I have been contacted by several individuals who either want to start a cleaning service or have one or two small accounts and want to grow. What does it take to be a successful small business owner? One key challenge is knowing which markets to target.


The assumptions are that you have made the decision to start a custodial (or housekeeping or construction cleanup or carpet or hard floor) business with a clear understanding that you must be persistent and focused like a laser beam if you are to acquire accounts and grow your business. Based on your resources (money, labor, equipment, etc.) you should target only those accounts that you can actually service at this time. It would be a waste of time (but perhaps a great learning opportunity) to participate in bidding on a 1,000,0000 plus square foot office complex. If you run the numbers you should realize that acquiring such a contract during your startup phase could put you rather quickly into bankruptcy.


Once you have identified “your market” which will probably include free standing insurance offices, law firms, car dealerships, independent banks and other prospects looking for basic custodial services one to five days per week and only taking a few hours per night/visit. Using the phone book, Internet or simply driving around the area, you can identify them quite easily. You can drive by the large bank chains and most large corporate offices unless you know someone who can open the door for you to be acknowledged as a legitimate vendor.


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.