Office cleaning is a competitive business and tougher to break into compared to home cleaning business.
To get contracts, potential clients may ask you to go through a bidding process wherein you will compete with more established and bigger businesses in your area. Otherwise, this is a business that will require you to network, network and network some more. Afterall, unlike a home cleaning business, you can’t win clients simply by creating a flyer and inserting it in the front door of an office.
The key is to have a unique selling point. It is hard to market yourself as a general office cleaning business even if you claim to offer excellent quality and total reliability — as all of your competitors claim the same thing. Instead, find a niche that you can effectively do and market that as the unique selling point of your business. Come up with an edge, and market yourself based on that to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Examples of niches you can do include:
- Disinfecting cleaning business – your focus is not just to clean but disinfect office surfaces as well
- Computer cleaning business – given that most cleaning businesses don’t even touch or go near computers (for liability issues), you can instead offer an onsite computer cleaning service
- Indoor plant cleaning business = covers maintaining plant care needs, putting fertilizers, even regularly rotating seasonal plants and flowers
Research the market to determine if there’s any need for the niche you plan to pursue. You may even need to develop strategic alliances with general cleaning companies who can then recommend your business should their clients require the type of cleaning services you perform.
And of course, don’t forget liability insurance as this is a must-have for this business. Your workers should exude professionalism and look neat and tidy at all times. Most importantly, you all need to have a passion for cleaning.
Some associations that may be able to provide you with assistance and more information include:
- http://www.ascr.org/ — Association of Specialists in Cleaning & Restoration
- http://www.bscai.org/ – Building Service Contractors Association International
- http://www.issa.com/ — International Sanitary Supply Association
Books you can use are:
- How To Start and Operate a Home-Based Janitorial Business by Carla Anderson
- Bud’s Instruction Manual: Learn More then the Basics about Janitorial, Floor Maintenance, Carpet Cleaning, Office Cleaning and More by Richard S. Takasch
- Cleaning Services Bid Estimation: A Resource Guide to Cleaning Services Bid Estimating, Work Loading, and Cost Accounting by Walter Fenix