How to Start a Cleaning Business in Nigeria
It has become general knowledge in Nigeria and a sure fact that the cleaning business has not just come to stay but has continued to experience an unprecedented growth. The cleaning business was viewed formerly as what would thrive only in the western world and not in Africa, let alone Nigeria because of the differences in our culture and sometimes traditions, where it is believed that people ought to be responsible for the cleaning of their properties.
However, with the continuous growth and civilisation being experienced, it has led to the jettisoning of that idea and belief. As the economy grows, more corporations and companies are established, more employments take place, leading to a rise in the need for cleaning services to be outsourced, while day to day business activities continues without been hindered. Also, individuals who spend a lot of their time working to earn income do not wish to be engaged in more work of cleaning the home, which can be monotonous and boring to some.
Homes, offices, hotels, supermarkets and other institutions now look to outsourcing the cleaning responsibility, while they stay focused on the more crucial matters of running the company.
Related Article: Commercial Cleaning Business Plan in Nigeria
Commercial cleaning involves mostly but not entirely the provision of cleaning services to offices and commercial buildings. Commercial cleaning business in Nigeria is very lucrative, looking at the large and growing number of commercial institutions that exists allover the country, albeit, it is one that is very competitive because of commercial cleaning businesses already in existence. Therefore to start on the right path when investing in such a business in Nigeria, one will have to take into considerations some serious points.
This article therefore provides some of the points needed to be considered when venturing into commercial cleaning business in Nigeria.
- Before you start, conduct a market research:
This element is very important to help you understand and be ready to deal with challenges as well as prepare you for opportunities that will come your way, whether in the shorter or longer term. This factor is very important in every business and cannot be overemphasized. A good market research will tell you who the major players are in the business and those who are likely to be your strongest rivals, their rate or cost of cleaning service, and whether they live up to expectation by providing services that match the value for money. In conducting a market research, location is a very important factor to consider, as it will inform you how much of the business already exists in a particular locality and the ratio of commercial to residential buildings in the locality. The less the number of already established cleaning businesses in an area, the higher the chances of delivering a strong competition. Nevertheless, a very strong competition in an already competitive area, is sure to give you that push needed to start.
- Another point to consider is your business model/ business plan:
In taking up a business model, you can either start off as a new business with your own logo, name, e.t.c. which could be time consuming and can take a lot more money, or out could get a permit from an already existing company, gain an edge from their success using their name, logo, e.t.c. and start to get clients, cutting off the initial work for a beginner.
The plan for your business should include both short and long term goals. Your business plan should outline the types of commercial cleaning services you plan to offer, whether sweeping offices, vacuuming, cleaning bathroom e.t.c. or a combination of these services. Your business plan should also contain your future expansion plans, whether by adding new services to already existing ones or spreading to other locations, as well as cost to be incurred in starting up the business.
- Determine your financial strength:
Setting up a commercial cleaning business is one that will certainly be capital intensive, due to the nature of special equipments that will be needed as well as qualified hands that will be employed. A good business plan will therefore give a good and reliable estimate of how much is needed to set up this business. In cases, where you have to take a loan for your investment, a good business plan will give you an edge in securing a loan, especially if the business is low risk.
Your reputation in any business matters a lot. How people view your business will determine whether your business will grow. For a start, your business needs to be presented in a professional manner. Also, you need to employ people that are qualified and have a passion for the business just like you. In other cases where you are employing people totally new to the business, adequate training and supervision should be provided. Anything poorly done will reflect negatively on the business and will put a dent on your reputation.
Feedbacks from clients should be encouraged, as they can serve as testimonials and also help you make adjustments in areas needed. The more your existing clients view you as very reputable, the more people will be referred and your business will grow.
- Promote your cleaning business:
No matter the topnotch services you provide at best rates, clients will not come unless they are aware of your business. How well you make your business known will determine how many first timers you can get.
Here are some methods to consider for promoting your commercial cleaning business in Nigeria.
- Advertise in local newspapers.
- Engrave your business on your vehicle as you roam around the city.
- Use of door hangers is a great way of advertising your business. Door hangers can be left at offices, schools, shops e.t.c.
- Advertise on billboards and advertise using posters.
- Advertise on radio and television.
- Advertising by method of referral, is a sure way to get more customers, as existing clients are offered rewards for referring someone while it helps your business to grow.
- Social media: Your business can also be promoted on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter e.t.c.
- Business cards/flyers: Use of business cards may seem outdated but not so. It is still a very reliable method for advertising business. You can leave your cards or flyers at supermarkets, offices, where they can be picked up or you can have friends and families share them.
- Websites: People spend a lot of time on the internet, and the internet also serves as the first point of contact when people are seeking information 80% of the time. Therefore setting up an adept website will definitely attract more customers to you.
- Your business can also be advertised using SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) as well as letting other professional websites that promote businesses advertise your business, e.g. Jiji.com.
- Lastly, you need to register your business and get it insured. Registering your business makes you a legal operator and eliminates the risk of being clamped down by regulators. It also helps to protect your business against theft of name or logo, as an illegal use can be sued to a court of law.
Insurance on the other hand insures your business against damages and losses, which will see to the continuous running of your business, when and if such a situation is encountered. A registered and insured business always boosts the confidence of clients in a business and can be a massive selling point.
Commercial cleaning business in Nigeria is very lucrative. Though there are certain challenges like non-paying clients, which can be addressed by collecting 70% advance of payment, coping and dealing with competition and coping with increased responsibility, yet if properly managed will remain profitable to the owner. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria will experience a 2.1% growth in the economy in 2018. A growth in the economy will see to the continuity of organizations and more establishments, as a growing g economy promotes investments. Therefore it follows that an upward movement of the economy will attract and promote investments. As more institutions are established, so will the need for keeping the establishments clean from day to day be outsourced to enable staffs carryout their duties efficiently and effectively. The commercial cleaning business therefore, is one that is worth investing in.
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