How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business
Are you eager to be self-employed? Sick and tired of the 9-5 grind at a computer everyday? A commercial cleaning business may just be the option for you.
If you are eager to start your own business and be self-employed, you should consider a commercial cleaning business. There are very low entry costs, no official qualifications necessary and a pretty flexible schedule. Most offices require it to be cleaned after hours when all employees have gone home, so it’s even possible to do this part-time while keeping your usual full-time job. Read on to find out how you can quickly and easily start your cleaning business.
Step One: Business Plan
The first step is to create your business plan. Whether you create your own, hire a specialist or download a template, it’s very important to have this document handy. You’ll need it if you intend to ask for a loan, and crucial to keep you on track when things get difficult.
The business plan will identify your marketing strategy, target market, profit projections and provide a good overview to see how viable it is for you.
Step Two: Choose Your Business Structure
There are 4 main types of business structures you can choose from. Company, sole trader, trust or partnership. They each have their disadvantages and advantages, and will be suitable for different types of businesses. Consider your scenario and see how best it will fit in with your industry. In general, cleaning companies and others in the construction industry are sole traders. This is because you have to send through your invoice after the work is complete and have a legal ABN in order to claim GST.
Another option is franchising. Using the brand reputation and recourses of an existing business could be what you prefer to do. The franchisor will provide assistance, marketing plans, resources, products and customer leads to get you started. This is a major advantage if you are new to the business world and believe you need some assistance. The only downside is the regular payment you have to make to the franchisor for all of this help.
Step Three: Insurance
Since you are cleaning commercial offices, it is a good idea to look into different insurance options. This will protect you and your workers if anything goes wrong while at work. This is particularly important if something is broken or a staff member becomes injured. Some sites can still be under construction, so in some cases it may be required before you can even secure the contract.
Step Four: Supplies
If you’ve set up your company now and established your operating strategy, it’s time to get your cleaning materials. Overall, the cost for these items are not actually that expensive. The vacuum cleaner may be the most pricey, but even so there are cheaper second-hand options like Gumtree or Facebook MarketPlace.
Look for commercial cleaning suppliers around your area as well. This way the receipt can be claimed for GST at tax time, and you can buy in bulk for cheaper. Proper cleaning supplies is also vastly different to the everyday cleaning supplies you find at your local Woolworths or Coles.
You will also need your own transportation. It’s not viable to take a bus or train with all your cleaning equipment to all your jobs. A small hatchback sized car is perfect, so if you need the extra room you can put the seats down. You can also consider GoGet, and hire a car just for the day you have a job. This is considerably cheaper than buying a car, insurance and petrol.
Step Five: Bids and Contracts
After you’ve done a few small scale jobs, you’ll be able to estimate better how many hours a job will take. This will allow you to submit a fair priced bid for a larger commercial job. New apartments are being built everyday in all different parts of NSW. Securing one of these jobs would be a great pay as well as experience for your new company.
This is the final clean before residents move into their brand new apartment, so attention to detail is crucial at this stage. The downside with these types of jobs are that it is a one-off. After this major builders clean, you are not called back again after it has home owners, as it is now a residential place. You’ll have to constantly look for more jobs of this nature if you prefer this type of work.
It’s not a bad idea though to have some recurring office cleaning jobs that need you once a week, and balance that with a big commercial cleaning job. You can hire additional staff on a casual basis or as a sub-contractor as your workload increases, and work alone in the slow times.
To conclude, a commercial cleaning business can be a great part-time job to start with and gradually become your full-time work. As you get more experience and reputation, you can branch out into major apartment cleaning jobs where you bid for the contract. The start-up costs are quite low and you don’t need any degrees. If you have an eye for detail, a customer service mindset and an eagerness to set your own hours, this may just be the industry for you.
Taeisha is a Legal intern at Lawpath. She is a Law student at Macquarie University, previously completing her Commerce degree. She has an interest in Commercial Law.