in supplies can last through multiple cleaning. Insurance will run close to $800 per year, but broken up over monthly or quarterly payments that will be less than $100 per month. If you charge $40-75 for small offices, and $150-$250 for larger offices, you can easily clear enough per office to have a profitable business by doing a few offices a week. Especially if this is a second job to support your family, this can easily fit into an after-hours schedule, as most office cleanings occur after hours.
Keeping expenses low will be important to your profitability, and having a good supplier of cleaning products can save money over the year. Once you get a few accounts, look at purchasing cleaning supplies in bulk. There will be a little additional expense from buying more upfront, but the per unit cost will go down, and you will go longer between purchases and having to expend cash flow.
It also helps to have the right tools for the job. Having the right tools and cleaning products will make you more efficient, allowing you to get more done in a shorter amount of time. This increases your profitability as your time expense goes down. Commercial grade cleaners and supplies will cost a little more up front, but will typically last longer, do the job better, and make your job easier. You may start out using household grade items to get you started, but you want to look into getting wholesale products in bulk. Often time, there can be tremendous savings buying wholesale versus purchasing your supplies at retail costs.
In the slower recovery of our economy the last few years, lots of families and individuals need work or need more income. If you get creative, you can create opportunities for yourself by starting a side business with low up-front costs. Once that business gets going, who knows, you may just stumble onto a good revenue stream that allows you to focus on it and grow it. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Reward doesn’t come without some risk, and by doing businesses with low startup cost, you can maximize reward potential and minimize your risk.
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