Sources such as Entrepreneur have long rated Atlanta one of the best places to start a new business. That’s good news for those interested in starting a cleaning company. Not only is Atlanta a smart place to begin a small business venture, but plenty of other small businesses are opening there that will need cleaning services.
Name your business. Choose a name that tells potential customers you are in the business of cleaning small offices.
Write a business plan. Specify what customers you will target, who your competitors will be, what services you will offer, how much you will charge and how you will market your business. This will help you prepare for your business' future and will be critical if you need financing or buyers.
Create a start-up budget and a budget for your first year of operation. This should be part of your business plan. A small office cleaning company will need to purchase cleaning equipment and supplies as well as insurance and marketing materials.
Obtain financing. This may be as simple as withdrawing money from your savings account, or you may need to apply for a small business loan. Other options include borrowing against real property that you own (such as your house), borrowing from friends and family members and recruiting a partner.
Decide whether you want to incorporate. Cleaning businesses can be classified as a corporation, LLC, sole proprietorship or partnership. Each designation offers specific protections and tax advantages, and each requires you to submit specific paperwork. You may wish to consult an attorney and/or financial advisor about your options.
Determine whether your business would be in the jurisdiction of Fulton County, DeKalb County or the City of Atlanta. The address used to file your paperwork will determine your jurisdiction. Complete a business license application from the appropriate authority and present it, along with your driver’s license or other identification and proof of residency (such as a lease agreement, property deed or utility bill). Pay all required fees.
Purchase insurance. At a minimum, cleaning companies should have liability insurance so they are covered if they accidentally damage a client’s property. If you will be using a vehicle, you must insure it as well.
Hire employees, if you need them. Check with the Georgia Department of Labor to ensure that you are following all labor laws and laws regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
Market your company. Print business cards to give to clients and potential clients. Consider creating a website, joining the Chamber of Commerce and attending networking events. Give out business cards to small businesses in your area.
Offering a promotion such as a percentage off or a free cleaning after five paid cleanings can be a great way to get new customers.
- cleaning image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com