Kami's House Cleaning Service - home based business profile
House cleaning isn't one of my favorite activities, and I'm sure it isn't one of yours either, but it has to be done. If you don't like to clean house, then perhaps you might be looking for someone like Kami, our featured entrepreneur.
I visited with Kami's Cleaning in Cheyenne recently to get a good look at a cleaning service run by a spunky gal that has a good spirit and offers much more to her customers than just housekeeping. The business is operated out of her home, to reduce overhead costs, and it's very portable.
Kami has regular customers and takes on irregular work too. Most of her work is local, but she's willing to travel as well.
She's a one woman show with associates that help as needed. Let's take a close look at this house cleaning service to see what it's all about.
This isn't your ordinary house cleaning service. This is a home based business that offers a wide range of personal services and even performs odd jobs to meet customer needs. Here's a sample:
- patching and painting
- cleaning gutters
- cutting grass
- window washing
- washing cars
- assisting the elderly
Although the core business is house cleaning, this is a nice list of services to complement the basic offering. I imagine that there are many people out there that would appreciate a clean house and help with odds jobs as well.
The broadened services allows more of a one-stop shopping approach to selecting a service provider. I've always believed that if you propose options, it gives your customers more opportunities to select you as their service provider.
The overwhelming majority of business for Kami's Cleaning is from regular customers - that's a good thing. She also has a number of one-time jobs that usually take the form of:
- move ins and move outs
- party setup and cleanup
A typical approach to getting a job started is to speak with the customer and give them an estimate over the phone, and then adjust the estimate as necessary if the situation requires it.
It all started when...
The business started in 1995 as a sole proprietorship. Although it's been operated in various states as a part-time endeavor, it's now based in Cheyenne, Wyoming and operated as a full-time business. Through various stages of development, Kami has worked her way up to a home-based business that keeps her busy 50 to 60 hours during the week, with some weekend work if necessary.
So, Kami has some nice things going for her - longevity and a robust customer base that keeps her busy. Length of time in business is important to customers as well as lenders, and having a robust customer base is good for income.
Having too much work to schedule and do is always a good problem to have. No matter the demand, this house cleaning service always manages to get the work done.
How the business grows...
Word of mouth is the primary source of new business for this house cleaning service. People around Cheyenne refer Kami's cleaning to other folks because of the good work she does.
Advertising in the local trading papers is also used to get new business. About 75% of her business is from referrals, and 25% comes from advertising. This clearly shows that people are more comfortable using someone that is known to someone else.
Our lesson is clear - good work begets more work.
Kami's Cleaning in Cheyenne also distributes fliers by hand. It's a good way to get to know people, and it's an inexpensive form of advertising.
Benefits of the business...
The benefits of this house cleaning business are summed up rather well by Kami when she says,
"My reason for going into business is that I like seeing my work appreciated. I love the independence of working my own hours. The smiles I see on the faces of my clients when they come home to a clean house is well worth the effort. I just love the idea that I am my own boss."
I think the thing that's best about being your own boss is that the boss is always a nice person who is very understanding when you need to take time off. Wouldn't it be nice if we all had a boss like that?
Resources you'll need...
A business like this requires cleaning supplies, small appliances like a vacuum cleaner, and other resources like rags, brushes, buckets, brooms and dustpans. It seems like a lot, but it all fits easily into a car or truck.
The products used by Kami's Cleaning of Cheyenne are all kid and pet friendly.
Having her own supplies means she always knows that she has what she needs. She uses several large buckets and carriers to organize her supplies and keep them handy.
Much of the potential for income in a house cleaning business like this will depend on the marketplace, your competition, and how much effort you put into it. Expect something in the range of $25,000 to $45,000 for a full time effort.
Be aware that there are costs associated with a house cleaning business, and these will chip away at that gross revenue figure. Costs in this type of business could include:
- equipment repair and replacement
And, I almost forgot, you'll probably need to spend a little money so you and your staff have some sort of uniform to identify you as part of the house cleaning business. When you see this visor coming, you'll know your house is about to be thoroughly cleaned.
Challenges to overcome...
Kami notes that the biggest challenge is her competition calling her, posing as prospective customers, to see if they can get information about her pricing structure. As it turns out, she has been successful in competing with the traditional corporate cleaning services, and winning customers away from them.
That's something to brag about.
And, if that's the most challenging thing in the marketplace, then I think this house cleaning service is really going to be successful.
In addition to taking work away from established house cleaning services, Kami also enjoys the idea that she is helping others by doing a good job.
"My satisfaction comes from customers calling me to let me know how they adore their house when they come home from work. It makes me feel great knowing that I've done an excellent job. I feel proud and it encourages me to offer my services to others that don’t have the time to make their home as they would like it to be."
I think just running your own business is quite an achievement. Getting such positive feedback is wonderful icing on the cake.
If you're looking for house cleaning in Cheyenne, I think Kami would be a good person to call.
Message from our featured entrepreneur...
In hindsight, Kami thinks she would have been better off diving into this as a full-time endeavor, rather than starting it as a part-time effort and then migrating it into a full-time business. I've heard that a lot from other business owners - they wish they had started sooner.
Nevertheless, she feels that her success has been attributable to her faith, her friends and her family. Having a support structure in place before diving into your own business is always a good idea. At a minimum, you have to have someone cheering you on - even if it's only yourself.
Done with House Cleaning, back to Honest Home Based Businesses