How did you get started? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 02-24-2011, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Rob
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How did you get started?

I think I got a little ahead of myself in the Business Forum with my questions. --like any business, this is going to take a lot of research, planning, learning, and capital before diving in. The question I should have asked is this:

Did you have lots of cleaning experience and knowledge under you belt before starting out on your own? It occurred to me that generalized cleaning of residential homes involves a little of every specialty (duh)--windows, carpets, hardwoods, marble, tile, etc. etc. For that reason, is it nearly impossible to gain the requisite knowledge on your own without having worked for a cleaning company first, and why these uninsured/quasi illegal/fly-by-nighters end up bust?
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post #2 of Old 02-26-2011, 10:42 AM
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Starting a Cleaning Company

I don't think that it's essential to work for someone else first. If you start with very little overhead, you can grow slowly and gradually. The thing is, you should start with easy stuff and move on to more advanced stuff. Most people can start cleaning offices with little cleaning experience. Microfiber cloths, a few spray bottles, a vacuum ( I recommend a backpack va) and so forth. One thing, I learned in the cleaning business is to not promise more than you can deliver. Don't offer to clean someone's carpet if you are just planning to rent a rug doctor. It will only hurt your reputation as a cleaner. There are tons of books and videos out there to teach you everything you need to know- well and the hands-on-experience to modify this knowledge into real experience. I would recommend building a really good website yourself and then passing out postcards and/or brochures with info and your website on it. Growing slowly is the safer and surer way to success in the cleaning biz. You will gain experience and skill in a controlled and methodical manner. On the other hand, if you run out and get a $800 per month phonebook ad, you will be bombarded with calls but you won't have the experience to deal with this volume. Plus saddling yourself with a lot of overhead makes for a sink or swim (more likely sink) situation.

To sum it up: 1) grow slowly 2) get educated - read as many books possible, talk to as many people possible (visit your local janitorial store) watch as many videos possible (ex. youtube) 3) have very little overhead - think referral marketing and pounding the pavement over expensive ads

Bremerton Office Cleaning and Janitorial
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post #3 of Old 02-26-2011, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
Rob
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Thanks April.

"Most people can start cleaning offices with little cleaning experience."

I would have thought just the opposite (start resi and move to commercial), but now that I think about it I can see how the learning curve might be steeper with resi (w/ dozens different hardwoods, tiles, marbles, metals, etc).
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post #4 of Old 02-26-2011, 06:23 PM
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Office cleaning takes the least amount of advertising. You can go office to office handing out card/brochures. I wouldn't recommend going door to door soliciting residential cleaning jobs. Many offices are almost entirely covered with commercial carpet which can just be vacuumed. This is easier to start on. Waxing and buffing cvt (composite vinyl tile) takes more skill and equipment. A low speed buffer runs $500 new and a high speed burnisher runs $2,000. You can still get office cleaning accounts if they have cvt if they agree to have another company take care of those. I would recommend networking with someone who waxes and buffs floors that way you won't have to turn down cleaning jobs. You can just tell them that dust mopping and wet mopping are included in the regular price but waxing/stripping/buffing etc are a separate charge and will need to be done periodically. If you are just starting out, I would create a little notebook with the names of a good window cleaner, a good landscaper, gutter cleaner etc then if you can't or don't want to do a service for a customer, you can refer them to someone else. The homeowner/business owner will appreciate the quality referral, the other contractors will be grateful and probably give you return business. Just be honest and helpful and you will probably succeed.

Bremerton Window Cleaning and Janitorial
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post #5 of Old 02-27-2011, 11:20 PM
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I started in 1982 and knew nothing of the cleaning biz. I was only 20 at the time and made a lot of mistakes which my parents had to help me get out of. But, a years go by, you learn and when the internet came in and affordable for the average joe, it has made marketing of the biz a lot easier.
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post #6 of Old 03-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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As a client, I always rely on professionals, quality comes with experience.

Best Regards
who offers the best carpet cleaning, professional cleaning services? Help me find carpet cleaning London.
Glad are carpet cleaning London reliable and eager to improve my carpet cleaning skills.
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