With spring cleaning coming around the corner, now is the best time to start a cleaning business. An added incentive is the increased focus on cleanliness and hygiene, owing to the pandemic. With the pandemic raging, the demand for sanitization services is high. Furthermore, as work from home mandates end, businesses need to make offices usable again. Hygiene being an essential factor, sanitization is inevitable.
Arises possibilities for cleaning businesses. But business opportunities need not mean success for a specific company. Start-ups need a sound business strategy backed up by flexible processes. They also have to run the business systematically. A field service management software is the number one must-have tool to run a cleaning business successfully.
1. Undertake basic set-up tasks
As the first steps to starting a cleaning business:
- Decide on a business name. Preferably design a logo and have a branding strategy in place.
- Register the business and take a business license. Check if the cities where the business will operate have rules on certification. Many places require licenses to undertake some jobs or handle dangerous chemicals. Most areas have safety regulations in place as well.
- Take insurance. Opt for general liability insurance to cover damage done to a customer or third-party premises. Also, take staff health insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and vehicle insurance. A business owner’s policy and employment practice liability insurance may also be in order.
- Open a bank account to handle payments.
- Get service vans, and use decals that spot the company name and logo. Businesses starting on a shoe-string budget may hire vans on a need-basis, but not having a dedicated van will compromise speed and agility.
- Deploy a field service management suite.
ReachOut Suite offers comprehensive solutions to set up and manage cleaning services with minimum fuss. Businesses may customize the platform to suit their specific needs.
Read more: Six Ways a Cleaning Management Software Benefits your Business
2. Decide on the services
Cleaning service start-ups need to decide on their specializations and services upfront. They also need to be flexible to change their offerings depending on market needs and customer expectations. Each domain selected would require workers with expertise and specific tools.
The broad categories of cleaning services are residential, commercial, and industrial cleaning. There are also specific types of cleaning, such as deep cleaning, window cleaning, sanitization, and more.
- Use quote management software integrated with the field management suite to articulate the offered services. The software makes it easy to estimate the resources and time needed to undertake different services. The business may set hourly rates, flat rates, sq. foot rates, or other plans. They may also create cleaning service packages based on services that most customers prefer together.
- Deliver instant quotes. A quote calculator allows customers to calculate costs and book an appointment in seconds. When the customers select a service, the back-end engine calculates the rate for each job type. The system pulls in hourly rates for the cleaning staff, margins and mark-ups, taxes, and other details. A cloud-based system enables dynamic quotes. Customers may change the cleaning area and see the quote change instantly. They may identify the service that best fits their needs and budget.
A neat cleaning estimate template delivered electronically lends professionalism to the business.
ReachOut field service management suite offers end-to-end traceability of jobs. Businesses get the ability to store client inquiries and requests as tickets. On confirmation, the suite auto-generates work orders and inspections from such tickets.
3. Pay attention to inventory management
As the adage goes, “for want of a horseshoe nail, a kingdom was lost.” Unavailability of any item, even something as insignificant as a small pin, may derail maintenance plans. Set up a reliable supply chain, and stock up on supplies before taking orders.
Integrate the inventory database with the field service software for
- Complete visibility to stock levels. Schedulers could assign jobs and dispatch cleaning crews only on the availability of supplies. For instance, if a chemical for deep cleaning is not in stock, the scheduler could delay the work order.
- Predicting demand and ordering supplies in advance.
4. Set up seamless workflows and inspections
Success in today’s competitive business market depends on hyper-efficiency. Unfortunately, cleaning services have become a low-margin game. Businesses have to make up by servicing more customers using the finite time and resources available.
Configure the field management suite to:
- Schedule jobs intelligently – The scheduler may assign jobs to the cleaning crew closest to the worksite. Or they may assign jobs to crews in advance, so they spend less time on the road and serve more customers.
- Streamline dispatching – Integration of the field service software with maps enables cleaning crews to take the fastest route to the customer’s premises. Live tracking offers customers accurate ETA. It also helps supervisors to intervene proactively and fix issues.
- Make work processes and inspections seamless – Ready-made forms and checklists make job execution and inspections seamless. Work crews may download the checklists relevant to the job and carry out the tasks systematically. Inspectors may download their checklist to check if the cleaning crew has covered all aspects of the job.
ReachOut offers advanced scheduling options. Managers may assign individual jobs to team members, configure scheduling to match working hours, and so on. The integrated platform offers team members quick access to customer information. The forms marketplace offers hundreds of ready-to-use forms. The stylized forms option allows custom forms. Businesses may also use white labeling options to brand their services. Push notifications and automatic reporting capabilities keep everyone in the loop.
Read more: Ten Ways Automated Scheduling Makes a Difference
5. Automate Invoicing and back-end processes
Invoicing can make or break any start-up business. Getting invoicing right preempts cash flow issues and loads of discontent customers.
A field management service automates invoices, payment collection, timesheets, and accounting. Set up the suite for:
- Instant invoice generation – When the cleaning crew marks the work as complete, the field management suite auto-generates the invoice. The suite pulls in the rates from the quote, gets the number of hours worked from the automated timesheet, and gathers the other details.
- Seamless payment collection – Integrating the field service suite with payment portals such as PayPal allows the crew to collect the payment without delay.
- Automated timesheets – For capturing the check-in and check-out time of the cleaning crew.
- Automated reports – For generating sales reports, especially tax reports.
Automating such back-office tasks spares the business of a load of hassles and saves cost.
ReachOut helps the business avoid paperwork and the associated inefficiencies. Dynamic reports with photos dispatched to customers make proof of work execution and compliance easy. The ultra-secure cloud-based platform keeps business data secure. A host of security options, including access control and audit logging, improve security. In addition, users may host the ReachOut suite in a private cloud, or on-premise, to meet security and compliance needs.
ReachOut helps cleaning services start-ups deliver quality work consistently. The suite enables cleaning businesses to improve the speed of services, reduce costs, scale up, and become competitive.
To know how ReachOut suite can assist your business, contact us.
Sachin works as a part of the digital marketing team at ReachOut Suite. He believes in a healthy and resourceful web and does his own little contributions for the purpose by creating and disseminating innovative and quality content.
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