A reader asks: "Thanks for the tips on bidding on large buildings but I am just getting started. Any ideas of how I can grow my part time business to full time?"

Starting a janitorial/custodial business can be as simple as cleaning the office space/car dealership/bank branch near your home. In some situations the customer may even provide cleaning supplies and equipment such as a vacuum cleaner or other tools. In that particular situation they are simply paying for dependable labor with at least a basic knowledge of cleaning principles. They are usually going to pay you the "going rate" (think prevailing wage) for your area of the country. For example, it would vary widely from an industrial area such as New York compared to a rural area in a southern state that usually has lower wages as well as lower cost of living.

In the next few articles we will cover some of the basics to starting your own cleaning business. Your response to the questions/comments will dictate where you are headed and know when you have arrived:

The key question is why do you want to start a cleaning business? Are you currently unemployed as I was and an opportunity to provide construction clean up came my way or do you want to be "independent" and be in charge of your own life? You need to deal with this question so that when the going gets rough, you will stay focused on your ultimate goal.

Another question to ask is are you physically able to perform the work? This is important in that providing custodial services can be demanding physically and you (or close family/friends) will have to provide the labor at first unless you have the financial resources to hire labor from the very start.

We will continue with these questions in succeeding articles. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.