The area won’t support cleaning services. Should I travel to grow my cleaning company? There is not enough work to expand or maybe it’s just a bad market. What do you do it your area won’t support cleaning services?
You have to be a creative business owner if you’ve got no work today. And if you live out in the boonies and the area won’t support cleaning services, you may have to add services to your roster. Canning, weeding, gardening, handyman services are a just a few that come to mind.
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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
How to Determine If Your Area Will Support a Cleaning Business
Solo employees sometimes think about expanding. But how do they determine if the market where they live will support their cleaning business?
Is it better if they travel 40 minutes to a market that is better? Or should they work close to home?
What it comes down to is that not all markets will sustain a housecleaning business. But, let’s find out how you can work in a bad market and how to find one that will support your business.
It is possible. You may live in an area where it’s out in the boonies, and where the neighborhood is not big. This may not be the are where people are willing to pay the big money.
Get Creative if Your Area Doesn’t Support Cleaning
If that’s the case, you have to get creative. In this situation, it’s recommended that you work near your house. This is better than fighting and competing in a bigger market where the competition is fierce.
As you get creative, what you might do is offer a variety of different services and tasks.
Not Just the Run of the Mill House Cleaning Business
You’re not going to be a regular house cleaning business. Chances are, you’re not going to expand and have lots of employees, either.
If you do hire lots of employees, then you have to go to the big city. And you will have to pay for the big advertising, and you have to compete in that market.
But if you’re a small, business owner, you can offer a variety of different services.
There is a Plethora of Services You Could Offer
For example, you could clean a house, and you could also weed a garden. Or you could help with canning fruits and vegetables that a farming community might have.
There are other tasks that you might be capable of doing. Things such as raking leaves in the fall, or maybe blowing snow or shoveling snow in the wintertime.
There are a lot of creative business owners that have done a variety of different tasks. What they do is go around and sell their services in advance. And you can do the same.
Leaf Pickup Service if Your Area Doesn’t Support Cleaning
If you live in the country, there are lots of trees and lots of forest areas, and all that stuff blows into your yard. You open your front door and the leaves blow into your house. That’s not cool.
So you want all the leaves scooped up out of your yard, and you know that every fall there’s going to be leaf removal.
You can start selling that leaf pickup in May and June when there are no leaves and all the leaves are still on the trees. You can say, “Would you like first right of refusal?”
That doesn’t mean they have to hire you, that means they’re the first on your list. People will line up and go “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m getting too old to rake all my old leaves. Yes, please come.”
Leaf Pickup Pricing
You give them a pricing list and a breakdown, and here’s how much it’s going to cost for picking up leaves.
Either you will or you won’t cart the leaves away. It depends on the pickup, if they do pick up in that area or if there’s a landfill nearby.
You’ve got to figure those things out. But you can put your pricing sheet in effect and sell that service in May and June.
Snow Removal Service
In the wintertime, you know for a fact that there’s snow every year in different particular areas. So if you’re in a snowy area, you may want to invest, as part of your small business, in a snow blowing machine.
If you do, and you use that for your business, that’s tax-deductible. This applies to any equipment you buy as part of your business as well as your regular cleaning supplies.
Check Your Insurance
If you buy a ladder to help you clean out gutters, you’ll have to have the insurance that will allow you to get up on a ladder. This will be a little bit more expensive than a house cleaning policy.
But first, talk to your insurance agent. Talk about the different things that you’re going to be doing.
“I’m going to be gutter cleaning, I’m going to be washing windows, I’m going to be cleaning houses. What kind of policy can I get that’s all-encompassing for those things?”
Find out what your options are for coverage.
Capitalize on Referrals in Your Area
Once you have your regular customers, those customers are going to talk. Everybody knows everybody in a rural community. They’re going to give you referrals just by talking.
If you were working in a city, people don’t even know their next-door neighbors. In a rural community, they will say, “Well, this guy comes every year and he does the snow blowing.”
They have the first right of refusal. They’re at the top of the list.
There are people that will pay when you sell a service in maybe September or October before the snow has fallen. You always pre-sell your services so that you stay in business year-round.
When the first leaves start to fall, you start calling those customers on your list. You start blocking out your schedule and start filling in the gaps so that you have ongoing money coming in.
You can sell your services cleaning gutters before the leaves fall and fill them up.
Upselling Services if Your Area Doesn’t Support Cleaning
There are so many different things that you can do to upsell your services that go beyond house cleaning.
It could be landscaping or mowing yards. It could be that you do weed whacking or that you trim shrubs or hedges. Or that you pull weeds, or that you plant and water flowers. Whatever it is, you have so many different tasks services to offer.
Maximize the Opportunities Where You Live
There are some folks that are getting on in years. Some of them live near apple orchards. And they pay a team every year to come and pick the apples off the trees or up off the ground. Or maybe both. The ones on the ground, they make applesauce out of. And the ones that come off the trees they sell at the market. So maybe you’re great at apple picking.
Who knows? But what is for sure is that you should work close to where you live. The opportunities near where you live will always surpass commuting and finding work.
Be a Great Big Fish in a Little Pond
Once you get out there, you’re competing in a much larger pond. They say to be a great big fish in a little pond. That’s working in your own home territory and finding things to keep you busy.
You can charge whatever your rate is. You might just have one flat rate that you charge for house cleaning. Let’s say it’s $25 an hour. This is whether you’re raking, snow blowing, washing windows, or cleaning houses.
Make It Easy on Yourself
You could make it easy on yourself, and then people could hire you at $25 an hour for whatever the tasks are. The area that you live in may not support $25 an hour. So keep in mind that the $25 an hour is just a suggestion.
Find out what the going rate will pay in your market, and then find out what services you can offer. Once you do that, it’s time to get super creative, because this is your business. You don’t have to limit it to just housecleaning.
If You Do Want to Limit Your Business
If you decide that house cleaning is all you want to do and you want to expand, then the suggestion is that you commute. Get to the big city, wrap the cars, pay for the fancy ads and hire all the people. Hire some managers and build a big business out of it.
But if you live in a small area, there’s lots of stuff you can do right in your own backyard.
Alrighty, that’s my two cents for today. Until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.
*** RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE ***
Starting a Business All-In-One for Dummies – http://amzn.to/2C7fQAX
Small Business for Dummies – http://amzn.to/2CtZPIu
Accounting: For Small Businesses QuickStart Guide – Understanding Accounting for Your Sole Proprietorship, Startup, & LLC – http://amzn.to/2Csibtr
Build a Business, Not a Job: Grow Your Business & Get Your Life Back – http://amzn.to/2CsieFD
How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company: Go from start-up to payday in one week – http://amzn.to/2DKtKt8
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