If you are reading this article, you are probably thinking of starting (or have already started) a cleaning company. And while there are many things to consider when opening a business (e.g., legalities, insurance policies, equipment, supplies, and labor), you cannot forget about marketing.
The janitorial industry is what experts call a “red ocean.” In other words, it is a highly saturated industry wherein competition is fierce. In fact, as of 2015, there were roughly 875,000 cleaning businesses within the industry. Thus, if you wish to stand out, you need to invest time, energy, and money on your business’s marketing efforts.
Marketing can set you apart from the competition and can help you efficiently reach your target audience. After a name and a logo, the next thing your cleaning business will need (in terms of marketing) is a mission statement.
So, how do you write your cleaning business’s mission statement? Well, the truth is, there is no secret formula for the perfect mission statement! Mission statements come in all shapes and sizes.
All effective mission statements follow these five principles:
- A mission statement is concise.
- A mission statement uses appropriate language.
- A mission statement acknowledges the company’s audience.
- A mission statement defines the company’s purpose.
- A mission statement inspires.
Principles of a Mission Statement
Below, we will explain each of the principles mentioned above, so you can craft your unique and effective statement!
1. A mission statement is short and concise
A mission statement should be just that… a statement. Meaning that it should only include one or two sentences. So, avoid overly complicated words, cut the fluff, and keep it short!
However, “short” doesn’t mean vague. As we mentioned before, cleaning businesses are part of a highly saturated market. Therefore, you should avoid broad or cliché phrases such as: “we have a passion for cleaning” or “our cleaning specialists will cater to your every need.”
Think about what makes your company special! What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your business? For instance, if you take pride in using only environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic products, your mission statement should convey that. Or if you are a family run business, you should say it. The more specific you are, the higher your possibilities of standing out from the crowd.
2. A mission statement uses appropriate language
Let’s face it, you are not selling complicated software or genetically modified foods. Your company is in the janitorial and cleaning industry, and so your mission statement should be easy to understand.
Buzzwords and jargon are usually futile in a mission statement. When your mission statement is tough to remember, it makes it harder for audiences to connect with your brand. More so, it makes it difficult for people to align their needs/wants to the services you’re offering.
Thus, when writing your mission statement, ask yourself this question: Will my 12-year-old son/niece/neighbor understand what I am trying to say? If the answer is yes, you are good to go!
3. A mission statement acknowledges the company’s audience
If you want your cleaning business to succeed, you need to have a clear picture of your ideal customer or, as experts call it, your “Buyer Persona.” Why? Simple. It is easier to convey a message if you know exactly who you are talking to!
If you are offering your cleaning services in a luxury residential area, you would want to use sophisticated language and highlight certain services (e.g., carpet cleaning, home staging, pool cleaning.) On the contrary, if your target is college students, you probably would want to use a more casual language and focus on your low prices and speedy service.
So, research your audience and gather all the necessary info. The more you know, the better! Once you know who you want to cater to, you can develop your message accordingly.
4. A mission statement defines the company’s purpose
When writing your mission statement, ask yourself why your company exists? Why did you choose to open a cleaning business instead of a nail salon?
You must identify your service and the problem it solves. From there, make sure you explain who this service is for, how you plan to deliver it, and why it is relevant.
5. A mission statement inspires
Your mission statement should motivate employees, competitors, and clients alike. The idea behind a mission statement is to get people interested in your service. If you are looking to make a connection with an audience, what better approach to do it than by introducing yourself in a relatable and exciting way?
Mission Statement’s “Don’t”s
Now that we have explained the basic principles of a mission statement, we can move on to the things you shouldn’t do. Below a list of some important things to avoid when crafting your message:
• Don’t rush it!
A mission statement defines your company. It is as important as your logo or your company’s name. So, don’t rush it. Take all the time you need to explore what it is you wish to say.
Once you are done, revisit it after a few hours and read it aloud. More often than not, you will need to edit your message (maybe even more than once) until you get a final version.
• Don’t try to cover a lot of ground
It is entirely reasonable to want to extend your mission statement and surpass the one/two-sentence limit. But, remember that’s what websites, flyers, and other marketing efforts are for!
Don’t overflow your statement with statistics or detailed information. Stick to your core and what makes your company different.
• Don’t lie
Of course, your target is to be the best and most profitable company in the industry. But you are just starting out, so you cannot be the “best” or the “most affordable.”
Avoid making promises you have no intention of keeping. In other words, avoid gray areas. If you are going to include that you offer a 24-hour service in your mission statement, make sure you can answer the phone at 3:00 AM.
• Don’t write a mission statement only because “you have to”
Lastly, do not write a mission statement just to cross it off your to-do list. A mission statement should be real, authentic, and sincere.
Differences between a mission statement and a vision statement
Most people believe that a mission statement and a vision statement are the same. But even though they can be closely related, they each serve a different purpose within your company.
To start, know that a company’s mission describes what the brand wants to do in the short term. As we mentioned before, it is its essence — the reason for being. A company’s vision, on the other hand, focuses on the brand’s long-term goals — its expectations.
Furthermore, while these are two precious marketing assets, they have very different audiences. A mission statement is geared towards the public, it tells the outside world who you are and what you stand for. A vision statement is a gateway to your future. It is where you see your company is 5, 10, and 15 years. As a result, it is often geared towards employees, team members, and partners, and is used mostly in internal communications.
Additionally, you should keep in mind that a mission statement is expected to be concise and concrete. On the other hand, your vision statement may be more global and less specific.
For instance, if your mission statement looks something like this:
“Our mission is to deliver the quickest and most effective on-call maid service in the Miami Dade with the help of highly-trained and trustworthy staff.”
Your vision statement could be:
“We aim to become the most reliable on-call maid service in Florida, one home at a time.”
Recent data suggests that 95% of all cleaning businesses in the United States fail within their first year. Although the reason(s) behind this statistic can vary significantly from one company to another, there are usually some common denominators:
- Poor management
- Lack of a clear business plan
- Entrepreneurial burnout
- Weak marketing
- Not having the right team
- Ignoring customers
- Being outcompeted
However, this shouldn’t discourage you! Proper planning, thorough research, self-discipline, and motivation accompanied by adequate financial management and a lean business model will help you run a profitable business!
2. Where can I get money to fund my cleaning business?
If you don’t have the money to fund your cleaning business, that doesn’t mean you should give up! There are many ways through which you can muster the initial investment to support your project. However, first thing’s first!
To start, know that the initial investment needed for a cleaning business in the United States ranges between $2,000 – $5,000. Thus, the required capital to launch your company is considerably lower when compared to other industries.
Thus, some of the most effective ways for you to come up with the money you need include:
- Credit cards
- Friends and family
- Angel Investors
- Crowdsourcing sites such as Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com
- Bank loans/SBA financings
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
Put the right tools behind your mission with The ABCs of What To Do Before Opening Your Cleaning Business.