Tag: Steps

How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps: Starting a business advice and business ideas #types #of #business

#cleaning business

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How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps

If you’re looking for a low-cost business idea that you can get off the ground fairly quickly with minimal outlays then starting a cleaning business could be the perfect option for you.

Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

However – bear in mind – because it’s a fairly simple business to start, competition is rife, with the industry dominated by lots of small organisations.

You’ll need to have a clear vision about where you plan to position your cleaning business in this somewhat crowded market and carve a niche for yourself to ensure your start-up stands out.

Read our eight simple steps to get your cleaning venture on the path to success.

1. Determine what type of cleaning business you’re going to specialise in

There are three main types of cleaning company:

  • Domestic – domestic cleaning will involve cleaning people’s homes (normally while they’re at work) and can be undertaken by you as soon as you secure some clients. You may eventually take on staff as your client-base builds.
  • Commercial – in order to clean commercial properties you’ll need a team of people (the properties will be tend to be large office buildings) and it may be that your role is more managerial than on the ground cleaning.
  • Specialised – there are lots of niches to explore, from window cleaning to schools to vehicle cleaning.

Bear in mind your skills set (are you prepared to clean every day or are you more suited to the administrative side of a cleaning business) and where there’s the best market opportunity in your desired area.

2. Research, research, research

As mentioned above – researching the potential market and local demographic will be key in determining the type of cleaning business you should start. If you’re planning on running a domestic cleaning venture you’ll need to ensure that people in the local area are financially able to pay for someone else to do their domestic chores, likewise for a commercial business are there enough viable contracts to win? Market research will also be key in determining your prices (try posing as a prospective client and ringing around the local competition to ensure your pricing point is competitive).

3. Decide on your business model (could franchising be an option?)

From the outset it’s important to think about your long-term plans for your cleaning business. If you’re looking for a business that you can grow slowly and organically and that you can keep control of in the long-run then going it alone is probably sensible. However, to hit the ground running (and if you’re nervous about some of the elements of setting up a business) you could consider franchising. There’s lots of franchises in the cleaning industry with average upfront costs of around £12,000.

4. Budget appropriately for your equipment

Cleaning equipment costs can vary considerably. For domestic cleaners, more often than not the equipment is provided by the households, but if you’re thinking of launching a commercial cleaning company there’s some basic equipment you’ll need to invest in:

  • Equipment trolleys: £250-£400 each
  • Professional vacuum cleaner – £100 upwards
  • Sweeping machine – £200-£2,000
  • Van – £3,000 upwards

It’s important that you ensure any outlays you have to spend on equipment will be counteracted in profits.

5. Create a marketing plan

As well as some initial spend on equipment – it may be necessary to allocate some budget for marketing. One of the hardest elements of starting a cleaning company (and in fact any service business) is building up a client list. Depending on the nature of your business some traditional advertising such as classified listings and flyers could be the best place to start – although it’s worth considering investing in some online advertising as well, such as pay-per-click. particularly if you are offering a niche service (and can therefore go for a specific search term such as ‘Brentwood carpet cleaner’). And don’t be afraid to go out and knock on some doors – cleaning can be a personal business and prospective clients may be more likely to sign up if they meet you face-to-face!

6. Develop a strong brand and build a reputation

Once your business gets underway and starts to gain momentum it’s important to build a brand that you can be proud of – as apart from any marketing spend – you’ll mainly be reliant on gaining customers via word of mouth and personal recommendations. To build a brand identity it’s a good idea to have a logo designed and to have a uniform for any staff with clear branding on it. Subscribing to trade organisations which have a compulsory standard for membership can also help create a professional reputation, as well as getting satisfied clients to provide testimonials. Try to create a USP that isn’t just about price – something that clearly defines your brand as a cleaning business that won’t be forgotten.

7. Managing cashflow and getting paid

As with any new business, cashflow can be sporadic initially – but particularly for domestic cleaners as clients can be somewhat unreliable in terms of how regularly they’ll want you, bearing in mind holidays, sicknesses etc. In addition you’ll need to work out a payment system with clients that works for you. Typically people expect to pay their cleaner cash-in-hand per job but for your cashflow you may want to insist on an advance payment system.

8. Training and regulations

You do not need a license to run a cleaning business but obtaining a criminal records check from the CRB can only improve your image (and that of your staff) as trusted professionals. Training is also not a prerequisite but some basic training such as an NVQ or Cleaning Operatives Proficiency Certificate could give your business credibility.

If you’re going to be taking on staff there’s a number of regulations you’ll need to bear in mind. Typically cleaning work is not well paid – it’s likely that your staff will receive the minimum wage (currently £6.31) so you’ll need to keep on top of annual rises. You’ll also be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and if you’re taking on commercial cleaning jobs you’ll need to adhere to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – which state that when you take on a cleaning contract with an office or other business premises you must use their existing staff. Lastly, there’s a number of health and safety regulations to consider, as cleaning often involves working with potentially harmful chemicals.

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a cleaning business read our comprehensive guide here .

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Best investment options – 10 simple steps for a successful eBay business #start #business

#small scale business

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10 simple steps for a successful eBay business

Overview about ebay
One of the ways to earn money through online is starting your own eBay business by selling products on eBay. This is one of the best investment option.

10 simple steps for a successful eBay business?
Follow the below steps to start the ebay business

  1. Create an eBay account Paypal account. Click Register with eBay which would take directly to registration form. Also paypall account is required for the receiving the payments. Click on this to open a Pay Pal account
  2. Get customer experience. Before you start selling any product, first try buying small items so that you get relevant experience on how the buyer expectation is.
  3. Sell the item you know. Sell the product, where you have good knowledge about this product. If you try to sell the product where you do not have much knowledge, you end up keeping them in your warehouse
  4. Try the option of selecting a buyer who would, directly deliver to customer. This is one of the good method where you would not own any product and save shipping charges
  5. Create a list of items you want to sell. Before you jump into business , try selling any unwanted items you are holding now. This would give an idea about the entire process of selling the product in ebay
  6. User your creativity and get good pictures of what you want to sell. You can purchase some good colored bulbs to take the photos of the product you want to sell
  7. List down the item: Once you have taken good picture of item you want to sell, list them on ebay. Ensure you give complete details of the product, else you end up answering the calls from buyers in providing the details.
  8. Clarify buyers queries about your product
  9. Ship the product immediately. Once your item is purchased by buyer, ship them as soon as possible. Reduce the the time taken to deliver the product. This would give good impression to buyer and they can give positive feedback
  10. Try selling popular products. See what are the popular products being sold on ebay. You need to even look for what competitor s price is to sell at lower price.

Readers, in your opinion, what are the other success ways of setting up a success ebay business? Do you have any creative ideas.

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How to Qualify for a Small-Business Loan in 5 Steps #business #loan #calculator

#sba loan requirements

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Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

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Credit Cards

Banking

Investing

Mortgages

Loans

Insurance

How to Qualify for a Small-Business Loan in 5 Steps

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Qualifying for a small-business loan is easier when you’re prepared. Below is a to-do list that will help you qualify for the cash you need to grow your business.

Whether you end up applying for an SBA loan through a bank or opt for an online small-business loan, you should be familiar with the requirements of each lender. Knowing whether you meet their criteria before you apply will save you time and frustration.

How to quality for a small-business loan

1. Improve personal and business credit scores

Your personal credit score ranges from 300 to 850 (the higher, the better), and evaluates your ability to repay debts. The score is typically weighed more heavily by small-business lenders if your business is new and lacks credit history. It’s based mainly on three factors: your payment history (35% of your score), the amounts owed on credit cards and other debt (30%) and how long you’ve had credit (15%).

Paying your bills on time is, of course, crucial to improving your score. But even if you pay your bills like clockwork, credit report errors could be damaging your score one in four consumers has damaging credit report errors. However, four out of five consumers who filed a dispute got their credit report modified, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission. You can get a copy of your credit reports for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com and dispute any inaccuracies you find through each of the credit bureaus’ websites (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

Businesses that are more established and applying for bank loans can check out their business credit scores (which generally range from 0 to 100) at the three business credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and Dun Bradstreet. Check out these five steps to building business credit, and if you see any mistakes on your reports, contact the bureaus.

More than likely, you’ll need an excellent business credit score as well as good personal credit to qualify for an SBA loan or traditional loan from a bank, although this will depend on the individual lender and factors such as your business revenue and cash flow. In general, online lenders look at personal credit scores but are a bit more lenient when it comes to credit score requirements, as they place more emphasis on your business’s cash flow and track record.

2. Know the lender’s minimum qualifications

There’s no way around it: If you don’t meet a lender’s minimum qualifications, applying is a waste of time.

Borrowers typically need to meet minimum criteria related to credit scores, annual revenue and years in business. And lenders generally frown upon recent bankruptcies and other past delinquencies.

To qualify for SBA loans, borrowers also must be current on all government loans and can’t have any past defaults. So if you’re late on a federal student loan or a government-backed mortgage, you’ll be disqualified. You also can’t be on the SBA’s ineligible businesses list. which includes life insurance companies and financial businesses such as banks.

Qualifying for online lenders can be easier. While these lenders typically underwrite loans based on traditional factors such as credit scores, annual revenue and cash flow, the loans carry less stringent requirements than banks.

3. Gather financial and legal documents

Banks and other traditional lenders typically ask for a wide range of financial and legal documents during the application process. They include:

  • Personal and business income tax returns
  • Balance sheet and income statement
  • Personal and business bank statements
  • A photo of your driver’s license
  • Commercial leases
  • Business licenses
  • Articles of incorporation
  • A resume
  • Financial projections if you have a limited operating history

These requirements can make getting a bank loan time consuming. That may not be an issue if you’re in the market for a long-term business loan to finance a major investment.

However, if you need money faster, online lenders may be a better fit, as they can provide a streamlined online application process with fewer documentation requirements and faster underwriting. But they may come with higher borrowing costs. If you have good credit and business finances, however, some lenders may provide rates comparable to those of bank loans.

4. Develop a strong business plan

Lenders will want to know how you plan to use the money and will want to see that you have a strong ability to repay. They may require a solid business plan that details the purpose of the loan and how you expect it to increase profits.

Your business plan should include current and projected financials, and clearly demonstrate that your business will have enough cash flow to cover ongoing business expenses and the new loan payments. This can give the lender more confidence in your business, increasing your chances at loan approval. Your p lan should include :

  • Company description
  • Product and/or service description
  • Management team
  • Industry analysis
  • Facilities and operations plan
  • Promotional, marketing and sales strategy
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

5. Provide collateral

To qualify for a small-business loan, you may have to provide collateral to back the loan. This refers to an asset, such as equipment, real estate or inventory, that can be seized and sold by the lender if you can’t make your payments. It’s basically a way lenders can make back their money if your business fails.

SBA loans require “adequate” collateral for security on all loans, plus a personal guarantee from every owner of 20% or more of the business. A personal guarantee puts your credit score and your personal assets on the hook.

Some online lenders do not require collateral but may want a personal guarantee. Others may also take a blanket lien on your business assets essentially another form of collateral giving the lender the right to take business assets (real estate, inventory, equipment) to recoup an unpaid loan. Each individual lender has its own requirements, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure.

If you don’t have collateral to get a loan or don’t want to take on the risk of losing personal or business assets, unsecured business loans may be a better option.

Find and compare small-business loans

If you’re looking for financing, NerdWallet has created a comparison tool list of the best small-business loans to meet your needs and goals. We gauged lender trustworthiness and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.

This post was updated. The post was originally published on Dec. 1, 2015.

Image via iStock.

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How to Write a Business Profile: 10 Steps (with Pictures) #loan #business

#business profile

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How to Write a Business Profile

A business profile is like a résumé for your company. It lists basic company details and gives you a chance to highlight your strengths. Just like a résumé, you should write each business profile with a purpose in mind. Use it as an opportunity to briefly state why potential clients should work with you, but give thorough and precise details.

Steps Edit

Part One of Two:
Getting Down Company Information Edit

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Talk about your company’s ideas. If you have a mission statement, put it here. Otherwise, write out your company vision, guiding ethos, and a little about your history. Telling who you are and what drives you gives your company a human element. It also gives you a chance to do some subtle advertising early on.

  • This is a place you can afford to be a little vague. Mission statements are legally necessary for some businesses, and may need to be specific. For everyone else, try to state what you do without limiting yourself. You don’t want to scare away potential business that thinks you wouldn’t consider expanding into adjacent industries. But it is easy to overdo vague language.
  • A bad example: “XYZ Semantics is a company driven by the pursuit of its dreams. We want to bring you with us on this journey. Our dedication to solutions and innovation make us the leading marketing consultants west of the Mississippi.”
  • A good example: “XYZ Semantics is seasoned and talented team of marketing consultants. Since 1975 we have helped our clients grow their business and profits. Though our methods are complex, our goal is simple: we want to help you sell your product to more customers.”

Find out more specific details. Check with your secretarial or human resource staff to find out up-to-date details in several areas. You may not need to use all these, but having them on hand will make it easier when you sit down to craft the profile. Set up a way to streamline this process in the future, as you will want to update this information in your profile regularly.

  • Number of employees
  • Turnover. Low turnover can indicate stability, but either way it’s a good statistic to have on-hand.
  • List of all business activities. What are all the areas you work in?
  • Unique equipment or specialties. If you are the only company that produces, say, a rare machine part, you need to mention that.
  • Certifications
  • Imports/exports
  • Your methodology and/or what software you use.
  • Volume of output you can handle. Prospective clients need to know if you are prepared to meet their needs.
  • Delivery stats. How many units do you ship in a given period?
  • Major accounts or clients. This is a way to show prospective clients whether or not you are used to doing business with companies like theirs. It’s also another chance for subtle advertising.

Sift through all this information. Since you want to keep the profile short, you can’t include every possible detail. Also, not all of them might be strengths. Pick out what might be relevant to include in your profile in various contexts. Keep the other information on hand for future reference, but put the important stuff in one place for easy access.





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Steps to register your business name #financing #a #business

#register business name

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Steps to register your business name

You can register a business name online through ASIC Connect.

How to register a business name

To register your business name:

  1. Go to ASIC Connect and log in to your account.
    If you don’t have an ASIC Connect account, find out the steps to register.
    If you’re logging in for the first time, make sure you say ‘no’, you don’t have a current business. You don’t need an ASIC key to register.
  2. Select the Licences and Registrations tab at the top of the ASIC Connect page.
  3. Select you would like to register a business name from the drop-down box.
  4. Read the information and tick the boxes. Select Get started.
  5. Select the relevant ABN option, enter your ABN and select Next. You must enter your ABN without spaces.
  6. Enter the proposed business name exactly as you would like it to appear on our register. Business names are case sensitive.
  7. Select the registration period.
  8. Enter the proposed business name holder details .
  9. Enter the addresses of the proposed business name.
  10. Confirm the eligibility to hold the proposed business name.
  11. Review your application. Make sure your business name is spelt correctly.
  12. Complete your declarations .
  13. Make your payment.
    If you don’t pay within 10 days, your application will be cancelled and you will need to reapply.
  14. Confirmation .

Ready to register?

Video tutorials

You can watch our video tutorial to learn more about registering a business name for the first time using ASIC Connect.

You can also watch our video tutorial on how to register a business name using ASIC Connect.

What to do if you have not received your record of registration or invoice

Once your business name is registered you will receive a record of registration.

If you choose to pay for your business name registration via invoice, we will email it to you within 48 hours. You must pay within 10 business days.

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How to start your t-shirt business in 5 basic steps #small #companies

#t shirt business

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How to start a t-shirt business in 5 basic steps

Starting a t-shirt business might seem easy and fun, but behind the scene there is a huge arsenal of strategies that one should know if prepared to launch in the business. These 5 quick steps will help you understand some of the basic aspects on how to start a t-shirt business company selling custom t-shirt designs.

How to start a t-shirt business

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND PLANNING

When deciding to start a business selling t-shirts, you must have some basic information about the clothing industry. You must also have a solid business plan, to ensure profit to your business. Check out successful business brands for tips on how they succeeded, they might be very helpful. You must establish your budget before deciding to go too deep into the business. You might have huge plans, but a small budget, so make sure that you have enough resources to fulfill your expectations.

2. IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A BRAND

Establishing your brand is definitely one of the most important foundations of your business, so you have to pay a lot of attention to this chapter. Your brand represents your whole image and the way you are perceived by the customers.

Your brand must have your distinctive personality, it must be unique, like you, and a brand that has a strong personality always stands out! Think of a strong name and a tagline to encapsulate your brand in one sentence, to make the crowd know what your business is about.

You have to figure out your goals and your target market to decide what kind of t-shirt designs you will get printed.

3. CREATE YOUR GRAPHIC DESIGNS

You have to do some research on the Internet to see the latest apparel trends, what the t-shirt community asks for. Now, after you have decided what to get printed, you should find a graphic artist. In case you are not a graphic designer yourself, you can find lots of talented designers on freelance sites like www.guru.co m. www.elance.com. w ww.odesk.com or on t-shirt competition sites like DesignByHumans, Teetonic or TeeFury. You can find the style that suits you, by checking the artists past works and hire them.

If you have a lower budget, you can chose the cheapest possibility for your business: purchase royalty free vectors and create your own designs. You can find plenty to choose from here: www.tshirt-factory.com. The disadvantage is that the designs will not be unique, but you have to admit that it is much cheaper.

4. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

You should always keep an eye on the other t-shirt design companies you’ll be competing with. You should check their designs, their pricing and promotions. You should learn from them, not copy them. If they are successful, so can you, but you have to come with fresh ideas in the same old market. Keep track of the successful ones and make sure to price your t-shirts appropriately. Consider the costs incurred in making T-shirts, such as material, printing and marketing.

5. FIND A PRINTING COMPANY AND A BLANK T-SHIRT PROVIDER

The blank t-shirts for printing must be achieved from the company that you find most appropriate. This will be your physical product, and your choice will reflect very strongly upon your brand. There are some websites that accept t-shirt designs, and they will print these for you on demand. www.Jakprint.com and www.Storenvy.com are two great printing companies.

There are plenty of different types of t-shirts, but you have to make a decision based on your kind of t-shirt designs and target market. For instance you can go for Tultex, American Apparel, Anvil, Next Level, Alstyle, Bella, Bay Island and many others. The t-shirt thickness should also be important when you chose your blank t-shirt type. The thickness ranges from 120gr to 200gr, and the ideal is 180gr.





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How to Start a Catering Business: 12 Steps (with Pictures) #small #business #startup #loans

#catering business

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How to Start a Catering Business

If you host dinner parties for your family and friends every chance you get, you’re up on food trends and you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider starting a catering business. You have the advantage of starting small with relatively low overhead and building your business as you gain more clients. Read on for information on how to find your niche, launch your business and spread the word.

Steps Edit

Part One of Three:
Finding Your Catering Niche Edit

Think about what food you love to make. Catering, like any other business, should be rooted in a genuine interest and passion. Consider the following types of food you could focus on as you develop your catering business:

  • Lunch or brunch-style food. If you enjoy making sandwiches, quiches, tarts, salads, and other food that is generally served during the day, you might want to model your business around lunchtime service. You could cater business luncheons, daytime awards ceremonies, school functions, and so on.
  • Wedding reception or special event meals. Wedding caterers typically offer a variety of appetizers and finger foods along with several hearty entrees and a few desserts.
  • Desserts only. If you love baking and have a flair for making cookies and cakes, consider desserts-only catering. This may limit the types of clients who hire you, but you’ll also have less equipment to buy.
  • Appetizers and cocktails. Clients are increasingly hiring caterers to create a trendy, festive atmosphere by serving only appetizers, sometimes accompanied by caterer-prepared specialty cocktails.

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Create a menu. By doing this first, you can figure out how much kitchen space you’ll need, what appliances you should install and how much you can expect to bring in financially.

  • Try to have a variety of items to suit different tastes. Even if you specialize in one cuisine or type of meal, make sure your menu appeals to a lot of tastes. For example, if you want to offer a lot of spicy food, have non-spicy options as well.
  • Consider offering vegetarian and vegan options for clients who don’t eat meat and other animal products.
  • Keep your menu to a manageable size, with food you’re comfortable cooking made with ingredients you know you can source.

Test your dishes. Once you’ve settled on a menu, have a party to test out your dishes on family and friends. Ask them for honest feedback about the entire experience – both the food and the service.

  • Tweak your dishes until you’re convinced they’re delicious and crowd friendly.
  • Practice makes perfect. Make sure you’ve got the techniques, cooking times, and presentation down before you launch your business.

Part Two of Three:
Securing Your Space and Supplies Edit

Find a space to rent. Even if your starting small, most local laws prohibit people from operating catering businesses from a home kitchen. Look into your jurisdiction’s health codes to find out what type of space you’ll need to rent.

  • Consider operating from a commercial kitchen. Some kitchens allow people to rent the space for a day or a few hours at a time. This situation could be the right one for you if you cater only on the weekends or a few times a month.
  • If catering is going to be your full-time business, you’ll probably need a more permanent storage and cooking facility. Find a place with adequate plumbing so you’ll be able to set up your cooking and catering equipment. Check with your landlord and your local zoning office to make sure you can install the proper equipment like ventilation hoods and grease traps.
  • If you plan to host tastings or sell food directly from your kitchen, look for a place with a storefront that’s separate from the kitchen, and provide tables and seating for customers.

Set up your kitchen. Catering work requires industrial equipment that is usually more expensive than equipment you would use in your home kitchen. Create a budget and figure out exactly what you’ll need to run your business efficiently.

  • Base your equipment purchases on your menu. For example, if many of your items are baked, install at least two ovens. If you have a lot of fried foods, opting for more than one fryer might be a good idea.
  • You may want to install multiple sinks to make your prep work more efficient, especially if you plan on hiring people.
  • Plan ahead for food storage, too. Multiple refrigerators and a walk-in freezer might be necessary to store dishes you prepare ahead of time. Heated and non-heated holding areas are important for holding temperature and storing prepared items.
  • Obtain all the pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment you need to make the items on your menu.

Purchase the catering equipment that you will use on-site. The equipment you choose will depend on the type of service you want to provide, but at minimum you will need serving platters and serving utensils.

  • Many catering businesses provide plates, silverware, glassware, or disposable plates and utensils.
  • You may want to offer special display trays and tiered food platters to help make the catered event more festive.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment to keep the food either cold or hot, such as chafing dishes with liquid fuel burners.
  • Consider buying linens, napkins, table decorations and centerpieces. Some catering businesses also offer tent canopies for outdoor events.




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How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business #plan #example

#cleaning business

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How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps

If you’re looking for a low-cost business idea that you can get off the ground fairly quickly with minimal outlays then starting a cleaning business could be the perfect option for you.

Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

However – bear in mind – because it’s a fairly simple business to start, competition is rife, with the industry dominated by lots of small organisations.

You’ll need to have a clear vision about where you plan to position your cleaning business in this somewhat crowded market and carve a niche for yourself to ensure your start-up stands out.

Read our eight simple steps to get your cleaning venture on the path to success.

1. Determine what type of cleaning business you’re going to specialise in

There are three main types of cleaning company:

  • Domestic – domestic cleaning will involve cleaning people’s homes (normally while they’re at work) and can be undertaken by you as soon as you secure some clients. You may eventually take on staff as your client-base builds.
  • Commercial – in order to clean commercial properties you’ll need a team of people (the properties will be tend to be large office buildings) and it may be that your role is more managerial than on the ground cleaning.
  • Specialised – there are lots of niches to explore, from window cleaning to schools to vehicle cleaning.

Bear in mind your skills set (are you prepared to clean every day or are you more suited to the administrative side of a cleaning business) and where there’s the best market opportunity in your desired area.

2. Research, research, research

As mentioned above – researching the potential market and local demographic will be key in determining the type of cleaning business you should start. If you’re planning on running a domestic cleaning venture you’ll need to ensure that people in the local area are financially able to pay for someone else to do their domestic chores, likewise for a commercial business are there enough viable contracts to win? Market research will also be key in determining your prices (try posing as a prospective client and ringing around the local competition to ensure your pricing point is competitive).

3. Decide on your business model (could franchising be an option?)

From the outset it’s important to think about your long-term plans for your cleaning business. If you’re looking for a business that you can grow slowly and organically and that you can keep control of in the long-run then going it alone is probably sensible. However, to hit the ground running (and if you’re nervous about some of the elements of setting up a business) you could consider franchising. There’s lots of franchises in the cleaning industry with average upfront costs of around £12,000.

4. Budget appropriately for your equipment

Cleaning equipment costs can vary considerably. For domestic cleaners, more often than not the equipment is provided by the households, but if you’re thinking of launching a commercial cleaning company there’s some basic equipment you’ll need to invest in:

  • Equipment trolleys: £250-£400 each
  • Professional vacuum cleaner – £100 upwards
  • Sweeping machine – £200-£2,000
  • Van – £3,000 upwards

It’s important that you ensure any outlays you have to spend on equipment will be counteracted in profits.

5. Create a marketing plan

As well as some initial spend on equipment – it may be necessary to allocate some budget for marketing. One of the hardest elements of starting a cleaning company (and in fact any service business) is building up a client list. Depending on the nature of your business some traditional advertising such as classified listings and flyers could be the best place to start – although it’s worth considering investing in some online advertising as well, such as pay-per-click. particularly if you are offering a niche service (and can therefore go for a specific search term such as ‘Brentwood carpet cleaner’). And don’t be afraid to go out and knock on some doors – cleaning can be a personal business and prospective clients may be more likely to sign up if they meet you face-to-face!

6. Develop a strong brand and build a reputation

Once your business gets underway and starts to gain momentum it’s important to build a brand that you can be proud of – as apart from any marketing spend – you’ll mainly be reliant on gaining customers via word of mouth and personal recommendations. To build a brand identity it’s a good idea to have a logo designed and to have a uniform for any staff with clear branding on it. Subscribing to trade organisations which have a compulsory standard for membership can also help create a professional reputation, as well as getting satisfied clients to provide testimonials. Try to create a USP that isn’t just about price – something that clearly defines your brand as a cleaning business that won’t be forgotten.

7. Managing cashflow and getting paid

As with any new business, cashflow can be sporadic initially – but particularly for domestic cleaners as clients can be somewhat unreliable in terms of how regularly they’ll want you, bearing in mind holidays, sicknesses etc. In addition you’ll need to work out a payment system with clients that works for you. Typically people expect to pay their cleaner cash-in-hand per job but for your cashflow you may want to insist on an advance payment system.

8. Training and regulations

You do not need a license to run a cleaning business but obtaining a criminal records check from the CRB can only improve your image (and that of your staff) as trusted professionals. Training is also not a prerequisite but some basic training such as an NVQ or Cleaning Operatives Proficiency Certificate could give your business credibility.

If you’re going to be taking on staff there’s a number of regulations you’ll need to bear in mind. Typically cleaning work is not well paid – it’s likely that your staff will receive the minimum wage (currently £6.31) so you’ll need to keep on top of annual rises. You’ll also be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and if you’re taking on commercial cleaning jobs you’ll need to adhere to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – which state that when you take on a cleaning contract with an office or other business premises you must use their existing staff. Lastly, there’s a number of health and safety regulations to consider, as cleaning often involves working with potentially harmful chemicals.

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a cleaning business read our comprehensive guide here .

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Steps 1 -5 – Start – a Commercial Cleaning Business #types #of #business

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How to Start Your Own Commercial Cleaning Business – Steps 1-5

Step 1: What Buildings to Clean:

First and foremost, decide what you want to do with your commercial cleaning business. Do you want to clean small buildings or large buildings? Do you want to keep this business small or do you want to hire employees to do the work for or with you? This will determine what sort of buildings you are going to target.

There are many different areas of commercial cleaning. You can do small buildings such as banks, gyms, day cares, mom and pop shops or convenience stores. You can do small office buildings or large skyscraper buildings and schools. There are many options here. You will need to decide what you want to do.

If it is just you or just you and a partner, you may want to start small. Target smaller buildings that you can do by yourself. Then, when you get the feel for your business and want to hire help, target larger buildings.

So, now you know what sort of building you want to clean. Now, you need to set up the business. First, you need to decide on a business name. You will want to pick something professional since you are dealing with professional people that you will have to sell yourself to. I don’t recommend using a “cutesy” name. This will turn off many of those professionals that will be hiring you. Choose something that shows what you are made of. For example, Florida’s Best Cleaning Service or Tampa Bay’s Professional Commercial Cleaning. Adding your service area to your business name is also a big plus because your clients will be able to relate to you.

Step 3: Business License and Bank Account:

Now that you have a name, it is time to get your business license and bank account. Go to http://www.business.gov/register/licenses-and-permits/ and find your state. Contact a representative to see what sort of license is required for commercial cleaners. Most times you will only have to file for a DBA (doing business as), but this will vary from state to state.

Once you have a business license, you can then get a business checking account. There are many out there that will give you free checks and free transactions, so shop around. My business and personal are at the same bank, so they gave me a plan where I get free checks and free deposits and withdrawals. Check to see if your bank offers the same.

Step 4: Commercial Cleaning Insurance and Bond:

Now that you have a license and bank account, it is time to get liability insurance. Liability insurance will be a requirement for commercial cleaning. They will want to see your insurance certificate and some businesses may even want you to carry a certain limit on your insurance policy. The most any business should need would be a $1Million policy, but usually $500k would suffice.

You can find commercial liability insurance through your local agents as well as by going to http://ww.netquote.com. Just click on business insurance and get a quote right there. This can be costly depending on where you live, but the average is around $500/year. So, be sure to shop around to get the best coverage and quote.

If you are going to hire employees or you have a partner, it would be a good idea to get a bond. A bond will protect your business against employee theft. Bonds are not expensive and most of your clients will want you to have one as well. Your local agent should be able to help you get one or you can get one at http://www.janitorialbonds.com/. You can also shop around for a bond. Just do a search on the web for a janitorial bond. There are many companies.

The last step for setting up the backbone of your business before you start the operations part of the business is determining your rates. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it out to be. There doesn’t have to be some magical formula. You can make up one if you want, but the best thing to do is determine what you need your hourly rate to be to make the kind of profit you want to make. Don’t forget to factor in things like expenses (insurance, license, gas, maintenace, supplies, etc.). Once you determine your hourly rates, do you think your service area can pay that kind of money or is that even lower than the norm for your area? Don’t know, just ask.

Once you figure out your hourly rate, you will have to figure out how many hours it will take for you to complete the cleaning job. Many factors will determine this. What kind of floor, how many rooms, how large is the building, how many employees, how many bathrooms.

This will be a learning curve for your to get your calculations correct, but don’t worry. Even if it took you longer to clean than you thought, you will get better and faster as you get used to the building.

Once you know how many hours, multiply by your hourly rate. Then multiply that by how many times you will clean in a month and put the monthly rate on your bid sheet. Most businesses will pay by the month, so you need to give them a monthly rate. Don’t tell them your hourly rate because they will start to nit-pick at certain areas or question why you need this much time to clean. Just give them your bottom line price, unless they ask for a breakdown.

That is all there is to the back end of your business. In steps 5-10, we will go over the operations of the business.





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8 Steps to Create Your Business Strategy – Lighthouse Visionary #lucrative #business #ideas

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8 Steps to Create Your Business Strategy

Featured Column in Whistler Question newspaper January 28, 2014

You may have noticed that almost everywhere you looked at the start of January, there was something about the importance of setting goals. It’s enough to turn you off of planning for the future but at the very least, it is particularly important to set out direction for your business.

Strategic planning is described as “an organization s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy.”

Simply put, strategic plans create a road map to determine where an organization is going, how it s going to get there and how it will recognize success.

This segues into an opportunity to create not only a direction for the organization but also to craft a team vision. What kind of team do they want to be? Allow them to identify their team values and define what they want to achieve. Business is moving away from isolated mentalities and has a fresh perspective of a team.

Following are eight phases for the strategic planning process.

  1. Preparation. Identify reasons for planning and determine what outcome your organization wants from this process. Involve a cross-functional team to ensure the plan is realistic and collaborative.
  2. Mission, Vision and Values. Create them if you don’t have them and ensure they are still relevant if they already exist because this is the foundation of your business.
  3. Assess Your Situation. Often referred to as a “SWOT” (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), this is a tool to examine internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) elements of a business. By reviewing all these factors as they relate to your business, you are able to create key objectives to leverage strengths, minimize weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities and evaluate threats.
  4. Agree on Goals and Objectives. A great definition is “the difference between where we are (current status) and where we want to be (vision and goals) is what we do (target objectives and action plans). In other words, goals are a statement of the visions, specifying accomplishments to be achieved if the vision is to become real. Objectives are statements of specific activities required to achieve the goals, starting from the current status.
  5. Create Action Plans and Timelines. Action planning typically includes deciding who is going to do what and by when and in what order for the organization to reach its strategic goals.
  6. Write the Plan. Complicated plans will collect dust on a shelf. A simple, user-friendly format will encourage those responsible for implementation to refer to it frequently.
  7. Implement the Plan. This is often where things fall apart so it’s imperative to specify the plan’s implementation roles and responsibilities with clear action plans for at least the first 90 days. Also, integrating the plan’s goals and objectives into performance reviews creates a powerful incentive.
  8. Evaluate and Monitor the Plan. Strategies are not set in stone and can be modified based on progress made, obstacles encountered, and the changing environment.

Paving a path is a key ingredient to business success. As Jack Kinder said, “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.”





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