Within the last decade globally leaving no nation in the world out, the rate of unemployment across the globe has soared high with many of the world power government and administration, international bodies and non-governmental organizations all making the provision of jobs and employment for people one of the major and focal point of their objectives. In developing countries too, the effect of unemployment has being a source of challenge for their respective governments. There have been more advocacies for small and medium scale enterprises to be embraced by the teeming youths.
Nigeria is not left out of this global dilemma, as a result of the recession which rocked the world, and also Nigeria years ago, the nation and its ever growing numbers of youths has been plunged into the case shortage of job opportunities, many Nigerians today seem to be looking for opportunities to start their own companies. Searching for jobs in Nigeria has gotten to be more competitive in the wake of the limited numbers of employment opportunities in Nigeria, the various national and state universities, polytechnics and college of education keeps churning out graduates into the labor market with limited among of job opportunities for them. However there is no shortage of business startup ideas, one popular business to start is a commercial or residential cleaning business. These companies can be started relatively quickly and without a lot of start-up capital required. There are various remote jobs in Nigeria that can be easily tapped into with much hassle which can be expanded depending on the amount of energy, resources and commitment channeled towards growing them. The recent wake of global realities which saw to the outbreak of the novel virus, Covid-19 has created the need for various outsourcing jobs, recently the vice president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo submitted the nation economy sustainability plan which was some sort of stimulus package for Nigerians, a move which was reviewed by Mr Debo in the You-tube interview Nigeria Covid-19 Stimulus. The lingering economic situation of the nation has necessitated the need for the youths to look into small and medium scale enterprises. Among the numerous businesses in Nigeria which can be done as earlier mentioned is Home Cleaning business. This is one lucrative business that people are already starting and it has been of great benefit to them as it has not only given them financial sustenance, it has also helped them to be employer of labor as it gives room for expansion. It is one that is very easy to set up in Nigeria. Many of the major Nigerian cities like Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Edo, Kano etc. are filled with people are engaged with work or business that they do not have any other time to do something else. For extremely busy cities like Lagos, it is a good location to try out this line of as the realities of Lagos encourages Home-cleaning service. For the average worker in Lagos, either one who works in the public or the private sector, they spend the most of their day outside their homes as they are either at work or held up in traffic gridlocks for long hours, leaving them with only the weekend to rest and prepare for the new incoming week which leaves them no room or opportunity to engage in other stressful activities such as Home-cleaning which requires a great deal of energy. This at times leaves no other choice for them to employ the services of home- cleaners who will do these jobs on their behalf while they pay the home- cleaners for the services rendered. Adding to this it is not only easy to start this business without employing the services of others, it is easy to expand and get more clients. Jobs like this usually enjoy more referral because when home-cleaners do a good job they can be easily referred to work for a neighbor, relatives or friend.
Cleaning businesses offer a wide range of services, including disinfecting, vacuuming, dusting, tidying up, and floor mopping, and waxing. More recently, cleaning businesses are specializing in CDC recommended procedures to kill the COVID-19 virus. The outbreak of covid-19 has increased the demand for home-cleaners has many people wants to ensure that their home and surrounding is kept clean at all times
The very first step you need to take is to determine if you’d like to create a residential or commercial cleaning business. Your decision here will affect everything else you do, from the financing to the equipment to the marketing.
Residential and Commercial Cleaning Business
As a basic definition, a residential cleaning service specializes in homes and commercial specializes in businesses. But, it gets more complicated. Typically, the residential cleaning business is a lower cost to start; however, commercial can be very lucrative because of the add-on services such as floor waxing, window washing, and deep disinfecting.
There are many positive sides to starting a cleaning company nowadays. Even though it may be too optimistic to start thinking about the potential benefits, you definitely need to consider all the advantages of this industry
Benefits of starting a Home- Cleaning Business in Nigeria
- Low costs to start– This is one of the most important benefit of starting a home-cleaning business in Nigeria. Unlike other business venture which requires a huge capital to start and run, it is not like that with starting and running a home-cleaning business. It is easy to start with a very low capital which makes it easy for people to star.t Basically, the only things you need to get started are a few cleaning products and the passion to succeed.
- A few overhead expenses — there are very few overhead expenses when it comes to cleaning businesses. This means that as a cleaning business owner, you don’t need to rent or buy premises, buy a company vehicle or pay utility bills. Obviously, these can all be standard tasks at a later point — but for starters, you can start with minimal monetary concerns.
- Flexibility- this gives you the liberty and freedom to engage in other things when you are not engaged. When you start and run your own home- cleaning business you are basically your own boss, and this implies that you are free to manage yourself as you desire, set your own meetings, negotiate contract details with your respective clients as you so wish. This also makes it a great fit for a side job gig, whether 3–4 days of the week or mornings only.
- Work from home — another one of the benefit of home- cleaning business startups is that they are usually initiated from homes and garages. The possibility of organizing everything and setting up the model from home even lets you run your cleaning company from your home location in the beginning. The reason for that is simple — no office, shop floor or warehouse is required for the start.
- Little experience required — you don’t have to be the next Steve Jobs of the cleaning industry in order to lead a successful cleaning company. All you need is motivation, determination and hard work to start booking your first clients.
- Massive digital potential — Last but not least is the massive digital potential that the cleaning industry is experiencing nowadays. Thanks to all the project management tools for cleaners, amazing platforms for cleaning companies and very useful tools out there, running your cleaning business can be a breeze — directly from your laptop screen.
While we have the aforementioned benefits associated with starting and running a Home- Cleaning Business, there are also other disadvantages associated with it. They are listed below
Disadvantage of Home-Cleaning Business
- It is tough physical work — Cleaning is a physical job and in the beginning, you need a lot to invest time in making it right, doing repetitive movements on your own and carrying heavy supplies. This is obviously the case only if you don’t hire an experienced cleaning crew from the start.
- The income might be slow at start — getting your first few clients is definitely not easy but seriously — is there an industry where it is? So, it is normal for your income to be slow and you not earning much of the expected money in the first months. However, if you manage your business in the right way and figure out a way to find clients, you are all set up and ready to go.
- It is competitive — there is no doubt that the cleaning industry is not competitive. The truth is, there are so many cleaning businesses nowadays that it is hard to stand out from the competition. However, if you find your unique selling points, we definitely think that the market is going to see them.
- Managing teams can be stressful — your cleaning crew should be your main focus when running a successful cleaning business. Sometimes, there may be ups and downs — and you may not be available to track them or see how they do their jobs.
Tools needed to start your own Home-Cleaning Business in Nigeria.
Vacuum cleaner with attachments
White cloth rags
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Dust pan & brush
Wet mop & bucket
Wet floor signs
Soft Scrub product for sinks
Caddy with handle to keep your supplies in
You must also note that some clients will prefer to provide their own cleaning chemicals if they have particular preferences or if they’re allergic to certain ingredients. Always find out in advance of the job whether this is the case. It’s a good idea to have a supply of basics to hand regardless though just in case what you’re using runs out or if there’s been an oversight and the client isn’t actually supplying their own.
Starting your Home-Cleaning Business in Nigeria
Things to consider
- Know your market. Before starting your home- cleaning business, ensure that you do a thorough survey of what it entails to start a business, to also know the salient market factor of the proposed business you intend starting. For intending home cleaners, the home- cleaning business might seem easy and simple to start, nevertheless do not jump into starting the business without any knowledge or understanding about how the job is run. A very good way to do this is to move with experienced individuals who are already into the business. In doing this, you can leverage on their experience to start and build yours from the scratch.
Also it is important to learn about supply and demand, as well to scope out the competition. You do not want to jump into this headfirst only to find out that there are already ten cleaning services like yours in your area.
- Decide on the type of your business. This is the same as creating a niche for yourself. You can specialize in cleaning houses, commercial buildings or offer specific services (window cleaning, carpet cleaning, car cleaning and so on). It is best to just focus on one of the options rather than go for everything at once. So choose whichever option you like best and roll with it.
- Decide on the size of your business. Depending on the funds in your possession (or how much you would be able to acquire), you can decide between starting small, going big or being somewhere in the middle. However, it is always easier to build up than to scale down, so think about that.
- Choose your business model. While you can build your business from the ground up, you can also consider franchising. This way, you will not have to worry about creating your own brand, but you would still be able to be your own boss.
- Acquire the necessary funds. The good thing about starting a home- cleaning business is that you do not require a huge fund or capital to start. However this also determines on the size of the business you intend starting. Depending on the size and type of your business, you need to calculate how much money you might need to set everything up and where you can get it. If you do not have the necessary amount yourself, consider going for a bank loan or ask some of your friends and relatives to help you out.
- Purchase required equipment. Get the equipment that fits the type of your business. If you are going really small, you might already have all you need at your own home (a vacuum, a mop, a bucket, cleaning products, etc.). If you plan to venture into specialized cleaning services, you can also try renting equipment, as some of it might be too expensive to buy for a ‘new-born’ business owner.
Promoting Your Own Home Cleaning Services in Nigeria
There is no magical element attached to promoting and giving visibility to your business in Nigeria, the basic thing you need to use to achieve these aim are all around you. A proper engagement of these tools and factors will ensure that you have the right and much needed business visibility.
To promote your cleaning business in Nigeria, Africa, or anywhere else around the world, you can use some of the following methods:
- Do a good Job– this is the number one factor that will help you retain the services of your old clients and also bring in new clients. When you do a good job for your clients they will be impressed with your services. When good service delivery is attached to your work it becomes easier for your clients to refer you and tell others about your services. Also some home-cleaners are noted for using this opportunity to cart away the properties of their clients, ensure that in the process of your service delivery, do well to earn the trust of your clients. Do not go about divulging the home details of your respective clients to outsider
- Advertising in local newspapers: The best way to let people know about your business.
- Lettering on Vehicles: You can try it on your cars as it will roam through the city.
- Door hangers: It is the most significant form of advertising as you can place it literally on all the gates of your locality.
- Referral program: it’s the best way to attract customers from existing clients, as they will get rewards while they get you more business.
- Social media: You can advertise your services on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and others to grow your business.
- Business cards: You can share your business card to friends and family and also at local businesses gain more clients.
- Websites: If you get a professional website you can attract more customers through it as people spend most of their time online.
- SEO: Ranking high on Google and other search engines will help you get a whole lot more customers