How to start and market a cleaning company in South Africa?

Considering the number of cleaning opportunities that exist within South Africa, starting a cleaning company is actually a good idea or plan. Cleaning business opportunities are abundant no doubt about that but to succeed you need to apply a methodical approach complimented with sound and powerful business tactics. The purpose of this blog post is to nudge people/entrepreneurs who want to start a cleaning company in South Africa in the right direction with a particular emphasis on marketing i.e winning clients for your start-up cleaning company.

1. COMPANY REGISTRATION & BUSINESS NAME

First, you need to decide on a company name.  You will want to pick something professional since you are dealing with professional people that you will have to sell your services to.  I don’t recommend using a “cutesy” name.  This will turn off many of those professionals that will be hiring you.  Choose something that shows what you are made of.  The second is to register your company to a (Pty) Ltd with your chosen name. When you register your cleaning company it automatically gets registered for tax with SARS which in turn issues a tax income certificate for your company. You will be able to open a bank account for your company putting you in great position to benefit from the many financial services offered to business owners. There are many benefits of registering a company, in my next blog I will write about it. If you are wondering how you can register your cleaning company you can check out the services we offer on our website or simply email me at info@joyhost.co.za.

COMPANY REGISTRATION PACKAGES

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2. HOW MUCH WILL YOU CHARGE YOUR CLIENTS?

This forms the backbone of your business. You first have to determine how much you are going to charge your clients.  This doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it out to be.  There doesn’t have to be some magical formula.  You can make up one if you want, but the best thing to do is determine what you need your hourly rate to be to make the kind of profit you want to make.  Don’t forget to factor in things like expenses (transportation, , maintenance, supplies, etc.).  Once you determine your hourly rates, verify if your target market can afford it. If you don’t know, ask them directly. Once you figure out your hourly rate, you will have to figure out how many hours it will take for you to complete the cleaning job.  Many factors will determine this.  What kind of floor, how many rooms, how large is the building, how many employees, how many bathrooms. This will be a learning curve for you to get your calculations correct, but don’t worry.

3. CHOOSE YOUR TARGET MARKET

Do you want to clean small buildings or large buildings?  Do you want to keep this business small or do you want to hire employees to do the work for or with you?  This will determine what sort of buildings you are going to target.  There are many different areas of commercial cleaning.  You can do small buildings such as banks, gyms, day cares, mom and pop shops or convenience stores.  You can do small office buildings or large skyscraper buildings and schools.  There are many options here.  You will need to decide what you want to do.

4. MARKETING & ADVERTISING YOUR CLEANING COMPANY

Steps 1-3 showed you how to start the backbone of your business.  Next we will discuss the operations part of your business such as advertising and marketing. I am going to talk about 2 forms of marketing which are Offline and Online Marketing.

4.1. Online Marketing

Get a modern website for your company

Your digital marketing journey begins with you getting a modern website for your company. More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie. Before your clients decide to do business with you they first check to see if you have an online presence. Without a website you will appear like you are not legitimate. You also need to get Business Emails I mean emails with your company domain e.g info@yourcompanyname.co.za Its very unprofessional of you to be sending potential clients emails using your gmail or yahoo accounts, there is nothing wrong but it definitely raises red flags about your attitude to business. You do not need to break the bank to get a website and business emails check out our website design packages HERE I recommend the website package shown below in the pricing table. Its a package which results in a modern website and it has all the features a modern website must have.

Modern website package

R895 / year
  • Great package to begin your digital marketing journey. Feature rich package
  • Personal Client Support
  • 3-15 page website
  • 30 Business Emails
  • FREE .co.za domain
  • Access to Admin Area to maintain your website
  • Social media integration with auto post
  • Google Analytics
  • Separate blog layout
  • 5x Forms (Contact, Booking etc)
  • Google Maps
  • Basic SEO
  • 1 year hosting included (No monthly fees)

Invest in digital marketing skills

Most of your potential clients can be targeted and found on many online platforms. As the entrepreneur behind the business you must equip yourself with online marketing tools that will help you to market your company online and win new business. You need to gain the following skills

  1. To set up your own marketing campaigns on Facebook, Google Adwords etc
  2. Google Analytics: Learn a Data-Driven Approach to Growth
  3. Key concepts of a digital marketing strategy, new user acquisition, customer retention, and analytics
  4. You need to learn how you can use content marketing on your own non-paid channels like Facebook Page and Instagram
  5. Different organic tactics like Search Engine Optimization
  6. To set up and run email and re-targeting campaigns using Mailchimp and Facebook.
  7. Managing Facebook group marketing effectively
  8. SEO checklist

With these online marketing skills and your website you will be better positioned to reach many potential customers per day as well as generating sales leads. We use these simple tools and skills and on a single day we process hundreds of enquiries that come through our website excluding other channels of engagement like WhatsApp, Facebook etc. We offer digital marketing coaching clinics where we teach our clients to market online effectively. Many website development companies will just build you a website and expect you to do the rest.  We go a step further and teach you how to generate traffic to your website and win new business.  Your website is an opportunity for your business to boost sales and we aim to empower you with the tools and knowledge that can assist you in taking advantage of the growth opportunity.

DIGITAL MARKETING COACHING CLINICS

Learn how to market your business online

Many website development companies will just build you a website and expect you to do the rest.  We go a step further and teach you how to generate traffic to your website and win new business

Offline Marketing

The following is a list of the many things you can do to market your cleaning company offline

  1. Flyers / Mailings / Cold Calling
  2. Phone Book
  3. Newspaper
  4. Magazine
  5. Car Magnets
  6. Business Card Distribution
  7. Valupak
  8. Word of Mouth
  9. Register your company with the National Contract Cleaners Association (NCCA) Read about the benefits of joining NCCA, click Here. This is very IMPORTANT!

5. CLEANING SUPPLIES

Make sure you are very cautious about your cleaning supplies.  This is an ongoing expense, so make sure you purchase quality, but cheap products.  There are janitorial stores locally where you can get your products, but the internet will be your best friend here. Buying microfiber cloths that you can wash will save you a lot of money over paper towels.  You can buy your equipment used.  Just look on Gumtree or your local paper.  You have to look at your health as well when you make your decisions.  It has been found that backpack vacuums are the best for commercial buildings.  You may also want to look at green cleaning so you are not inhaling fumes while cleaning.

6. MEETING YOUR CLIENTS AND BIDDING

You have to do a free estimate. Most importantly, arrive on time neat in appearance. You do not need to wear a suit and tie, but a nice polo top with nice pants would be great. Make sure you are clean shaven, hair is neat and your nails are clean. Then you would walk through the building with pen and paper in hand. Write down what you see room by room. Bring measuring tape with you to determine room size. They have those rolling tapes that are perfect for these. Write down the type of flooring, number of desks, number of stalls and urinals in the bathroom, etc. Go over what your client would like/not like you to do and ask what they would like you to do that they current or previous clean does or does not do. You want to make them feel that you are willing to make their lives easier. Buildings do not like to go through cleaner after cleaner. After you are done with the walk through thank them for their time and inform them of when you can provide them with the bid. Don’t take longer than a couple of days to compile a bid for them. If you are good enough, you could do it right then and there to put them on the spot. Make sure you bring your bid papers with you just in case.

7. FINALLY

I wish you all the best and I believe you will succeed. If you need more information on how best you can market your business. Please make contact and write an email to info@joyhost.co.za If you have any comments/ideas regarding this blog post please share them so that we can add your ideas on the blog post. We seek to create a comprehensive guide your ideas are most welcome


There Are 2 Comments

Prudence Sengo on 16 Mar, 2017

I have supplieeaning material to governments clients before. I have done grass cutting/gardening . Right now I would like to register a cleaning company for corporate,outdoor,medical waste,industrial Cleaning in mines,workshops,construction sites moving of rubble. Will obviously need help with marketing for clientele.

JoyHost on 16 Mar, 2017

Hi Prudence, thanks for making contact. I will looking forward to hearing from you and also assist in sharpening your marketing efforts.

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