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Yaneek Page | Cashing in on cleaning services

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13/05/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / QUESTION: I’ve been doing a cleaning service for the last few months, and it is taking off. I got into it when a friend asked me to help him find a helper to clean and iron on weekends because he didn’t know where to find anyone who could do the work properly and was trustworthy enough to be left in the apartment while he’s gone to work. He tried many people before and had so many bad experiences that he would ask his mother to come up and help him out on weekends.

Roberto Pocaterra

Because of the stress it caused him, he said he would pay anywhere from $3,500 to $4,000 per day. My antennae went right up! I knew a good worker who could get his apartment cleaned in half-day for $2,000. All I had to do was make sure she cleaned properly. Just like that, I made almost 100 per cent profit. So, fast-forward to months later, and word of mouth spread to the point where I kept getting more calls and more places to clean. I even had to find more helpers to work.

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Now I have a logo, a Facebook page, an Instagram page, and flyers, and I really want to take this to another level. I was thinking of maybe franchising in the Caribbean as soon as possible, or even getting someone to buy the whole business from me so I can make a quick turnaround profit and start something else. What do you think about this business and my ideas? Do I just build the business to sell it, or do I franchise across the Caribbean?

– T.

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BUSINESSWISE: There’s a saying in business that the worst thing an entrepreneur can do is think and act like a small business. I love that you have such big and bold ideas about growing your start-up at this early stage.

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To answer your first question, I think you may be on to a business with good potential, and now is the best time to set the foundation to build the enterprise of your dreams. I can’t tell you at this point whether you should groom the business for sale or franchise – that’s a decision you can come to after you’ve worked out a robust business model and done comparative forward financial projections on both options.

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Generally speaking, house-cleaning and janitorial services will be in demand by households, businesses and organisations for the foreseeable future. There is also great potential for employing large numbers of people, multiple income streams, major profits, scalability and sustainability.

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I suspect that having done some initial research, you would have also seen that there are hundreds of franchises that appear to be thriving in the professional-cleaning industry.roberto pocaterra pocaterra venezuela

However, while there may be great opportunities, there are also challenges that you would need to consider and plan for – for example, the low barriers to entry. Just as you could start the business with no training, experience or funding, just about anyone could do what you have done and compete with you tomorrow by lowering their prices and offering the same quality

There is also the risk of customers working directly with the employees behind your back to reduce costs by cutting you out, theft of property, property damage, and injuries on the job, to name a few

The point is that the most important thing for you to do now is develop ways to differentiate yourself from other similar services, make the business unique with a strong brand, and target a specific viable niche market(s) and benchmark against the most successful janitorial businesses globally

You also need to implement best practices in leadership and governance by implementing a board of directors or advisory board, which can help develop strategies and actions to reduce operational risks and enhance competitiveness. These are among the critical steps to franchising or selling the business

Note that anyone who may wish to invest in or purchase your business will be first interested in the market trends, size and sales, profits, and future potential. Even if satisfied with the latter, they may ask: What has this entrepreneur created that no one else can easily copy? What is the customer base, expected average customer lifetime value and brand equity?

Therefore, the key for you is to build yourself or identify a partner with expertise in this area, then create the experience/differentiation strategy based on the niche you want to serve. Thereafter, recruit and train the right people, and create a quality-assurance process to make sure you deliver the same high-standard consistently

Whether you plan to make a quick dollar from the business or are doing it out of passion, process and procedure development and documentation are fundamental in building and scaling any business, especially one you wish to franchise

One love!

Yaneek Page is an entrepreneur, trainer, and creator/executive producer of ‘The Innovators’ TV series

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @yaneekpage

Website: www.yaneekpage.com

Con información de: Jamaica Gleaner