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on March 16, 2009
The low up-front cost of starting a cleaning service (other than elbow grease) makes this an attractive option for many people thinking about starting their own business. Many would-be entrepreneurs have found out the hard way that it's easier to start a business than to make one profitable. They could have saved themselves a lot of time, money and handwringing, and developed a profitable business, if they had read Beth Morrow's How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Cleaning Service beforehand.

Morrow describes step-by-step the process you should go through before opening your own cleaning service, including asking the critical questions you need to answer to know if this is the right business for you. She covers the entire spectrum of cleaning service options from consumer/residential to heavy-duty commercial and industrial specialized services. Morrow also covers many back-office functions that many proprietors overlook, such as obtaining financing, picking the right lawyer and accountant, and developing a marketing plan. The book comes with a companion CD-ROM which contains the forms you'll need as well as a pre-written business plan in Microsoft Word format that you can customize for your business.

Morrow goes beyond getting you started and wishing you good luck. She assumes that you're going to make a go of your business and want it to grow and expand. With that in mind, she offers insightful information on how to recruit and keep good workers and paying clients. Equally valuable, she offers wise advice on how to recognize toxic clients and how to learn how to say "No." If you think there's a cleaning service in your future, you won`t go wrong making this book your bible.
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on July 22, 2010
For starters, the company that edited this book should be ashamed of themselves. There were so many grammatical errors in this book and sentence run-on's. There were even times I had to go back and re-read a sentence two or three times to try and figure out what was being said.

The information is fairly basic. The author gives some good ideas, but she fails to go in-depth with certain aspects of the business.

The example forms and worksheets that are included with this book are extremely basic and one could find the same ones by doing a simple internet search.

I would definately recommend this book for someone who has never worked in the cleaning industry before and who are looking at starting their own business. There are, however, many other books out there that provide much more detailed information than this book does.
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on June 16, 2010
4.5 stars, actually. As mentioned in previous reviews, the book was poorly edited, one line was randomly repeated and random words were omitted or slightly altered (for example, "an" instead of "and') throughout the book. This is my only complaint.

The content on the book, on the other hand is invaluable, the author took extreme care to almost every aspect of the business outside of tax and legal advice (for obvious reasons, she refers you to your local accountant or attorney for this information). Outside of introducing you to your first clients herself, the author has done almost everything possible to aid you in establishing a cleaning business (provided you know how to professionally clean, which is lightly covered). She focuses on home cleaning, throughly (though to a lesser extent than home cleaning) covers janitorial (commercial/industrial/retail) jobs and takes a glance at carpet cleaning (which, in my opinion and business is a necessary part of janitorial work, as is stripping, waxing and buffing floors, to which there are but a few allusions).

The author lays out easy to follow checklists or spreadsheets (and even a b-plan) for most everything a checklist or spreadsheet would be useful including financial projections and expectations on a job. There are also some other very useful resources in the appendix (and on the CD) notwithstanding the b-plan mentioned above such as simple things that instill confidence like a standardized method of answering the phone.

Also covered are some general guidelines on how employees should interact with clients (namely, friendly but keep at the job) and methods for establishing procedures that will standardize the type of service offered and an explanation of the services so both clients know what to expect and employees know what to do. Hiring procedures are also detailed, general application, interview, hiring do's and don'ts are included as well as some suggestions on gaining employee unity and loyalty.

The author also covers a general list of supplies and equipment necessary to first establish, though I would argue this list is not conclusive for janitorial work (especially if you'd like to supply clients with basic supplies, such as hand towels, soap, toilet paper and trash bags). If you'd like to be a distributor of basic supplies such as those previously listed or if you'd like the tax advantages of passing through the cost of the supplies used on a job to the (business) customer, this is omitted from the book, but your accountant will be able to help with this if you decide to go down that route (in the case of large janitorial jobs that go beyond basic cleaning such as floor crew, specifically, the wax alone of a substantial job [think schools] can run into the thousand dollar or more range).

Overall, this is an excellently-written book, the few exclusions on which I commented will likely not be relevant to firms that focus on basic cleaning and most which just started, and if you do begin to enter these larger-scale jobs, the best advice to to research it (specifically, with the client or [more likely] their professional custodial representative [most schools, large warehouses, community centers and business parks have a full-time superintendent who knows what needs to get done and the materials used throughout the building]; however, if this is not the case and you're still interested in providing a large-scale floor crew service, I'd recommend talking to your distributor or the manufacturer of the necessary equipment and chemicals). I'd have liked to see more weight towards what the author calls "janitorial" jobs, but with research or experience a serious owner will learn these ropes quickly.

I wish anyone reading this book the best of luck should you choose to open your own firm, it really is exciting and pleasurable!
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on March 30, 2009
How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Cleaning Service is the most thorough and comprehensive guide of its kind on the market thus far. With an analysis of everything from startup costs and taxes to setting fees and billing, this book gives its reader absolutely everything he/she needs to get their business started quickly and effectively and set-up for long-term success.

Perhaps one of the best components of this excellent guide is Chapter One which gives a clear picture of what cleaning business owners can expect and asks would-be entrepreneurs to seriously consider whether the cleaning business is right for them. This `look before you leap' approach will prove to be helpful to many readers. I also loved the numerous case studies written throughout which help drive the book's points home with real-life examples.

Any new business owner quickly learns that unless the public knows about their business, the phone isn't going to be ringing. Author Beth Marrow methodically addresses this issue in Chapter Eight (Growing Your Business Through Marketing) and provides a comprehensive strategy for effectively spending advertising dollars. Lastly, the 20+ worksheets and checklists the author provides in the appendix are invaluable and will save cleaning business owners hours of their time.
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on January 26, 2009
I have been in the house cleaning business for many years, and just last year I decided to go out on my own. I wish I had read this book first!

Although I made it through the first year, it was a real struggle. Reading How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Cleaning Service was an eye opener for me. This book has so much information on all aspects of running a cleaning business, many of which I had never thought of.

Thanks to this book, I have learned valuable lessons that could have helped me avoid some major mistakes I made early on and will help me avoid many costly mistakes in the future. It has also given me fantastic knowledge on how to better run, and most importantly, market and grow my business. Thanks to this book my business is growing steadily and I am confident it will continue to prosper. This is a must read for any prospective cleaning service entrepreneur.
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on July 30, 2012
This book was just ok. It contained a few pieces of helpful information that I had not thought of before, but overall the concepts in it were fairly simple and generic. It seemed like most of the information could have applied to any type of business. I'm not even sure the author has any personal experience with a cleaning business. So overall, not an awful book, but certainly not groundbreaking either.
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on January 28, 2009
This easy-to-read book gives you step-by-step detailed information on how to start a cleaning service business. Beth Morrow is thorough in covering all bases with a down to earth yet inspiring feel any young entrepreneur considering starting this type of business will appreciate. The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) displays its support for the book in the `foreword' by Perry D. Phillips, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of the Organization. This demonstrates the high standards of the writings included.

This book begins with a great start up outline and a wealth of information regarding whether to start a franchise or an independent business, a residential or commercial cleaning service, cleaning treatment and method details and establishing a niche or specialty which will push your business to the next level of success.

Other topics covered include customer base research and market potential to consider, legal considerations as far as taxes, insurance, policies and procedures, licensing and permits.

The most helpful tools, particularly for a visual learner, are the case studies and the wealth of resources in the appendix: worksheets, checklists, sample forms, and agency contact information. Morrow left no stone unturned yet kept the book relatively short and very easy to follow. This book is a must-buy for someone considering starting up a cleaning business. There are many business start-up books in the market, as well as marketing books, but this one focuses on a very specific industry and is perfectly written making every page helpful.
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on March 23, 2009
Morrow, Beth, How to Open and Operate a Successful Cleaning business, Atlantic Publishing, book, 290 pgs.
In this book, Beth Morrow covers a lot of ground, in which a beginning cleaning business owner, as well as a thoroughly entrenched owner of decades, will find useful and relevant information. The book covers the business end, such as picking a name, how to file the proper permits, zoning boards, filing with the IRS and the like.
For the beginning business owner, this is a valuable resource on issues that may not be considered. There are many and varied intricacies that need to be discussed and well-thought out, which Beth Morrow does quite well. An owner of a well-established business will find this book a valuable resource, as many of the facts and forms are laid out and may provide a new way of doing business or offering services.
The title of the book gives the impression of a cleaning guide, more than how to file business liability or develop service manuals. The author goes into quite detailed explanations of many aspects of opening a cleaning business (and could well be written for any business, in general), such as sole-proprietorships or limited liability corporations. The gist of the book is written for a sole-proprietorship, like a guiding hand through each and every step.
The appendix has great resources for facts, forms and example business lists, as well as subsequent parallel publications offered by Atlantic Publishing.
This book is a great resource that should not be missed by anyone considering opening a cleaning business. I would give this book four stars.
Brick ONeil
[...]
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on April 28, 2009
"How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Cleaning Service" is a thorough and helpful book for anyone thinking about operating a cleaning service to make a successful living. Beth Morrow details the types of business opportunities available and guides readers to the most appropriate based on their needs, skills, and wants. She also highlights the market potential, customer base, and competition for residential and commercial operations, assuring the reader is fully aware of what to expect.

Morrow includes some Business101 information about the pros and cons of different ownership structures. She also gives advice on hiring a good lawyer and accountant, and applying for the business name and license. One of the most helpful parts of Morrow's book is her explanation of creating a business plan, specifically the financial plan. She even includes a chapter that details how to set appropriate fees.

Morrow spends a good number of pages describing an effective hiring process, and employee management as well as other aspects of human resources. This chapter, the marketing chapter, and the chapter on client relations provide great insight for new business owners. She also explains effective ways to set up an office space, find good suppliers, and includes cleaning tips. The book includes worksheets and checklists that help with early start-up and operations. Overall this book is extremely helpful and I would recommend it for anyone thinking about opening any kind of cleaning service.
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on July 5, 2009
A good book on cleaning and well laid out - makes it easy to follow. Good for those new to America too - as it lays out many things that those from far away would not know (as those born here would).

I mean, cleaning is a sort of basic business, its not that its hard, its that no one wants to do it - that is the success principle of the cleaning business.

I can really recommend the following book on the subject, its VERY good and anyone fighting the recession will win big if they follow this one book:

Mopping Up Millions!: Making A Killing In Cleaning -

Get busy and make some money! Both books are good, and cover different ground, get both!
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