When Melinda came to me, she was absolutely frantic. She'd been cleaning houses off and on for a few months, and just as she was considering leaping into the corporate cleaning world she received an angry voicemail on her phone.
A new customer had a child who was allergic to the cleaning agents she was using. She had to take the child to the emergency to stop the allergic reaction - and she wanted Melinda to pay the bill...or else.
Yep! Melinda was being threatened with a lawsuit.
I won't get into everything else the poor woman was going through at the time. Suffice it to say, she was in no position to deal with this problem.
The biggest mistake Melinda and many aspiring entrepreneurs tend to make is not getting their new business registered with the Secretary of State in the state they're working in. Your business must be registered in your state in order to obtain identification from the IRS.
The structure you choose to register your business will determine how you access the money you earn, and how you report and pay taxes. Be sure to take time to learn about different business structures and choose the one that best suits your needs and goals for growth.
Melinda started her business without putting much time into planning. She wasn't prepared for how quickly word spread of her good work. She started out with the cheapest cleaning supplies she could find.
As a result she subjected herself and her clients to unnecessary toxic risk, which caught up with her when her client's child had an allergic reaction.
Cleaning supplies can be extremely toxic. It's important to choose gentle cleansers as often as possible to ensure your safety and the safety of your clients. These cleaning agents may be a little more expensive, but if you have a strong business plan you should know exactly how to overcome the cost difference and turn a substantial profit from your work.
Whether you choose to clean homes, businesses or both, you must carry insurance. Liability insurance for your business is usually pretty inexpensive, just a couple hundred dollars per year. But when something like Melinda's problem crops up - and it will - you'll be glad you don't have to cover a trip to the emergency room.
You'll have a better chance of getting a lower deductible and better coverage if you show that you're making safer choices in your cleaning supplies. Yet another benefit of choosing safe over cheap.
These three steps will keep you out of legal trouble, but that's not enough to make your business profitable. If you're going to beat the odds and start a profitable business that's built to last, then you need a plan and you need a partner.
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You're on the road toward something incredible. I'm so grateful that you've chosen to share that journey with me.
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