Are you interested in starting a commercial cleaning company?
Before you can do that, you need to write a commercial cleaning business plan.
Writing a business plan will help you:
- Define your business’s core values and objectives
- Set goals
- Plan financial requirements
- Secure capital from investors
A business plan is a complex document and takes time to compile. We wrote this guide to make it easier for you to write a business plan for your new commercial cleaning business.
What to include in a business plan
In this section, you should answer the following questions about your business:
- How are you going to structure your company?
- In which areas will your business operate?
- Which products or services will your business provide?
A mission statement is a short summary of your business’ purpose and goals.
It should reflect:
- The image that you want your business to convey
- The quality of your products or services
- The relationships you want to establish with your clients, suppliers, employees, and community
- How your business will benefit the marketplace
As its name implies, this section should describe your business’ core values.
Your core values are an extension of your mission statement and help distinguish your business from the competition.
When deciding on core values, you’ll want them to be timeless and applicable across different industries. You should be proud of your business’ core values and stick to them even if it means suffering a competitive disadvantage.
You’ll want to include both your short-term and long-term goals in the business objectives section.
Write the first few objectives that come to mind — you can always revise this section later.
In this section, you’ll want to get specific about the types of cleaning services you’re going to provide, as well as why the market needs them.
You should also include information on how your services differ from those offered by the competition.
The market analysis section is where you present evidence that there is a gap in the market that your business can fill.
You should include information on market size and the strengths and weaknesses of your competition in this section.
If there are any external factors (e.g., political, economic, social, or technological) that could affect your business or the cleaning industry as a whole, make sure to mention those here as well.
Your business plan also needs to include information on how you’re going to market your business.
You should present this in the form of a marketing plan that outlines your target audience, unique selling proposition, and the marketing methods you plan on using to promote your business and get more clients.
Learn more about creating a marketing plan for your cleaning business here.
In this section, you’ll need to describe how you’re going to provide your services.
Go through all the steps in your service cycle, answering the following questions:
- How will a customer place an order?
- How will you assign staff to a particular job?
- What equipment will you need to complete the job?
Matthew Baratta, Vice President of Operations at Daimer Industries, notes that one of the biggest mistakes is buying the wrong equipment:
“Too often, we see that new businesses want to purchase outsized machines…there’s no need to purchase a certain piece of equipment unless you have a specific growth model that would call for larger equipment down the road.”
Make sure to address these questions:
- How long will it take you to complete a job?
- How and when will you invoice customers?
This section should also include information on your supply chain. Describe where you’ll be purchasing equipment and supplies needed to complete jobs.
It’s smart to list a backup supplier as well.
You’ll also need a section describing your financial plan in detail.
The financial plan for your business should include information on how you’re going to price your services, as well as anticipated income and expenses.
This will most likely be the most complex part of your business plan, so make sure you spend the time to get it right. You should also review your financial plan every six to twelve months and make any necessary revisions.
In this section, you’ll want to include any additional documents that can provide more information on your services, marketing plan, or any other part of your business.
While you don’t need to have an appendix in your business plan, banks or lenders will often ask you to include information like your personal or business credit history in this section.
The executive summary is a brief overview of your business and the plan itself. As such, it should appear at the beginning of your business plan.
There’s a reason we listed it last, though.
Write this section at the very end, once you’ve fleshed out all the other parts of your business plan in detail. You need the other information in your business plan to write this part.
In most cases, the executive summary should fit onto a single page and include the following information:
- Which cleaning services will your business provide?
- Who is your target customer?
- What market problem will your business solve?
- Who is your competition?
- What makes your business and services unique?
- Who will run your business?
- How will customers learn more about your business?
- What is your business’ current and projected financial situation?
- Does your business need funding? If it does, how much?
Organizing the plan
Once you’ve written all the sections of your business plan, it’s time to arrange them into a sequence that makes sense. In most cases, it should look like this:
- Cover letter
- Title page
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- Company profile
- Mission statement
- Core values
- Business objectives
- Market analysis
- Marketing plan
- Management strategy
- Financial plan
3 expert tips for writing a commercial cleaning business plan
William R. Griffin is the president of Cleaning Consultant Services, Inc. He has more than 30 years of experience in the cleaning industry.
Here’s his advice on how to write an effective commercial cleaning business plan:
1. Keep it simple and revise often
“You need a written business plan, but keep it simple and to the point. Start with a draft and expect to revise it several times.”
2. A first draft doesn’t need to be polished, just detailed
“To begin with, don’t worry about punctuation, grammar, or spelling. Focus on ideas, goals, and reality.”
3. Work with others
“Work for someone else first, if you can, to learn the ropes from the inside out while getting paid for it…Consider buying an existing business, if you have the money; this way, you have income and support from the start.”
This last point is crucial. A commercial cleaning business plan is a complex document that takes a considerable amount of time to complete.
However, you don’t need to tackle it all on your own!