Start a Commercial Cleaning Company

Commercial cleaning is the cleaning of offices, shops and other places where business is conducted. Start your own commercial cleaning company.

The opportunity
Companies want their premises to be clean at all times. They could hire a cleaner themselves but then what happens when that cleaner suddenly takes off sick? Then they have to put up with dirty premises which are unacceptable for most industries. They would also then have to keep stock of cleaning supplies and add another person to payroll. Companies usually outsource cleaning to commercial cleaning companies for this reason.

Business Model
The cleaning industry is actually an agency model, you supply cleaners to companies, charge the companies an hourly rate and pay the cleaner a part of that rate and you pocket the difference (obviously there are other expenses:  cleaning materials, uniform etc.).

You will supply companies with cleaners, the cleaning supplies used, equipment (dusters, vacuum cleaners). If a cleaner takes off ill it is your job to send a replacement cleaner.
You have to supply all cleaning materials: sponges, wash cloths, dust cloths, and various types of cleaners and disinfectants. As well as equipment such as vacuum cleaners and feather dusters.

You will have to offer the entire spectrum of office cleaning to get anywhere in this business: sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, wiping surfaces as well as regularly emptying bins.

Starting out
This business requires a modest amount of capital to get started. And there is essentially two types of clients: regular one (which clients come in everyday) and irregular (once a week etc.) or just clean up at certain times. Maintaining irregular clients requires the most amounts of work and admin, getting new places but I would not discount it as many companies that use regular cleaners already have existing clients (see below) and irregular clients may be easier to come by.

Growing the business
This is easy business to do but like all other easy businesses it has a lot of competition and your main problem will be to get clients. The most lucrative is to work directly with landlords of large buildings which will require multiple cleaners.
On the labour side South Africa has a lot of cleaners out of work so getting staff should not be too much of a problem.

Marketing the business
Getting word out there about your company is where this business succeeds or fails. Any public method you use there will be other competition. If you using online classifieds such as Gumtree update your ads daily to make sure they show up at the top when people search. Make flyers, magnetic business cards that can be stuck on a fridge so your business is also within reach. Make sure you tailor your marketing to a specific area whatever medium you use. If you are based in Cape Town don’t say “Cape Town cleaning” if you advertise in Woodstock say “Woodstock cleaning”, same for Claremont or Wynberg tailor your ads to the specific area.

Business Model Service
Guides Commercial Cleaning Company Business Plan
Industry Cleaning

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