Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Start a Janitorial Service Business


 



(279). Start a Janitorial Service Business


Janitorial services are performed by men and women who are known as janitors. Janitors are people who clean buildings such as schools, offices, hospitals and hotels. In addition to their cleaning responsibilities, some janitors provide maintenance services. Some employers require their janitors to complete special training classes. Large companies frequently contract janitorial services to clean and maintain their buildings. Janitorial companies provide a range of services based on their areas of expertise and the needs and budgets of their clients.

A janitorial service is a great business option for entrepreneurs. With little initial financial investment, you can start a business and help it grow quickly. While starting a successful business is hard work, if you have a solid work ethic, starting a janitorial service can be a relatively simple process. This is a quick, simple and low-cost way to start a janitorial service.f you love cleaning and keeping things spic n' span, an excellent home business you can start is a janitorial service business. While maid services typically clean households, janitorial services clean commercial buildings such as businesses, hospitals, schools, retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and even parking lots

This business has shown remarkable growth in the last few years. It has benefited from corporate downsizing and increased reliance of businesses to outsource cleaning services. Contracting private firms to perform this service has also become the best option for many businesses given the high turnover rate of employees in this business. After all, it may not be easy to find a person who thinks that pushing a broom for the rest of his or her life is the best career of all.


Duties

  • Janitorial services typically involve various duties such as cleaning floors, bathrooms, and windows, vacuuming, shampooing rugs, washing walls and dusting furniture. Some janitors perform small maintenance tasks such as fixing leaks, painting, replenishing bathroom supplies, exterminating insects and mowing the grass.

How to Start a Janitorial Service Business

A janitorial service business is hard work, but if you're willing to put in the time and effort, it can be a lucrative small business. Before you open shop, you will need to consider where you will store equipment, how to find qualified employees and how to attract your first customers.

  

Items you will need

  • In-home or rented location
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Employees
  • Marketing Materials
  • Computer

Step 1

Find a location. Store equipment and prepare an office at home if possible to keep expenses low until you have established yourself. Check your local zoning laws to make sure a home business is allowed in your neighborhood. Rent an office space if you cannot start at home, but to reduce costs choose a location with just enough space to hold your cleaning equipment.

Step 2

Gather your supplies. Visit the cleaning equipment suppliers in your area and get quotes on how much it will cost to buy or rent each piece of equipment you’ll need. Keep in mind that you will need different cleaning supplies depending on your target market. For example, you’ll need different equipment for cleaning a large factory vs. an office building. Only buy equipment that you will use frequently for most jobs, such as brooms, ladders, brushes, vacuums and floor cleaners. Rent less necessary or specialized equipment until your business begins to flourish. Buy cleaning supplies in bulk from local or online wholesalers, but first compare the price and quality to make sure you are getting the most for your money.

Step 3

Hire qualified workers. Pay competitive wages to attract the best and most loyal employees. Employee turnover in the janitorial services industry is high, so offer perks to keep employees. Consider working with a staffing agency on a job-by-job basis if your projects will vary in size and length. This will prevent employees from becoming disgruntled during slow times.

Step 4

Market yourself. Determine whether you will specialize in cleaning specific types of businesses, such as restaurants, or offer a wider variety of cleaning services. Research services other local janitorial companies offer and consider how you can differentiate your business from your competition by offering specialized services, lower prices or other perks. Design marketing materials that clearly lay out your services and communicate the uniqueness of your business. Drop off fliers, door hangers and business cards to new businesses in your area as well as other businesses within your target market. Introduce yourself to managers of these locations in person or by phone and ask if you may bid on upcoming cleaning jobs.

Step 5

Present proposals to potential clients. When a potential client contacts you about bidding on a job, write a professional proposal. Visit the establishment or call the building’s contractor to learn about the location. Determine all of the location’s specifics, including size, carpet and flooring types, and other materials used in the space. Research how best to clean each aspect of the space, determine how many employees you will need for the job and how long it will take. Provide the client with an estimate and emphasize why your business will do a better job than local competitors. Research competitors' rates when first starting out to make sure you don’t overbid.

What to Charge for Janitorial Services

Starting a janitorial service can provide you with a way to earn an income in exchange for providing cleaning services to businesses or homes. When you are initially starting a janitorial business, it may be difficult to determine how much to charge for your services. In this situation, you must take into consideration several factors so that you charge the appropriate amount.

Supply and Demand

When you are trying to determine how much to charge for your janitorial services, you have to look at the supply and demand in your area. If you are the only janitorial service in town, you can basically set your own rates and see whether people pay them. If you will be one of many competitors in the area, you will not be able to charge as much money. You also have to take into consideration how many businesses and homes would be willing to pay for your services.

Competition Pricing

When you get started, you may also want to pay attention to what your competitors are charging. You can find out by calling your competitors and asking for a quote. If you want to accumulate some market share in the area, you may want to charge less than what your competitors are charging. Once you get the customers and do a good job, you could potentially bump your prices up to a more profitable level.

Contract vs. One-Time Jobs

When pricing your services, you should also consider how much you will charge for contract jobs as compared to one-time cleaning jobs. For example, if you are going to price your services to a large business and plan on cleaning the building three times a week, you should price your services less than if you are only doing a one-time cleaning job. If you will be getting more work from the customer on a regular basis, you should charge less on the front end.

Pricing

Pricing for janitorial services can fluctuate greatly, depending on the job. For example, if you are cleaning a small office, you may charge $20 or $30 per visit. If you are cleaning a large office building with basic cleaning services several times per week, you may need to charge somewhere between $500 and $700 per month. With very large jobs, you may want to quote them by the square foot. An average figure for this type of job would be somewhere between $.5 and $.10 per square foot. For more specialized jobs such as cleaning cooking equipment, you may want to charge a certain amount per appliance.

How to Obtain More Business for Your Janitorial Company

It takes quite a bit of effort to obtain clients. When deciding how to market your janitorial business, cost will be a factor, but effectiveness should be your greatest concern. There are many ways, both online and off, to market your janitorial service, but you will need to target your efforts to get the best results.

  • 1. Launch a website. This is one of the best ways to introduce your business to potential customers and give them basic information, such as your price list, the services you offer, your policies and contact information. You can also start a blog and get a domain name that points to your blog's URL -- this is a cheaper option.


  • Team up with complementary businesses and offer their customers discounts, and vice versa. Carpet installers, independent commercial real estate agents and pool-servicing companies are just a few of the good partners for a janitorial service. Contact prospective companies in your area and let them know how much of a discount you'll give to customers they refer, and emphasize the benefits of working together.


  • Print business cards, bumper stickers and car window decals advertising your business using a company such as Vista Print. Hand your business cards to people throughout the day, and give a few to your close friends and family so they can refer your business to others.


  • 4. Start a customer referral program in which existing customers who send a new customer your way get a certain amount or percentage off of their next janitorial service. This is a great way to not only get new clients, but build loyalty with existing ones.


  • Run a contest on your website asking potential and existing customers to fill out a questionnaire; in return their names will be put into a drawing for a free cleaning. Better not run this type of contest more than twice a year -- you don't want to get in the habit of giving away your services for free.


  • It's good public relations, however, to offer your janitorial services for free to a select number of nonprofit organizations in your community, such as after-school centers, nursing homes or homeless shelters. Be sure to send a press release announcing your community work to your local radio stations, television news networks and newspapers -- it could land you valuable media attention. Remember to keep track of the value of services you donate so you can write it off when you do your taxes.


  • Place ads in your local business journals and real estate agent association publications, offering their members and subscribers a certain percentage off (no more than 15%) of their first cleaning. You can also place ads in their email newsletters -- this helps you gain more commercial accounts.


  • Mail brochures to the businesses in your area that are most likely to use your service: apartment complexes, real estate agencies, commercial interior designers, the owners of office complexes and independent retail stores.

  • Before staring seek advice from the National Association of Certified Building Contractors - nacbc.co, a company that helps entrepreneurs in the Janitorial industry


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