Can any one give me some advice on going self employed and starting my own private cleaning business

Discussion in 'Starting a Business' started by Jemma, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. Jemma

    Jemma
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    hi I'm just looking for some advice.
    I currently work part time for a caring firm, I do mostly cleaning, shopping and escorting to and from appointments. Lately my hours are all over the place as I am on a zero hour contract. I e asked for my hours to be made up to 20 a week and lately I seem only to be averaging 15 hours a week. Which is fetching me in a whopping 96.00 a week on minimum wage. Also this is monthly pay.

    Lately my work has been telling clients I shall go to them at certain times when I am actually not in work etc. resulting in my clients being let down on a few occasions, I've know deciding wether of not to give in my notice and start my own self employed cleaning business, where I can do the hours I need and earn more than minimum wage, a lot of my clients have been telling me I should take the plunge for months I've just never bothered. I'm now really contemplating on doing it.

    I have told some clients that I am contemplating on leaving and they have wished me look on my new venture, but have also said that they would like to employ me if I do decide to leave as they like my work and be sad to see me go. I've looked into the tax side of it and national insurance etc, and I firmly believe that I could make this work and double my income with hard work and dedication to the job .

    I've already looked at how to promote myself etc.. But just want some advice on if I hand my notice in and go it alone if clients follow and hire could I get in any trouble, also any other tips from anyone who has their own self employed cleaning business would greatly be appreciated.

    Thank you for reading.
     
  2. healingforce

    healingforce
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    Well, the advice I can give you is about advertising. I guess around your area there are plenty of cleaning business right? Therefore you'll face some strong competition over there so be sure to advertise as much as possible with some fancy ads in order to reach every person that would potentially need this kind of service you offer.
     
  3. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee
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    Just keep in mind that when you commence a new business, you may find yourself earning even less than your current job. I recommend that you err on the side of caution and don't start your own business until you've properly researched everything. I can understand why you're so frustrated with the caring firm but see if there's any way to rectify matters with them. Alternatively search for work with cleaning companies that will give you a better rate and work conditions.

    While I've been an entrepreneur for many years, I simply don't advise folks to jump into business straight away. The truth is that many people are just not cut out for working for themselves. The work hours tend to be longer and sometimes harder. You'll also be putting yourself under considerably more stress and pressure when you take this path.
     
  4. pwarbi

    pwarbi
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    It's certainly something to think long and hard about @Jemma I'm sure you'll have heard most of the advice before. At the beginning you'll be working harder than you are now, probably for less than your on now aswell because a lot of the income will have to be put back into the business.

    Are you structured as an individual? Can you stick to a routine and carry on even if things aren't going right? Will you carry on and not give in or are you a quitter? Things won't always go right it's how you handle the downs that will make or break your new venture.

    The people that say they will employ you, how serious are they? A lot of people say things but don't follow through and they'll let you down. Most unintentionally but don't go pinning all your hopes on them, make sure you've got other options, New clients just in case that does happen.

    All sounds very negative up to now doesn't it so...I will leave you by saying...If you want to do it, then don't let any problem, or anybody stop you. If you want to do something badly enough, then go and do it. Don't be afraid of trying, and certainly don't be afraid of failing. If you think you can make it work, then go and do it.

    Keep in touch with the forum, let us all know how your getting on, and good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
  5. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney
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    Unless you have a non-competition agreement the company you are working for, then if you start a new business and afterwards contact the old clients, there is very little risk.

    On the other hand, when you talk to clients while you are employed by your current company, you may be violating a fiduciary duty to your employer. It is absolutely wrong to solicit those clients while you are being paid by your current employer. Perhaps your general discussion of your plans does not quite rise to the level of "solicitation" but that is a gray area.

    I would not take any chances. You should stop discussing your plans with current clients immediately. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about the fact that you have already talked to clients about your plans. The safest thing would be to not accept as a client any client of your current employer that you discussed your plans with prior to terminating your relationship. If you are comfortable that your discussions cannot be characterized as solicitations, you might go ahead and accept them as clients of your new business, but you are certainly taking at least some risk in doing so.
     
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  6. atlantisrocks

    atlantisrocks
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    Good advice for starting various businesses, and in particular a cleaning business can be found at

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/41426

    They also provide information about cleaning franchises at

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219678

    Becoming a franchised business takes some start-up capital for equipment and training. The minimum seems to be around $6000.

    You can also buy some equipment and find cleaning jobs on your own. You could advertise yourself as a specialty cleaning service to break into the industry. Perhaps an "after party" cleaning service or a "barber shop and hair salon" cleaning service. You can start this way while you still work you part time job.

    Remember, because of the Obama health care law, working more than 20 hours a week consistently puts you into a full-time status and requires your employer to provide benefits. So, don't hope for more hours on your part time job.
     
  7. Ted

    Ted
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    I strongly encourage you to go out on your own. There is a growing demand for your line of work.

    You should start the business as a side business while you keep your current job. The main reason for this is that it is going to take you longer than you think to build up a client base, especially a client base of good clients. So, keep working elsewhere as you slowly build up your own business.

    As the attorney suggested earlier, don't take on any existing cleaning clients as clients of your own business. Just keep servicing them for your existing employer. Even if they want to give you their work, tell them sorry but no.

    IF I was you I would focus on three main ways to attract new clients.

    1) A basic website
    2) Business Cards (spreading word of mouth)
    3) Classified Ads in local papers

    I recommend you place ads in local classified papers to advertise your business and your website. Figure out what your current employer is charging their customers and then you should charge about the same. Don't undercut them more than $1 an hour. Don't over price yourself above them more than a few dollars per hour. When starting this business you should be about average. Whatever you do, don't work for less money than you are making now. That is a sure path to misery for you. I promise you that.

    When you run the classified ads, run them for many weeks in a row (months even). Most of the people who are interested in your services won't contact you until they have seen your classified ad at least a dozen times. So you will need to run them consistently week after week even though they are not bringing in a lot of calls at first. If you run them at least 16 weeks in a row, you will start getting new clients.

    The two biggest deciding factors your clients are going to look for are:

    1) Trustworthiness (convince them that you are completely honest and would never steal from anyone)
    2) Dependability - be insanely dependable - never ever miss an appointment - that will be their biggest pet peeve

    Once you have your first happy client, ask him or her if they would be willing to say something nice about you that you could add to your website as a testimonial. Do that with every single happy customer you have. If you do that, you will attract more customers even faster.

    The hardest thing you are going to run into is getting your first few clients. Once you have them and you get them to vouch for you with testimonials, then you will attract new business much faster.

    If most of your clients right now are elderly clients then you should position your business as specializing in elderly care. If most of your clients right now are wealthy younger families then you should position your business as specializing in maintaining clean households for busy professional people. Get the idea? You should carve out a little specialty niche for yourself. That will make you more appealing to that type of potential customer. It will also allow you to charge a little more than your competition.

    Hope that helps,
    Ted
     

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