Timely resources for sellers
Kaitlin Keefer, Editor

When it comes to starting a cleaning business you need to maximise your chances of success. The key to either outcome is how you manage your venture. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to run a cleaning business effectively and tactfully.

We say tactfully because there are challenges when you first start a cleaning business. One way to make sure that you aren’t overwhelmed by these obstacles is to familiarise yourself with top challenges you’re likely to face.

If you understand common industry issues — and are ready for them — you’ll be better equipped to turn those issues into growth opportunities. Here’s a preview of what you should prepare for.

Time management challenges

You know that starting a business requires a significant amount of work, but you may not realise just how much time goes into the daily operations and administrative duties once your cleaning business is up and running. In order to save time, you need to make strategic decisions when it comes to managing your business.

One of the best ways to manage your time is to invest in technology that helps you save time. A POS system, for instance, allows you to track and complete day-to-day operations all in one place instead of jumping around from system to system (a big waste of time).

Here are some other technologies that can be integrated into a POS for professional services:
  • Online invoices.
    As soon as you send an invoice, clients receive an email from which they can securely pay for cleaning services with a few simple clicks.

  • Employee management.
    If you start a cleaning business and hire multiple employees, you need employee management software that keeps track of employee hours with built-in time cards and breaks down sales by employee.

  • Business performance tracking.
    Integrated business analytics software allows you to track sales data in real time. You can see which cleaning services are most popular, how much revenue each service generates and other sales data that can help you make strategic business decisions to help your business grow.

Marketing Challenges

Traditional cold-calling methods are inefficient, and simple marketing tactics like handing out your business card may only have a minimal impact on your business. When you’re running a cleaning business, you have to come up with creative marketing strategies that are effective, efficient and can help you stay ahead of competitors in the neighbourhood.

Because so many people turn to the internet to search for cleaning services, you need to have a website for your cleaning business. On your website, be sure to include general business information, a description of your services and your cleaning rates. You can also ask customers to  provide testimonials and reviews to display on your site and showcase your work. Using social media is also a great way to market your cleaning business and any promotions or deals you have running.

Customer Retention Challenges

Cleaning businesses are always looking for ways to acquire new customers, yet most forget to think about how to keep those customers coming back. With so many cleaning companies to compete with, how can you retain customers and ensure repeat business?

One way to minimise one-time customers is by getting cleaning contracts. Cleaning contracts guarantee work for your cleaning business, create a steady flow of revenue and are a great way to build and maintain a customer relationship.

Another way to improve retention is to focus on loyalty-building strategies. Customer loyalty programs are a great way to incentivise customers to use your cleaning services. Many cleaning businesses offer discounts—or even give out a free speciality cleaning—after a certain number of services are purchased. This encourages a client to spend on your services and not jump around from one competitor to another.

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Kaitlin is an editor at Square where she covers everything from how small businesses can start, run, and grow, to how enterprise companies can use tools and data to become industry leaders.