The cleaning industry has two primary market groups: consumer and commercial. While it’s recommended that you decide on a niche and concentrate on building a business that will serve your chosen market, it’s entirely realistic to expect to be able to serve multiple markets successfully.
The cleaning business is yet to be fully explored in Nigeria. The market is wide to the extent that satisfying it is doubtful. A prospective entrepreneur of this business will have to decide his target niche. Some established niches include:
- Commercial Premises
- Industrial/Manufacturing facilities
- Medical facilities (i.e clinics, hospitals, mortuaries & orthopedic facilities)
The entrepreneur will also have to decide his scale of operations. Thus, he may want to operate at small, medium or large scale levels. Obviously, the scale of operation will be decided by the availability of operational resources.
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. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.
When you are starting a cleaning service, you must be aware you are rendering a service and not a product. Thus, you must know that during marketing the business should be sold out as a service, a method different from marketing a product, although it is more difficult to market a service-oriented business. Part of a good marketing plan is to convince the customer that you have a way to solve their problem.
Estimated Start-up Cost: N150, 000 – N205, 000
Potential Profit: N800, 000 – N1, 200, 000
Typical Fees/Prices: N250 – N1, 000/sqm depending on the type of service rendered. Charges should be competitive. Simply charge what you are worth.
Advertising Options: Advertising in the papers, one-on-one sales/marketing, flyers, business cards, door hangers.
Qualifications: On the job training is required.
Facilities/Equipment needed: Vacuums, floor, carpet & upholstery care equipment, cleaning chemicals, dispensers such as soap, toilet papers & hand towels, green cleaning products for tougher stains, odor control products, micro-fibre clothes that comes in varying colours, flat mops, trash can liners.
Staff required: Unskilled labours would do for a start but as the business expands in size in terms of customer base, a professional that will handle the accounting aspect can be introduced into the system. Starting can thus be with about three (3) staff including the entrepreneur himself.