Brick and Mortar, Angela Brown, Savvy Cleaner

Do You Need a Brick and Mortar for Your Cleaning Business?

Buying brick and mortar for your cleaning business requires a good business plan. Before committing, ask yourself, “Can I afford the office space, company vehicles, and warehouse?”

You don’t need brick and mortar to start a house cleaning business. Cleaning business owners can start where they are to keep the cost of running a business low.

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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.

Do You Need a Brick and Mortar Office?

Brick and Mortar, Office BuildingDo you need a brick and mortar for your cleaning business? A brick and mortar is a physical office or someplace away from your home. 

My name is Stephanie and I’m thinking about starting a schoolhouse cleaning business. So at what point does a cleaning business need a brick and mortar. And do you ever need a brick and mortar, and also do house cleaning businesses need their own company van or vehicles? I’m wanting to think ahead in the future and I would like to hear what you say about all this.”

You Don’t Need a Brick and Mortar Office Right Away

Brick and Mortar, Woman Holding Cleaning SuppliesThe answer is yes, maybe, but not today. Here’s how that works, you need to think big in your business but start small. You are thinking about starting a house cleaning business.

This would be akin to you decide you’re going to have a child one day. And now you’re trying to figure out the college education situation.

Well, you don’t have the kid yet, so the college situation is way down the road. Same thing with a brick and mortar.

Do you need it today? The answer is no. You can start a house cleaning business without a brick and mortar.

Think Big, But Act Small in Business

Brick and Mortar, Woman Thinking at Kitchen Table, Think Big Start SmallBacktrack for a second, think big, but act small for this reason. As you start a house cleaning business, it’s going to cost you some money to get started.

But the more money you keep and the less money you spend, the quicker you can go and the faster you can go to your business. It’s like,  you were going to run a marathon. A marathon is 26.2 miles. You wouldn’t start out today saying, “Wait, I have an idea of running a marathon.” And then you run out and you get a pair of running shoes and you go out and you run 26.2 miles. That would be foolish because your body is not built up for that kind of distance.

 You’ll start out by running a mile and then you’ll run two miles and then you’ll run two miles for a couple of days. You’ll  build up and on the weekend you’ll go for a long run, like three and a half miles.  You’ll going to do that for a few weeks until your body gets adjusted and acclimated to what it is you’re doing. And then one day down the road you’ll run like six miles, and then one day you’ll run 12 miles and you’ll slowly build-up to the distance.

As You Build Your Business, You Learn Lessons

Brick and Mortar, Man Running in SnowAnd as you build up to the distance, a whole bunch of other things are going to come to your awareness. Because now as you’re running every day, you’re starting to think about, what about running in inclement weather? When it’s raining outside or if it’s cold outside, what do you have to change and what adjustments will you have to make?

It’s the same with your small business. You’re going to have to make small adjustments to your business plan along the way as you have new information. The more you get into the race, lots of new questions come up that you haven’t thought of yet.

So you don’t want to start out thinking today, “How do I run the 26.2 miles?” You want to start out saying, “I want to run the 26.2 miles. What do I need to know to get me from here, not to the end, but here to the next step?”

Start With Your First Step Into House Cleaning

Brick and Mortar, Man Thinking at ComputerSo that’s the same in the house cleaning business. We don’t need the brick and mortar today. We don’t need fancy vans today. Yes, maybe one day, but not today. Today to get started in the house cleaning business, we’re going to start out with the one mile, which is the next step.

And so what we’re going to look at if this where the race is what kind of shoes you will need? And so right now getting involved in the house cleaning business, what kind of training do you need? What information do you need right now? And that you’re asking this question, suggest that you’re already thinking in those terms, which is awesome. 

There’s a whole bunch of free information out there. The free information you have to sort through some of it will be accurate, some of it will not be accurate. So you have to keep that in mind and you’re going to have your own filter as you go along to determine what is right for you.

Brick and Mortar Offices Help Larger Businesses

Brick and Mortar, Cleaning SuppliesDo you need a brick and mortar? The end result is maybe one day yes. If you think big and you grow an empire, the day will come when you don’t want to work out of your house. You don’t want employees coming to your house to wake up you and your kids in the morning to pick up their cleaning supplies and all that stuff.

In the beginning, it’s fine, but the day will come when you will want a brick and mortar store. You will want a place where you can house and warehouse your supplies and do your inventory and bring in all your equipment. and do the inventory and clean the vacuums and the mops and all that stuff, and you will want a station for that. There are pros and cons to opening a brick and mortar store.

You may also decide at that point that you want company vehicles and you want to wrap them and you want to have some advertising on the side. That is a great way to expand your growing business, but it comes later.

Focus on Getting Your Business Started, Not Opening a Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar, Woman With Cleaning Supplies Outside HouseAs you’re starting your cleaning business, what I want you to focus on right now is getting started. It’s so easy for a small business owner to overthink things and to try to figure out how I am going to wrap my car today.

Don’t wrap your car today. It’s a $3,000 to $6,000 investment. It’s not necessary. Do you need a company vehicle? Not today. If you’re working in your own neighborhood or the neighborhood next door, you can drive your personal vehicle. It’s not a big deal.

But you have to be very careful as your business grows and as you start making your company legal. This will be in a few months or a year as you’re growing your business as you move from part-time to full time and you start expanding your business.

Expanding Your Business Comes With More Costs

Brick and Mortar, Frustrated Woman on ComputerYou’re going to change to make sure that you have the proper insurance for your vehicles. That you have the proper vehicles, that you have the proper advertising and all this stuff to grow and expand your business.

The house cleaning business is a beautiful business because you can start right where you are right now. And as soon as you get started you’re going to start asking questions about how big and how quickly I need to grow.

It becomes the next natural step for you. As it becomes the next natural step, as those questions come in, and as you start to say, “Well, it only makes sense for me to have a company vehicle.” Then you go get the company vehicle.

Does it Make Sense for You to Have a Brick and Mortar Store?

Brick and Mortar, Man ThinkingDoes it make sense now for me to have a brick and mortar? Don’t do it until you need it. For this reason. It’s expensive. You have to pay rent, you have to pay utilities, you have to pay for the electricity, you have to have internet access.

You’re going to change all your advertising from Google My Business. All of your business citations will change because now you’ll have a business address instead of your home address. So everything is going to change. You might even get a PO box.

Are you going to have supplies delivered? Is there going to be somebody to sign for those during the day, that’s going to be an admin person? There are a bunch of other things that come with having a brick and mortar. It’s not simply saying, “Oh, I’m going to have an office,” and then poof, you have an office. Along with that comes a whole entire new set of expenses along with the company cars comes a whole other entire set of expenses.

Think Big but Start Small

Brick and Mortar, Woman Watching TabletStart today and start small. And as you think big, the natural next steps will start to fall into place. And as they start to fall into place, because you’ve taken the interim steps to get there. Then all a sudden that will become more affordable, it will become more logical.

Then you will be able to justify and say, “Yes, this makes perfect sense for me in my business right now.”   There are a lot of house cleaners that are not good at house cleaning or they’re not good at business and so their businesses fall apart.

So if this is you, and you are not cut out for house cleaning or this is not the right business for you. Don’t spend a whole lot of expense and sign a lease for a brick and mortar and these kinds of things if in six months you’re not going to be here. Starting out small allows you to grow and determine if this is even the right business for you. But if this is just kind of a passing fancy, please don’t spend the expense because you will regret it for as long as you live.000 Savvy Cleaner Spacer Bar 2020Resources

Anatomy of a Business Plan: The Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Business and Securing Your Company’s Future –

Starting a Business QuickStart Guide –

Business Planner’s Roadmap: Imagine Your Future | Plan Your Business | Make It Real –

Lean Analytics: A One Step At A Time Entrepreneur’s Guide to Scaling Up Your Small Startup Business –

Finance Your Business: Secure Funding to Start, Run, and Grow Your Business –

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