Boat Cleaning: How to start a Boat Cleaning Business


You can start a boat cleaning business with very little capital. However you need serious elbow grease and proper equipment. The business is lucrative with very few competitors.
Startup includes business registration, equipment and advertising. You can start with less than $1500 with a few cleaning products, mop and brush. It take lots of marketing to reach customers however with each job your customer base will surely increase.
How to Start a Boat Cleaning Business
         Write a business plan
         Learn the trade
         Form a legal entity
         Register for tax
         Get insurance
         Get necessary license and permit
         Create a brand
         Have an online presence
         Develop a marketing strategy
Boat Cleaning
Who can Start Boat Cleaning?
Anyone with the passion for boats and hard work. The job is labor intensive and very rewarding. The job requires manual applications and appropriate equipment. The job is practicable part time or full time, home or office.
Business Overview
Boat cleaners provide an essential service to owners. The service should include boat detailing and cleaning. The owners like their boats looking clean and nice. They are willing to engage a professional to keep the vessel in top shape.
The cleaner should learn how to clean different types of boats to attract regular jobs. The target market should consist of owners with large boats, clubs or tourist boat owners.
Growth Potential
The type of customer you attract is based on your business template. You could focus on a single location or offer mobile services. There are also franchise opportunities in some countries.
How do they Make Money?
They make money by offering detailing or cleaning services. The charges are based on package deals or hourly rate. Other consideration is the size of the boat and scope of work. The charges depends on the size of the boat.
An average charge is from $5 to $40 per foot. Some cleaners earn about $800 to clean a moderate sized boat. Expenses are replacement of cleaning equipment, transportation to location. A boat cleaning service can make over 1000 a week.
Scope of Work
The scope of work involves wiping down windows, waxing fiberglass exteriors. Others include polishing mahogany, vinyl wood. Washing top side, vacuuming, carpet cleaning and washing hulls.
         wiping down windows
         waxing fiberglass exteriors
         polishing mahogany
         vinyl wood
         vacuuming
         carpet cleaning
         washing hulls
Legal
Before starting the business get a business license. Find out the permit applicable to your industry. Make sure you hire an attorney to prepare a service contract. Make sure the contract outlines terms and conditions. 
The service agreement should cover your end against litigation or liability. This will minimize your risk and settle any disputes. Get necessary permit, licenses and insurance. You can work from home or lease an office space.
Legal Requirements of Boat Cleaning Business
         Business registration
         Tax
         Insurance
         Permit, operational license
         Service contract
Staff
The business is practicable as a one man enterprise. However as the business grows hire a small team of cleaners. Make sure the cleaning supplies are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
Advertise
The most important step is reaching your customers. There are many low cost ways to advertise your business. Print business cards, posters, flyers and banners. Take out small publications in boat related magazines to target boat owners.
Use brochures, newsletters and word of mouth. Use social media marketing, groups and blog posts. Join boat clubs, organizations related to your business model.
Place posters on restaurant windows, boat yards, tourist locations, boat supply stores. Make sure the advertisements have your contact address, office location and phone number.
Marketing
         Print business cards
         Posters
         Flyers
         Banners
         Use brochures
         Newsletters
         word of mouth
         Use social media marketing
         Join groups
         Write blog posts
         Join boat clubs
Where to Find Clients
Setup your business close to boat clubs or marinas. Visit docks, boat sales stores, repair stores. Other places to find customers are boat accessory stores and tourist locations.
         Boat clubs
         Marinas
         Visit docks
         Boat sales stores
         Boat repair stores
         Boat accessory stores
         Tourist locations
Learn the Trade
It is important having some idea on materials that comprise boats. You need to clean fiberglass, stainless steel and polish wood. Other material are teak, mahogany and canvas.
Each material responds to different cleaning agents or equipment. Boat cleaning does not require any formal training.
However learning the trade through job experience or as an apprentice is beneficial. Use online resources to find online course, tutorials, videos or eBooks.
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