Small Janitorial Business Startup Advice
Hi, what a great, honest question! You've chosen a very profitable business with an extremely bright future. Office cleaning is dependable, repetitive income, and it's the most profitable type of cleaning.
When I started my business in 1977, it was so easy! Think up a business name, get some cards printed, and start pounding the pavement. But starting a business today absolutely has to take Google and the web into consideration, so here are the recommendations I give:
- Choose a business name that tells what you do and where you do it. Do Google searches for your desired name, and your state should also have a site where you can see if your desired name is available. You can also try Yellow Pages-type online directories.
- Choose a business address that is as close as possible to the center of your desired service area (DSA). This is for Google. If you don't live close to the center of your DSA, or if you don't want to use your home address, get an inexpensive mailbox from The UPS Store or PakMail or an independent mailbox provider. Don't use a PO Box at a USPS post office, because Google doesn't like PO boxes. Most independent mailbox providers can give you a box for around $10 per month.
- Get a Gmail email address, and try to get one with your business name in it, such as [email protected]. You will use this address for your Google Map and other Google services.
- Choose one local phone number with the same area code as your DSA. This is also for Google. No 800 numbers - Google doesn't like toll-free numbers. Possibly the least expensive option is to get a 2nd line added to your cell service; your local land-line provider (around here the biggest one is Qwest) should be able to port your 2nd cell number to a land-line when you're ready to establish a land-line office phone, allowing you to keep that same phone number.
- Do a Google search in your area for (your town) office cleaning services, (your town) janitorial office cleaning services, etc, and study the Google Maps results.
- Based on your studies, make your own Google Map, and include a coupon for, possibly, 50% off your first month of contracted service!
- Drive around your DSA with a friend and copy down names and addresses of buildings you would like to approach for business. This will be your beginning prospects list.
- Put together a very simple, one-page flyer. Keep the useless sales talk to a minimum, give real facts, keep it black and white, and one-sided. This will keep your copying costs to a minimum. Also include a photo of your smiling face - people really like it when they can see who they are calling for a bid!
- Note every expense your incur as you start your business, including the mileage you put on during your drive-arounds. This will come in very handy during tax time.
This will keep you busy for a while! Don't hesitate to repost if you have further questions!
Kit Schulte, Start a Commercial Cleaning Business the Right Way!
Last edited by JanQuest Business Systems; 04-08-2010 at 04:54 PM.
Reason: quotation marks came out wrong! Thanks!