Need some advice-New - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 07-21-2016, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Need some advice-New

Good Afternoon,

I am intending on starting a very small commercial cleaning business by myself. My goal is to provide ongoing basic janitorial services to small offices/retail spaces (insurance,attorneys,small shops, maybe very small car dealerships, etc.) I already have my business license and a quote for insurance I just need to pull the trigger on.

My question is as follows: I want to do this business as an owner operator so I can control quality and make sure the job is done right. However, my wife and I just found out we are expecting our 3 child (for which we are greatly thankful and blessed!).

This means I am faced with the fact that in approximately 9 months I may be unavailable to clean when our child is born. I do not want to leave clients out to dry and I intend on doing what I tell them as written in some kind of agreement/contract.

How would you handle this situation? How does anyone take time off if they are truly owner-operated?

Is there some kind of alternative way I could clean that is less ongoing service and more of a "one-time cleaning" idea that I could still make enough money (such as commercial move outs, etc?)

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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post #2 of Old 07-21-2016, 01:52 PM
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Newbie Advice

Hi There,

My wife and I are owners and operators of a commercial cleaning company just like yourself. I recommend trying to get a trustworthy employee in place before you child is born who can clean some of your accounts and you can just do some quality checks on them, this way you'll have more time to devote to your family. Another option is to try and secure some one-time deep cleans and or move-out/move-in cleans for both residential and commercial. Good luck and congratulations!!


James
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post #3 of Old 07-21-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hi James,

Thanks for your reply.

That is a good idea and I am not opposed to it. I was hoping to somehow avoid hiring people--it is a bit intimidating to be since I have never had a business before. I know I could either hire them on the payroll or I could pay them as a contractor (1099) if I only need them for a month or so I guess?

You mentioned in reply to my question on advice that I could do deep cleanings/ move in/out for businesses, etc.

What would be considered a "deep clean"?

I appreciate your help--I have no experience with this but I am very detailed and committed to doing great work.

Last edited by Sunlight; 07-21-2016 at 04:35 PM.
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post #4 of Old 07-22-2016, 10:26 AM
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Deep Cleans

What I mean about deep cleans is like a one-time detailed cleaning, some people call them spring cleaning. Maybe when it comes to businesses you can try to find companies who just moved into a new building. Some of our accounts wanted a deep clean on the first visit because the building was sitting vacant or the previous cleaning company didn't do a good job. We usually charge them double for the first visit. It all depends on the condition of the building. Thanks and have a great day!!
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post #5 of Old 07-22-2016, 07:34 PM
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So I am wonder why you think you will not be able to handle any accounts you may have/get once the baby is born. Of course you want to spend as much time at home but it seems to me you could still perform some work requirements. Am I missing something?
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post #6 of Old 07-24-2016, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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I guess my main concern was servicing accounts right about the time my child is born. But you are right-I can surely work some when our child is born.

I am probably over thinking things or worrying when I shouldn'the.

I didn't want to have someone sign a contract with me and then not perfectly uphold my end and get into trouble. Does that make Sense?

Speaking of contracts-how long do they normall last? Is it possible to offer prepaid cleaning (like a prepaid cellphone) if people want that?

Thanks for your input -I am listening carefully.
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post #7 of Old 07-24-2016, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunlight View Post
I guess my main concern was servicing accounts right about the time my child is born. But you are right-I can surely work some when our child is born.

I am probably over thinking things or worrying when I shouldn'the.

I didn't want to have someone sign a contract with me and then not perfectly uphold my end and get into trouble. Does that make Sense?
I get it. I appreciate that you actually care about your clients (or potential clients) and their expectations. My husband and I have owned a window cleaning company since 2001. In that time we have gotten married (honeymoon included), had 2 children and went through 2 bouts of cancer (surgery included). Here is what I can tell you. We have not lost a single customer through any of it, my husband or I were able to maintain our own responsibilities (with help) or pick up the slack for the other person when needed, and I (as the baby haver) never felt like my husband ditched me when I needed him.

In the event of the pregnancies, we were able to warn clients ahead of time about my due date. They were happy to support us during that time. My husband did take a few days off for the most part, he may have had to leave for a few hours to take care of a client here or there but I was napping and the new baby was napping, or I was too busy staring at this brand new thing someone was dumb enough to send home with me so I didn't care to much.

In the event of the cancer (it was my husband who had it) and I won't lie, it was mass scramble time! I had 2 toddlers, my own business, his books and now his labor responsibilities to take care of on top of caring for a husband who was very sick. I can't say our clients didn't feel it but I did my best to keep every single appointment, I asked friends and family to help out on the home front where I could and I can say again, we never lost a client because of it.

It's a scary and fun time but you can absolutely do this!
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post #8 of Old 07-26-2016, 05:31 PM
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Keep your head up

The equipment and employees may be the backbone of your company but youll need to self motivate at times to get past the tough parts of building a business. My carpet cleaning business has had great success because I kept my head in the game and didnt get distracted.
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post #9 of Old 07-27-2016, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate everyone's I put. I tend to overcomplacate things which is something I will need to work on.
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post #10 of Old 07-29-2016, 12:23 AM
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thank you so much
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post #11 of Old 08-10-2016, 05:11 PM
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Hey Sunlight, great question. I am a very firm believer that an owner should not be cleaning. Your job is to build relationships with customers, develop processes, hire and fire employees (including an office manager), and train.

Fear is a business stopper. Don't let something like hiring employees stop you from growing your business and enjoying your life.

My advise is to contact a SCORE mentor that can assist you with hiring employees. They offer 100% free services and you can call them with any business questions. They won't do it for you, but they can definitely point you in the right direction. (And hopefully ease your fear of hiring and managing employees)

The folks on this forum are also especially helpful. Ask away with any specific questions you have about hiring.

I hope this helps and congratulations on your baby.

Heather Fuller~Infinite Legacy Solutions
Education, Action, Support

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post #12 of Old 12-19-2016, 12:20 PM
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Here is how we see people handle this situation

Hello -

First, congratulations on the growing family. As you have come to realize, it takes a lot of work and juggling to balance family life and work life (especially for small business owners).

We work with a number of sole proprietors (mostly women) who operate a cleaning service. Many of our home remodeling clients hire a professional cleaner after our remodels are complete to really give the new room / addition a thorough scrubbing. Having worked with many of these cleaning pros - I can tell you how some of them have handled the same situation.

1.) As some commenters have suggested, they find other reliable staff to add to their cleaning team. This not only allows the owner to take a step back when they have changes to their family life but also allows them to actively "manage" the business and scale the business by acquiring new accounts.

2.) If you aren't keen on having employees work for you, I have also seen individuals work odd hours (evenings, really early mornings). This allows the other spouse to be home with the kiddos so that the cleaning service can continue to be solely owned and operated. Many companies that hire cleaning services don't like the cleaning group to be there during business hours anyways so this usually works out fine.

I am sure you will find the right solution for your family!

Best of Luck -

Sam Poep
Dayton's Top Home Remodeling Contractors - owner
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