Do you want to start a post construction cleaning business? If YES, here’s a complete guide to starting a post construction cleaning business with NO money and no experience.
The commercial cleaning industry is one industry that has successfully opened several business opportunities for entrepreneurs and the good thing about the industry is that there is still room for aspiring entrepreneurs to come into the industry.
One of the niche areas in the commercial cleaning industry that an aspiring entrepreneur can start is post construction cleaning business. Post construction cleaning as the name implies is a form of cleaning that is carried out on a newly constructed building or structure.
It is expected that after construction, before the facility is put to use, a thorough cleaning will be carried out in order to clear the debris, clean the floor, railings, toilets, windows, roof and the entire compound. As a matter of fact, no construction work will be complete if post construction cleaning is not carried out.
When starting a post construction cleaning business in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out your market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies.
You will need to make sure that you have what it takes to carry out your duty and to favorably compete with other post construction cleaning companies in your location. The truth is that if you get things right before launching your post construction cleaning business, you are likely not going to struggle to break even.
You can start your post construction cleaning business from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized especially if you go into franchising.
Steps to Starting a Post Construction Cleaning Business
1. Understand the Industry
Post construction cleaning business falls under the commercial cleaning industry and players in this industry clean building interiors and exteriors, the inner parts of transportation equipment (e.g. aircraft, railcars and ships) and windows.
Industry activities include contract cleaning services for construction sites, factories, retail outlets, shopping centers and malls, business and government offices, trains, airlines and house-cleaning services.
The Commercial Cleaning Services industry has grown over the five years to 2018. Demand for commercial cleaning services, the industry’s primary product segment, increased over the past five years, as rising corporate profit led to an increase in business cleaning expenditure.
Additionally, declining office vacancy rates, increasing nonresidential construction activity and growth in the number of businesses over the past five years broadened operators’ potential client base, as more office and retail space naturally increased demand for cleaning services.
Furthermore, strong revenue expansion has encouraged many sole proprietors and small-business owners to enter this industry as it has relatively few barriers to entry.
Competition may come to post construction cleaning services from larger catch-all commercial cleaning companies who offer post construction cleaning as part of a bundled program of many more services such as parking, snow removal, and pest control.
In-house janitorial services operated by buildings and management companies may also serve as competition. The Commercial Cleaning Services Industry is a thriving sector of the economy of most countries of the world as long as construction work is being carried out there.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Commercial Cleaning Services Industry generates over $61 billion annually from more than 936,017 registered commercial cleaning services companies scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of over 2 million people. Experts project the industry to grow at a 3.0 percent annual rate. Bonus Building Care, Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc., ABM Industries Inc., Stratus Building Solutions, and Vanguard Cleaning System are the leaders in the commercial cleaning services Industry.
A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the Commercial Cleaning industry is in the mature phase of its industry life cycle. Over the 10 years to 2023, industry value added is forecast to increase at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent, and this component measures the industry’s contribution to GDP.
This is in line with the projected annualized GDP growth of 2.2 percent over the same period. Typically, an industry is considered to be in the mature phase of its life cycle when industry growth mirrors or is below GDP over a 10-year period.
Furthermore, merger and acquisition activity has increased over the past five years, which is another indicator of the industry’s mature life cycle stage. For instance, ABM Industries Inc., the industry’s largest player, acquired GCA Services Group, a janitorial service provider, in 2017.
Just like any other business, the demand for cleaning services usually decline during recession due to declining corporate spending on cleaning services and reduced demand from business clients. As the economy grows, and income increases, there will be corresponding increase in the demand for cleaning related services such as post construction site cleaning.
Over and above, post construction cleaning businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who hire the services of post construction cleaning companies cut across construction companies, real estate investors, and individual clients who have the capacity to construct, purchase, lease or rent a newly constructed facility.
3. Decide What Niche to Concentrate On
Post construction cleaning business is a niche idea within the commercial cleaning industry hence there are no niche ideas when it comes to this line of business. Although some post construction cleaning companies may be limited on the kind of post construction cleaning jobs they can handle due to lack of capacity to carry out high profile post construction cleaning jobs.
Take for example, it takes a standard and well – equipped post construction cleaning company to handle the post construction cleaning of a skyscraper.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the post construction cleaning line of business goes beyond competitions amongst post construction cleaning businesses in your location; you are expected to compete with other businesses in the commercial cleaning industry that are also into post construction cleaning. So, it will be right to say the competition in the post construction cleaning line of business is tough.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure your workforce can carry out thorough post construction cleaning services, you can deliver excellent customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
The fact remains that if you choose to start your own post construction cleaning business in the United States of America, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst post construction cleaning services businesses and other commercial cleaning services providers and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
4. Know the Major Competitors in the Industry
Some of the notable brands in the post construction business are brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. A good number of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading post construction cleaning services companies and commercial cleaning services companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Steamatic® Incorporated
- BuildingStars® Inc.
- Anago cleaning system
- ServiceMaster® Clean
- Bonus building care
- CleanNet® USA Inc.
- Stratus Building Solutions
- Jan – Pro Franchising International Inc
- Vanguard Cleaning Systems
- Coverall Health – Based Cleaning System
- Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services
- The Cleaning Authority
- Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning Services
- Chem – Dry Carpet Cleaning Services
- Von Scrader Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Service
Your economic analysis one of the important aspects of your business that you must pay serious attention to because if you get your economic analysis wrong you may not meet up with your growth projection for the business.
So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis for your post construction, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required to rent a space where you are expected to open your post construction cleaning business and the amount required to purchase vacuum cleaner with attachments,
White cloth rags, paper towels, toilet brush, brooms, dust pan & brush, dry mop, wet mop & bucket, latex gloves, wet floor signs, extension cord, window cleaner, disinfectant cleaner, bathroom cleaner, furniture polish, soft scrub product for sinks, SOS pads, feather duster, high duster, caddy with handle to keep your supplies in, cleaning chemical supplies, detergents, soaps and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Please note that there are professionals that are trained to conduct economic analysis for businesses, and you will do your business a whole lot of favor by hiring the services of these professionals to help you conduct economic analysis for your post construction cleaning business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
It is a known fact that everyone who wants to start any business will always want to adopt the simplest route or business model that will guarantee them profits with minimal effort and investment which is why people usually purchase the franchise of existing and successful brands that offer franchising.
If you are looking towards starting a post construction cleaning business, you have the options of either purchasing a franchise or starting from the scratch. There are a couple of post construction cleaning companies that are into franchising that you can purchase from.
The truth is that when it comes to a post construction cleaning business, entrepreneurs usually prefer to start from the scratch because the business has low level entry barrier and it can be started with minimal startup capital. As a matter of fact, if you have minimal startup capital, you can start the business by operating only within your city.
In a nutshell, whether you choose to start your post construction cleaning business from the scratch or buy a franchise, the choice is yours, but make sure whatever choice you make aligns with your overall business goal, vision and mission.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Starting a business simply means that you will not be immune to threats and challenges because that is the usual hurdle you must overcome in other to grow your business and make profits. The truth is that when you start a post construction cleaning business in any part of the United States of America, you will be confronted with challenges that will come from other players in the industry.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Please note that if you want to start a post construction cleaning business, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. In general, you can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your post construction cleaning business.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale post construction cleaning business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have your business spread across the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your post construction cleaning business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your post construction cleaning business with the ability to sell franchise and open your branch offices all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Please note that upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your post construction cleaning business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name from the ideas Below
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own post construction cleaning services business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Regent Bally® Post Construction Cleaning Services, LLC
- Bronx Heritage® Post Construction Cleaning Services, LLC
- Freshness© Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
- Kings Court® Post Construction Cleaning Company, Inc.
- Trent™ Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
- Pine Delight™ Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
- Plank View© Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
- Bob Rodney® Post Construction Cleaning Services Company, LLC
- Orkney Lilly© Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson© Post Construction Cleaning Services, Inc.
9. Discuss With an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
The practice in the United States and in most countries of the world is that you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your post construction cleaning services business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own post construction cleaning services business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own post construction cleaning services business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Apart from the results you produce as it relates to providing professional post construction cleaning services, professional certification is one of the main reasons why most post construction cleaning services providers stand out.
If you want to make an impact in the post construction cleaning services industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career, and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own post construction cleaning services company;
- Institute of inspection cleaning and restoration certification – IICRC
- International janitorial cleaning services certification – IJVSC
- House cleaning technician certification – HCT
- Cleaning business owner certificate – CBO
Please note that you can successfully run a post construction cleaning company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license as long as you have adequate experience in the commercial cleaning industry.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The importance of having the necessary documentation in place before launching any business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
Here are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own post construction cleaning services business in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Chemicals handler certificate
- Health inspection Certificate
- Business Plan
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a post construction cleaning business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running the business from your home or sharing an office space.
Securing a standard office space in a business district and purchasing vacuum cleaner with attachments, white cloth rags, paper towels, toilet brush, brooms, dust pan & brush, dry mop, wet mop & bucket, latex gloves, wet floor signs, extension cord, window cleaner, disinfectant cleaner, bathroom cleaner, furniture polish,
Soft scrub product for sinks, SOS pads, feather duster, high duster, caddy with handle to keep your supplies in, cleaning chemical supplies, detergents and soaps et al are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital.
If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to source for funds to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale post construction cleaning business.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your post construction cleaning services business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for a post construction cleaning business, you can choose to locate the business in any location of your choice especially if you are offering basic post construction home cleaning and office cleaning services; services that do not require your clients to come to you.
But the location you chose to open your post construction cleaning company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the required purchasing power.
If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility for your post construction cleaning services business in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing / renting in your budget.
If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as post construction cleaning company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city you intend starting your post construction cleaning services company.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your post construction cleaning services business, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
You can actually run a post construction cleaning company without any special technology or equipment except for hi – tech cleaning gadgets. But you must have it at the back of your mind that in order to effectively manage your clientele and your business operations, you must source for relevant software applications.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of an office and store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location.
If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard post construction cleaning services business with plans to have corporate clients all across major cities in the United States of America, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Supervisors, Sales and Marketing Officers, Accounting Clerk and Professional Cleaners.
On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard post construction cleaning services company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The operation process of a post construction cleaning company depends largely on their area of operations and their organizational structure.
Generally, when a post construction cleaning company gets a contract usually from contractors or construction companies, they will first conduct cost analysis in order for them to know the manpower and resources needed to carry out the job.
Once they conclude their cost analysis, they will deploy the required manpower and machines to execute the job and then they will get paid after successfully carrying out their job. Usually their services include general services like debris clearing, trash pickup and floor polishing, and also include more specialized services like window washing.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed With ideas & Strategies
In order to grow any business, you must be ready to market your goods or services because there are other people contesting for the available customers in the line of business that you are in. As a matter of fact, a well – groomed investor will not invest his or her money into a business venture that has not gotten a proper handle on how to market their product or services.
So, if you are planning towards starting a post construction cleaning business, here are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt that will guarantee you steady revenue for the business;
- Introduce your post construction cleaning services company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to construction companies, building contractors, real estate companies and other key stake holders throughout the city where your post construction cleaning services company is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services by visiting companies that may likely need your services.
- Join local post construction cleaning business associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you offer your post construction cleaning services at rock bottom prices is to purchase your cleaning supplies directly from wholesalers and importers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items you purchase directly from importers and wholesalers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you offer your post construction cleaning services at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives and also purchase.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The possible competitive strategies you need to deploy to be able to win your competitors when it comes to post construction cleaning is the availability of competent and reliable cleaners under your payroll, having standard cleaning equipment and tools, your business process and of course your pricing model.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base by partnering with building contractors and big – time construction companies.
Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and can favorably compete with the some of the best in the commercial cleaning industry.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products. Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service provider or product is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service.
One of the strategies that you would need to employ in order to generate repeated sales from your customers and also to retain them is to ensure that your cleaners are always on – time, they carry out their cleaning thoroughly and your customer services does not fluctuate.
The truth is that if the services and customer service fluctuates, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers coming back.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized emails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to see them.
If your intention of starting a post construction cleaning business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening offices all across key cities in the United States and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your post construction cleaning services business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and real estate magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your post construction cleaning services business
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas especially areas who construction work is ongoing
- List your post construction cleaning services company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your post construction cleaning services company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your post construction cleaning services company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, trucks and vans are well branded with your company logo.