Once you have decided to start up a cleaning business, one of many small considerations that you must think of will be how you are going to receive payments from clients for your cleaning services. You will have to think about the choices and decide which options you will offer your customers. There are many ways to collect payments and we have outlined some below along with their advantages and disadvantages.
1) Cash. Traditionally the most popular method of getting paid for a service like cleaning. Popular in the house cleaning sector it is common for households to leave payment in the form of cash or check on the premises to be picked up by the cleaner after the job is complete. This way is still the best if your customers will agree to it as you are paid up front and don’t risk having the account fall behind with payments. Cash also appeals to many small cleaning businesses out there as it helps them to avoid paying tax. Professional cleaning business operators however should operate honestly with the IRS and it is professional to leave a proper receipt for the customer.
2) Another option is to have your clients set up a direct debit from their bank account so that funds are paid to you automatically each week. If cleaning charges are the same and work is done on a regular basis then this arrangement can work well.
3) Credit cards are a popular way of paying for services these days and many of your customers will appreciate the convenience and like to pay by card as they are members of credit card loyalty programs. Getting set up to take credit card payments is costly and there are ongoing fees that you will incur with each transaction so this method is usually only considered by larger, more established cleaning firms. Offering this payment option will however make your services more marketable and if you feature this information in your advertising you may find that many clients are attracted to your service over other companies based solely on the fact that you accept credit cards.
4) Lastly, you can offer to leave an invoice for clients or to mail one to them. This option is not common among house cleaners but is the dominant method in the commercial sector of the cleaning industry. Invoices often offer clients more favorable payment terms with most of them requiring charges to be paid within a thirty day period. This method is very attractive to clients as they can pay in arrears but can give cleaning business owners headaches if invoices become overdue and time and money have to be wasted pursuing bad debts.
The payment options that a cleaning company offers its clients will differ depending on the industry sector and many other factors. Try to get a mix of payment options that offers your customers a healthy choice, enhancing your service yet also offers you as the business owner a simple, low risk solution. If customers have no problems paying you for your services then they will have no reason to complain and your reputation and customer relations will grow.