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Growing My Cleaning Business - My Journey

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A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

David Fitz

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Jan 30, 2020
157
287
Ireland
I've had a cleaning business for over 3 years now. During this time I have never taken it seriously as I hated it. I've always wanted to have a "sexy" online business while I kept the cleaning business as my job.

I have an Ecom store that does 6 figures a year. This will soon be ending as me and my girlfriend run this together and working with each other has not been the best so we always said we'd end the store if it got in the way of our relationship.

All this time while I was funding my Ecom store, my cleaning business has been ticking along nicely without me even trying. Some days I come home and I've made €500. I don't do any remarketing to my customers or ask for reviews or referrals but every week I get a new 5 star review or a customer who referred me to a friend.

All this time the gold was right under my nose but I've been focusing on the sexy online business that has been draining my income since it started.

I've found my why and as funny as it sounds it's all because of a puppy. Yup, when I was cleaning another crap off our cream carpet it got me thinking that I'm nealry 33, in a few years I'm going to be having kids and I always vowed to myself that I would be there for them. I wouldn't be missing big events because I had to work like my dad. When I have bad days, I'm going to think of my why.

I'm getting things rolling for the new year. I want to transform my cleaning business from exterior work to interior cleaning like carpet cleaning and tile cleaning. This is high ticket stuff and I won't get affected by the rain and winter here in Ireland.

My vision for this business is for me to be able to step away from the manual labour side of things, hire employees, build a brand and make a lot of money in the process.

The vision for the business is to give customer's an excellent service, make it a great place to work for my employees and to bring that great American service I always hear about to Ireland.

Does it meet the CENTS commandments?

Control: Yes. Unless I rely on one big contract who can flick me away like a booger then I will be in full control.

Entry: It's a pretty easy business to enter but with carpet cleaning and tile cleaning you need training and you need good equipment that costs thousands. New equipment has cost me 7k.

Need: Yes, there is a need here for cleaning services. Customers always tell me it's hard to find someone to clean their home.

Time: Not the easiest type of business to keep going without me there the whole time but it can be done. I'll need very good systems and training in place before I can step away.

Scale: Again, it's not the easiest business to scale as I live in a city with a population of 100k but I can franchise, move into other services, start an Ecom store selling cleaning supplies and equipment and set up training courses.

Action steps for this year:

Build a new website

Order new equipment to clean carpets(this is ordered already but will take 3 weeks to arrive)

Uniforms (haven't had a uniform for 3 years)

Get training for cleaning carpets (have this done but I have to wait 2 weeks)

Buy a new van and get it wrapped with my business name

Set up a Limited Company so I can enjoy the great tax benefits we have here in Ireland. I'm currently self employed.

Find a good CRM and start remarketing and sending reminders to my customers

Systemize how I clean and do things so I can get ready to hire my first employees

All I need to do is get work and I know how to do that with Google Ads ( thanks @Andy Black )

Cost to start a cleaning business:

Website: $10 per month for hosting and build it for free via WordPress and Elementor.
Van: Cost me €1500 3 years ago and it's still going strong
Insurance: €500 per year
Equipment: When I first started I cleaned windows and all I needed was a ladder (€150) and squeegee/mop and belt €50
Marketing: €10 per day Google Ads budget. Free Google My Business page and free Facebook business page.

If you have any advice for me then please let me know. I'll be keeping this updated every month as I go through my journey.
 
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Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
13,236
51,173
Ireland
I've had a cleaning business for over 3 years now. During this time I have never taken it seriously as I hated it. I've always wanted to have a "sexy" online business while I kept the cleaning business as my job.

I have an Ecom store that does 6 figures a year. This will soon be ending as me and my girlfriend run this together and working with each other has not been the best so we always said we'd end the store if it got in the way of our relationship.

All this time while I was funding my Ecom store, my cleaning business has been ticking along nicely without me even trying. Some days I come home and I've made €500. I don't do any remarketing to my customers or ask for reviews or referrals but every week I get a new 5 star review or a customer who referred me to a friend.

All this time the gold was right under my nose but I've been focusing on the sexy online business that has been draining my income since it started.

I've found my why and as funny as it sounds it's all because of a puppy. Yup, when I was cleaning another crap off our cream carpet it got me thinking that I'm nealry 33, in a few years I'm going to be having kids and I always vowed to myself that I would be there for them. I wouldn't be missing big events because I had to work like my dad. When I have bad days, I'm going to think of my why.

I'm getting things rolling for the new year. I want to transform my cleaning business from exterior work to interior cleaning like carpet cleaning and tile cleaning. This is high ticket stuff and I won't get affected by the rain and winter here in Ireland.

My vision for this business is for me to be able to step away from the manual labour side of things, hire employees, build a brand and make a lot of money in the process.

The vision for the business is to give customer's an excellent service, make it a great place to work for my employees and to bring that great American service I always hear about to Ireland.

Does it meet the CENTS commandments?

Control: Yes. Unless I rely on one big contract who can flick me away like a booger then I will be in full control.

Entry: It's a pretty easy business to enter but with carpet cleaning and tile cleaning you need training and you need good equipment that costs thousands. New equipment has cost me 7k.

Need: Yes, there is a need here for cleaning services. Customers always tell me it's hard to find someone to clean their home.

Time: Not the easiest type of business to keep going without me there the whole time but it can be done. I'll need very good systems and training in place before I can step away.

Scale: Again, it's not the easiest business to scale as I live in a city with a population of 100k but I can franchise, move into other services, start an Ecom store selling cleaning supplies and equipment and set up training courses.

Action steps for this year:

Build a new website

Order new equipment to clean carpets(this is ordered already but will take 3 weeks to arrive)

Uniforms (haven't had a uniform for 3 years)

Get training for cleaning carpets (have this done but I have to wait 2 weeks)

Buy a new van and get it wrapped with my business name

Set up a Limited Company so I can enjoy the great tax benefits we have here in Ireland. I'm currently self employed.

Find a good CRM and start remarketing and sending reminders to my customers

Systemize how I clean and do things so I can get ready to hire my first employees

All I need to do is get work and I know how to do that with Google Ads ( thanks @Andy Black )

Cost to start a cleaning business:

Website: $10 per month for hosting and build it for free via WordPress and Elementor.
Van: Cost me €1500 3 years ago and it's still going strong
Insurance: €500 per year
Equipment: When I first started I cleaned windows and all I needed was a ladder (€150) and squeegee/mop and belt €50
Marketing: €10 per day Google Ads budget. Free Google My Business page and free Facebook business page.

If you have any advice for me then please let me know. I'll be keeping this updated every month as I go through my journey.
Delighted you’re documenting this @David Fitz. Looking forward to watching it grow.

That’s a powerful why. It will keep you going I’m sure.
 

Martin Z

Bronze Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Oct 11, 2021
251
180
Stavanger, Norway
I've had a cleaning business for over 3 years now. During this time I have never taken it seriously as I hated it. I've always wanted to have a "sexy" online business while I kept the cleaning business as my job.

I have an Ecom store that does 6 figures a year. This will soon be ending as me and my girlfriend run this together and working with each other has not been the best so we always said we'd end the store if it got in the way of our relationship.

All this time while I was funding my Ecom store, my cleaning business has been ticking along nicely without me even trying. Some days I come home and I've made €500. I don't do any remarketing to my customers or ask for reviews or referrals but every week I get a new 5 star review or a customer who referred me to a friend.

All this time the gold was right under my nose but I've been focusing on the sexy online business that has been draining my income since it started.

I've found my why and as funny as it sounds it's all because of a puppy. Yup, when I was cleaning another crap off our cream carpet it got me thinking that I'm nealry 33, in a few years I'm going to be having kids and I always vowed to myself that I would be there for them. I wouldn't be missing big events because I had to work like my dad. When I have bad days, I'm going to think of my why.

I'm getting things rolling for the new year. I want to transform my cleaning business from exterior work to interior cleaning like carpet cleaning and tile cleaning. This is high ticket stuff and I won't get affected by the rain and winter here in Ireland.

My vision for this business is for me to be able to step away from the manual labour side of things, hire employees, build a brand and make a lot of money in the process.

The vision for the business is to give customer's an excellent service, make it a great place to work for my employees and to bring that great American service I always hear about to Ireland.

Does it meet the CENTS commandments?

Control: Yes. Unless I rely on one big contract who can flick me away like a booger then I will be in full control.

Entry: It's a pretty easy business to enter but with carpet cleaning and tile cleaning you need training and you need good equipment that costs thousands. New equipment has cost me 7k.

Need: Yes, there is a need here for cleaning services. Customers always tell me it's hard to find someone to clean their home.

Time: Not the easiest type of business to keep going without me there the whole time but it can be done. I'll need very good systems and training in place before I can step away.

Scale: Again, it's not the easiest business to scale as I live in a city with a population of 100k but I can franchise, move into other services, start an Ecom store selling cleaning supplies and equipment and set up training courses.

Action steps for this year:

Build a new website

Order new equipment to clean carpets(this is ordered already but will take 3 weeks to arrive)

Uniforms (haven't had a uniform for 3 years)

Get training for cleaning carpets (have this done but I have to wait 2 weeks)

Buy a new van and get it wrapped with my business name

Set up a Limited Company so I can enjoy the great tax benefits we have here in Ireland. I'm currently self employed.

Find a good CRM and start remarketing and sending reminders to my customers

Systemize how I clean and do things so I can get ready to hire my first employees

All I need to do is get work and I know how to do that with Google Ads ( thanks @Andy Black )

Cost to start a cleaning business:

Website: $10 per month for hosting and build it for free via WordPress and Elementor.
Van: Cost me €1500 3 years ago and it's still going strong
Insurance: €500 per year
Equipment: When I first started I cleaned windows and all I needed was a ladder (€150) and squeegee/mop and belt €50
Marketing: €10 per day Google Ads budget. Free Google My Business page and free Facebook business page.

If you have any advice for me then please let me know. I'll be keeping this updated every month as I go through my journey.
That's great stuff man. Nice to see some americans living in Europe!

The great thing about your industry is the re marketing part and residual income, as most cleaning companies make most of their money on the backend. You build that customer trust/loyalty and you'll be doing better and better.

Like you said, it may not be the most scaleable business, but it's still possible. You'll need employees as you said and maybe more trucks around Ireland or the UK.

Are you utilizing your social media platforms to their fullest? What's your business's FB @?
That can be important because a lot of people are on social media nowadays, and if you stand out there you'll have a better shot in the long game. Plus social media is like word of mouth advertising times ten.
 

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