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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Starting a Cleaning Business - Preparing a Business Plan

While not essential, a business plan can be extremely useful to entrepreneurs going into their own small cleaning business. Even if you don't require a plan to convince partners, investors or banks that your idea is solid, a plan will help you to confirm this in your own mind and give you a central place to compile your research and answer your questions. Most importantly, a business plan will be a blueprint for your success and allow you to grow in the right direction and to meet the ambitious goals that you set for yourself. The following sets out the main components of a good plan.

1) Summary - The basic idea behind your business, details on the local cleaning industry, details on your personal background and a summary of your plan.

2) Company Mission - Set out the philosophy, values and standards that you want your company to live up to.

3) Basic Company Details - Set out a proposed company location and name.

4) Goals - Set out the objectives that you have in the short, medium and long term.

5) Start-up Requirements - set out a detailed list of start-up expenses and details of where the necessary funding will come from.

6) Ownership - who are the people who will have an ownership stake in the new cleaning business?

7) Legal Structure - will you incorporate into a limited liability company right away or start off as a sole-proprietor or a partnership.

8) Services - List out the cleaning services that you will offer to clients.

9) Market Analysis - Report on local demograhics and your research into what local competitors are doing. State why you think opportunities exist within the market and how you can go about catering to them in a way that is different from all the other cleaners.

10) Marketing Strategy - plan for the development of your brand, consider how you will package your services to offer maximum value, propose a pricing strategy and examine advertising and marketing opportunities.

11) Management Structure - Set out a management hierarchy so that owners and investors understand exactly who is responsible for decision making.

12) Financial Analysis - Estimate operating revenues and costs and set them out in spreadsheets over a hypothetical time period of several years. You will then be able to estimate profits and identify a breakeven point. You can also make spreadsheets for several different outcomes, both optimistic and pessimistic in order to understand the best and worst case scenarios.

A business plan will help you to be organized and to stay focused on your long term goals. Start your cleaning business off right with a great business plan.


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