Making Your Cleaning Business Plan

by admin on August 9, 2012

How To Start a Cleaning Business

So you’re ready to start your cleaning business? You know that your best bet is to make a proper business plan but…

Ugh, it’s just so annoying. It takes time. It can be confusing. There’s so much stuff in it that you’ll probably never use.

Yes, all of the above is true. I’m an impatient type of person that – when I get an idea in my head – I just want to get started immediately.

Nevertheless, making a proper plan is the best thing you can do for your cleaning business. If you want to get a loan for your cleaning business – obviously – it’s vital. But even if you don’t, having a document that lays out your business strategy, and that you can keep coming back to, is invaluable as you push forward into this new territory.

This series of posts is going to take you through the process of building your own cleaning business plan. Because let me be clear… You can’t just download a template on this. Each cleaning business is different, and you have to know why your business is different and how it will continue to be different… after all, that’s how you’ll make money.

Start a Cleaning BusinessSo the first thing I’ll do is give you some templates – blank ones – that you can follow along with, as I guide you one how to fill in each of the blanks. Download the one that’s relevant to where you live and we’ll get started.

- For a US business plan template, click here.

- For a UK business plan template, click here.

- For an Australian business plan template, click here.

- For a Canadian business plan template, click here.

If your country is not above, it’s not so important. Pick any of the ones above and use it as a guide. They don’t vary THAT much.

Now that’s done, we can get into this… Let’s take it from the top.

Business Details

Most of this part is not that important or you don’t need it yet. Stand out parts (and exceptions are) are:

Business Name: Don’t worry about it yet. It’s the least important part of your operation, and you can think of one later if you don’t already have it.

Relevant Owner Experience: Some variation of this field can be on your template, and it’s really just asking if you the owner have had any work experience in the past that could help you in your new cleaning business. Say whatever you feel is appropriate here. Note however that this is mainly only of concern to a bank or potential investors so if you’re financing things yourself, you don’t need to worry about this.

Products/Services: This is where you state what you’ll actually be selling. Will you be cleaning homes, or offices? Or pools, or windows for that matter? Use the questions in the last post, and the research you did about the cleaning market in your area to make this decision and list that decision here.

This question can also include what is the anticipated demand for your products or services. This is a valuable thing to know for your own purposes because it allows you to make predictions about your future revenue. If you can get hold of any reports or census data on how many people in your area use cleaning services, that is helpful, if not, you can only make your best estimate based on what you know and what is the population/demographic of your local area. Note: People know that it can be hard to obtain accurate numbers for the “size of your market” so don’t worry if you don’t have the exact figures.

That’s it for this section! Easy huh? The next section is the big one!

The Market

Two main questions need to be answered in this part of your plan…

Target Market

This means a lot of things. In business school they tell you that you need to know your demographic, and features like their age, where they live, their income level etc.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that to make real money in business, you need to know SO much more about your target market. You need to know everything about them. You need to know what keeps them awake at night. You need to know them better than they know themselves.

And that’s what this part of your business plan can help you achieve. So get the easy points out of the way first:

Age: Within what age bracket are your target clients? Is it 30-50 year old home owners? Any age home owners? Whatever it is, get an idea of it down here.

Location: The area where you’ll be operating.

Demographic: What income bracket are they in? What kinds of work do they have? Those plus the above and more are all part of your demographic?

Why Would They Buy Your Products Or Services Over Others

Starting a Cleaning BusinessThis is a REALLY important one.

You have to decide on a “USP” or a unique selling point for your business. There are surely many cleaning businesses in your area… how will yours be different? Why will it stand out?

Will you be cheaper? Offer a better clean? Will you use better materials? Do the job faster? Whatever it is, now’s the time to decide. Actually, let me give you some tips for this…

Tip #1: You need to start buy surveying cleaning businesses in your area, as we discussed in an earlier step. You need to know what’s currently out there before you can know how you would be better than them.

Collect a bunch of their ads, make some calls, even get some of them to clean your house as a test. It’s all key competition data that you’ll be able to use to make your business as great as possible.

Tip #2: I said above that one of your possible “USP”s would be that you offer the cheapest service. Let me now contradict myself and say that while that’s an option… it’s a BAD option.

Another valuable business lesson I’ve learned is that you never want to be competing on price. If the way you choose to stand out is by continually lowering your margins and hence your revenue… the game can only last so long. It’s a “race to the bottom” as some people say. Your business is a sinking ship.

Instead of competing on price, you want to compete on quality. You want to offer a service that stands out in some other way (that provides value to your customers) and you want to do what it takes to find the customers that appreciate that more than anything else. That’s not hard either – you only need to know how.

Here are some other ideas for what your unique selling point could be.

Speed: Especially if it’s home cleaning, certain customers will appreciate speed. You get in and out and you do a great job. You’re not in the person’s house very long, they don’t have to see you much (important to some clients) and their house is always clean almost without them noticing. That’s a possibility.

Quality: A clean so good that your house guests will be constantly shocked at how pristine things are. That’s a selling point. People always appreciate quality AND… they’ll pay for it. That means never having to cut your margins and beg for business. Pursuing quality means people will be begging YOU to clean their house… and begging for the privilege of paying you for it.

There are many more too.

If you know people in your area who get their houses/offices cleaned: Talk to them. Ask them what they like about their cleaning service (or what they DISLIKE) and take notes. This will give you an insight into the mind of your prospect, and allow you to craft the perfect USP that makes you stand out… and that lets you come into this market with all guns blazing.

OK… this post is about long enough… we’ll continue in the next post with the final points in the “Market” section of your business plan.

Click Here For “Your Cleaning Business Plan Part 2

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