Unlike foreign countries, people in Nigeria prefer to hire a maid for cleaning their homes, offices, cooking food etc. But most of them complain just one thing – the maids don’t listen to the instructions! Ultimately, there are lots and lots of fights. Nigerian entrepreneurs can solve this problem by sending maids on an hourly basis and also list them after a complete background check.
With several houses, schools, companies, and churches outsourcing their cleaning services these days, starting a cleaning service company in Nigeria is a sure way to build a profitable business.
Until lately, the cleaning business has received less patronage. However, in the last couple of years, cleaning services; residential cleaning, maid service, and janitorial services have taken an upturn in Nigeria and all over the world.
It is now dominated by thousands of small organisations who make millions by rendering residential and commercial cleaning services to people. By and large, the industry is becoming more populated, and guess what, little or no capital is required to start.
Are you looking to start a cleaning service company? This article comes in handy and provides you with everything you need to begin and become successful in the cleaning business.
Starting A Cleaning Service Business
It is one of the few businesses that’s easy to start. Although highly competitive, less capital is required. As long as you can distinguish yourself from competitors with quality services, innovative ideas, marketing skills, credible business structure, specified niche, good public reputation e.t.c, you are on your way to making cool cash.
Also, it can be operated on a part-time or full-time basis, from your home or from a commercial office space. It’s a simple industry but, requires professionalism.
Let’s have a quick look at all you need to start a cleaning service company.
Step By Step Guide On How To Start A Cleaning Service Business
Business Plan And Business Registration
A workable business plan is vital to the success of your business. It’s like an action plan which states your objectives with strategies to achieve them. A business plan outlines your goals and clarifies your intent.
Having a business plan for your cleaning service company will give you a guide and position you to access grants, bank loans, and other benefits tailored to entrepreneurs. If you already have the start-up capital, it is important to have a business model developed.
Also, you will need to register your business and get your business structured. You can register with the authorised Nigerian agency, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Depending on the ownership structure, you can register as a business name, Partnership or Limited Liability Company.
Choose A Niche
The cleaning services industry is broad. Starting out and servicing all and sundry could make you a jack of all trade and master at none. Therefore, it is recommended that you choose a niche as you are starting out. As you grow, you can decide to expand.
You can decide to offer a commercial or residential cleaning service in wide areas or offer a wide range of services to a very limited group. Whatever you decide, ensure to take cognizance of the prospective customers, your location and the competition around.
Also, you can do a quick survey to know the selling point of other cleaning businesses in your community. That way you can know where their strength lies and develop strategies that will help you put your best foot forward.
Size Of The Business
Are you looking to start alone or with some staff? What type of service do you want to render? How many people do you want to service? Answering these questions will define the size of the business.
If you decide to start alone, it means that you are going to start really small and will do all the work, both the administrative and the cleaning work. On the other hand, if you decide to hire more hands from inception, you have to factor the cost of recruitment, salary, benefits, etc.
In all, the size of the business will ultimately depend on the initial capital investment at hand. Whichever way, ensure you render professional service and appear professional.
Having a physical office or a virtual office address is highly important for this kind of business. However, starting a residential cleaning service does not require an office, as you can start from home and store your equipment in your house. Moreso, your customers may not visit you as the job has to be done on-site.
On the other hand, commercial cleaning services or janitorial services require an office space. Since you are serving commercial clients, there may be a need for them to visit your office space.
In choosing an office space, choose a location that’s easily accessible to prospective clients and ensure you have a nice reception area where visitors can be received. Also, your office space should have storage space for your equipment.
Have A Business Card
Having a business card is one of the best promotional tactics of any business. Create a visually appealing business card that gets a second look. Your business name, logo, email address, website address and contact information should be visible on your business card.
Get An Insurance
Talk to your insurance agent and get a package that covers you and the business. The insurance policy you choose should be able to cover your business in case of an accident, damage to clients’ property, etc.
As much as you pray that such incidents do not occur, you have to adequately protect yourself, your staff and your business.
Create A Pricing Structure
Your pricing has to be competitive. You have to take account of your labour cost, overhead cost, and then input profit. If you don’t have a knack for numbers, you may hire the services of an accountant or research to find out how’s done.
If you don’t get the pricing right, you may end up pricing your service low and losing on potential revenue or pricing yourself too high and run the risk of losing the job to other bidders.
One of the ways to get customers is by promoting your business to the right audience. Be sure to create a website and open social media pages. Also, design flyers, banners, and other marketing materials.
In addition, give your business card to strategic people who can patronise or refer clients to you.
You can also offer coupons and discounts, ask for referrals and advertise on your van (if there is any).
Types of Cleaning Services Company
Like we mentioned, the cleaning service industry is broad. Different kinds of cleaning require different tasks, equipment, and a somewhat different approach.
Some types of cleaning services are; Industrial cleaning, general house cleaning, drainage cleaning, specialized roof cleaning, real estate cleaning, post-building/construction cleaning, window cleaning, car cleaning, laundry services, fumigation/pest control, carpet/upholstery cleaning, and many others.
I will go ahead and explain some of the types of cleaning businesses you can start:
Residential Cleaning Business
This is the most popular type of cleaning service. With the high increase in demands with corporate jobs these days, a lot of Africans outsource home cleaning, cooking, washing, and other domestic chores. This shows that there’s a market for cleaning services.
Your service can be rendered daily, weekly, or monthly depending on your clients. It involves general house chores and tidying of the entire environment and may include: dusting, surface cleaning, toilet washing, mopping, sanitizing, polishing, vacuuming of the entire home, etc.
Post-renovation cleaning of residential houses falls under this category also. As your business grows, you can add other services like window cleaning and laundry services.
Trust is important in this type of business. For your clients to let you into their home and have you do your work unsupervised, you must have earned their trust.
Commercial/Office Cleaning Services
This is a highly lucrative business, especially in urban areas. It is also called janitorial services. It involves cleaning an entire office building and its premises. Your clients range from schools to hotels, airports, hospitals, real estate, government organisations, market areas, etc.
The service can be rendered daily or on weekends at a time when services will not be interrupted by workers. Activities to be done include mopping, emptying trash cans, cleaning windows, doors, bathrooms, etc.
Office cleaning requires teamwork and a proper functioning system for execution. You will need to have a trusted and reliable team who can faithfully discharge their duties.
As long as you are confident in delivering a credible job, and can meet the needs of your clients, you can venture into this area of cleaning. If you structure your business and deliver excellent service, you will expand in no time.
The laundry business is the most common of all the cleaning services today. Several people want to wear clean ironed clothes but do not have enough time to wash and iron them.
Anyone can venture into the laundry business as long as they understand what the business entails.
However, it requires a high level of professionalism and can be a bit capital intensive because of the expensive equipment needed. Some of the equipment include; washing machine, pressing iron, pressing table, hanger, bucket e.t.c.
Carpet/ Rug Cleaning
Carpet cleaning is challenging to start and needs tactics to stand out from the competition. It includes a thorough cleaning, deodorizing, and sanitising of carpets in commercial and residential buildings.
Carpet cleaning requires expertise and equipment like heated carpet extractor machine.
Swimming Pool Cleaning
This is a specialised kind of cleaning which requires experience. With the increase in pools in private homes, specializing in swimming pool cleaning is a good area to venture into.
Your services will be tailored around hotels, schools, clubs, recreation centres, etc. Although, it requires little physical effort, however, the equipment needed is a bit costly. Some of the swimming pool equipment are robotic cleaner, pressure-side cleaner, suction side cleaner, etc.
In this modern age, car washing service is a lucrative business to venture into. With millions of cars hitting Nigerian road daily, you can be rest assured that hundreds of cars visit car wash centers on a regular. Venturing into the car wash business will bring a consistent and stable income especially during rainy seasons.
A strategic location is very key to this kind of business. Also, you have to be professional and trustworthy.
Cleaning Service Equipment
As stated, running a cleaning service company requires less capital when compared to most kinds of businesses in Nigeria. Again, the equipment you will need will depend on your niche.
Some of the basic cleaning items are;
Toilet Brush/Toilet bowl cleaner
Protective gloves and mask
Wet floor signs
A cleaning service company is one of the lucrative businesses to start anywhere around the world. Everything we mentioned is important and will guide you, but they do not guarantee success.
Success in any business is built on hard work, determination and grit.
Do you run a cleaning business or are you thinking of starting a cleaning service company? We will like to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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