Wednesday, December 20, 2006

An Unequal Playing Field

There are two ways to start a professional cleaning service. Imagine that you're looking to get into the business. Which of these two ways would you pick to get started?

The Legal Way
County Occupational License - $40
City Occupational License - $50-$100
City Business License - $100-$300
General Liability Insurance - $2,000-$5,000 Theft Bond - $100-$200
Workers' Compensation - $1,000-$3,000
Payroll Taxes - $15,000-$????

The Illegal Way
Nothing, zero, natta, zippo...

Now which way do would you get started? Keep in mind that these expenses are recurring costs that you'll need year after year. In fact, the busier you get; the more money you'll need. But not if you run your business like the majority of cleaning services.

Nope. You get to operate out of your spare bedroom. You get to pay yourself under the table.

And you also get to run and hide when you damage an expensive piece of furniture. You get to sleep in when you don't want to work. You get to steal money when you know that you're about to move out of town. You get to do all these things because you're cheaper.

You're cheaper than Two Maids & A Mop. You're cheaper and that's why it's so easy to find work for your new cleaning business. Because most of your new customers think that every cleaning business is the same. Because it's just cleaning after all. Anybody can do it.

Now what if you're a customer? Which one do you want inside your home? The answer seems obvious; doesn't it?

Until you have to pay the money. Then it becomes more difficult. After all, your neighbor uses the same lady. What are the chances that you'll end up like these people?

Chances are you won't end up like those people. Then again, do you want to place your house on a roulette table? The choice is yours.

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