Starting and running a cleaning business—for both residential and commercial cleaning— can take a lot of hard work and dedication. With the nature of the competition, building your reputation, and growing your business can be extremely difficult.
There are, however, a lot of ways you can try to build your customer base when you’re just starting out, and effective actionable tips to grow your cleaning service business. Below, we will discuss some of the most effective ones.
Let’s start with the first one.
1. Differentiate Yourself by Focusing on a Niche
Yes, you want to start a cleaning business, but what kinds of services are you actually going to deliver?
In this saturated market, differentiating yourself as a business is very important. If you can convince your customers that you can deliver something unique that other cleaning firms can’t, you can get their attention.
Start by having a proper competitive analysis: what do your competitors do that make them unique? Nowadays, we can use social media and various online review sites for this purpose.
It’s best to pick and focus on a niche so you can build a loyal customer base:
- Residential maintenance and cleaning: pretty self-explanatory, you’ll specialize in providing typical maintenance of a home
- Move-in and move-out cleaning: moving cleaning services are actually a very lucrative business opportunity. You can, for example, be a subcontractor for a moving company or a landlord.
- Deep cleaning: specialized cleaning for pantries, walls, cupboards, and other hidden areas.
- Event cleanup: great in locations where residential events are parties are common.
- Green cleaning: jump on the bandwagon and specialize in eco-friendly cleaning service
- Commercial cleaning: specializing in businesses rather than residential homes, can provide a more steady, long-term revenue
a) Networking and Building Relationships
One of the most important keys to success in growing your cleaning business is building a strong network with clients, suppliers, other businesses, and even your competitors.
Even when you are building relationships with people that might not be your future customer, by leaving a good impression and building a healthy, long-term relationship, we’ll never know how they might bring referrals in the future.
- Build your presence on social media. Don’t underestimate the power of social media in attracting and retaining clients, especially in a local-based niche like cleaning services.
- Join local trade shows, where you can meet potential clients and other business owners.
- Join the local associations for cleaning service businesses. They might provide new opportunities for advertising and might also give you some insights about industry trends and news
- Join community events. You might also want to volunteer and/or contribute to the events, which can be a great way to build your reputation while also giving back to your community.
- Don’t underestimate email marketing, use all the above approaches to collect more email addresses, and set up an automated email newsletter campaign. This can be a very effective way to get more leads for your business, which can turn into new clients and ultimately, higher revenue.
2. Focus on Delivering Value to Your Customers
As with any business, providing a good customer experience is the secret to getting more customers, growing your business in the process. 70% of surveyed U.S. customers admitted that they are okay with spending more money on a company that delivers better service. So, the cheaper price isn’t always the winner, and you can actually win by offering more.
Here are some things you can do to improve your service:
- Show up on time
As your cleaning business grows bigger with more clients and employees, scheduling can be more complex and trickier. This is where cleaning scheduling and management software like fieldd can help in tracking your time. By always showing up on time and finishing the job on time, you can build your credibility as a reputable cleaning service business and grow your reputation.
- Accurate and efficient quotes/bids
Don’t make your clients and potential clients wait for you to give them a quote, and always make sure to give an accurate and proper bid on the first try. This will show your customers that you value their time, and they’ll treat you as a reputable business.
- Maintain your equipment
Make sure to maintain your equipment and tools regularly so there won’t be any delays in services due to equipment failure. Similarly, always have enough cleaning supplies and audit your inventory regularly, Again, a field service management software like fieldd can help monitor your resources and supplies.
3. Insure Your Business
Depending on your location, you might be legally required to carry insurance before you can start a cleaning service business.
Even when it’s not legally required, some clients—especially commercial organizations—might require your business to have insurance before they’ll sign a contract for your service. In general, however, having at least basic insurance covers will show your customers that your business is credible and trustworthy.
So, set aside a budget for insurance, and if necessary get help from a professional insurance broker in your area so you can get the most cost-efficient insurance policies for your business. In general, you should consider the following basic insurance policies:
- General liability insurance: you’ll need this type of insurance to pay for damages, for example when you damage the client’s property during a cleaning process, or if you injure someone as a direct result of your cleaning activities.
- Janitorial bonds: this type of insurance covers you when your employee is accused of theft or when any of the client’s properties are lost during/after the cleaning process
- Workers’ compensation insurance: pays for injured employees’ medical bills, lost wages, and other potential compensations
- Commercial auto insurance: most likely you’ll have vehicles for transporting your employees and equipment/tools. Commercial auto insurance protects these vehicles.
4. Put Extra Emphasis on Securit
In a cleaning business, you and/or your employees are going to work unsupervised in other people’s properties. Obviously, this can make your clients nervous, so do everything that you can to ensure that their properties and whatever in it are 100% safe. This, in fact, can create a major competitive advantage if your competitors failed to do the same.
For example, make sure to perform thorough background checks on all of your team members and especially new employees, and communicate to your clients that this is your mandatory practice. Also, let your clients know that you are insured, and offer a personal guarantee in writing if necessary.
The most important factor in growing your cleaning service business is ensuring a good customer experience and satisfaction. In turn, a happy customer will refer your business to their peers, friends, and family, which will allow you to get new referral customers and grow your business.
A key part in ensuring customer satisfaction is ensuring you always deliver your service on time, and this is where an advanced scheduling solution can help automate your scheduling process and help grow your business in the long run.