• The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  1. The forum software will be upgraded on Sunday May 26th and may not look normal during the transition. Some functionality may be offline. This is TEMPORARY and is expected to last up to 8 hours.
  2. Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs
    who are kicking butt and
    winning their dream life.

    Unscripted™ Entrepreneurship:
    A Business That Pays More Than Money, It Pays Time.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF) outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED™). From multimillionaires to digital nomads, the forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane)  Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block!

NOTABLE! [Progress] Growing a Cleaning Business

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by nzott, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    Small businesses call us constantly. I give them our hourly rate and move on. Small business often means working outside their business hours. Major headache to scale with 6-10pm 5am-8am shifts.

    A small business isn’t calculating its tax write off when looking for a cleaning service. They are looking at their bottom line cash flow and what they can afford.

    We get gyms, salons, restaurants, professional services, etc. None value cleaning highly enough to pay our prices.

    That’s fine with me.
     
    ChrisR, minivanman and GoGetter24 like this.
  2. GoGetter24
    Offline

    GoGetter24 Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    1,074
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2017
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Various
    Rep Bank:
    $4,783
    Interesting and surprising. So with residential people are willing to pay high hourly rates for cleaning versus businesses? Maybe it's something to do with the frequency of cleaning required?

    Perhaps there's a specific type of cleaning, rather than customer sector, that you could target? For the sake of exaggeration: radioactive waste cleanup. Doesn't happen often, but when it does it really needs doing and you can quote whatever you want, no time for dilly-dally "request for proposal" crap etc.

    I meant like versus residential, since that's out of their personal pocket and more "luxury" versus necessary expense.
     
  3. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    There’s massive opportunity in niche specific cleaning like that. Crime scene clean up, waste material, etc. But you’ll likely need to shell out some cash for the training and insurance elements those would incur. I’m not against it by any means, I just prefer to throw my hat into where there’s already a lot of money flowing and win on the branding and customer service side of things.

    You want the clients that view it at a luxury item. If they don’t, you’re fighting every husband wife couple with a mop and bucket. The barrier to entry for cleaning is insanely low. You have to be above this level in order to make any money. Otherwise, you’ll be busy and broke.
     
    GoGetter24, minivanman and ChrisR like this.
  4. CPisHere
    Offline

    CPisHere Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Rep Bank:
    $3,958
    Where are people getting your info that they are inviting you for bids?
     
  5. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    They Google everything just like homeowners do. I'd imagine some go strictly off referrals, but almost everything we get is through our website which is primarily driven by Yelp and Google.
     
  6. CPisHere
    Offline

    CPisHere Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    752
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Rep Bank:
    $3,958
    Hourly rates are WAY lower for commercial than residential, but services are more frequent and space is bigger so more hours. It varies by market, but here a residential cleaner might be $40/hour where as commercial is $25. And it's not valued very highly, where as people with money value not having to clean their own home.
     
    minivanman likes this.
  7. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    Right, Commercial you need a good bit of scale before you personally make any money. Residential you can make money from day one. In my experience, residential has been leaps and bounds easier to both manage and grow profitably than anything commercial would be. Commercial seems like such a time suck and constant headache.
     
  8. Gidoza45
    Offline

    Gidoza45 New Contributor

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $3
    Very interesting thread. It's hard for me to grasp your business model though. So the customer goes to your website and books your service. The website spits them out a quote based on what they say they need. You hire some sub-contractors to perform the work then you collect payment from customer?
     
  9. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    Yeah, at it's core that's it. Then split the payment with the sub.
     
  10. 21elnegocio
    Offline

    21elnegocio Bronze Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER

    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    219
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Rep Bank:
    $1,517
    Very good thread @nzott

    Is there a thread on how to start a cleaning business ?

    What tools are needed? How did you acquire your first clients ?

    What programs do you use for your clients to book appointments ?

    How about what website did you use ? Do you do good ads or facebook ads for marketing ?


    What is your % of profit that you would consider worth your month ?
     
  11. Roughneck
    Offline

    Roughneck Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    53
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $259
    Firstly, I want to say thanks to nzott for the information posted in this thread - it has been helpful and also inspiring. I did have a few questions though.

    My partner is currently running a cleaning business. It has only just started, she is the only worker at the moment (apart from 1 contractor that has helped on a few larger cleans). It's something that while she is good at, it's not what she wants to spend all her time doing - cleaning up other peoples mess...but she is great with customers and after only 4 weeks, she has been receiving great feedback and plenty of work too! So, we have started to look at the option of hiring staff, although I understand this is different to your situation as you are subcontracting your work out to other companies - we would like to employ workers in house to keep an eye on the quality of the service as we are aiming to be a premium product.

    What ROI are you looking for when you are using your subcontractors to undertake work for you. One thing I am having a hard time getting my head around is being able to pay our workers plus equipment, insurances, products, training, sick days etc etc etc and make a reasonable profit.

    Your website, which allows booking - obviously details all the costs associated with your cleaning and services? Or do your customers need to go through a quoting process?

    What systems do you have in place for jobs that require more hours then the booked in amount? We have found on multiple occasions that we have quoted on a specific amount of hours but once arriving at the job, seeing that the house is a complete mess and requires a lot more hours to get to the standard we would be happy with. In which case, I think we have been lucky with discussing with the customer that their house will require more then the allotted amount but I am sure this will not always be smooth sailing.

    I have a ton more questions but will leave it at that for now! I hope I haven't repeated a previous question in this thread!
     
  12. Sander
    Online

    Sander But I get up again... Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    462
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    DK
    Rep Bank:
    $2,307
    If business was easy, they'd call it school.
     
  13. nzott
    Offline

    nzott Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    263
    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Gender:
    Male
    Rep Bank:
    $2,527
    Our quotes are just a flat rate based on bedrooms and bathrooms. Then you can add items a la carte. Things like inside the fridge, interior windows, basement, etc. With that flat rate, we include 1 kitchen/dining and 1 living room. Any other rooms are priced as an additional bedroom. Half Baths are same price as full.

    With flat rate pricing you get people who play games fairly often. Especially if you never had them on the phone. They'll claim 2 bedrooms when it's really 3, or they want some additional items that's not in the base pricing. Just part of the game. We combat this with a check box people are required to select that essentially lays out that the price they see is subject to change based on what we find when we actually come to the property. It's said in nicer words, but that's the gist of it.

    With that being said, you're going to get pricing wrong. Even when you quote a job in person you're going to be way off on occasion. Most of the time you'll be a bit under or over what you thought it'd be and it works itself out. Rarely will you be spot on. Again, it's part of the game. Not something to worry about.

    Oftentimes, you can go back to the client and explain why it's taking longer and renegotiate price. If you're delivering a quality service and they can see that, they'll work with you. If they feel it's not, they'll whine. Sometimes they'll whine regardless. Who cares. Absolute worst case is you were way off and the job took hours longer than anticipated, or you even had to return the next day to finish because of how long it's taking. You take the loss, learn from it, and move on. In cleaning, that potential loss is at most a few hundred dollars. We're lucky in that regard. Large building contractors often run the risk of being off by tens of thousands that they may not be able to to collect on.

    "One thing I am having a hard time getting my head around is being able to pay our workers plus equipment, insurances, products, training, sick days etc etc etc and make a reasonable profit"

    Easy answer is, it's hard... I just deleted a long list of ways to analyze and come up with accurate pricing, but to be completely frank, it's bullshit. There's too many unknowns. Especially in the beginning. Nothing is set in stone.

    Easiest way is to copy pricing in your market. Call a competitor and ask their pricing. Charge the same then deliver a better service. Every 6 months or so, increase pricing across the board. Not drastic, but $3-5/hr or something like that. Think we started at like 30-35/hr per cleaner. We do 45-50 now.

    Goal is to win business early with low pricing a service that knocks it out of the park. Build up a loyal base and slowly raise prices until you're a premium service in your market. The price seekers will fall away and you'll be left with valuable high paying clients.
     

Join 1000s of entrepreneurs who are rewriting life's script and winning financial freedom.

---- ----

You must be a member to join the conversation.

Create Account

Join the community fast and easy!

REGISTER

Log In

Already have an account? Login here.

LOG IN

Share This Page