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Cost Control

A key function in your business operation is effective cost control. This is a process of learning what you can do and what you should delegate to others to do.  You spending 8 hours doing payroll is a loss, you having an outside service do your payroll while you spend 8 hours doing marketing is a gain.  Check out Paychex banner at the top of the page, CleanPeers readers get a month free!

Guest Contributor: Lone Mopper

Recently a potential client called me with some questions regarding starting a new janitorial service.  Initially when I take calls like this I try to get some background information, see if they have any industry experience etc.

This gentlemen was recently down sized from his corporate job and he had decided to pursue opening his own cleaning service firm because, as he put it, " it's an easy way to fast cash".  This is where I will start my Q & A and allow them to expand on what they are doing, think they should be doing and want to do.

This guy had it all mapped out, he had a couple of vacuums he bought at garage sales, 2 used bucket and wringers from Ebay and was already stocked up on bowl cleaner and glass cleaner from the Dollar Store and Costco.

But he was frustrated, he had been calling all his friends, family and businesses in his town but was not getting any customers and wanted to know if I could help him.  So I started with the basics.

Below are some of my questions and his answers.

Does your state/city require a business license and do you have it?  I don't know.
Do you have liability insurance?  No, I want to get customers first before spending anymore money
Do you have material data safety sheets on your products? 
No--is that really necessary to start with?
Do you have both a business and marketing plan? 
Kind of, I need some customers right away.
Why are you starting a cleaning business in a down turned economy? 
Anybody can clean and it's low cost starting it and I heard it's easy money. You are making this sound harder then what I was told.

It's a legitimate business field, not a hobby and must be approached professionally.  You are asking other business owners to trust you with access to their facilities while they are gone, you are expecting them to turn over keys to you and allow you to roam through their office and to gain that trust from them you need to appear as an industry professional. I strongly urge you to do some research on the industry, see what the requirements are and what the expectations are as well from your potential customers.

"Maybe this isn't for me"

I have a mower in my garage, does that certify me as a professional landscaper?  My wife has these paint brushes that she used to redo a cabinet with, so she's a qualified professional painter now?

The Lone Mopper
Ken Galo

                                                                                Define Office Cleaning
It goes by many names but it's not important what you call it, it is important what your customers call it!

Most people working in offices think in terms of "Office Cleaning" or "Office Cleaners"

Managers, purchasing agents will think in terms of "Janitorial Service"

Terms like these are the keystones of your marketing efforts, especially online with your website, emails and search engine results. 

When you are attempting to get the attention of your target it is in your best interest to hit them with the words they are used to using, once you have that attention you need to direct them to the benefits of using you and your service.  On average you have 30 seconds or less to snag their attention and keep it long enough to keep them reading about you.

14 paragraphs on how you grew up cleaning with your mommy and working in the grocery store mopping up spills is a nice human interest story for your local newspaper but your potential customer wants to know;

Who you are
What you do
How it benefits them

and they want that info in less than 2 minutes, in a clear, concise presentation.


  • Anybody can clean
  • This is a quick and easy business to start
  • You will make millions overnight
  • You don't need insurance
  • You can pay everyone cash
  • Taxes? Sure you get a check every April.
Then stop, you don't need to read anything here on this site, we can't help you.
In fact, sometime in the next 6 months to a year we will be buying your slightly used stuff on Ebay.