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  • #964935
    spitfire
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve started to do some research on setting up a cleaning business with focus on offices, retail shops, etc. I would like to ask your opinion with regards to the profitability of this idea as opposed to home cleaning business.
    I’m looking at hiring cleaners, but don’t know where to start in terms of:

    a. How many cleaners should I be needing?
    b. What the pricing structure is going to be? How much to charge clients?
    c. Setup costs and equipment required?

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards

    Brian

    #1009174
    Lucki
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    • Total posts: 147
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    hi Brian,

    It may be worth ringing up several cleaning businesses and see what they charge and what the differences are between the services they offer. Perhaps you can differentiate yourself from the others by offering something unique, whether it be in terms of service, discount or special promotion.

    I’m sure you could google what equipment would be required for professional cleaning services. Perhaps ring a wholesaler/manufacturer, explain that you’re starting out and what would they recommend for professional office cleaning.

    Without knowing the size of the business, it’s hard to estimate how many staff you will need. Initially you could ask family and friends to help out and then once established hire staff.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers
    Lucki

    #1009175
    Julia Nitschke
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    Hi Brian

    These are all great questions and congratulations on thinking about going into business for yourself.

    These questions are very common for people in service the industry, you need the contract to afford to get the staff, but you need the staff to service the contract. Sounds like the chicken and the egg!

    The other member that has responded has some great suggestions for you. You need to do a bit of a business plan and do some research. If you are doing business/commercial premises, will you need specialised equipment like polishers for floors etc? The equipment needed for commercial is a bit different to the domestic market. So the equipment you may need could be influenced by the contract, what they need and their specific premises.

    How big are the areas you want to clean? If you ring around and find people who need the service, you can see how big the area is. Then you will need to find out how long the area is available for you to clean. If you can have access for a reasonable period of time, you may be able to get the contract and do it yourself/family and friends, until you can get staff if you need to.

    You will need to do a bit of research, but once you work out your target market and get details of sizes of premises, availability to clean the area, and what services they need it will help out. research and planning are 2 important keys when you start up.

    Just remember if you use family and friends, make sure you are covered for any liability and make sure your insurance etc is up to date.

    I hope that helps!

    spitfire, post: 8584 wrote:
    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve started to do some research on setting up a cleaning business with focus on offices, retail shops, etc. I would like to ask your opinion with regards to the profitability of this idea as opposed to home cleaning business.
    I’m looking at hiring cleaners, but don’t know where to start in terms of:

    a. How many cleaners should I be needing?
    b. What the pricing structure is going to be? How much to charge clients?
    c. Setup costs and equipment required?

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards

    Brian

    #1009176
    spitfire
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
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    Thank you Lucki and Julia for taking time to reply, much appreciated.

    – I do intend initially to focus on non-industrial type cleaning, meaning, more on retail shops, offices, and other similar establishments. Reason for this is not to incur the immediate requirement of industrial grade cleaning equipment. I hope the standard cleaning equipment will be enough (Vacuum cleaners, mops, etc) . What i’ll try to research is what’s the best way to land a regular cleaning requirement with this premises.

    – I have found on the net that some are using the area method, hours required to clean per square foot.

    – I’m still contemplating on how can I differentiate my services with the other cleaning businesses in my area. Suggestions are welcome.

    – Again, like what you’ve said, a thorough research is required to determine viability of this business.

    Regards

    #1009177
    steve184
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    • Total posts: 1
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    It’s a good time to be entering the office cleaning business as it is more recession proof than other industries that you might chose and is definately more recession proof than the house cleaning sector.

    Look into having some part-timers or family members on call and ready to go for when you land a contract. This shouldn’t be too hard at the moment.

    The number of workers that you will need will depend on the job. Pricing your services is tough for your first few quoates as you will have little idea if you are inexperienced. Many professionals can glance at a job and estimate the time required by breaking a job down into parts and adding up the times of each part on a checklist.

    Pricing per square foot is another way but you will almost certainly have to make adjustments for certain variables that differ with each job.

    Try to get a fair idea of the staff hours involved, add on a little for costs and profit and then price a bit higher to be on the safe side (most new market players price too low).

    It is likely that you will need all your own equipment and you need to look at some extensive product lists from potential suppliers in your area and match these up with the requirements of your first few jobs.

    One downside with offices is that you many of your competitors will offer flexible payment terms. Some offer ’30 day’ payment terms and others 14 days so you may be spending a lot before you have money coming in.

    Office cleaning is not the most glamorous field to be in but it can be very lucrative for those that put the time into mastering the business.

    #1009178
    Burgo
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    • Total posts: 2,104
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    Sorry It looks like I totally missed this post.

    John Laws of the Australian Contract Cleaners Association, is perhaps the best person to talk to he may want you to join which will be a very good thing.
    This association is most helpful as they have all the formulae for quoting and you will recieve an email almost every day informing you of tenders for cleaning. They run and recommend courses and I would also recommend that you do the Asset maintenance certificate 2 & 3 courses ( government subsidised) that will give you more knowledge than you will ever require.

    Contract Cleaning is very lucrative as opossed to domestic cleaning and carpet cleaning is even more lucrative again. Individual Cleaners association is the best association to join if you want to go into the carpet cleaning side of cleaning.

    How many staff you need depends on the contract you have /get.
    All the question you have asked depend on the contract you have. Dont forget about insurance product and liability is a must have.

    By now you would have started your cleaning business , so how is it going ?

    #1009179
    greenapplecleaning
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    Thank you

    Hi Patrick

    Thank you for taking time to reply, much appreciated.

    In fact, I still haven’t done anything yet for the cleaning business as my husband and I are too busy with our full time job.

    I am thinking to do more research during Christmas.

    Thank you again for your help and advice!

    Faye

    #1009180
    Cleaning Star Sydney
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi Brian,
    Cleaning business is very good business if you know what you are doing.
    Probably like everything else. But do not take it lightly if you do decide to do Office and Commercial cleaning then it is Full time job.

    I am in business (all- Domestic, Commercial, Strata) for a number of years and still every day there is something new that I learn. It is never ending process that takes a lot of time … and of course if you do it right you will have good rewards after each day.
    http://www.CleaningStar.com.au it is my website, you can have a look at range of cleaning services provided.

    I would suggest that you start something small- go and see shop owners in your area, speak to them, offer your services (if you know exactly what you can clean and up to what standard) but you will need basic cleaning equipment to get started. You might want to rent it for first couple of days. And when you are absolutely sure that cleaning is your cup of tea then it is best to buy professional tools.

    Good luck with everything.

    #1009181
    Burgo
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    Igor , you have a very neat website, looks quality.
    Do you do much carpet cleaning, as we are often asked for someone in Newtown, Surry Hills area.

    #1009182
    Cleaning Star Sydney
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks! A lot of time and enegry spent on my website, still work in progress…
    Thats where we are based- in Newtown can easily cover Surry Hills.
    We have professional steam cleaning/extractor so we do quite a bit of steam cleaning and stain treatment.

    #1009183
    Gordon Akman
    Member
    • Total posts: 229
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    Great advice and great website Cleaner!

    Professional Services is the largest employing industry within the Australian economy. Cleaning Services is the largest employer within the Professional Services sector. So you have chosen an industry that offers huge potential.

    Remember that not only is much of the work on a contracted basis but so is much of the employment. To answer your questions you need to work out how much it will cost you to complete a contract (equipment and how much you will need to pay your contracted cleaners to do the work). Then tender a price that covers those costs and leaves an income for you to organise, coordinate, and ensure delivery of the contract.

    #1009184
    Burgo
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    Just to give you some idea how BIG the cleaning industry is at present it employs 11% of the Australian workforce.
    I been involved in this industry for the last 24 years, and its only in the last 5 years I got to know a little about our industry.

    #1009185
    Cleaning Star Sydney
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    • Total posts: 3
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    Yes, statistics are fine, but do not forget that some people are employed on cash basis (they most likely will not be covered by statistics). Think how many tourists or students come here, and specially to Sydney. And everybody is looking for a job.
    In addition, everybody knows that most Domestic Cleaning and House Cleaning is done on cash basis.

    All the best,

    Cleaner from
    Cleaning Services in Sydney

    #1009186
    rjclean
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    • Total posts: 4
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    Hi Brian

    I just found this forum, and your thread while on a Google search. All the advice given by the other members are spot on and wished I had a forum like this when I started my cleaning business in early 2002.

    I also was concerned about what to charge and how much staff I would need. So i basically started of very small targeting small offices and retail outlets etc, by both letterbox drops and just personally canvassing the business during the day and leaving my details. i approached it like you would when you’re searching for a job, which you essentially are.

    I was only a one man operation, with the occasional family member or friend to handle the extras such as stripping/sealing and periodical cleaning (usually around Christmas/New Year closures).

    I did however make the mistake of relying heavily on my existing contracts and not sourcing more work, as I had other priorities in life (building my home etc) and that mistake was fatal, when a major contract, the bulk of my business income, did not renew after 4 years, and then like a domino effect, the other smaller contracts began to disappear and in 2008 I found myself with no contracts, and a mortgage (oh and the violins in the background, I’m pretty sure it sounded like Requiem).

    I had some savings which sustained me (the loan repayments) for a while, and some part-time cleaning.

    I did try to find full time employment, within various fields, including the cleaning industry, and thought that my business experience, which not only included cleaning, but encompassed accounting, client liaison, customer service, sales/marketing…but to no avail. The excuses were consistent from the interviewers, ‘As you were self employed, would you “really” be able to take direction from superiors?”, and “How reliable are your current business references?” etc. The questions were valid, however, somewhat ridiculous, as I wouldn’t be wasting “my” time applying if I wasn’t committed.

    Ideally I would love a full time job, knowing I’d have the admin and team support that comes with any position, but as this is apparently out of my reach, I find myself seriously considering starting a new cleaning business, touching base with previous clients and this time constantly sourcing new contracts, learning from my mistakes and lack of vigilance and hopefully moving forward.

    I didn’t mean to hijack the thread, but maybe my experience might help you avoid a similar situation. As others have said, constant planning and reevaluating is key.

    Definitely never disregard insurance, as you are responsible for your cliients premises, regardless if you are there or not when an actual event happens, unless it is possible to prove someone elses negligence, its almost always “The Cleaner did it!!”, unless they have a Butler.

    As for equipment, its dependent on the contract, but basically, a good quality vacuum cleaner (back pack is easier to maneuver around desks and chairs, but that’s up to personal preference), a couple of mops/buckets (one for toilet other for kitchen areas), a floor polisher (office lunch rooms usually have vinyl or for wet scrubbing of toilet areas) and then the usual materials/equipment, good quality chemicals and sundries. This should be your basic kit and your initial equipment financial outlay really is minimal. Oh and a large car if you cant store your large equipment on site.

    I hope I’ve helped and am glad to have found this forum.

    All the best and Good Luck.

    rjclean.

    #1009187
    Burgo
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    rj, welcome to the forum.

    From experience ‘pick yourself up , dust your self off and start all over again.

    Not only is contact cleaning sort after but consider this, to be able to offer the complete clean, including carpets.

    There is so much work out there waiting for young people like yourself who has experience in cleaning, general/ domestic, contract, window, pressure, and add to this lawn mowing and carpet cleaning.

    Advertise in your local newspaper , get a website. It will be the carpet cleaning that people are after then they may ask do you do this or do you do that. Thats how it starts one or two customers and before you know it hey, hey how many do I have to employ to keep up with this work.

    It just seems to be the carpet cleaning thats gets youwhere you want to be.
    Contract cleaning, according to ACCA and BSCAA the going rate is still $ 25.00 ph, I was charging over $35.00 ph ten years ago for contract cleaning. Carpet cleaning will give you $ 100.00+ ph comfortably, without a very high investment.
    As you grow you upgrade your equipment and get better qualifications and join an association.

    Cleaning is very easy to get into, with very little capital investment.

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