How to Start a Roof Cleaning Business in Uganda
One day, a youth asked me to tell him the kind of business he could start with UGX 500,000 (approx. $135). He had the money, but he didn’t have a business idea yet. There are many Ugandans who are like him and whose problem is coming up with a viable business idea. It is why, through our blog, we come up with a few simple ideas to help, especially the youth, to start their own business with little capital. In this post, I would like to share with you how to start a roof cleaning business.
In Uganda, people tend to get into one business as if there are no other unique businesses they can start. Take an example of the bodaboda business, how many Ugandans are in it? Everyone buys a bodaboda to ride for money on the streets of Kampala and other places. A motorcycle (bodaboda) costs not less than UGX 4,000,000 (about $1,081). This money can start many other small and profitable businesses. However, the challenge has always been lack of exposure among most Ugandans.
The cleaning industry is vast, with great opportunities to make money in Uganda. A roof cleaning enterprise is just a small component of it, and it’s one of the low-cost businesses you can start from home. You don’t need much money to start it. However, it needs some professionalism because of the risks involved. Not everyone can climb to the top of buildings to clean them. It’s one reason why it’s suitable for young skilled people.
8 Steps to Start a Roof Cleaning Business
If you are convinced and determined to start your own roof cleaning business, the following steps will help you to get started from scratch and expand your customer base gradually.
- Make a business plan
- Get the skills you require to do your business
- Choose your business name
- Register your business name
- Look for funding
- Purchase the equipment and chemical supplies
- Market your business
#1 – Make a business plan
Before you venture into the roof cleaning business, you will have to make feasibility studies. You don’t just wake up and jump into it. You need to research before going out to look for people who need cleaning services.
As a new business owner of a roof cleaning business, you need to spend valuable time and resources to create a business plan to guide you on what to do. It will enable you to beat your competition. In modern times, success in entrepreneurship depends significantly on how you plan your way. So don’t take it lightly to write a plan for your roof cleaning business.
Most novice entrepreneurs in Uganda choose not to write a business plan because they think it’s not necessary. Others believe it’s costly. Yes, it’s expensive if you engage the services of a consultant. But you aren’t too bad not to write the business plan by yourself. All that you need is a considerable amount of research, being passionate about your business and a little bit of insight into the roof cleaning business.
The easiest way into the steps of writing a business plan is to look at an existing one. You can visit a bookstore and buy a book to guide you on how to write it. Alternatively, you can search the internet to look for free business plan samples.
#2 – Get the skills for the roof cleaning business
Skills give you money. Did you know that? Starting a business without acquiring the skills for doing that business is dangerous. If you don’t get the skills by yourself, you will have to employ others with the required skills.
The roof cleaning business requires trained personnel because of the risky nature of working on top of roofs. It’s essential that you don’t expose yourself and your workers to such risks. You should get the required hands-on training to avoid unnecessary risks and damaging your customers’ roofs.
Some of the risks involved are:
Stability – Is the roof stable enough to support a human being of your weight. If the roof is weak, you risk falling with it.
Weather conditions – In a rainy season, roofs become slippery while in the dry season they are too hot. What are you supposed to do to protect yourself in such changing weather conditions?
Pitch – Some roofs are so steep that you have to take precaution before setting your foot on them.
Holes – An open roof hole can turn out to be so deadly to you or your workers.
Ladder – The ladder you use must be strong enough to ensure your security. Secondly, ladder placement is a skill you have to learn.
Rooftop safety must be your number one responsibility if you plan to start a roof cleaning business. You have, first of all, to get the right training. The training you get must be hands-on training. Skills related to working on top of roofs aren’t acquired by just reading a book. You have to get firsthand practical experience. Secondly, you have to protect yourself against the risks involved.
#4 – Choose your business name
Naming a business is like building a foundation for a house because a great name is the beginning of a great brand. A great name should have the following:
- Simple – a great name should be simple to pronounce.
- Memorable – your targeted customers should find it easy to remember your business name.
- Meaningful – a big name should have meaning to your audience, not just to you. You don’t need to explain it to others because you will be bringing down your business.
- Lends itself to wordplay – play with words that have meaning to your audience. For instance, a garbage collection firm decided to name its business “HomeKlin”. I like it because it blends well with what their business is all about.
- Must not be a copy of another name – Don’t imitate other business names. Remember that uniqueness is essential. One day a firm in China wrote to me asking me to use the name “golaserengraving” for their website but only change the extension. That’s imitating, and it’s not healthy for your business.
- Should be usable in all your marketing strategies – select a name that is suitable for any marketing strategy you intend to use. For example, you can use it as a domain name for your website. If you select your roof cleaning business name as “RoofClean”, you will be able to use it as the domain name (i.e. roofclean.com, roofclean.biz, etc…)
To get a big name, you need to do some research. Brainstorming is one of the techniques through which people come up with proper business names. When choosing a name for your roof cleaning business, make sure that you select one that is in line with your brand image.
#5 – Register your business name
After choosing a suitable name for your roof cleaning business, you have to register it. Many people in Uganda do business with a name that they don’t bother to register. That’s a wrong approach, and you shouldn’t follow that way of doing business. There are advantages of registering your name, which include some of the following:
- Brand protection – After sweating with building your name, it can be so disappointing if another business steals it from you and registers it. That business will claim ownership and even stop you from using it. If he takes you to court, the chances are that he will win the case just because there is nothing to show your ownership of the name.
- Professionalism – When you register your business name, it makes a difference as you approach your customers. It tells your customers that you’re a legitimate business and not a briefcase business. It helps you to turn people into buyers.
- Easiness of getting a loan – if you want to get a business loan, you have to prove to the bank that the business is yours. It is possible if you have registered the company.
To register your business name in Uganda, you go to the Uganda Registration Service Bureau – URSB. Learn more about how to register your business by reading this write-up posted by Uganda Registration Service Bureau.
#6 – Look for funding
Starting a roof cleaning business doesn’t require much capital. It’s not a capital-intensive kind of business. You can start it small and then build it slowly. That said, there are several sources of funding, which you may explore to start your business. They include:
- Self-funding – This usually is from your savings. If you have saved some money to set you off with the equipment and cleaning detergents, that will save you the huddle of looking for funds elsewhere.
- Partnership – You can enter into a partnership with someone to provide you with funds since you already have the idea written down.
- Friends and family – You can source funding from your relatives or the people around you.
- Loans – You can try the option of getting a small short term loan from your bank
- What else…? Try to explore around you for funding opportunities, i.e. government program for funding youth with businesses.
#7 – Purchase the equipment and chemical supplies
Starting a roof cleaning business necessitates that you acquire items like a ladder, hard brushes, pressure washer, safety boots, safety hand gloves and other small items. It also requires that you purchase enough cleaning detergents. With time, when you have established yourself with a good customer base, you can consider buying a truck. After acquiring the track, use it also to advertise your business
#8 – Market your business
People cannot know the kind of business you’re into unless you let them know. You have to embark on marketing your business through various marketing strategies. These may include the following:
- Business cards – Print some business cards, clearly stating what you do and give them to as many potential customers as you know will likely need your services in the neighbourhood.
- Do door-to-door marketing in your neighbourhood. One of the effective door-to-door marketing techniques is the use of door hangers.
- Create a website for your business – Having a website for your business is one of the most appropriate ways to reach out to many people and to retain old customers. Most people who need your services may find you by searching the internet. If you a presence online, you miss out on tapping into the big market, thanks to the existence of the internet.
- Create a Facebook page to share information with your fans. It’s recommendable that you acquire a digital camera to take photos of your works to post to your page.
- Use other social media networks, i.e. Linkedin and Twitter, to market your business.
- Write articles on the services you offer and post on your website. You will get business from people who search the internet looking for the kind of services you offer.
- What else…? Think of other ways to market your roof cleaning business!
Having shared the above information with you, I am now optimistic that you can start a roof cleaning business if you have the passion for it. It’s easy to start and does not require a colossal amount of start-up capital. I am waiting to hear from you that you got the inspiration from reading this post.
Do you have any question? We want to hear from you!
Hello! My name is Charles Kiyimba, a creative engraver, a professional teacher, a passionate blogger, a confident graphic/web designer and the founder of Goleza Designers Ltd, an engraving business that turns images into real products. Through my hands-on experience, I share with you free helpful information on our products and services, business, marketing and personal development. Always dive in for more!