Start & Run a Home Cleaning Business


Home cleaning is one of the fastest-growing service businesses in North America. Today's demanding careers and lifestyles mean that people have less time to devote to domestic duties, and often more money to pay to have them done. And with the increase in our aging population, this service is fast becoming a necessity.

A home cleaning service might start out small, but it has the potential to grow to be a multimillion dollar business with branch offices and franchises, to the ...

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Start & Run a Home Cleaning Business

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Home cleaning is one of the fastest-growing service businesses in North America. Today's demanding careers and lifestyles mean that people have less time to devote to domestic duties, and often more money to pay to have them done. And with the increase in our aging population, this service is fast becoming a necessity.

A home cleaning service might start out small, but it has the potential to grow to be a multimillion dollar business with branch offices and franchises, to the point where you need to lease office space, hire staff, purchase a fleet of vehicles, and develop your own products and customized services. Or you may want to go solo and remain small. Whatever your goals are, this book you can help get your business up and running, and help you survive that essential first year. This book answers questions such as -: What are the legal requirements for running a home cleaning business? How do I find and keep clients? How much should I charge? What equipment do I need? What other services can I offer? How do I hire and train staff?

Includes dozens of useful cleaning tips and a chapter on taking advantage of the growing market for estate cleanups and helping older clients move out of their homes. Highlights of the CD-ROM: Cash flow forecast, Receipts and disbursements journal, Form for calculating quotes, Scheduling calendar, Final walk-through checklist, Quality control diary.

About the Author:
Susan Bewsey lectures and trains entrepreneurs in the US, Canada, Australia, France, and Italy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551804248
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: Second Edition Paperback with Cd-Rom
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 124
  • Product dimensions: 8.24 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

In 1981, armed with a secondhand vehicle, a small staff, and a dramatic advertising campaign, Susan Bewsey launched her first cleaning business. Within three months, "the little cleaning business that could" was a success, and Bewsey sold her first franchise shortly after. By 1988, she had sold and resold 157 franchises and managed a fleet of more than 80 vehicles.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     XV
Shining in the Spotlight     1
Before You Get started     1
Is This the Business for You?     2
Filling in the Vacuum     2
You're on Your Way     5
Sweeping the Nation: Getting Started     8
Targeting Your Market     8
Assess your market potential     8
Identify your customers     8
Assessing the Competition     9
Legal Requirements     10
Zoning     10
Insurance     10
Licenses     12
Business taxes     12
Choosing a Business Name     12
Choosing a Business Structure     13
Sole proprietorship     13
Partnership     13
Corporation     13
Professional Services: Your Lawyer and Your Accountant     14
Purchasing an Existing Business or Franchise?     15
Leasing Versus Purchasing     16
Setting Goals and Financing     17
Your Mission Statement     17
Forecasting Your Needs     18
Analyzing your costs     18
Your cash flow projection     19
Calculating your break-evenpoint     19
How Much Should You Charge?     20
Keep Your Forecast up to Date     21
Raising the Money     21
Your Business Plan     22
Polishing Your Technique: Getting Organized     29
Knowing Your Business     29
A little clean fun     29
What you'll need on the job     30
Organizing Your Headquarters     32
The home office     32
Locating away from home     32
Arranging your office     33
Site security     33
Vehicle     33
Telephone lines and cell phones     34
Organizing Business Records     35
Your billing/payroll system     35
Your bank statement     35
Your B/F (bring forward) system     36
Computers and Technology     36
Software     38
Printers     38
The Internet as a resource     38
A digital camera     38
Working with Suppliers     38
Making contact     38
Getting the best price     39
Environmentally friendly products     39
Marketing     40
Visibility: Let People Know You're Here     40
Creating Your Image     40
Advertising Strategy     41
Yellow Pages     41
Promoting Your Business at Trade Shows     43
Direct-Mail Marketing     43
Cross Promotions     44
Timing     45
Gain Maximum Interest     45
Using Color in Your Promotional Materials     47
Word-of-Mouth Marketing     48
Rags to Riches: Pricing Your Work     49
Your Goals     49
Quoting Basics     49
Have information ready for the client     49
Always visit the premises     49
Estimating and quoting techniques     50
Pricing     51
Charging by the hour     51
Charging per job     52
Charging on commission     52
Markup procedure     52
Tenders and Bidding on Contracts     53
Save Money for Your Client; Save Time for You     53
Forms of Payment     54
Going Solo     61
Do You Want to Go Solo?     61
Research, Research, Research     62
Strategic Planning     63
Marketing plan: What advertising will you need to do?     63
Production plan: What tools of the trade will you need to be ready to "spring" into action?     64
Cash/Profit plan     65
Financial plan: How much money do you want to make?     67
Time plan: How much time are you going to use to generate income?     68
Human resources plan: What will you do if you get sick or injured?     69
Succession plan: What to do when it's time to leave the business     70
Going Into Labor: Your Hiring and Staffing Needs     71
Your Goals for Hiring     71
Analyze Your Staffing Needs     72
Who is your ideal worker?     72
Attracting your staff     72
Break Down What the Employee Must Do     72
Interviewing     74
Where     74
The application form     74
What you need to know     74
Designing your interview questions     78
The interview     78
The Trial Period     79
Uniforms     81
Legal Requirements     85
Know what's required     85
Notify the tax department     86
Other requirements     86
Additional steps to take     86
Benefits and Incentives     86
Termination of Staff     87
Training: Making It Fun and Informative     90
"Fun"damentals     90
Setting Up a Training Facility     90
Meeting Company Standards     92
Encourage employees to learn by doing     92
Try to keep it simple     93
Tips for the Trainer     95
Tell or describe the task in detail     95
Show or demonstrate how the task is done     95
Have each employee try the task     96
Observe the trainee's performance     96
Praise the employee or offer redirection     96
Incentives     97
Scheduling     100
Balancing different needs     100
Injury and First Aid     102
Breakage     102
Clients and How to Keep Them     103
Meeting with the Client     103
Appearance and grooming     103
Turn on the charm     104
Good Clients and Bad Clients     105
Saying Goodbye or Withdrawing Services from a Client     105
New Clients: When to Say No     107
Special Concerns     107
Children      108
Tradespeople     108
Damages     108
Valuables     108
Breakage     108
Running out of product     109
Inadequate client equipment     109
Security     109
Special Services     110
One-time or seasonal jobs     110
Assisting personal domestics     110
Pet sitting     111
The Daily Run     113
How It All Comes Together     113
Keep Your Staff up to Date     114
Handling Complaints     114
Cleaning "Fun"damentals     118
Cleaning Tips     118
Cleaning Tips for Your Clients     121
Tips for Home-Cleaning Teams     121
Tips for Window Washing     124
Tips for Wall Washing     124
Tips for Cleaning New Building Projects     124
Tips for Cleaning Offices     126
Know Your Products     126
Inventory Control     128
JIT inventory     128
Labeling your bottles     128
Product Safety     129
Quality Control     130
Make One Staff Member Responsible for Each Job     130
Adjust Work and Team Schedules     130
Your Collections Policy     133
Client Problems     135
Employee Theft     135
Be Available for Clients     135
Services for Downsizing Homeowners and Estate Cleanups     137
A New Market     137
Services You Can Offer to Downsizing Homeowners     137
Estate Cleanups     138
Disposal of Household Chemicals     138
Pricing     139
Growing Your Business     139
You're on Your Way     140
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