If you’re thinking of taking on a Polished Clean franchise you may have some questions that are not covered on the main franchise page. So we’re putting together a list of what gets asked most often and we’ll put the answers here:
- How are our areas allocated?
- How do we help you get customers when starting your cleaning business?
- What can you do to help get customers after starting your cleaning business?
- Do you need to charge VAT?
- How can you get paid?
- Will we help you with social media?
- Will you be tied into a long contract?
- Can you work from home?
- Do you need cleaning experience?
- What cleaning services do you have to provide?
How Are Our Areas Allocated?
For anyone considering taking on one of our Polished Clean low cost cleaning franchises our areas are based on the first part of any postcode, for example BR1, BR2, BR3, etc.
We allow each franchise up to three postcode areas in our monthly fee. This allows us to make sure you have a large enough potential client base to get you started. If you only want to cover your local postcode area, that’s fine. You don’t need to take your full allocation initially if you don’t want to.
If you wish to grow your business by covering a larger area then you can add an additional postcode area for an extra £5 per month. Each additional postcode area added beyond also costs an extra £10 per month.
All areas are allocated on a first come, first served basis. This means that should a business already be listed in a neighbouring area, even although you may cover that area, you would be unable to show up on our website in that area.
This allows us to maintain our “exclusive area” coverage for any franchise, new or existing. We therefor recommend that, when signing up, you sign up for every area that you intend to cover, enabling you to obtain leads for all those areas.
How Do We Help You Get Customers When Starting You Cleaning Business?
Here’s how we’ll help you with getting customers when starting your cleaning business…
Once you’ve signed up for our low cost cleaning franchise we’ll set you up with a dedicated SEO optimised page on our website. Unlike when you’re searching for a particular postcode area, such as when you are searching for a cleaner, this single page will cover all the postcode areas that you have signed up for.
Our next step is to setup a Polished Clean branded local Facebook page, complete with all the details and information that you have supplied. We’ll then add your location to our Google My Business setup. Both your local Facebook page and Google My Business listings will be updated with posts several times a week. The posts will be based on the services you intend to offer, pricing, photographs of your work, customer reviews, etc.
Included in your initial setup fee is a promoted Facebook competition that we’ll run in the area(s) you cover with a cleaning related prize, like a steam cleaner, to the value of around £50. This will help us help you to build an audience that you can then market to.
We’ll also list your business on Bing Places and several online business directories. We manage all these listing for you, so if you do need to make a change, for example changing your telephone number, all you need to do is inform us and we’ll make all the changes for you.
As a company, we also run ads on both Facebook & Google, advertising our cleaning services to potential customers with a view to getting them to our website to search in their local area for your business.
We also have social media profiles on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn which aim to drive people to our website in order to search in their local area.
What Can You Do To Help Get Customers After Starting Your Cleaning Business?
Our digital marketing solutions are designed to help you be seen online much quicker than if you were to have your own website built and attempt to do it all yourself but you will need to do additional marketing for your business.
Additional marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot, but you will have to invest some money in order to grow. Your local Facebook page is a totally free way of marketing.
By engaging with your page, replying to comments, occasionally sharing posts and generally talking about your business on your personal Facebook page, you can build help people understand what you do and get them talking about the service you provide.
Another very inexpensive way of marketing yourself and your business is by attending local networking events. You need to get speaking to people, build relationships with them… and make sure to hand out lots of business cards!
For more visibility locally, consider purchasing signage (vinyl lettering) for your car or van. It’s a relatively low cost way to get seen by potential customers in your local area.
You might consider doing a leaflet drop in the areas you cover. We have leaflets available to purchase and they can prove to be a cost-effective way of reaching new people. You can also order physical products such as pens to leave a lasting impression with clients.
Then there’s digital advertising. Your monthly licensing fee already includes Facebook advertising but you’re free to run your own additional targeted ad campaigns directly from your local Polished Clean Facebook. You can set everything from budget to length of time you want the campaign to run to who your target audience is.
Experience tells us that Facebook provides a great opportunity to gain business and using one of our ad templates can not only increase awareness of your business, but provide real opportunities to take on new clients.
You can also purchase Google advertising from ourselves. We have templates available to select from and, again, you set the start & end date of any campaign, along with how much you want to spend so you are always in control of how much each advertising campaign costs.
We make it easy by running the ads for you so there’s no need for any keyword knowledge or research on your behalf. We’ll keep you updated on how the ads are performing so you can make an informed decision on whether to change your budget, target a different audience using another template and of course, whether or not to continue the campaign,
Do You Need To Charge VAT?
VAT is only payable when your taxable turnover, that’s your total income NOT profit, reaches the threshold of £85,000.
If you’re self-employed and running a small cleaning franchise yourself with no employees, you probably won’t reach that threshold however you could decide to voluntarily register. Registering voluntarily though will mean you’ll have to charge more for your services to cover the cost of paying VAT.
If you’re running a bigger franchise,you’re more likely to hit the threshold and registering for VAT will then become compulsory. You must register for VAT when:
- you expect your VAT taxable turnover to be more than £85,000 in the next 30-day period
- your business had a VAT taxable turnover of more than £85,000 over the last 12 months
You can find out lots more about registering for VAT on the VAT registration section of the gov.uk website.
How Can You Get Paid?
It’s a good idea to let your customers know in advance how you expect to get paid. Initially you’ll most likely be paid in good old fashioned cash but having some other way of allowing customers to pay you will help enhance your professionalism.
We use Paypal to manage our monthly subscriptions and they accept most major debit & credit cards and that’s who we recommend as it’s quick & easy to setup. Paypal also integrates with Quickbooks if you’re using them to keep track of your accounts.
Over 20 million people in the UK use Paypal to pay for shopping or pay bills online, and that could include yours! With Paypal’s online invoicing you can create and send customised invoices via email allowing customers to pay for your cleaning services in just a few clicks.
Card readers are also becoming a popular way for small local business to get paid, cutting down on the need to carry cash. You can find out more about card readers at www.mobiletransaction.org.
Will We Help You With Social Media?
Absolutely. After we setup your local Facebook page we’ll start posting content to it. To start with this will mainly be content taken from our main Polished Clean Ltd Facebook page but there will be some local content included, based on the services you offer locally and your prices.
What we’re looking for from you (over time) is:
- Pictures of properties that you’ve cleaned, including before & after pictures or even a short video
- Customer reviews
- Any other interesting content, particularly local content, that you feel your Facebook audience might like to see
When you add photos, you’re free to post them directly to your Facebook page or email them to us if you’re not sure which ones to post. We’ll take the best and post them for you and then we’ll combine them into a single image, such as before & after, which we’ll add to our regular posting schedule.
Similarly, once you start getting reviews on Facebook, Google, by email or any other means, let us know by sending us an email. We’ll then design an image for the review and start incorporating them into our regular posting schedule for your Facebook page.
The regular posting that we do on your Facebook page is also posted on your Google My Business listing. Facebook & Google My Business are currently the only platforms we allow local franchises on, although we only grant franchisees access to Facebook as we take care of your Google My Business listing ourselves.
We believe it’s better to concentrate on one platform and do it well, rather than be spread thin trying to keep up with content on multiple social media platforms. As a company though we do have additional social profiles on both Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn.
One thing to note is that, with the Facebook algorithm, it’s getting increasing difficult to get your content in front of potential customers without paying for Facebook Ads. One way to combat this is to share content to your personal profile page.
Share just enough from your Facebook page to keep your contacts aware that you’re now running your own cleaning business and regularly talk about your work.
This also applies to any other personal social media platform that you’re on, such as Instgram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. By reminding people of what you do, you’ll be the person that springs to mind when they, or someone they know, is looking for a cleaning service.
Will You Be Tied Into A Long Contract?
Starting a business is a risk but we do our best to minimise that risk. By only charging a low setup fee and a low monthly licensing fee we give you the opportunity to keep more of the money you earn.
The same goes for our contract length. Our minimum contract term is just 6 months. We believe that, if you follow our guidance on marketing your business, you should see significant progress and have a sustainable, growing cleaning business by the end of 6 months.
However, if you find the business isn’t working for after that time then we feel there’s no point holding you over a barrel by keeping you tied into a longer term contract. So, after 6 months you are free to cancel at anytime by giving us 30 days notice. It’s as simple as that 🙂
Can You Work From Home?
Yes, absolutely. Unless your running a larger scale operation with numerous employees and perhaps some admin staff there’s no reason why you can’t work from home. You need to be aware that your home address will be used as your business address and so will appear on things like directory listings.
You also need to check with your home insurance company. Most policies allow work from home for admin purposes, i.e. you don’t have clients visiting your home – which you won’t.
Do You Need Cleaning Experience?
Our preference is that you do have experience in cleaning in a professional capacity however we are happy to consider people without professional cleaning experience. For example you have your own home, you keep it spotless and you’re not afraid of hard work & getting ‘grimey’.
You can of course take a professional course either at your local college or there are plenty of online courses available which will help you understand the principles involved in cleaning professionally. When you join you’ll also be provided with our Operations & Training manual which includes a section on cleaning techniques .
What Cleaning Services Do You Have To Provide?
Domestic properties, i.e. residential customers, are at the core of our business and obviously it’s a requirement that you’ll need to offer residential cleaning. Any additional services that you choose to offer should be on the basis that you have the relevant experience or qualifications to do so and can carry out the cleaning service in question to a high standard.
You could choose to offer end of tenancy cleaning to landlords & tenants. This type of work is similar in nature to domestic although can, on occasion, be harder work.
You could also offer office cleaning services. Of course, offices come in all shapes & sizes and when you’re just starting out you might think twice about taking on a large office building!
There are plenty of other areas that you could branch into such as serviced accommodation, shops & pubs as well as more commercial cleaning such as in factories.