Any cleaning business owners here?

(14 Posts)
YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 14-May-14 12:06:29

I've been a cleaner for about 18 months, very part time and mostly agency work. However i now want to make a proper living from it and am thinking of setting up an actual business.

I would really appreciate any experience or advice those in the business could share.

One thing i am wondering about is how to advertise? I see gumtree are now charging so was thinking about setting up a facebook page and running a weekly/monthly competition for 2 free hours of cleaning in return for liking and sharing the page and possibly nominating someone to win the free hours.

vingtetun Wed 14-May-14 16:20:55

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WaitingForMe Fri 16-May-14 07:31:23

Pick a niche. I know someone who runs a green cleaning company and gets lots of PR off the back of that. Another local company markets itself to families.

As a rule of thumb look at what successful businesses outside your industry do. If you copy your competitors you'll not only not stand out but you'll always be behind.

I'd be happy to discuss the above with you via PM.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Fri 16-May-14 07:39:42

Not a cleaner but watching with interest if that's ok?

I think the Facebook page is a good idea - get 'liking' lots of related things locally (gardeners , ironers, dog walkers etc) and' like' cleaning product companies too - Flash or whatever you'll be using.

I'd think about calling it something with your area in the title.

How about those stickers you can get for your car with logo and phone number?

winnertakesitall Fri 16-May-14 07:39:54

I would put adverts up in your local newsagents, put a logo on your car, local flyering is also meant to be successful. And yes to Facebook- make sure you also post in any local community sites on Facebook. If any of your real life friends give you an actual referral you could then give them a free 2 hour clean.

winnertakesitall Fri 16-May-14 07:41:45

Thinking of a niche- offer a voucher for a post-baby clean! This could be a gift given to new parents, highlight that you are discreet, speedy, quiet etc!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Fri 16-May-14 09:32:41

Thank you all!!

This is so helpful. I love the voucher idea aswell. Lots to get thinking on. Thanks again.

WaitingForMe Sat 17-May-14 21:38:54

Post baby clean done quietly is an amazing idea!

I would buy that as a gift and wish I'd had it bought for me!

FrannyPants80 Sat 14-Jun-14 18:36:36

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Proclean Sat 05-Jul-14 19:00:56

Hi! I know I am late here but I have a small but very established cleaning business with just four staff (as I am VERY choosy who I will hire!), I have been in the trade for 17 years ish and my best advice is to never undersell your service as when you add staff, agency rates or 'cleaning lady' rates just won't cut it and you do not want to end up paying for your clients' cleaning.

In the industry it is known you need to be asking at least £15 per hour if you intend to grow and once the word-of-mouth machine gets in motion (given that you are supplying a quality and detailed service) you WILL need to grow, either that or run a waiting list! I have done both! It is definitely quality staff who are hard to come by not clients, it is known throughout the industry that staff are the difficulty to find and keep so be choosy and TRAIN them endlessly!

Once you get happy clients it can be overwhelming how fast you grow from there, take around a year to establish yourself and then you will see referrals flooding in! Remember what I said you will need at LEAST £13 per hour or you will never be able to afford payroll, margins are tight at that rate.

Agencies can be cheaper since they don't actually hire the staff and just match up a self-employed person to a home, with often disasterous results that I have witness when going in to pick up the pieces! At this point the homeowner is only too glad to pay what it takes to be provided with a fully-managed professional service.

Another tip - always supply everything including freshly laundered cloths because to ensure they ARE fresh when you use them you NEED to bring them yourself, the ones in clients' homes cannot be used they are usually not clean and will cross-contaminate surfaces. Bring your own equipment, products, cloths, mops and mopheads to ensure QUALITY and you will have clients literally waiting months to get on your schedule.

Lastly - good luck! :-)

Proclean Sat 05-Jul-14 19:24:57

Sorry I am here again but I just wanted to add - I would not offer freebies personally as cleaning is labour intensive and there is so much demand out there anyway, really you just need to get the ball rolling, invest in some good local magazines and get a website, some of my friends have done fine with a free vistaprint one - it takes a while to rank on google but once it does you have an endless source of clients plus referrals.

I have invested a lot in my website and SEO and it reaps a fair few clients but by far the best source (around 90%) come from word of mouth! Look after your current clients well and they will look after you, having said that if one client is difficult and costing you extra time/stress you do not need that one there are SO many fab ones who have been looking for your service for AGES, swap for new and move on forward.

We charge flat rates which are more popular but I do recommend starting out with hourly rates, (£13-15 per hour remember!) since at first you will not have the experience to assess how long a job can take - always quote the job onsite - never let a client tell you how long it will take - they are not professional cleaners and will underestimate the job! Quoting comes with practice, most jobs take between 2 and 4 hours to detail clean depending on size and condition.

I could go on forever actually as this is my pet subject but I will leave it at that unless you need anything else!

AppleAndMelon Thu 31-Jul-14 13:18:49

proclean out of interest, do you mean £15 per hour charge to the client? How in the world to Molly Maids get away with quoting £25ph?

LaunchYou Mon 25-Aug-14 15:00:04

@appleandmelon you have to consider not just what your time is worth to you but what that time is worth to your client. If you're client is high flyer or has a large family to look after then that hour may be worth more than £25 to them.

Look at it this way, if my work brings in more than £25/hr on average then I'm not going to have a problem with paying you that £25/hr, because taking that hour out to clean is actually going to cost me more than £25/hr in lost revenue or family time!

Hope this make sense?

Jacob

Proclean Mon 25-Aug-14 21:31:56

That#s very true Jacob its the value of the cleaning we must sell at a price we can make work for our individual business - every business will have it's own numbers to run but many have expressed after running the numbers £15/hr will just about work for a growing cleaning business with staff, you also need to add VAt after a certain point too.

As for the franchises such as Molly Maids, they will need to be bringing in the £25 per hour they charge just because of the huge amount of overheads a huge franchise machine must attract by necessity.

The reason they can get away with selling average standard cleaning for very high rates is because they are RELIABLE they do what they say they will do when they say they will do it and they do not over-promise the results.

Customers will be wanting to invest in a brand name they trust who will at least do something if not everything for them as their time is indeed precious and they wantto know that service has been delivered every time they come home on cleaning day.

Smaller business's like ourselves have fewer costs than the franchises (although we do still have many to factor in!) and we must work hard to get our 'brand' out there, we are not in the same position to charge that much, although it has to be said the bigger you grow the better your position for raising your prices and getting what you need to go further with your growth.

My main point is, for anyone interested, do not undersell your services or you will stall yourself for future growth. You WILL get your price whatever that needs to be. Demand is there, unfortunately staff are not always easy to come by and therein lies the problem!!

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