Running a successful small business can mean wearing many hats. Management is often asked to balance many things at once. Because of this juggling act, you may become an expert in areas you weren’t expecting to.
Getting into the cleaning industry is a smart move on many levels. Cleaning businesses provide adaptable schedules and require little experience to get going. Working for yourself can offer more flexibility and freedom. This gives leaders the ability to manage their teams the way that they see fit.
A successful cleaning business can tap into niche markets and offer a variety of services. This gives small business owners a wide net to collect profit and build an expansive network. The flip side is that it can mean more details to keep track of.
This article looks at ways to navigate cleaning business management. We’ll explore finances, team management, client relationships, and how to set your business apart from competitors.
Pricing Your Cleaning Services and Generating Estimates
How you choose to price your cleaning services can influence your overall revenue. Prices vary based on whether your company provides residential cleaning or commercial cleaning.
Cleaning businesses typically charge per square foot or by the hour. On average, commercial rates are $30-$90 per hour. Alternatively, commercial companies charge about $0.10 to $0.25 per square foot.
These prices will vary for every job. Every cleaning service is different depending on what they provide. The customer, the building, and the specific services will all impact this.
Things to Consider When Pricing Cleaning Jobs
The pricing of your cleaning services should be based on what type of services you provide. Determine what specific services you want to offer. Narrowing this down will help you evaluate fair pricing and how you want to lay out your price points.
Some businesses and homeowners may not be able to afford steep cleaning fees. Cleaning business owners should be familiar with the type of customers they’re targeting. Price points can focus on this demographic and adjust accordingly.
For instance, if you’re targeting elderly communities, you should consider what they might be able to afford. You can adjust your prices to reflect this if you’re working in wealthier areas.
Whether you provide residential or commercial cleaning services, you should always evaluate the competition. Do some research on what other cleaning companies are charging in your area. This can help you offer fair prices while ensuring your overhead is covered.
Tips on Generating Estimates for Potential Customers
Once you’ve established your price points, dial in how you offer estimates to your clients. Each client’s needs will vary. Offering transparent estimates of each job can increase client satisfaction. It also secures appropriate pay for every job.
Cleaning jobs are estimated digitally or in person. Your cleaning business can use online estimating software or visit the job site. When producing an estimate, consider:
- The time that the cleaning service will take.
- The costs of paying you and/or your employees.
- The taxes for both payroll and state sales, if applicable.
- Your cleaning business’s overhead. This includes cleaning supplies and rent.
- A markup on your services to make a profit beyond your overhead. This can begin at a 33% markup if you’re starting out.
Once you’ve calculated your overhead, you can consider the job’s requirements. You can figure in additional costs for things like carpet or fridge cleaning. All of these moving parts should be part of the final estimated price.
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Hiring and Keeping the Best Professional Cleaners
Your team is crucial to the success of your business. These individuals must consistently uphold your company values and provide premium services. You want to focus on experience, professionalism, and friendliness when looking for a team.
Some tips for hiring cleaning business employees:
Identify Your Ideal Employee.
What type of person would thrive with your company? Knowing what skills and qualities you’re looking for can help you narrow down your search.
You want to hire individuals with the right experience. But you also want to hire someone with the right attitude and availability for the job.
Some applications may just be someone who needs a job but doesn’t have the right schedule or passion.
Write a Desirable Job Description.
Target your cleaning job description to the demographic you want to hire. Include a description of your company and your values. The specifics should include job responsibilities, qualifications, hours, and compensation.
A thorough job description will help weed out any applications that don’t meet the requirements.
Screen Candidates Through Your Interview Process.
Set up an interview process that allows you to get to know the individual. Test their skills. This could be a multi-step process.
Interviewers can set up an initial phone interview to get a feel for the person. Then, they can check their references and schedule an in-person interview. You might also consider a paid, on-the-job interview. This could test their ability and attitude while working.
Once you’ve hired a quality team, you’ll want to ensure they’re satisfied with their position. Finding good help can be difficult, so it’s important to keep them around.
Some tips for retaining employees:
Ensure a Smooth and Thorough Training Process.
A thorough onboarding process can go a long way. This helps new hires feel supported as they learn and adapt to the role. Training periods should last about 90 days. This gives employees enough of a safety net to get comfortable and succeed in their positions.
Offer Competitive Wages.
Make sure that your employees are being paid well. Wages should be competitive with similar positions in your area. Most house cleaning businesses pay employees around $15-$20 per hour.
Promote a Positive Company Culture.
A good company culture creates a positive work environment. According to a recent study, companies with a positive culture saw their revenue increase by up to four times.
Happy employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. They then provide a higher quality customer experience. A positive company culture can increase the customer experience by 30%.
How to Manage Cleaning Business Client Relationships
How you handle client relationships will affect how well your business does. Client relationship management helps with customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction.
Customers are how your cleaning business builds revenue. Without the customer, your services aren’t being sold. Your business isn’t making any money.
That is why providing your customers with a premium experience is essential. Managing client relationships helps bring in business. It also builds a good reputation for your company.
Here are a few ways to effectively handle client relationships:
Proactive Client Communication
Make getting in touch with you easy. Answer the phone when it rings. Respond quickly to emails. Remember that the customer always comes first. It’s important to make them feel heard and valued.
Some companies even use chat agent systems to quickly answer questions. These systems can send text messages to update your customer about their scheduled services. Quick and easy responses help mitigate miscommunications.
Easy Booking and Changes
The easier the experience, the better. Booking systems can provide an easy way to book or change services. Booking can be done via CRM software or a professional and clean website.
However you handle booking, be sure it’s easy for customers to make an appointment. They should also be able to change or cancel these appointments with ease.
Customer Service Training
This shouldn’t be overlooked. Every employee in your business should be trained in customer service. They should understand how to professionally communicate above all. But they should also provide respectful services, especially for house cleaning. And they should always treat clients with kindness.
Recent studies have shown that over 70% of business loyalty is based on how the customer is treated.
Differentiating Your Cleaning Business from Others in The Market
On average, the cleaning industry grows about 6.6% every year. That can create a crowded market. Differentiation helps you market the aspects of your business that set you apart from competitors. Focusing on these services and qualities can help you find unique ways to market your business.
Let’s look at a few ways to differentiate your own cleaning business from other local businesses:
Niche Cleaning Services
Many cleaners provide generic cleaning services. Your business could offer unique services to stand out. Offering less common cleaning services can open up more opportunities in your community. Things like post-death/trauma house cleaning, window cleaning, and pressure washing all have a market.
Take the time to dial in your branding. Cohesive branding for your website, social media, and business cards helps present a professional image. Signature branding can boost recognition by 80%. This draws the customer in and creates familiarity with your company.
Smooth Client Services
As we’ve discussed, a quality customer experience can go a long way. Surprisingly, not every company focuses on this. Unfortunately, 50% of cleaning service customers have had something stolen by cleaners.
Make sure that your company provides excellent, safe, and trustworthy services.
High-Quality Cleaning Supplies
More and more homeowners and companies are switching to eco-friendly products. Offer an option, or even all services, using natural cleaning products. It can help you appeal to a broader demographic.
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6 Ways to Attract More Clients to Your Cleaning Business
Once you’ve established a quality management system, you can put energy into bringing in more clients. Focusing on a few tactics can reach a larger audience in your community and bring in more revenue.
Here are a few ways to generate leads in your local market:
Expand Your Digital Marketing.
This encompasses all digital advertising strategies. Build up your Google Ads campaigns. Invest in Pay-Per-Click ads. And enhance your social media presence. Digital marketing can increase brand awareness by an average of 80%.
Optimize Existing Content.
Strengthen online content that you already have using SEO and your clean branding. Once you’ve invested in comprehensive branding, apply keywords and colorways to your content.
You can beef up your website with SEO copy and clean, easy navigation.
Invest in High-End Software.
Software can enhance your business and make your job easier. It can also improve the customer experience. Customer relationship management software (CRM) can help with booking, communication, and even accounting. It allows payment and communication to be digitized and serviced on-site.
Partner with Local Businesses.
Build relationships with local businesses. Rental management companies could offer your services to their renters at discounted rates. This works for both housing and commercial management companies.
Local shops and other home service providers can also recommend your cleaning company. You can partner with them in exchange for using their products or sending referrals their way.
Monitor Your Yelp Page.
Yelp reviews are one of the leading ways that customers research companies. Responding to comments builds trust with customers. This goes for all reviews, positive and negative.
If there are negative reviews, always respond respectfully. Try to help solve the problem or apologize for the misunderstanding. And always try to thank customers who leave positive reviews.
Potential customers can see this engagement as an indicator of transparency and honesty. Because of this, they may be more likely to request your services.
Request Client Referrals.
Ask your clients to leave reviews and send more community members your way. Referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate and spend 200 times more than the average customer.
Referrals are essentially free marketing. It gets your name out of the community in a reputable way. And it requires nothing more than providing quality cleaning services to your customers.