A cleaning business is an exciting opportunity without a lot of investment. But do you find yourself consistently losing bids to your competitors? Have you tried to become more competitive only to find that you can’t cover the costs of running your business? If so, it is time to lower your operating costs so you can win more bids and still make your desired profit.Here are some of the biggest operating mistakes you might be making as a new cleaning business owner:1) You use RTU (ready to use) chemicals.Ready to use chemicals are very convenient. They come in a case of 12 quarts that you can unpack, attach a spray nozzle, and be ready to clean. The only problem is you’ll be paying $3, $4, or even higher per quart just to have someone else add water. The solution? Buy concentrated. Every chemical I have ever needed to order came in concentrated form and the savings are significant. One of my favorite restroom cleaners cost approximately $3.40 a quart RTU. Concentrated price? Less than $0.30. It may cost a little more upfront, but you will get a lot more chemical per quart for much less.2) You’re offering too many services.Just because your competitors offer every janitorial service imaginable doesn’t mean you have to. Start with what you can afford and build your business gradually. Office cleaning alone requires only basic supplies and can be very profitable. Seek out the smaller jobs, and use that money to buy a carpet extractor or a floor buffer to offer additional services later on.3) You’re buying equipment you don’t yet need.It is only natural to want to be prepared to do any job that comes your way, but you may not need specialty equipment for several months after getting your first account. Hold off on buying a van and truck mounted carpet cleaning system until you truly need it. And hold off on buying an expensive burnisher until you’re regularly called for stone floor refinishing projects. Start small and simple such as VCT stripping and waxing; you’ll be able to provide beautiful, shiny floors for little cost and great profit.4) You’re not measuring during walkthroughs.Many cleaners smile and nod during a walkthrough and end up guessing how much time is needed to clean a facility. Don’t make this mistake. If you want to be competitive you must measure the facility you’re bidding on. Not only does it make you look good to the prospect, but it allows you to bid accurately. Accurate bids win profitable accounts.5) Leasing an office before you need one.An office lease is the biggest overhead nightmare I can think of for new cleaning businesses. Unless you offer janitorial inventory in a storefront there is absolutely no reason to lease office space. Yes, it makes you look professional. Yes, it makes you feel important. But when it comes down to profit margins and keeping overhead in check, you need to leave it out of your expenses.When you’re trying to win bids, your expenses count. They really do. When you’re competing with other companies who are adding the high cost of their RTU products and lease payments into every bid, it becomes much easier to beat them. Start small, and build your business over time. You’ll be glad you did.
We are so taxed on time, it always seems so difficult to get things done. Would you be able to get more done if you had a system to give you more time? Let’s see how I can help you.First, recognize all the reactive things in your busy life that take up so much time. They make it difficult to get the really important things done.There are four things that can typically derail your day.EMAIL AND INTERNETYou probably check your messages first thing in the morning, right? You probably look for any leads or sales. You get a YouTube link from a friend, then you watch it, and maybe watch another video that pops up. Then you see an invitation, a newsletter, a blog, then a customer service problem, or an opportunity, and you continue to surf through the internet.Once you handle something in your inbox, you likely go back and look at it again and handle something else. You get in a continuous loop and don’t get anything done. Pretty soon, it’s lunch time.PHONE CALLSThese are similar to emails. You never know what actions are going to come out of each one, or what problem you might encounter, or how long each one will take. Again, you are not getting anything done that you want to get done.PEOPLEDo people come into your office just to chat? Sometimes they are looking to be productive, sometimes not. Or if you work at home, do you get interruptions from your spouse, kids, or neighbours?You are once again pulled away from proactive productivity.FLASH THOUGHTSWhat crazy random thoughts flood your brain all day long? What things are you trying to remember to do? It could be errands, or booking your next golf game, or calling a prospect. A single thought can take you down a hole, and then another hole, and another. For sure you are not getting anything done.THE SOLUTIONHere’s a little routine to help you focus on getting priority tasks done.1. Book a Time – mark a specific time frame in your calendar and stick to it. Try a 90 minute block so you can focus and be productive.2. Location, location – Have a place where you can work that’s comfortable, and uncluttered.3. Objective: You’ve got to have a goal for the time you have allotted. What do you want to accomplish in that 90 minutes?4. Remove Distractions: Have nothing in your way so you can get things done. No phone, email or people.BE PROACTIVEBy eliminating several of the distractions and habits that put us in reactive mode, and following a focused routine, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish. Everyday, try to set aside some time for your really high priority projects. Be proactive and you’ll get more important things done. They will ultimately bring more results to your business.
If you have already started your own home-based business or you are considering setting off on that path, let me be one of the first people to congratulate you. I mean, Bill Gates didn’t get rich working for somebody else. Richard Branson didn’t create his global empire, Virgin, working for somebody else. These two men had ideas and were prepared to put in the effort to be successful.The purpose of this article is to share with you three easy to implement tips that can help you grow your own business, be more successful and not have to work too many long hours. Implementation of these tips is vital if you want to be successfulGet yourself a smart phone- You simply cannot be successful in business these days without a smart phone. When clients or staff members have a query they expect a response straight away. Your smart phone is the tool that gives you this capability. You can answer the phone whilst you are on the road and you can also respond to emails. Smart phones can also give you back a lot of free time as you can answer some of your correspondence whilst you are away from your desk in any downtime that you may have. If you are waiting for someone at a cafe for example or waiting for an appointment you can respond to some of your emails. If you do this you will not have to spend an hour at the end of the day responding to emails. You could spend this time with your family.Get out of the house occasionally- If you are running your own home-based business you don’t want to get stuck in the habit of never leaving the house and only interacting with people online. You need to keep in touch with your friends and you should develop strategic alliances with other work from home entrepreneurs in your area. You can then call on each other for support and for advice in times of stress.Make sure to work on your online presence- If you are running your own business from home the internet is your friend. There are a variety of free tools available that you should utilise to grow your business and improve your branding. You need to start a blog, build a Facebook fan page, write articles, participate in forums related to your business and you also need a Twitter account. These marketing opportunities are all available to you for free.If you are going to start your own home-based business you need to make sure that you do it right.