Home – New Forums Starting your journey Does shift work kill small business dreams?

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  • #986307
    Tersus
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    Hi All,

    I have posted before in a previous thread regarding employees and outsourcing payroll.

    This post is about shift work and starting a small business. I’m trying to start a small business in cleaning. It’s becoming difficult because of my current job in security as it’s shift work.

    Do you think shift work kills small business dreams? If so, and you have been in this situation before, how did you overcome it? I can’t leave my role because of loans and bills.

    In the cleaning industry, if I chose to do residential cleaning and clients wanted the service fortnightly at a specific time, I cannot do it due to shift work and do not have enough money to hire employees.

    Commercial is a little different as the latest I can work in my security role is 1130pm.

    While this may seem all negative sided, what can I do to succeed?

    Thanks in advance

    #1157205
    Michelle Johnson
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    Hi Tersus,
    At least when people call you seem like your business is really busy when you are trying to work out a good time. Just tell people your biggest client has a rotating schedule so you can’t commit to set times.

    I have a cleaning arrangement where the cleaner comes whenever they have time that week which gets me a cheaper rate and it doesn’t really matter to me when they come.

    Best of luck and have fun!
    Michelle

    #1157206
    Hobidi Bob
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    Hi Tersus,

    I came across your post while at work (night shift). I too own a cleaning business. Sometimes it gets hard, but you need to know what you want and where your dreams lay. I worked on the business all day Thursday finishing at 3pm. I started night shift that night 10pm-6am. When I finished I went home, got changed to go cleaning until 2pm Friday. Got home had a 3 hour sleep and now backing up night shift tonight 10-6.

    I dont say this to brag. Most will think I am crazy. My wife and I started our business 6 months ago. We have already hired 2 people and need to hire 2 more just to keep up with demand. Most days arent like the last 48 Hours. You will get to a point where you will need to quit your job (at least cut down on hours) or hire someone. There are obvoius financial consequences to what you will soon face. I am there now. I dont want to burn the candle at both ends. but I know this wont last long.

    You said that you cant afford to hire someone. Again this will be a decision you have to make. You can keep working for yourself and the other job running the risk of burning out. My suggestion is put up your prices. I am only speaking through experience (yes only 6 months). We started charging $35/hour. we realised we werent making enough money. We now charge $45/hour. Sure some people will think your too expensive. You may lose customers. But there are plenty of people willing to pay top $ if your service remains exceptional.

    Please dont think I am saying charge $45/ hour. We charge this because it suits our business model and suits the type of clients we target. Even if you stay working with your current clients at the same $, hire someone and charge the new $ for the work they are doing.

    Im sorry for the novel, but I hope it helps you. Stay focused on what you want. Thats what is pushing me through this shift lol.

    Josh

    #1157207
    Lucinda Lions
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    Hi Tersus

    Hope you’re well. It certainly sounds like a challenge! I posted your question on Facebook, and this is what people had to say:

    Peter Stott: Be patient and focus on grtting your structure snd processes right. When the time comes to go full time with your business, you want a solid foundation behind you.

    Sarah VandenBroek: Keep at it

    Fi Twofourofive: have a transition plan from your current work into your business (so there is still a little income during the early stages)

    Hope that helps. You can see the comments on Facebook

    Have a great day!
    Lucinda :-)

    #1157208
    Noga
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    Hi Tersus,

    If you want to do residential cleaning but can’t commit to regular times, have you thought about specialising in end-of-lease cleaning work, or spring cleaning work? These can be scheduled at times convenient to your work schedule, and if you do a great job you can charge decently for this type of work

    I was interested in Hobidi Bob’s comments around charging a higher rate (eg $45ph) for exceptional service. In my business we have a network of pre-screened, trusted cleaners, and we find them work and take care of all the admin / payment collection for them. For customers, I guess you could we are an online version of “word-of-mouth” references, as we only deal with cleaners that get consistently good reviews. One thing we’ve found is that standards and rates vary wildly in the cleaning industry.

    I’d be interested to know from any cleaners on this forum, what type of service do you think constitutes “exceptional” enough to be able to charge the higher rates? Is it attention to detail, turning up on time/reliability, or are there special touches that you think clients appreciate and are willing to pay for?

    Noga

    #1157209
    Hobidi Bob
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    Hi Noga,

    I believe that having exceptional service involves everything from prompt service, great customer service, going that extra mile. Our cleaners are told that its the little things that do make the difference. They take note of what day the garbage is put out, or if they arrive and the bin is empty on the footpath, they bring it in for the client. Leave a note on the bench for the client just saying “Thank you for today, hope you have an awesome weekend.”

    We have put systems into place so our cleaners dont miss something that was supposed to be cleaned. It is also about being consistant. There is no point in having a great clean one day and an ok clean the next. I dont expect perfection from my staff, but I do expect them to work well. We have also put a guarentee of satisfaction for our work.

    Hope this helps. I have checked out your website. Any chance you will be coming up to the Newcastle area?

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