Many companies and services come and go, but one thing is always a necessity — cleaning. Commercial businesses, in particular, require cleaning services all the time. With that in mind, you may consider starting a business dedicated to cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing for clients. Starting a sanitizing business during the time of COVID-19 will especially come with opportunities to share your services. Discover how to start a commercial cleaning and disinfecting business below to help clean up your community.
Owning a Disinfecting Company — Pros and Cons
Is it worth starting a cleaning business? That’ll depend on your unique situation, but evaluating the pros and cons will help you decide. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages to see if you should start a commercial cleaning company.
Pros of Starting a Cleaning Business
Start by considering what would be great about owning a disinfecting business. Your personal experience with starting a business will vary, but you’ll find these pros with a cleaning company:
- In-demand services: Cleaning isn’t a one-time service you offer. Every week, even every day, a corporation needs its office cleaned, creating demand for your services. Especially during the coronavirus outbreak, a cleaning business will be in demand. Experts say a cleaning boom is on its way, and that mentality could stick around.
- Helping in the time of a crisis: If the COVID-19 crisis has inspired you to do what you can for your community, you may want to start a cleaning business. Offering your sanitizing services gives companies and their staff peace of mind as they come to work.
- Ease of expanding: A cleaning company is relatively easy to grow if you find success. Adding new staff members to your crew and taking on more clients gets your sanitizing business closer to success.
- Flexibility for who you serve: Market your cleaning business to one group of clientele then shift if you don’t find success. Companies are always in need of cleaning, so you’re sure to find one that needs your services. Even if you don’t, you can always consider a switch to household services until you find a successful market.
Cons of Starting a Cleaning Business
Of course, starting a business is a challenging journey. For a cleaning company, you’ll have to deal with cons including:
- Expenses of starting a business.
- Time spent submitting applications and waiting for approval.
- Demanding physical labor.
- Competition with other commercial cleaning organizations.
That competition applies to hiring staff members and finding clients. Some clients could already have a cleaning company or find a cheaper option in their search. And your staff will want wages that match or surpass what your competitors offer. Find the balance of competitive prices without losing profit, and provide the best services you can to beat your competitors.
Create Your Business Plan
Now that you know you want to start a business, it’s time to get a plan in order. This can be an overwhelming process, but preparing with an idea of what you need to do will make things a bit easier. Create a checklist for starting a cleaning business and include these steps:
1. Register Your Business
Creating a company involves following federal, state and local laws, and a disinfecting business is no exception. As you prepare to register your organization, you should:
- Research state and local laws.
- Get a business license.
- Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Research state tax requirements and open tax accounts.
What you need to do in your state will vary, but as you write your business plan, follow these steps:
- Draft your executive summary and business description.
- Research market trends and how your company fits into the local economy.
- Describe how your company is organized, whether you’re the only owner or you fall under another category.
- Explain what services you’ll offer.
- Explain how you’ll market your services and who you’ll market them to.
- Consider how much funding you’ll need and how much profit you believe you’ll make.
You’ll need additional information as you register, like your personal details and a name for your business. Pick a name that is simple yet unique and recognizable. Search your ideas to ensure there isn’t a nearby organization with the same name before you decide.
2. Choose a Specialty
Every organization needs something to stand out. A niche will help you narrow your potential pool of clients and make it easier to acquire the materials you need when you’re starting your business. Possible specialties for a sanitizing business include:
- Disaster cleaning for issues like floods or fires.
- Crime scene cleanup.
- Medical office cleaning.
- Window and blind cleaning.
- Pressure washing for exterior cleaning.
- Restroom cleaning and disinfecting.
- Floor and carpet cleaning.
If you want to create a sanitizing business in light of the coronavirus, your niche could be knowledge and execution of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cleaning guidelines.
3. Market to the Right Clientele
As your cleaning business begins, you’ll need to market yourself to build your client list. Think about the type of clients you’ll assist. Would you want to work with a small office company? Service a larger building?
Who you should market to will depend on your location and your competition. An office could already have established partnerships with another commercial cleaning business. Reaching out to new companies may help you find potential clients.
4. Consider Funding
Get a rough idea of how much funding you’ll need, which will depend on your location, the size of your company and other needs. You can then consider different methods for funding your disinfecting business, like:
- Personal financing.
- A small business loan.
5. Consider a Location
You don’t have much flexibility for your company’s location because of where you live, but you can decide on a range. Will you serve a nearby city? Or do you plan to extend further around? Decide based on your transportation and how many people, if any, you hire when starting your organization.
Once you decide on a range for your commercial cleaning business to cover, consider having a physical location. While you won’t meet with clients in-person at your location, you could use it for:
- An office for keeping paperwork and answering client calls or emails.
- Parking for your company vehicles.
- Storage for cleaning supplies and tools.
6. Decide on Pricing
Choosing a pricing model for your organization will vary based on several factors. Your location, nearby competition, client market and your specialty could be grounds for charging more or less for your services. To have a better idea of your pricing, you should:
- Calculate how much you’d spend on cleaning supplies for one building.
- Consider expenses for your vehicles or location.
- Think about how much you want to pay your employees, if you have any.
You may also go by a case-by-case basis. This could factor in how far a client is from you, the square footage of their office and other qualities that are relevant for your services. If you choose this model, your marketing will involve having your clients contact you for a quote.
7. Purchase the Materials
While startup costs of a sanitizing business can be relatively low, what you need to buy will depend on your niche. If you’re servicing larger offices or corporations, you’ll need a lot of cleaning supplies and larger tools to help you clean efficiently. Some offices could have cleaning supplies on hand, but you’ll look more organized and professional if you show up for a job with your materials. In addition to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved cleaning chemicals, including disinfectants, glass cleaner and multi-purpose cleaner, you could need:
- Sponges, scrub brushes and cleaning cloths.
- Mops and water buckets.
- Brooms and dustpans.
- Buckets or carts to carry supplies.
- Protective rubber gloves.
- Shoe covers.
- Trash bags.
- Laundry bags.
Don’t forget the materials you’ll need to operate your company. Have a phone, either with your number or a professional line, a laptop or PC, a printer and business cards. You’ll also want to research software to use for your cleaning business. Those tools help you organize your clients’ information and your staff’s schedules.
8. Get Training and Certification
Working for a disinfecting business involves using and cleaning hazardous chemicals and materials. While your state may not require specific training for your cleaning company, you and your staff will need to know how to work with these materials. Get training for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations concerning Hazard Communication to learn how to work safely. You may also require training for OSHA’s Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response if you work at a site with hazardous wastes.
Get Certified With Hazmat School
At Hazmat School, we provide training that complies with OSHA requirements. Get the hazardous waste and material training along with safety training you and your employees need for your disinfecting business. Join over 20,000 students who seek training from us each year to create a safer work environment for you, your staff and your clients.
Manages Hazmat School’s E-Learning courses and blog. Kirstie has extensive experience in the online training and education industry. Kirstie has worked with courses that offer a variety of safety and environmental certifications that satisfy OSHA, EPA and DOT requirements.