A few days ago, I published a post about different dorm room businesses that you could start in the upcoming spring semester. I also mentioned that either myself or a contributing author would be writing up some different details about the different business ideas to give you all some ground to start working with.
The first business idea I am going to shoot ideas around about is a spring cleaning service. This is a service that you could run out of your dorm room or your off campus apartment. It is a very simple service that you could put together and offer to a variety of different clients.
The main start up expense for the cleaning service would be your beginning cleaning supplies (mops, brooms, cleaners, bucket, vacuum, etc). Once you have purchased some supplies, you can start getting clients and getting down to work!
Finding Your Clients
The hardest part of this business will be finding clients that would be willing to pay for the service. Because you are in a college town, it may be hard to find students that are willing to pay for a cleaning service because they will just leave the mess for later. However, you can probably find students like me who would happily pay someone to come and clean my apartment say once a month.
The easiest way to reach out to students would probably be to just start putting flyers in the mail boxes of houses or the doors of apartments. Many complexes will have Ã¢â‚¬Å“no solicitingÃ¢â‚¬Â signs, but businesses still advertise with flyers on each doorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦so do not let this discourage you.
Many fraternities and sororities use their pledges to get their chapter houses clean, so you may want to avoid these places. However, if they do not do that, it could be a potential gold mine. Ask around and find out who may be interested in the service and act on it ASAP. The longer it takes for you to find clients, the less money you are making!
Deciding On Your Services and Pricing
Besides finding your clients, the second hardest thing is going to be setting your pricing structure. But first, decide on what services are you going to offer Ã¢â‚¬â€œ are you going to be a all in one cleaning service where you will do everything (carpets, kitchens, bathrooms, the whole shebang?) or are you just going to offer a limited service such as kitchens and bathrooms? Obviously offering more of a full service will allow you to charge more and earn more, but it will also mean more/harder work. If you are going to offer different services individually, price them individually and offer packages that give a Ã¢â‚¬Å“discountÃ¢â‚¬Â for purchasing an all in one package. A normal maid or house cleaning person (not from a franchise such as Merry Maids) could cost anywhere from $50+ for your home to be cleaned. Now remember that you are in the college market and you will have to charge less, probably 50% less at least. Offering to clean someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s apartment for $25 a month is not a bad deal at all. If you line up 10 clients that take a Ã¢â‚¬Å“monthly cleaning packageÃ¢â‚¬Â you are looking at $250 a month and around $2000 a year. Subtract your expenses from that and you should wind up with around $1500 depending on how much you spend on your cleaning supplies.
Now if you are going to start looking at a wide range of services to offer, it may be a better idea to have a Ã¢â‚¬Å“basic packageÃ¢â‚¬Â that is offered with ad on services. A basic service cleaning may include the kitchen, bathrooms, and vacuuming. On top of that you could include trash removal, wall cleaning, and something like wall painting if needed.
Things to Think About
Are you an efficient cleaner? How long will it take you to clean a room? Apartment? House? Make sure your pricing structure reflects your time needed to perform the service. If you can clean a house in 2 hours with a basic price of $25, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a decent $12.50 an hour.
Will you offer a guarantee with your service? What if someone isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happy with your cleaning service? Think about what your policy may be for fixing something you may have missed.