Start A Cleaning Business

Why did I Start A cleaning Business?

Well, I am going to tell you.

In 2006 I was unemployed. I had worked for several different companies and nothing ever really worked out.
My wife has always said I am a frustrated entrepreneur! But, I have always been a “hands on ” type of guy, not someone who wanted to work in an office doing the 9-5 thing.

Anyway, I was out of work and looking for something to do.

My first job when I left school in 1985 was as a cleaner in a local factory..a job that was dirty, messy…but I enjoyed it!

I then served an apprenticeship with a large telecoms company and my first job there was..as a cleaner!

I was 18.and my job for the first year was emptying bins in the offices, cleaning toilets, sweeping the yard, polishing desks etc.

And again..I really enjoyed it.
But as time passed I had to learn my trade and the cleaning was a distant memory.

I trained as a technician which was rewarding and although I enjoyed the work, which was mentally difficult at times, as well as dangerous ( I had to climb poles which were very high..and in the rain as well!), I craved to be self-employed.

Well, the years passed and in the end I left the job in 2006 after clocking up 21 years and a mediocre pension to look forward to when it matures in 2029..which was something to look forward to!

Not that I am bitter! No seriously, it was a good gig but as I was getting older I just didn’t want the danger aspect that I was facing on a regular basis, plus I have never been a great fan of heights!

OK..so now it’s 2006 and I am looking for something….anything!
So I remembered the cleaning I did 20 odd years ago and I scoured the local classified ads to get a simple, basic cleaning job.

And it wasn’t difficult, I can tell you.

There were loads of ads looking for cleaners……and I live in a rural part of Dorset in the UK.

So I picked up the phone and rang a couple of ads that read as follows:

Cleaners Wanted
All Areas
Good Rates Of Pay
Repeat Work Hours To Suit
Tel: xxxxxxxxx

The first thing I found was that the people running these businesses were not that interested in what experience I had or what I had done before…which was a bit weird to be honest with you.

So, I accepted one job that was 25 hours a week in my local area.

And this is what happened.

I had to meet this girl at 5.30 am at our local civic centre and she was going to “train me”.

Now look, I was 37 at the time..fully trained technician, Health & Safety trained, First aid trained etc…….She was at a guess 19!

Now, look…before I get complaints that I am being ageist..I am not.

All this girl knew about cleaning you could have written on the back of a stamp!

She knew her way around the building and where the cleaning products were kept but her skills were poor.

For example, she used the water in the bucket that she had cleaned the four toilet blocks with to clean the kitchen…..last!

You get the picture.

The money I was paid was poor too, just above minimum wage.
I wasn’t too bothered about the money to be honest; I just wanted to be doing something I enjoyed.

That was until I found out what the local businesses were paying this team of “experts” to do the cleaning!

It was twice what they were paying me per hour……around ?13 per hour!

I carried on with them for a while, trying to gain as much information as possible and also researched suppliers and equipment that I would need to start up my own business doing my own free lance cleaning.

I had worked out that I needed around ?200 to start up on my own……that was all!

All I needed was a good quality vacuum cleaner…some buckets, mops, polish, cleaning fluids and cloths…..and I was ready to go!

I remembered the ad that I had replied to a while back, so I ran a similar ad like this:

Cleaner For Hire
No Job Too Dirty
Commercial & Residential Experience
Honest & Reliable
Tel: xxxxxx

I got 3 calls in a week!

I was totally amazed, so after telling all of the callers my rates were ?10 an hour..which they were more than happy with, I had secured 18 hours of private cleaning work!

So, after being paid a measly ?6 an hour working for a “cleaning” company that, frankly, didn’t clean very well, I had upped my income by ?30 a week, for working 7 hours less..and being THE BOSS!

Well, the weeks went by and I managed to get another 18 hours by running the same ad, at a whopping cost of ?8 a week, and I was set.

36 hours a week cleaning was great; ?10 a hour, ?360 a week, repeat business, very little in the way of fuel costs…..the only outlay was around ?10 a week on cleaning products and that was it.

I was enjoying life, being in charge; it was a great feeling.

I had hooked into a business that I enjoyed, which was repeat business too and I was getting, after my costs, around ?18,000 a year – which I was amazed by!

My wife was amazed too….she only thought I wanted to do a few hours part time but it did turn into a full time gig.

Then it happened.

I started to get some phone calls from local businesses saying the following:

“Hi, you do the cleaning at XYZ company don’t you?”
“We need our offices cleaning…..are you interested in putting in a bid?”

Crikey!

I was taken by surprise…..I can tell you.

So I went along, met the manager of the business and put in my pitch.
I told him how passionate I was about doing a good job for him and my price was good too, still ?10 an hour – no need to be greedy.

He looked at me and said this..and I will never forget his words:

“Son…you are the only person I have met in 30 years of running this company who has ever talked about cleaning a toilet with such enthusiasm!” and laughed…..so did I!

I got the contract….3 offices ( I had only expected one!)
3 different locations…so I needed more help.

I remembered the ad that I had responded to a couple years before, so I ran it like this:

Cleaners Wanted
Must Be Honest & Hard-working
I will show you how to do it properly
Good Rates Of Pay
Tel:xxxxxxxx

I took on no more than I could chew – that is important.

I took one step at a time.

I took on a young lad and I shadowed him and showed him how to do the job.

He worked hard for me and now he is a supervisor for me.

So I repeated the process, as I needed 3 people for this new office gig, remember.

So I did what a great business man in the UK called Gerry Robinson once said:

“hire slowly….fire quickly”

The point being, take your time about who you take on; be sure of them, as sure as you can be, after all, they are representing YOU!

I had never really wanted to be a boss, but circumstances had thrust this great opportunity into my hands……and I needed help.

Look, I am not going to blow smoke here…..you will make mistakes when taking people on, we all do.

But if you follow Gerry and his principles, they will be few and far between.

The contract I had secured was for 3 offices, all needing 12 hours cleaning per week.
They paid me (and still do!) ?360 a week, actually it’s ?480 now….3 years on.

I pay my 3 guys well; they get ?8 an hour each. I get about ?13 an hour for each of the hours they work for me, so I get just over ?5 an hour for doing nothing on those sites, in addition to my existing income of ?360 a week..I get a further ?180+a week!

So, in a few short, enjoyable years, I have built up a nice ?45,000 + per annum business.

Now look, Cleaning is a business that you can build on..the sky is the limit.

If you want to build a great house, it needs great foundations first.

I am happy with my business ; it pays well and gives me a good life.

I know full well, if I wanted to increase the business I could, because things get dirty and they need people like ME!

If you are looking for get rich quick, forget it – it doesn’t exist.

But if you are seriously looking for a business that is in demand, needs good people and is very rewarding, then THIS IS IT!

I sound like an evangelist…but I think that, as you are reading this, you may just have found your Golden Ticket!

This business has given me nearly ?1000 a week; now, I only need ?250 a week for myself; with the residue I have invested in other things -.and you can too.

The formula I used was this:

Work out how much you need every week for your home, bills, food etc.

How much do you NEED?

?1000 a week is a great income! Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t. It is.

And remember, you can build on this – I have only got a small 6 person business that turns over around ?50,000 a year.

Imagine a 12 person or 18 person business…you do the math.

As I said before, this is not a “get rich quick business” but it can be a
“get very comfortable within 3-5 years” business.

You want to know what I do with my residue income?

Then I will tell you:

After making sure that all my employees’ equipment is kept up to date and in perfect working order, I put around ?100 a week into a Product Service Account.

I use this for new equipment, cleaning products etc….I spend around ?30 a week on cleaning materials; cleaning stuff is very cheap if you know what you are doing, dilution is the key, so I am well in control of my costs.

I still have plenty left over with which to do something good.

I sponsor my local Under 12’s soccer team; it costs about ?250 a year and yes, they all play in the kit I have provided…..with my company name on it!

I love soccer, so this was a no brainer, and I get loads of kudos and new business too ( to be honest, I just wanted to see my company name on their shirts…..but it has resulted in ?3000 per annum worth of work!)

Don’t worry, I haven’t kept that money.; I bought a mini bus for their team and did some work on the club house. In fact, John, who works for me, cleans up after the lads on a Sunday afternoon!

It’s a win win – for them!

The point I am making is this:

You can do some great things with this business.

If you want Ferraris, Swimming Pools and Millions..then go elsewhere!

I don’t mean to be harsh but we live in the real world….and the real world gets dirty!

We now have 6 people working for us….including me.

Don’t lose track of the fact you are THE BUSINESS.

I still get my hands dirty, but now I am making a really good income; better than some lawyers here in the UK.

I don’t have to get my hands dirty with the day to day and you may not want to either.

But remember this:

“Never ask someone to do something that you are not prepared to do yourself”

A lot of people forget that and you must not – ever.

And that, my friends is the key to this wonderful business.

Enthusiasm.

99% of the people I meet do NOT LIKE CLEANING!

I don’t know why; it’s great – satisfying and rewarding work, knowing that you are getting good money for doing something most, if not all, people dislike doing!

On my site I have a step by step 100% no fail guide.

I will help you every step of the way in this very simple guide.

What You need
Where to get it cheaply
Where to get your cleaning materials from..and how to make your own
How to market yourself and how to save money doing this.
How to go about getting your businesses

I hope you have enjoyed reading this…..I know I have enjoyed writing it.

If you want more help, advice and great tips, please take a look at my site-

it is well worth a look

http://cleaningbusinessonabudget.blogspot.com/

Tony has been running his own cleaning business for the last 5 years and has gained many helpful tips and advice on you starting your own cleaning business. Visit his website: http://cleaningbusinessonabudget.blogspot.com/

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