How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget

“If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations”

First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.

If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.

Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.

Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You will not get a hundred clients overnight.

Obtaining Those First Clients The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quit capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.

References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.

When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.

Advertising Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.

Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Do not sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.

Magnetic Signs or Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use the vinyl lettering. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.

Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would suggest investing in some professional flyers. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.

Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.

Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.

Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.

Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone that has a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them research your business in their own time.

Cleaning Products: By using all natrual products, you can offer your clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals. Clients love the natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.

Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.

Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they do not have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you do not have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.

What to Charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.”

Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won’t have to worry about added expenses.

No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.

A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren’t making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.

New Construction Cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in.

Insurance and Bonding. You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. You

Hiring Help If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.

Growing Your Business You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.

Rebuild Your Credit With A Prepaid Credit Card

It can be pretty tough when your credit is bad and it is next to impossible to get credit when you need it. Most major credit card companies will not talk to you, and a lender – well, forget about it. There is a way, though, out of the tough situation with a prepaid credit card. Here is what you can do with a prepaid credit card to help rebuild your credit score.

Need A Bad Credit Rating

One of the best things about a prepaid credit card is that it was designed for people with bad credit. In fact, that is one of the qualifications. There will not be any check on your credit rating, or your employment. Anyone can get one of these credit cards, but you will need to deposit a cash amount equal to the credit limit you want. This lets you know that it operates on a debit basis – no actual credit is given.

Get A Card That Reports To A Credit Bureau

Not many prepaid credit cards actually report to a credit bureau. That is, however, the kind of card that you want to get. While others make having cash handy, it really will not help you (or anyone with bad credit) in the long run.

Watch The Fees

Prepaid credit cards often come with a number of fees. You should compare one card with another in order to get the fewest fees. In order to get a prepaid credit card that reports to a credit bureau, you will probably have to pay an annual fee – could be as high as $ 100.

Look For Benefits

Most prepaid cards do not come with any benefits, but some do. You can get points, like on a regular credit card, that are useable for a few benefits – like free phone time, and more.

No Credit Card Abuse

Another good thing about these credit cards is that you can never go over your limit, or have to pay any late fees or interest. (Hey, this is sounding better all the time). This means that if it reports to a credit bureau, that it would be impossible to get a lower score than what you may already have with this kind of card.

Easily Put Cash On Your Card

Most prepaid cards will allow you to easily put credit on it from just about anywhere. You can even put your paycheck onto it by Direct Deposit.

Use It Like A Credit Card

A number of these prepaid credit cards can be used in the same way as a credit card. You can set up automatic bill payments, purchase things online, or over the phone. If you want this feature, however, be sure that the ad says that you can do this.

Like any other credit card, you will want to compare features and fees in order to find the best prepaid credit card for your needs. While most of them are similar, the fees vary broadly. Since no qualifications are needed, why not get the best?

Learn The Steps To a Successful E-Commerce Business

Have you ever imagined living a life without cars which means trekking long distances, without tractors and the likes which means tilling the soil with hoes, without basically the things that’ll make living easier and enjoyable but all thanks to technology and its inventions we have everything at our finger tips. And yes this has widened our horizon and everyone thinks it’s amazing owning a business cause once technology is involved, it can be swift and interesting.

We have various kind of businesses that have thrived and survived but our focus here is E-commerce and what is entailed setting up such. Its true there are many benefits that come with owning a business like being called a C.E.O or M.D, having that big catchy brand name, great siting of business premises with its frivolities, flamboyance and of course the most sought after which is the ‘steady profit and income’. But many a times, focus is lost as to the issues and difficulties encountered alongside the startup, let’s have a quick overview of e-commerce.

What Is E-commerce?

Have you at one point in time purchased shoes or clothes via the internet, sold your phone or gadget using your laptops or even had one or two bank transactions using the online method? If yes, you’ve taken part in e-commerce, if no then stay tuned as it’s served you now. E-commerce is an abbreviation of electronic commerce which can be defined as a platform, method or business model established for sellers and buyers for the sole purpose of carrying out business transactions of buying and selling through electronic medium. And stores that function by selling their products online are referred to as electronic commerce (e-commerce) stores and we have them around us. This platform allows customers to successfully exchange goods and services without the time or distance barrier coming between the parties involved and this has helped bring about good customer base and fostered unity across the globe.

Starting-up Your Successful E-commerce Business.

Starting up a successful e-commerce has a lot entailed as there are many things to look out for while starting up, you need to get started in the right direction so there won’t be mistakes that could sabotage your idea and pursuits; Let’s have a run through.

a. Have Your Idea Ironed Out and Processed

For you to think of starting out your business you have an idea of what exactly you’re bringing to the world aside the funds or capital to start. Do you intend going into clothes, gadgets, automobiles or what precisely? When this is thought out and processed successfully then you’re on your way to having a successful business.

b. There Are Various Types Of E-commerce

When starting up, you have to understand that there are various types of e-commerce businesses in the world today so this would determine what type your idea falls into. Note the very common types below;

B2B: The b2b model is called the business to business model and this is when a business is selling to other businesses across the globe thus the prices are low and given out at wholesale prices to help the purchasing business encounter some profit too.

B2C: The b2c model is called the business to customer model and this is when businesses open for the sole aim of selling to customers. So if you find yourself opening or starting up your e-commerce or online store then it’s most likely this category it falls into.

C2C: The c2c model is called the consumer to consumer model and this is when consumers are selling to other consumers. This is better known as when average people sell products they own be it second hand or used, whatever way it is it’s a consumer to consumer interaction and thus has its uniqueness as the above mentioned types. Once this is settled and you know the type you intend running or starting up then you have to do what’s next.

c. The Right Domain Name and Web Designer Is Vital

Purchasing a domain name is very important as this is the web address people input to find your website, and finding a good hosting would help promote your business to the level you anticipate it to get to. More so, a good designer who has special experience in e-commerce website building is vital so as to have both a touch of professionalism and good customer interaction arena. Never make the mistake of creating one yourself because this is just the beginning of failure, so never be cheap. Invest and sit while it works wonders.

d. Stay Legit

There is nothing as good as legitimacy when it comes to business startup as this would help avoid many issues that could arise in the future to crumble the business you would say you spent a long time building. Remember the type of legal business entity you’ve settled for would determine the kind of legal involvements and taxes associated and even the insurance that would help yours thrive and survive amongst many that may start up alongside yours. Thus, getting a good attorney does the trick as he helps you with the legal backing and if you have vendors involved in your business, you definitely would need a vendors license from your local state agency. Secure the business in advance and sit back while the initial struggle pays off in the long run.

e. The Best Theme Works

For every good business to flourish online, there has to be a good theme that would get the attention of your visitors and customers which would make them come back again and again. Make them come back? Yes, make them come back and stay. Thus the best theme and layout should work the magic. You don’t know how to go about getting that? Check for good websites that can aid your theme purchase and acquisition as this saves time, money and is stress free. Go for the best.

f. Have Your Customers At Heart

One of the reasons why businesses fail is because there is a wrong focus which is on the profit rather than on the target audience; the customers. Create a good platform for customers to interact on the product of desire before it is purchased. Use quality images to showcase your products with correct details to sell it to them. Patience and understanding I would say is the key to having your customers and keeping them on your site.

g. Never Forget The Payment Access and Input

This is very important as I’m certain you aren’t giving out your services for free. There has to be a secure payment service be it through Pay-pal or any other method of payment but what’s important is that it is secure and working adequately. This may take a while to process as it deals with Privacy Policy, Return Policy and all that determines your shipping and delivery functionalism so be patient so you wouldn’t have to run at loss be it now or later. Nobody wants futile efforts.

h. A Tip Of The Ice Berg Doesn’t Hurt

While at the setup process and all, why not give your visitors and future customers a tip of the ice-berg? A tip or two wouldn’t hurt. Use themes like coming and other related terms to publicize your soon to be e-commerce platform. This helps create awareness in the mind of users and enables them go through what the intended offer would include as this keeps them talking and anticipating the big drop.

i. Go Over The Launch Process Again and Again

Although it is said humans are not perfect but we aim at perfectionism to bring about the best thus testing, testing and testing is very important. It would be disastrous to launch a website and the user interface is non-functional. Go through the site yourself presuming you’re the customer and see how it goes, this would help know the kind of impression your customers would have about the site in progress. We don’t want to stress our customers or frustrate them, therefore test, test and test again.

j. Make Use Of The Right Social Platform

Using the right social platform aids in the successful run of your business as this helps to promote your goods and services aside the use of your website. When these social accounts are properly set up and handled, you’re on the go to giving the best. Therefore never rule out the importance of social media because it helps the world know about you and connections around the world and among individuals is realized.

k. Tracking Is A Necessity

Never forget that helping your customers track their goods is essential because you would be dealing with people outside your locality and even across the globe. These method helps to ensure their goods arrive safe and secure, never forget it’s a necessity.

l. Be Focused And Stay Positive

Having a positive mindset is essential to having a successful business. Stay focused and know their you’re your greatest competitor. Competition and competitors would sprout but never lose focus as you’d excel more than you can imagine. Remember the sky is your starting point and you never rushed up your set up so you’re in for the best. Go commercial already, get started!

Conclusion

The only person who can stop you from actualizing your dreams and maximizing your potentials is you. Never stop believing in your self and the things you can accomplish, trust me it’s never too late to start and you’re never a failure if you fail but you become one if and only if you stop trying. It’s never too late to become that independent person you’ve always wanted to be. Believe in yourself, you can do it.

Examples Of Spyware And What They Are

Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.

Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.

That does not mean all software that provides ads or tracks your online activities is bad. For example, you might sign up for a free music service, but you “pay” for the service by agreeing to receive targeted ads. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You might also agree to let the company track your online activities to determine which ads to show you.

Other kinds of Spyware make changes to your computer that can be annoying and can cause your computer slow down or crash.

These programs can change your Web browsers home page or search page, or add additional components to your browser you don’t need or want. These programs also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you originally had them.

The key in all cases is whether or not you (or someone who uses your computer) understand what the software will do and have agreed to install the software on your computer.

There are a number of ways Spyware or other unwanted software can get on your computer. A common trick is to covertly install the software during the installation of other software you want such as a music or video file sharing program.

Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with SpyWare. Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers

Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, SpyWare steals from the user by using the computer’s memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spy ware’s home base via the user’s Internet connection. Because SpyWare is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

Because SpyWare exists as independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other SpyWare programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the SpyWare author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.

Licensing agreements that accompany software downloads sometimes warn the user that a SpyWare program will be installed along with the requested software, but the licensing agreements may not always be read completely because the notice of a SpyWare installation is often couched in obtuse, hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

Examples of SpyWare

These common SpyWare programs illustrate the diversity of behaviors found in these attacks. Note that as with computer viruses, researchers give names to SpyWare programs which may not be used by their creators. Programs may be grouped into “families” based not on shared program code, but on common behaviors, or by “following the money” of apparent financial or business connections. For instance, a number of the SpyWare programs distributed by Claria are collectively known as “Gator”. Likewise, programs which are frequently installed together may be described as parts of the same SpyWare package, even if they function separately.

o CoolWebSearch, a group of programs, takes advantage of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. The package directs traffic to advertisements on Web sites including coolwebsearch.com. It displays pop-up ads, rewrites search engine results, and alters the infected computer’s hosts file to direct DNS lookups to these sites.

o Internet Optimizer, also known as DyFuCa, redirects Internet Explorer error pages to advertising. When users follow a broken link or enter an erroneous URL, they see a page of advertisements. However, because password-protected Web sites (HTTP Basic authentication) use the same mechanism as HTTP errors, Internet Optimizer makes it impossible for the user to access password-protected sites.

o Zango (formerly 180 Solutions) transmits detailed information to advertisers about the Web sites which users visit. It also alters HTTP requests for affiliate advertisements linked from a Web site, so that the advertisements make unearned profit for the 180 Solutions Company. It opens pop-up ads that cover over the Web sites of competing companies.

o HuntBar, aka WinTools or Adware,WebSearch was installed by an ActiveX drive-by download at affiliate Web sites, or by advertisements displayed by other SpyWare programs-an example of how SpyWare can install more SpyWare. These programs add toolbars to IE, track aggregate browsing behavior, redirect affiliate references, and display advertisements.

oZlob Trojan or just Zlob, Downloads itself to your computer via ActiveX codec and reports information back to Control Server. Some information can be as your search history, the Websites you visited, and even Key Strokes.