How to Start a Cleaning Business in 7 Simple Steps

Whether you are currently working in the cleaning industry, or you’ve simply always dreamed of starting your own business and being your own boss, starting your own cleaning business is an ideal way to get your foot on the business owner ladder.

Now could be a particularly good time to branch into the world of cleaning business management as both homes and businesses are eager to keep their premises as clean and hygienic as possible in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’ve always wanted to know how to start a cleaning business, we’ve got all the information you need to set you on the road to success!

Why Choose a Cleaning Business?

If you’re looking into how to start a cleaning business, there are lots of options out there for you, so why is a cleaning business a smart choice? Here are just some of the reasons why we think starting a cleaning business is a great way to ensure personal and business success!

1. Low Start-up Costs

Of all the business options there are available to you, starting a cleaning business offers you a low-cost option to becoming a business owner. You can easily run your cleaning business from home and don’t need to worry about purchasing or renting premises to be your business headquarters.

You can also start off with relatively small domestic or commercial cleaning jobs, meaning that you don’t need to worry about splashing out on expensive cleaning equipment right away. Instead, you will only need to stock up on cleaning basics such as mops, buckets, dusters, vacuum cleaners, and a range of cleaning products.

2. Easy to Get Started

As well as being a low-cost business option, cleaning businesses are incredibly easy to get started. Once you start getting word of mouth out about your business and securing clients, you can start carrying out cleaning jobs yourself, even if you’ve not hired any other staff members yet.

You can also pick up all the cleaning supplies you will need for a low cost at your local supermarket or discount store to ensure you are fully stocked for your first cleaning job.

3. Always in High Demand

Cleaners are always going to be in high demand so it’s an excellent decision to start your own cleaning business for long-term success. Discovering how to start a cleaning business opens you up to a range of cleaning possibilities, as no matter what type of property you have to clean, it will always need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Dirt and grime will start to build up no matter how good a cleaner you are, and it’s this guaranteed repeat business that makes becoming a cleaning business owner the smart option!

You can also be confident that automation will never replace the human touch that is required to get a property cleaned to a high standard, so your business is sure to be in high demand for years to come!

Let’s Set Up Your Cleaning Business

1. Pick Your Business Type

The first step of how to start a cleaning business is to decide what type of cleaning business to want to run! There are a couple of different options out there, each of which will offer you different opportunities as a business owner, so let’s take a look at the cleaning business types you can choose from!

 

Domestic Cleaning Business

The first type of cleaning business you can start is a domestic cleaning business. This usually means going to people’s homes and cleaning their houses on a regular basis. You will decide on the frequency of your visits with your clients and they will direct you to the areas of the house which they require to be cleaned. You may be asked to do quite simple things such as hoovering and dusting on a regular basis, or you may be asked to do more intensive tasks such as cleaning the windows, changing the beds, or sorting the household laundry.

 

Commercial Cleaning

The next type of cleaning business you can start is a commercial cleaning business. This means you will clean business properties which could cover a range of places such as offices, shops, hotels, kitchens, and food service areas. Cleaning commercial properties may require a higher degree of specialist cleaning knowledge compared to domestic cleaning, but it is likely to yield higher profits for you as the cleaning jobs will require more of your time and effort.

 

Specialist Cleaning

If you’re looking to carve a niche for yourself in the cleaning industry, then you may want to consider starting a more specialist cleaning business. Specialist cleaning services could involve window cleaning, post-construction cleaning, commercial kitchen cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc. While offering this kind of service will help you stand out from the crowd, it’s important to bear in mind that this sort of specialist service may require higher start-up costs or even additional staff training.

2. Do Some Research

If you want to unlock the key to success when it comes to knowing how to start a cleaning business, then it’s vital that you do your research before you start. To begin with, you’ll want to look at other cleaning companies in the surrounding area to see what they offer and how successful they are. If you have a lot of competition, you’ll want to look at what will make you stand out from the crowd and make customers pick you. Perhaps you could offer additional services which your competitors don’t, or you could offer special discounts to first-time customers to get them to try your services and hopefully turn into long-term customers.

Looking at your competition will also allow you to see the typical prices being charged for cleaning services in your area to make sure you’re offering a competitive price but not under-selling yourself at the same time!

3. Set Your Budget

An essential part of knowing how to start a cleaning business is knowing how much money you can invest in your business before you start to ensure that you set yourself up for success. The great thing about starting a cleaning business is that it can be done on a relatively low budget, to begin with, though you will obviously want to invest more money into your business in the future to help it grow.

The first thing you want to do is look at the essential costs you will need to cover to get your business up and running. This could be things such as:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Marketing costs
  • Hiring staff
  • Insurance costs
  • Transport
  • Any costs associated with registering your business

Once you know what your essential costs are, you will know the bare minimum you need to get your business off the ground. However, you need to consider paying yourself a wage as well when the business first starts. Whether you’re carrying out the cleaning yourself, or simply acting in a cleaning business management role, you want to make sure you’re paying for your valuable time as well.

If you don’t have enough money in your savings to cover getting your cleaning business started, you may want to look at getting a business loan from the bank to ensure you get off the ground successfully.

4. Set Your Business Rates

As we mentioned above, setting your business rates is an incredibly important decision when it comes to how to start a cleaning business. You need to ensure that your prices are competitive enough to attract customers but you also need to make sure you value your time and allow your business to make a profit.

Here are the different price structures you could look at for your cleaning business:
  • Cost per hour – Charging by the hour ensures that if a job requires a lot more work than you first thought, you can be sure that you’re going to be paid fairly for it. However, if you’re a particularly speedy cleaner, charging per hour may mean you end up undercharging for your work!
  • Flat rate per job – Offering a flat rate for your work may be the easiest option for you, as you’ll always be able to project exactly how much money a new customer is going to bring. When deciding on your flat rate, ensure that you are charging for the value you are providing your clients.
  • Cost per room – If you want to ensure you’re not caught out by houses or properties with a large number of rooms, then charging per room could be a great idea. It also means if your customers ask you to start cleaning additional rooms, it’s easy to work out the extra price to charge them.
  • Cost per square foot – This one will be the most difficult to work out every time you take on a new customer, but it will ensure that you are accurately charging for your time, and making more money from larger properties.

The best way to ensure you are charging fairly for each cleaning job may be to offer a custom quote to each client. Advertise a start price either per hour or per job, but make it clear that your prices will differ depending on things such as the size of the home or premise you have to clean, how dirty the place typically is when you have to clean it, and how much work the client wants to be done. This will ensure you are always charging fairly for your work.

5. Create a Marketing Plan

Once you think you’re ready to start accepting customers for your cleaning business, it’s time to create your marketing plan to start attracting clients. Marketing is a vital part of how to start a cleaning business and will ensure that you never need to worry about lining up work for yourself or your staff.

First of all, you need to decide who you are going to target. This will depend on what type of cleaning business you have chosen to set up, so look at whether you are targeting individuals or businesses with your cleaning offering. Depending on who you are targeting, you will need to alter your marketing message and the services you offer. If you’re a domestic cleaning business, you will want to highlight how your cleaning services will save the customer time and effort, all while leaving their home looking clean and tidy. However, for commercial cleaning jobs, you’ll want to highlight that your cleaning services will leave their workplace looking clean, professional, and welcoming. Tailoring your marketing content to suit your target market will yield much better results.

Think about the best way to reach your customers to ensure they know about the services you offer. Here are just some of the ways you can quickly and easily get in touch with your potential customers:

  • Offer your services to friends and family and encourage them to spread the word about your cleaning business.
  • Set up a website and social media pages to easily target customers who are searching for cleaning services in your local area.
  • Post on community pages on social media to attract new, local customers.
  • Post flyers through doors of homes and businesses in your area.
  • Phone up local businesses to see if they’re looking for a cleaning service.

6. Hire Staff Members

While you can start a cleaning business yourself and perform all the cleaning duties on your own, if you’re looking to move into a cleaning management role, then you’ll want to consider hiring additional staff. You’ll also need to hire more staff members if you want to expand your business and allow you to take on more customers than you can service yourself.

If you already work in the cleaning industry, then it may be easy for you to hire people and find other amazing cleaners who are looking to join your cleaning business. If not, it’s time to get hiring! Post job adverts on online job boards, and attract the right candidates to boost your business!

7. Equip Yourself With the Right Kit

 

The last thing you need to consider when it comes to how to start a cleaning business is to ensure you have all the cleaning equipment you need to offer a high-quality service to your customers. The type of business you choose to run, or the level of specialist services you offer will affect the cleaning supplies you need, but here’s a list of basic cleaning supplies you will need to get your cleaning business up and running:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop and bucket
  • A range of dusters to reach different heights
  • Rubber gloves
  • A range of cloths and sponges for different surfaces
  • Brush and dustpan
  • Rubbish bags
  • Cleaning products for a range of surfaces
  • A carry case for all your supplies

Cleaning Business Mistakes to Avoid

Now you know the seven simple steps when it comes to how to start a cleaning business, we thought we’d give you some mistakes you need to avoid in the early days. Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure that you impress your customers right from the start and start building your customer base with ease!

 

Don’t Overbook Yourself

It can be tempting to say yes to every job that you’re offered, but you need to make sure that you have the staff and the free time available to actually complete every job. Ensure you know exactly how long a job is going to take, and what the frequency expectations are from the client before you agree, otherwise you may find yourself working overtime just to cover these jobs!

If you’re getting more work than you can handle then it’s a sign you need to expand! Hire more staff to ensure that you never have to turn a job down in the future!

 

Have the Right Equipment For the Services Your Offer

It can be tempting to agree to more complex jobs or tell your customers that your cleaning business can cover any job thrown at them, but if you agree to a job that requires specialist equipment which you don’t have, you’ll end up creating problems for yourself! You’ll either have to go back to your clients and turn down the job, which could create a negative customer experience, or you may have to hire expensive equipment which you had not factored for in your original quote. This could leave you out of pocket, which is less than ideal.

When it comes to running a cleaning business, it’s vital that you only agree to the jobs you can confidently carry out. If you’re open to doing more specialist and intensive jobs, ensure you price any equipment hire beforehand and include this in your customer quote!

 

Picking a Forgettable Name

If you want to know how to start a cleaning business that will stand out from the crowd, it’s important that you spend time picking a unique and memorable name. Pick something that customers won’t forget once they see it on your marketing activity so that you can be sure they’ll come to you when they need cleaning services in the future.

If you pick a generic name, or worse, one that can easily be confused with one of your competitors, then you’re far more likely to lose business to your competition!

It’s Time to Get Started!

Now that you know how easy it is to get started in the world of cleaning, it’s the perfect time to set up your own cleaning business. We hope this post is full of all the helpful hints and tips you need on how to start a cleaning business! Good luck!

January 27, 2021

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