This recession, combined with the possibility of a “double-dip“, is good for one thing: entrepreneurship. Workers, laid off and facing the possibility of months, even years of un-employment, turn to doing it themselves. Being their own bosses. And that’s a good thing. We’ve been told time and again how small business is the fuel that drives our economy, right? That’s the good news.
We were those people back in late 2005. Laid off (Mike for the third time in two years, Mardi after 20 years with the same company) and tired of looking for work, we decided we could run a small business. And that’s the way it usually begins, isn’t it? The steps you take after you make that decision are key.
When it comes to cleaning businesses, there are a couple of ways you can start one. There is the Nike method (just do it), and there is what I call the right way.
You learn everything there is to know (this process usually continues for the entire time you are in business), you file papers with the State to establish whatever business entity you are going to be (LLC, Inc., Sole-Proprietorship, etc.), and you get yourself insured and bonded. You learn the newest methods of cleaning, involve yourself with others in the business so that you can keep current with trends.
Those that choose the first method can see some real success. If they choose this method and don’t collect sales tax or pay their employees cash and don’t claim it, they can reap big profits. They can also afford to charge much less than the other companies out there.
Check out Craigslist and you will see headlines such as; “Clean You House $16.00/Hour”. This is a great price, considering that the industry average is somewhere between $25.00 – $35.00 per hour, per cleaner.
The good news is that this makes for a competitive business for the consumer.
The bad news, is that most of these companies won’t be around in five years. The owners will find new jobs in their former careers or will get frustrated over a lack of success and move on to something new.
Of course there will always be economic downturns that will ensure fresh opportunities for consumers and entrepreneurs alike. And depending on how you look at it, that’s the good news.