“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved”(William Jenning Bry, American politician, orator and lawyer)
Since cleaning is a large and diverse industry. I will be primarily concerned with daily cleaning services, and this post looks at the various areas of cleaning provision you are likely to experience and come to provide as your business grows.
Daily cleaning services are the best way to start a cleaning business. The reason for this is that you will have a bread-and-butter income – there is no point in focusing your efforts on letting agency cleans or builders’ cleans because these are not required on a daily basis in the same way as office cleaning, for example. Daily cleans are also needed in offices, pubs and schools throughout the country, and this will be your core business and will ensure that, each month, you have a steady flow of income.
In terms of daily cleaning provision, office cleaning is where you want to be. Office cleaning is the target sector for most daily cleaning companies and, because of this, it is a competitive area to be in. The key benefits of office cleaning can be summarized as follows:
- It generally involves Monday to Friday cleans only.
- The cleaning required is on a much lighter scale than in cinemas and pubs, etc.
- The cleaning is normally done outside normal working hours.
- There are opportunities for additional business through companies that have additional offices or through recommendations.
- It is easier to find good staff for office cleaning than for other types of cleaning.
If you are able to build up a good level of business in office cleaning, you will have the benefit of being able to switch off at the weekends when most offices are not open– a luxury that will not be afforded to you should you be cleaning for seven-day businesses, such as pubs, clubs and cinemas.
Office cleaning, generally speaking, covers the following basic areas:
- Desktops and surfaces cleaned.
- Floors vacuumed or mopped.
- Waste baskets emptied.
- Kitchens cleaned.
- Toilets cleaned.
- Glass cleaning and other small duties.
Cleaning staff generally prefer to clean out of hours because they can work more quickly and efficiently than in a busy office. It also avoids complaints about the vacuum being on while someone is on the phone or the problems of cleaning a toilet of the opposite sex when someone needs to come in to use it.
Believe it or not; there are lots of people making a killing in the cleaning business. Remember, not everybody can clean IT equipment; which is another reason why this particular niche is very lucrative.
This is simply the provision of a cleaning service for IT equipment. This is purely a commercial service and is normally required either for hygiene reasons or because the equipment is sensitive or expensive and is located in a controlled environment.
The ideal situation is to establish a pattern of repeat scheduled cleaning visits, the normal pitch being that the follow-up cleans will be less expensive because the ‘main’ clean has already been carried out. This encourages the client to commit themselves to further cleans.
Further selling points for this service are as follows:
- It improves hygiene, thus resulting in fewer staff absence days.
- It helps to protect the equipment.
- There is low work disruption during the service.
The typical items to be cleaned in most offices include:
- Pc/base units
- Fax machines
- Pin machines.
This work is normally priced per clean, and the final cost depends on the quantity of items to be cleaned. You should have a pricing matrix for this type of service.
A full PC (that is, a monitor, base unit, keyboard and mouse) should take about 15 minutes to clean, and an item such as a telephone only a few minutes.
Cleaning IT equipment normally involves the following methods and materials:
- Biological cleaning solutions: available online or from local stockists.
- Non-abrasive cloths and cleaning pads: also available online or from local stockists.
- Compressed air: this comes in a canister.
- Vacuum cleaning: a special machine with a noise-reduction facility and suppressed sensitivity to electronic components and data.
An example of how you could present the cleaning process to a client is as follows.
1. ensure that all the equipment to be cleaned is shut down or locked prior to cleaning to
prevent accidental data loss;
2. brush clean all the keyboards (an anti-static foam cleaner would be applied, if required, and then vacuumed);
3. clean the keyboards and monitors with an anti-static cleaner;
4. clean the monitor screens with a lint-free cloth and anti-static screen cleaner and dry off with a micro fibre cloth;
5. clean the mice and base units with an anti-static cleaner;
6. brush down the printers and clean them with an anti-static cleaner;
7. clean all the telephones with an anti-static cleaner;
8. undertake a visual count of all the items cleaned, to be agreed and signed off prior to invoicing; and
9. bag and remove all debris from the site.
This may seem like a highly technical process and one that you may feel unqualified to offer but, when you break it down, it is nothing more than a specific cleaning service for similar repeat items. It is advisable to undergo some training but, if you cannot, then some practice with your own or friends’ and families’ equipment will give you a good feel of the techniques required and of how the end result should look. There is, of course, the option to contract the work to a more experienced provider of this type of cleaning.