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Do You Think Starting a Cleaning Business is For You?

Starting a cleaning business can be one of the most profitable businesses you can start. Maybe you have worked for cleaning companies in the past or maybe you just enjoy cleaning and are considering turning your skill into a business. Either way, while a part-time cleaning business can make as much money as a full-tine job, you are running a business, which, in the beginning, will be much more time consuming and than two full-time jobs.

In this article, I ask a few questions that you should ask yourself before starting a cleaning business. By answering these questions openly and honestly with yourself it will greatly increase your chances of success.

Are you a self starter? By starting a cleaning business, you are your own boss. It will be entirely up to you to drive your business; develop projects, manage your time, follow-up with clients, create and send out marketing materials, etc., etc. etc.

How well do you get along with different people? Running your own business will bring you in contact with lots of different people. While you don’t need to be a completely outgoing extrovert, being able to communicate effectively with a variety of people including clients, vendors, bankers, lawyers, accountants or consultants will be a requirement. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unresponsive receptionist, or a difficult supplier if your business demands it?

Can you make decisions? Starting a cleaning business requires you to make countless decisions on a daily basis. You will need to decide not only on some of your major decisions like how much do you charge, what will you name your business, but decisions such as, how many fliers do you want to print, should you buy certain supplies in bulk, or how do you handle an upset client. These decisions will often have to be made constantly, immediately, and often under pressure.

Do you have the stamina and persistence to start a business? Starting a cleaning business can be one of the most rewarding endeavors you will ever take, but it’s also a lot of work, especially when you are getting started. Do you have the time, energy, and focus to work 10-12 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week?

Can you plan and stay organized? Doing your research is crucial to any business start-up. It’s a cliche, but it holds true, “fail to plan, and you plan to fail.” You will need to organize things such as your financial records, your inventory, or client database, and cleaning schedules.

How bad do you want it? Running a business can be very stressful. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their by themselves. Having a strong drive will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.

How will the business impact your family? Starting a business can be very stressful on families. During the initial start-up phase, many business owners have difficulty spending time with their families. It can also add a lot of financial stress in the first few months providing for a family before the business turns profitable. It is important to make sure that you communicate your plans clearly with your loved ones, because you will need their support and any starting a cleaning business involve their family members and loved ones in the process.

Starting a cleaning business is a life-changing experience. With any change comes stress. Think deeply about the questions above. Starting a cleaning business will require a lot of work, a lot of patience, and even more persistence, however, if you are committed to your own success and willing to put in the legwork at the start, you can build a very profitable business for years to come.

How to Grow Any Business in Less Time, Spending Less Money

The driving reason for many entrepreneurs, business and organizations to have a web site is increased results. Increase in profits or increase in leads coming to a sales force. Or possibly increased calls to a call center or just increase to some other desired result; whatever the desired result(s) is for that business or organization.

Yet despite this longing to have more desired results, for most businesses the exact opposite is true: Having a web site produces little or no improvement to their business and only COSTS them money to build and maintain.

The web site owner spends lots of time, energy and money having the site built, and then usually walks away expecting that their job is done and the site will magically start producing the results they hope for. Most site owners do this because they don’t implement and learn how to analyze some sort of analytics system.

And no matter how successful they are offline, the website never becomes the profit center or results generating engine that they had desired when they built it.

So the owner tends to focus on three outcomes: customers, revenues and profits.

They focus on the reactive results of their business activities rather than the proactive elements that create business growth.

The following business growth model will show that it doesn’t take rocket science to build a business in any industry and in any product or service category by understanding the key growth objectives that need to be achieved, the marketing processes that need to be implemented, and the key vision and position you want your business to hold in the marketplace.

I call this model “Five Ways To Business Growth.” It breaks down the three outcomes customers, revenues and profits into the simplest activity drivers that will grow the business by focusing on each driver as its own but interrelated activity for growth.

These are the five drivers and their associated outcomes:

Driver: number of leads

Driver: conversion rate

Outcome: number of customers

Driver: number of transactions per customer

Driver: average sale per transaction

Outcome: revenue

Driver: margins

Outcome: profit

Breaking down each of these five drivers and understanding how they can lead to business growth will make the task of growing the business seem less overwhelming.

Number of leads

This is the total number of potential buyers who were contacted or who contacted the business in the past year.

Most business owners tend to confuse leads with results. Just because the phone is ringing doesn’t mean the cash register is.

Surprisingly, few business owners even know how many leads they get per week/month/year, let alone from each advertisement, promotion or marketing campaign. At best they have an estimate, but this tends to be way off when actually measured.

Conversion rate

This is the percentage of leads who did buy as opposed to those who could have bought. If three people bought your product or service out of every 10 leads, the conversion rate would be 30 percent.

Because very few business owners keep records of the conversion rate, they typically estimate significantly higher than reality.

Outcome: number of customers

This is the number of customers who will generate revenue. But it is important to recognize it is not about getting more customers; you cannot change that number. It is about getting more leads and then improving your conversion rate. These are the variables that produce the result.

Number of transactions per customer

Some customers will buy weekly, others monthly, others on the odd occasion and others just once in their lifetime.

What you calculate now is the average number of transactions per year. Not the best and not the worst, but the average number of times one customer will buy in one year. Improving the conversion rate consistently proves a highly effective action to increase revenue ? again, very few business owners keep a detailed transactional database of the history of current and past customers.

Average sales per transaction

Most business owners have this information available through cash receipt records because these are required for tax purposes. Divide the number of transactions into total sales revenue per year to get the average sale per transaction.

Outcome: revenue

Annual revenue is calculated by the number of customers times the number of transactions times the average sale. Total annual revenue tends to be a number business owners will know. Yet in most cases, they don’t know the real drivers that got to the result. They want more revenue, but you can’t get more revenue. What you can get is more transactions, and a higher average sale per transaction with the total number of customers.

Margins

This is a percentage that represents the net revenue after all costs (pre-tax) have been deducted from the revenue. If a transaction’s revenue was $1,000 and if the direct and indirect costs for that transaction were $750, then the margin would be 25 percent.

To improve the margin, reduce either operational or transactional costs.

Outcome: profit

This is the ultimate result that all business owners want more of; they don’t realize that you can’t get more profit. But you can get greater margins on the annual revenue to increase profits.

This business growth model shows that making small improvements in each driver can generate major results for the business. Improving each driver’s performance by just 10 percent will increase annual revenue 46 percent and profit 61 percent.

The specific tactics to improve each driver will vary according to each business based on its category of business and its market positioning, but the application of this model will work every time, provided each improvement tactic is tested and measured.

This is a basic business growth model without any rocket science.