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Thinking about starting a cleaning business whilst on mat leave - advice please

(12 Posts)
Flowerydems Fri 07-Apr-17 21:01:44

I love cleaning, I'm good at it but I'm wanting to start up my business before I am due to go back to work.

Anyone got any advice?

Kr1stina Fri 07-Apr-17 21:04:27

Is this your first baby ?

What are your child care arrangements ?

ZilphasHatpin Fri 07-Apr-17 21:04:29

Are you planning on doing it when you go back to work too or just during may leave? You know you'll need childcare right?

mistlethrush Fri 07-Apr-17 21:07:22

Have you looked into whether this will affect your mat leave or pay arrangements?

Flowerydems Fri 07-Apr-17 21:24:36

Well I'll have both ds at school when I'm planning to start and will only need childcare for dd

I think it would make my smp invalid so I'm planning on starting at the end of the summer a month before I'm due back

Flowerydems Fri 07-Apr-17 21:25:23

Oh I should say I've already organised dd for nursery 2 days a week when I was due back

Wolfiefan Fri 07-Apr-17 21:27:18

Look at your contract. You may end up having to repay maternity pay if you don't go back after mat leave.

ZilphasHatpin Fri 07-Apr-17 21:29:15

So are you planning on doing this instead of going back to your current job?

Flowerydems Fri 07-Apr-17 21:34:35

Hi I've checked thankfully the enhanced part of the mat pay for my work is a bonus a month after you have returned if I don't go back I've nothing to pay,

Yeah I want to make a go of this rather than going back

ZilphasHatpin Fri 07-Apr-17 21:54:04

Ok not sure what advice you're after but this is what I did.

I advertised on FB buy and sell pages. I didn't pay for any flyers/cards/gumtree etc. FB got me plenty of business and word of mouth takes off really fast.

I drive but after a few months I restricted my distance willing to travel to no more than 10 miles from my town. Most bookings were 2 hours, and spending 15-20 minutes each way in the car for each booking was a really good way to make no money grin particularly when I had to be back at 2pm to pick up DCs. Most people also didn't want me to start before 9.30/10.00 ish because most of my clients were families with small children and they wanted to be out of the house when I came. If you're doing a 2 hours clean at 10.00 with a 20 min drive back to town then you haven't got time to fit in another 2 hour clean before 2pm and less than 2 hours isn't worth the diesel money, plus no-one really wants less than 2 hours as you don't get enough done.

I tried very hard to book clients as early as possible but if they don't want you before ten then you can't insist, you either agree or don't take the job.

I initially brought my own cleaning stuff but it's much less faff just using the clients stuff. You don't have to lug your own stuff and wash a load of cloths every day.

Be firm about clients keeping their small children and dogs out of your way when cleaning. I had a bit of a hairy moment when one client allowed her just walking baby to toddle down into the bathroom while I was mopping and of course she fell and banged her head. Client was in the kitchen assuming I would babysit her child, I hadn't even heard her coming until I heard the thud and squeal. Client didn't learn her lesson after that either hmm

I didn't negotiate on my rate. People did try. One woman told me she was offering £2 less than my rate. I told her my rate was fixed and I wished her the best of luck. She replied "well I would pay you £X (my rate) if you're good" hmm did she really expect me to say "oh well I'm not that good actually so I'll take the lower rate"?

Cant think of anything else off the top of my head but will post more if I do.

ZilphasHatpin Fri 07-Apr-17 21:57:44

I also didn't set my rate lower than the competition to either be competitive or because I was just starting. I set it a bit lower than the agencies were charging but not as low as the other lower priced self employed cleaners. I don't know how some of them were making a living out of the rates they charged!

Flowerydems Fri 07-Apr-17 22:11:10

That's magic advice thanks so much. Just want to do something I enjoy after a really really awful job. Dh is even on board cause he doesn't want me going back

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