436 Ask a House Cleaner, Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Savvy Cleaner

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business

“What are some tips for buying a cleaning business? Or should I start a cleaning company from scratch? Buying a cleaning business could save years off the learning curve.”

Buying a cleaning business could give you a third-party endorsement. And more room to negotiate if you buy a cleaning business from an independent. 

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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.

 Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, NeighborhoodWhat are some tips for buying a cleaning business and how do I make an existing business work?

I’m very interested in buying a residential cleaning business, it’s not a franchise, here in Vancouver, Canada. The company has three full-time employees, over 100 clients, and a very good rating on Google. They have been in business for 8 years

They have marketing, payroll, and a billing system in place. What would you suggest to keep the existing clients after the ownership transfer, and is this a viable company to buy? They work in nice neighborhoods all around the area.”

How You Set Up Buying a Cleaning Company

Fire the Maid by Text woman shopping in grocery storeBuying a cleaning company comes down to how you set up the buy. Now, when you buy a company, you’re not walking into a grocery store and buying an existing package off the shelf.

What you’re doing is you’re buying a custom item. The custom item requires a little bit more, so you have a little bit more room to negotiate.

Think About What You are Buying

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Man ThinkingYou have to think, what are you buying? You’re buying an existing training program of three people that have already been trained.

They already know the customers, there are a hundred customers already, and there’s a billing system in place.

The billing system that’s in place can be automated quickly by a simple app that anyone can buy for $39 a month. That is not special to what you’re buying, it’s standard in the industry.

What Employees Are You Buying?

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Three House CleanersHaving three employees is only three employees. Employees come and go at will.

If you’re buying the employee, what is it that you’re buying? Have they been with the company for eight years? Because if they were just hired, there’s not a whole lot of loyalty there.

There’s nothing to say that they will be loyal to you versus being loyal to their previous employer.

Get Introduced to Your New Cleaning Business Employees

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Group Meeting New MemberYou need to set that up with the employer. They will introduce you to every single one of the people. Have a sit down with the existing owner and have them introduce you. That should be your first step.

Hey, this is your new boss. Here’s how I know this guy, here’s what I like about this guy. Here’s why he’s going to make an excellent employer for you.”

They have to introduce you. It’s called a third-party endorsement.

Instead of you starting from scratch, the boss says, “Hey, guys, it’s time for me to retire. I’m getting on in years. I can’t do this anymore. But I’ve turned over the business to this very reputable person. They’re here to help you. They are here to help you see your vision, and help you build your dreams, help you support your family.” If this person says these things about you, now they feel differently about you already.

Nobody can Buy House Cleaning Clients

Buy a Cleaning Business buying businessNow, you can also negotiate with the business owner that they do the same thing with the clients because they don’t own the clients. Nobody owns house cleaning clients.

House Cleaning clients are a dime a dozen. They’re everywhere. House Cleaning clients are everywhere and they’re fickle.

They don’t stay with people for 10 and 20 years unless the business owner has built loyalty. 

The Previous Owners’ Clients Aren’t Loyal to You

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Angry WomenNow, if this particular business owner that you’re buying from has built that loyalty, they’re loyal to him, not you.

If you step in and you’re like, “Oh, hey. I’m the new guy.” They can jump ship very quickly. And then you have to try to get more clients just as quickly.

It’s possible that you buy a business of a hundred existing customers and suddenly you have none, right?

Get the Previous Owner to Introduce You to Their Clients

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Excited ManWhat you need to do, is to get the business owner to agree that they will introduce you to every one of their customers. By phone or in person, you have to meet them.

Have the previous owner let them know that they are turning the reins over to a new business owner.

Then, after they’ve had this conversation, then you jump in and you’re like, “Oh, hi. I’m the new guy.”

Then they’re like, “Oh, hey. We just heard some great things about you. We’re so excited that you’re going to be our new house cleaner.”

Make Sure When You Buy a Cleaning Business People are Receptive

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Older Couple Meeting Young WomanAll right, so you have to set it up so that everyone on the receiving end of your new business proposition is receiving of you.

Because if you go in you’re met with a lot of resistance. The employees might leave and start their own companies. They might take the 100 clients with them.

Then they’ve hijacked your business opportunity and you’re left with nothing. The no recourse is you don’t own employees, they’re free to leave at any time, and you don’t own the clients.

Be Careful When You Buy a Cleaning Business

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, House Cleaner Arms CrossedWhen people ask me, “Should I buy this business?”, it’s possible. There are people that buy and sell cleaning businesses all the time.

But I want to caution you, make sure that you know what you’re getting. Make sure that there’s something in there for you. Like the existing owner introducing you to the employees and to the customers.

You Might Want to Start Your Own Company

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, House Cleaner ThinkingBecause if you jump in and you have to do all that footwork yourself, you might as well start your own house cleaning business. Because you’re going to spend the same amount of time, you’re going to build the same amount of rapport.

You’re going to have to go through the same hurdles, getting to know brand new employees all over again. Finding out what their hot buttons are, and how you’re going to motivate them. You’re going to have to figure all that out. That is a lot of work.

If you’re starting from ground zero and you don’t have any support from the existing owner. Then you might as well go do it all yourself because you’re going to end up doing it yourself anyway.

Buy a Cleaning Business if You Have Support

Tips for Buying a Cleaning Business, Older Man and Younger ManIf you have that help and you have that support, and the team members are on board with you. The customers are on board with you, then it sounds like a great deal.

Jump in, push play, and then watch it all happen, right? Well, no.

There’s still a whole lot of work that you’re going to have to do. But it is easier to buy a business that is up and running than it is to create one from scratch if you have that support system.

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*** RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE ***

Become a Franchise Owner! The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money, and Owning What you Do – https://amzn.to/2D58y5r

The Lifestyle Business Owner: How to Buy a Business, Grow Your Profits, and Make It Run Without You – https://amzn.to/2QELMnY

Adventures in Franchise Ownership: 4 Pillars to Strengthen, Protect and Grow Your Business – https://amzn.to/2QJ3wyu

Add Product to List Beginner’s Guide: Buying a Cleaning Franchise: Everything you need to know on becoming a commercial cleaning franchise owner!  – https://amzn.to/2Oxzf48

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