CHAPTER 9-: This is the ninth chapter of “The Complete Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business.” The cleaning business despite being based on service, is one that is heavily reliant on a number of different supplies. These supplies serve the sole purpose of allowing you to equip your cleaning staff with the latest, most advanced and impressive products and tools in the market that will help them to carry out an excellent job inside the homes and the workplaces of your clients. Without these supplies, the performance of your cleaning staff will quite certainly fall below expectations of your clients and fail to meet the standards that you hope to achieve as a newcomer in this particular field of business.
The general perception about cleaning businesses is that the owners are required to procure a huge amount of supplies at regular time intervals. There is little denying the fact that cleaning businesses are dependent on their supplies nearly as much as their cleaning staff, but that does not necessarily result in a need to store a massive number of supplies. If anything, most cleaning businesses are known to make the most out of a limited number of supplies.
In other words, as the owner of a cleaning service business, you do not need to burden yourself with the concern of purchasing a huge amount of supplies to get your business started. It is one of those rare few occasions where “less is more”. As a matter of fact, all the materials that you will need to clean the office or home of a client can quite easily be accommodated inside a single vehicle of your cleaning company.
The simple logic behind this subdued need to purchase supplies is that when you start out a cleaning business, most of your projects will be on a much smaller scale than the ones you wish to land in the weeks, months and years that will follow the initiation of your business. The amount of supplies you will need will be minimal. During your early days, you can run your business operations quite smoothly with one set of supplies that you can transport easily from one jobsite to the other. With the growth of your business, your funds will also increase overtime and eventually you will have enough money to afford more supplies to augment the efficacy of your business operations. This is where the question arises:
How long should you wait till you expand your portfolio of supplies?
The answer to this question varies from one cleaning service business to the other. As a matter of fact, the number of sets you will be required to purchase will depend entirely on the number of clients that you are catering to at one moment in time. Normally, if you do not have more than 3 to 4 clients, then adding to your initial set of supplies does not become much of a necessity. As mentioned before, the same equipments and products can be moved from one jobsite to the other with relative ease. It is important to note that you must have backup replacements for certain supplies to bail you out during emergency situations.
Maintaining only one set of supplies and running your business operations with it works really well when you are undertaking projects that involve houses or homes. This is because, you will almost never be required to store your supplies in somebody’s home. As a matter of fact, that would turn out to be a big nuisance for the homeowners and may quite possibly jeopardize your project.
Sometimes, you will not even need to bring your own supplies to the jobsite, as many homeowners are open to the idea of letting you borrow their cleaning supplies as long as you do a terrific job with them. As you can clearly see, the need to procure more than one set of supplies hardly ever arises when you are striking deals with homeowners during the initial stages of your business operations.
However, as your business expands into new horizons, especially those dealing with commercial cleaning accounts, this beginner’s set of supplies has to be improved and turned into a set of supplies that has the capacity to keep up with your ongoing business engagements. The need to procure more supplies does not stem from commercial cleaning accounts per se. Once again, it all comes down to the number of clients that you are aiming to satisfy on a weekly or monthly basis. If it’s too many clients for you to handle, then you definitely need pile up more guns in your arsenal, in this case; more cleaning products and equipments in your collection.
Another factor to weigh in is that frequent visits to one particular commercial complex will probably cause you to store your supplies inside the premises of that complex overnight. Commercial locations are hardly of any use during the night hours, and your equipments and products eating up space will not be an annoyance for anybody. Also, it is much more convenient to store your supplies in the commercial jobsite that you visit frequently instead of repeatedly transporting those supplies to the location. It saves you valuable time and money, two resources which are absolutely indispensable to the success of your cleaning business.
How Much Supplies / Inventory Should You Carry?
As far as the supplies themselves are concerned, the list of items essential to your cleaning business should be neither too long nor too short. You do not want your mind to be overwhelmed with the apprehension of purchasing a myriad of products, most of which you have no clear idea about. A lot of novice entrepreneurs make the rookie mistake of assuming that the greater the size of their inventory is, the easier their business operations will turn out to be. The number of products and equipments you have is not exactly an accurate reflection of the kind of performance that your cleaning staff will be showcasing in the residential and commercial jobsites where your company will be assigned to work in.
It is more about getting your selection of essential items spot on, instead of overloading your inventory with products that you have little to no use of. Procuring the wrong products in excess is another cardinal sin of running any business, let alone one that is based on a cleaning service. Not only will this be a monumental waste of your funds, but also a pitiful waste of your storage space, something that is of great significance to upstart cleaning service companies like the one that you are trying to build and establish. If you are confused about what exactly to look for in the market before you can open the doors to your cleaning business, then take a close look at the following names of some of the items that are a must have in your cleaning business collection.
Essential Cleaning Equipment and Supplies You Must Have
- White Cloth Rags-: Your cleaning staff will most certainly be requiring white cloth rags in plenty.
- Paper Towels-: If a cleaning business service does not use paper towels, then there is something seriously wrong with their operations.
- Toilet Brush-: As distasteful as it may sound; this will be your weapon of choice in combating the germs of the toilet.
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner-: This is another cleaning item that takes care of the icky business of the toilets.
- Broom-: Regardless of how hi-tech a cleaning service business maybe, the effectiveness of an old school broom can never be ignored.
- Dust Pan and Brush-: Your cleaning staff will be dealing with abundant dust, hence they better be equipped with the best pan and brush available in the market.
- Dry Mop-: Much like the broom, this old school cleaning tool cannot be overlooked under any circumstances
- Wet Mop and Bucket- When dry pops are not up to the task, it’s time to add in the power of moisture and wipe that floor clean.
- Latex Gloves-: These are to ensure that you do not accidentally dirty the property of the clients. These also serve the purpose of protecting your cleaning staff from coming into direct contact with dirt, dust and filth.
- Wet Floor Signs-: Unless you want the people inside the offices or homes of your clients to end up slipping on a wet floor, breaking a hip and going berserk on your janitor or maid, make sure you buy or make plenty of Wet Floor Signs.
- Extension Cord-: A simple electronic gadget that you will need from time to time in your everyday operations. Make sure you buy extension cords that provide the maximum resistance against fire outbreaks.
- Window Cleaner-: One of the first things that your clients will order you to get cleaned are their windows, especially if it is a client of a commercial cleaning account. Do not be stingy with the window cleaners. But the ones that offer the best quality and value.
- Disinfectant Cleaner-: Your clients will expect you to keep their property as germ free or contamination free as possible. This is where disinfectant cleaners become an irreplaceable commodity in your inventory.
- Bathroom Cleaner-: If you want to achieve excellence in this field, you need to ensure that even the washrooms of your clients’ offices or houses are sparkling squeaky clean. Make the best use of the best bathroom cleaners in the market that come equipped with advanced cleaning formulae.
- Furniture Polish-: Furniture is perhaps the most coveted asset in the eyes of your client. You will be required to take extra care of furniture. Buy high quality furniture polish to make sure your clients leave you with no complaints regarding their favourite piece of furniture.
- Soft Scrub Product for Sinks-: Once again, you cannot simply afford to leave out any part of the property or overlook any item inside the office or the house when trying to really please your clients. Even the sinks need your attention. Use soft scrub products to clean the sinks and put a smile on your client’s face.
- Feather Duster-: These items are not only used by aristocratic butlers contrary to common belief. Your cleaning staff need to keep their hands busy with feather dusters to ensure that every piece of furniture in the house and the office is kept spotless.
- High Duster-: These cleaning items are specifically designed to assist you with cleaning the hard to reach spots, especially those behind cabinets and at the corner of the ceilings.
- Vacuum Cleaner-: This lifesaving equipment should be the best friend of each and every single member of your cleaning staff. It provides the simplest, easiest and most efficient way of cleaning floors, furniture and carpets without having to put in the extra manual effort. There are plenty of vacuum cleaners available in the market. Select the one that best suits the requirements of your job description and job location. You are advised to never purchase a vacuum cleaner without conducting prior research into the various categories and specifications that the brands have on offer.
- Caddy-: This is the very last supply that you need to cross out on your checklist when going shopping for your cleaning service business. Humorously enough, a caddy is a supply that helps you keep all your supplies in.
Procuring the supplies for your business is often not seen in the same light of importance as creating a marketing agenda, devising a budget plan or establishing a business identity. With that being said, only a fool would deny the major role that your supplies play in shaping up your business in both the short and the long run. If you are not consistent with your supplies in terms of quality and quantity, your cleaning staff will find themselves in a very difficult position.
Running a cleaning service business is certainly no child’s play. As a novice entrepreneur, you may think that it is alright to run out of something as seemingly insignificant as paper towels, but the reality is that this one “small” error may come back to haunt you in the form of a cancelled deal from the client.