How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

“If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations”

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.

Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Do not sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.

Magnetic Signs or Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use the vinyl lettering. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.

Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would suggest investing in some professional flyers. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.

Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.

Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.

Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone that has a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them research your business in their own time.

Cleaning Products: By using all natrual products, you can offer your clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals. Clients love the natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.

Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.

Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they do not have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.

What to Charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.”

Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won’t have to worry about added expenses.

No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.

A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren’t making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.

New Construction Cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in.

Insurance and Bonding. You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. You

Hiring Help If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.

Growing Your Business You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.

Preformulation and Formulation Development

Optimizing Conformational Stability and Biological ActivityMaintenance of the native three dimensional conformation is critical for the long term stability and biological activity of biotherapeutics. Biophysical characterization techniques such as circular dichroism, differential scanning calorimetry, FTIR, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence spectroscopy provide a mechanism to assess the conformational and thermodynamic stability of proteins under a range of formulation conditions. These tools allow development scientists to differentiate various various buffer, pH, ionic strength, and excipient conditions, and identify the conditions that confer the optimum environment for the therapeutic protein.

Utilizing Advanced Statistical Design for Preformulation Development Preformulation development includes statistical design of experiments, allowing simultaneous evaluation of multiple factors and evaluation of interactions between factors. It is crucial to use advanced biophysical characterization techniques to evaluate the conformational stability of large molecules in addition to traditional methods for evaluation of chemical stability.

A large molecule preformulation development program typically includes the following activities:
Evaluate the effect of pH, buffer type, and ionic strength on solubility.
Evaluate the effect of various excipients on improving solubility if necessary.
Evaluate effects of pH, buffer type, and excipients on conformational stability.
Evaluate the effect of pH, buffers, excipients and ionic strength on physical and chemical stability.
Utilize a statistical design approach to identify the optimal conditions for structural, physical and chemical stability.
Perform forced degradation to elucidate product degradation pathways and to demonstrate the stability-indicating capacity of the analytical methods.
Forced degradation studies typically include restricted oxidation, deamidation, aggregation (via agitation), and / or acid / base hydrolysis.
Evaluation of heat stress, photo stress, and freeze thaw are also performed.

Looking for information on Analytical Development and other related resources?

Formulation Development for Numerous Dosage FormsFormulation development includes dosage forms for parenteral, oral topical and inhalation administration, including liquids, gels, suspensions, emulsions and lyophilized powders. Formulation scientists are highly skilled in the development of the dosage forms most relevant to biotherapeutics, with particular expertise in lyophilization and development of stable liquid formulations for proteins. High concentration antibody formulation development for subcutaneous administration requires particular emphasis on viscosity and tonicity. Lyophilization cycle development is performed in the context of the unique thermodynamic properties of the API to deliver an efficient, scalable, transferable process resulting in optimum product stability and reconfiguration characteristics. Formulation development capabilities also include:

Effect of excipients on solubility, tonicity, and viscosity Evaluation of antioxidant and conservative compatibility Container-closure compatibility Long term and accelerated stability studies.

Advantages of Formulation Development Approach. This outlined approach to preformulation and formulation development result in significant savings to the client by eliminating the variables associated with suboptimal formulations. Preclinical development efforts in PK, PD, ADME and toxicology occur with confidence that additional uncontrollable variables from unstable formulations are not introduced into the study. This benefit extends far into clinical trials as well, where assessment of toxicity, dosage levels and efficiency are substantially influenced by an optimal formulation that preserves the three dimensional conformation of the therapeutic protein. By eliminating uncontrolled stability variables, the focus is placed solely on the therapeutic performance and clinical outcome.

Toronto’s Real Estate Market – The Sky is Not Falling!

I am sure you are just as tired as I am about hearing how terrible the current state of the real estate market is in Toronto, but is it really that bad?

No, the sky is not falling but there is no doubt that the Toronto real estate market has been affected by the US economic slowdown and because of this consumer confidence has also been affected … and some realtors have had to look for a "real job. "

The economic downturn in the states has no doubt had an impact on our economy. We are seeing fewer transactions occurring, (4,120 resale transactions in Feb '09 compared to 6,015 in Feb '08 according to TREB). Along with a reduction in the number of transactions that have occurred, average prices have also come down in comparison to the same time last year. According to TREB, in central Toronto the average price has gone from $ 404,202 (Jan, 2008) to $ 343,632 (Jan, 2009). Homes are also sitting on the market on average longer than the same time last year but what did we really expect? Did we really think last years wacky market of multiple offers and inflated prices would survive another year?

What does this real estate market mean to a Buyer or Seller in Toronto?

This is great news for buyers! This market is a blessing for first time buyers or those wanting home ownership but just could not afford it in the past. The declining average prices and the unbelievably low interest rates are a great combination! It's a Buyers market, so Buyers take advantage of this opportunity … it's a great time to buy! For sellers this type of market means pricing right and putting in extra effort to make sure your property shows at its potential. In the peak of the market, properties could sell the day they were put up for sale, now properties sit for longer but will still sell if priced right.

As we know, the real estate market is seasonal. As the spring market approaches all ready there is more activity in the city core than in the previous month. Just last week I was apart of two multiple offer situations in North York. Generally speaking the Toronto Real estate market tends to pick up in late spring and then begins its descend in July. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission is forecasting that Toronto will see its 6th or 7th best year in history. They are hiring for 75,000 sales in 2009. The next few months will be a great indicator of the state of the Toronto Real estate market. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Learning How to Increase Vertical Leap – Important Information You Should Know

When athletes are learning how to increase vertical leap they are often bombarded with pages of information that results in a brain overload! When we are trying to learn something new often we go out trying to find out as much information as we possible can about the subject. In this case we would go out and try to find out as much as we can about how to increase your vertical jump. When it comes to learning how your body works when you jump and what muscle areas and energy you need to increase your ability to jump many athletes get confused from conflicting information. Don’t worry, I was at that stage once before as well where I was trying to sort through the pages and pages of information that I had found out about how to increase vertical leap. Oh, and don’t forget the shelves of books and reams of information scattered across my desk.

When it comes to working out one of the important factors is to have good nutrition. Did you know that when you are training your body it is using carbohydrates and proteins to fuel your body. But what happens once it runs out of these fuels? It starts to break down your muscles and use them as an energy source. This is why it is important to have a healthy, balanced and nutritional diet to prevent you from losing muscle power instead of gain it.

A common question I am asked about how to increase vertical jump is if hereditary factors plays a role. Yes some people are just naturally gifted jumpers because of their fast twitch muscle fiber to slow twitch muscle fiber ratio. The more fast twitch muscle fibers you have the more efficiently you are able to create force in a minimal amount of time. However, when it comes to this ratio you may not be able to change the fibers. However, you can change how quickly to recruit the generate power and also how much force they can generate. So realistically, if you think about hereditary factors, it does not play a major role in how high a person can jump.

Another factor that many athletes don’t know about when learning how to increase vertical jump is that there are different types of strength that affect how well you can recruit muscles to generate force to jump. When learning how to increase vertical jump we can split strength into 3 sub categories of absolute/limit strength, explosive strength and reactive strength. Absolute/limit strength is the foundation of all strength and is often the one that needs to be improved first before any of the other strengths. When we are learning how to increase vertical jump we need to focus on doing minimal reps with maximum effort because we are trying to train our explosive muscles, not our endurance muscles.