Although you may think differently, often, these people find housework stressful and even painful. Starting a cleaning business, such as a house cleaning service, allows you to tap into a massive market with many potential customers. Home cleaning services will constantly be needed to keep you in business and your clients’ homes spotless.
Cleaning services typically have lower startup costs than some other ventures, and it’s one of the few cleaning businesses that can be started quickly with little capital, assuming you’re prepared to work hard for a small profit and gradual gains.
While there are many different types of businesses to start, a cleaning business requires little to no experience and has low startup costs. This helps clean a reasonably priced and potentially profitable option for those looking to start their own business.
Follow this guide in a few simple steps to learn how to start a cleaning business from scratch.
Outlook for the Cleaning Business Industry
According to Global News Wire, the contract cleaning industry earned more than $78.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to nearly $100 billion by 2026. This guide will show you how if you’d like to scrub your way to a prosperous future.
According to a recent Statista report, the cleaning industry’s estimated annual revenue in 2020 will be more than 47.5 billion dollars. Furthermore, the prediction of 10% growth by 2026 demonstrates that the cleaning industry is brimming with opportunities.
Continue reading to find out how to start a cleaning business from scratch. Alternatively, consider purchasing an existing cleaning business from our listings of cleaning businesses for sale. It is quicker and easier than starting your own cleaning business.
So Here Is How To Start A Cleaning Business From Scratch
- Conduct market research.
- Create a Business Plan for a Cleaning Service.
- Choose a Name for Your Cleaning Company
- Conduct a thorough startup cost analysis.
- Think about funding.
- Alternative Finance
- Purchase Equipment and Cleaning Supplies
- Used Cleaning Supplies
- Cleaning Services for Corporations
- Set Your Pricing
- How to Pricing Your Cleaning Services.
- Obtain a Commercial Cleaning business license.
- Legally Register Your Commercial Cleaning Business
- Find and maintain potential customers' Loyalty.
- Get your first clients by marketing your cleaning business.
- Set Up Online Digital Marketing
- The Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting a Cleaning Business
Conduct market research.
When considering starting a cleaning business, ensure your work is worth paying for. Begin by offering free household chores in exchange for feedback and cleaning materials to close friends or family. Put another way; if you know somebody who did work as a cleaner, you could ask to shadow them on a job to ensure you have the necessary skills. The most important thing is to ensure that your cleaning standards meet the expectations of paying customers, and the best way to do so is to take on a job for someone else.
You must also decide what type of cleaning service you will offer. Other services range from one-person operations to national chains and from light home cleaning to specialized services such as pressure washing and industrial carpet cleaning. If you have experience cleaning windows or providing another skilled assistance, consider narrowing your cleaning business focus to your skills and resources.
Individual cleaners work primarily in private homes for a few clients — if you go this route, you’ll save money. Some independent contractors have weekly appointments with clients and jobs on a set schedule. Other people are available for one-time or short-term facilities by the hour or minutes.
Finally, think about investing in an established franchise cleaning business. This approach has advantages and disadvantages; it may demand a higher initial cost, but it will almost certainly provide a more simplified procedure.
Create a Business Plan for a Cleaning Service.
The next stage in launching a new cleaning company is to write a one-page business plan. You should also investigate beginning expenses and create financial predictions by estimating how much the cleaning firm will generate and spend over the following two years.
Going on the growth of the company trip without a plan is like going on a road trip without knowing where you’re going. A lack of a defined objective and awareness of how to get there may contribute to a lousy cleaning business model.
On the other hand, preparing a superb cleaning service company strategy assists you in consistently visualizing and achieving your goal. It will help you be organized, ready for the unexpected, and focused on your goals.
A cleaning business plan allows you to define short-term and long-term goals for completing vital stepping stones on your way to developing a profitable cleaning service business.
So, with a solid cleaning business plan, you may lay the most critical basis for your company.
Pick a good Niche
There are several “niches” in the cleaning industry; knowing how to clean homes is not the same as knowing how to clean advertisements. To begin, you will be dealing with two categories of consumers, each with unique requirements.
The following characteristics distinguish the various cleaning niches:
- Commercial cleaning services include maintenance, carpet, window, and floor cleaning.
- Janitorial Services: Office Cleaning – Moving Out Cleaning – After Building Cleaning, and so on.
- Residential Cleaning Service: Maid Service (Housekeeping) and so forth.
When establishing a cleaning business, it is best to focus on a particular specialty so that you know what sort of consumer you are dealing with and what has to be done. When marketing, it will be easier to understand where to discover your potential customers.
The cleaning industry has one advantage: each specialization or category of cleaning service company has its own operational methods and specialties. Creating a cleaning business that suits your personality and skills is feasible.
Choose a Name for Your Cleaning Company
First and foremost, you must decide on a name for your cleaning firm before proceeding. When naming your cleaning company, consider how potential consumers or clients perceive it. What comes to mind when you think about MerryMaids, MollyMaids, MaidPro, the maids, MaidBrigade, and so on?
What comes to mind when you see or think about Josh’s Cleaning Service? When it comes to perception, there is a significant difference. The franchise names I mentioned before are branded, meaning they are not tied to a specific person’s name.
A branded name looks to a consumer to be more professional, established, and reputable. A lengthy name that incorporates someone’s name appears amateurish, unestablished, and likely inexpensive. This might not be true for Irene’s Cleaning Services. She could be the most excellent cleaner in town, but perception is critical when there are many legitimate firms to pick from.
Also, if you ever want to sell your firm, you don’t want your name to be connected with the company’s name.
Let’s get back to choosing a name. The obvious solution would be to include the words “maid”/”maids,” “clean”/”cleaning,” or “house”/”home” in your company name and then add an adjective, verb, or noun to the beginning or end. HappyMaids and FastMaids are two examples. You may also think of a snappy and original name that does not use the words “maid” or “clean.” Whatever you select, the title should not contain more than 2-3 words.
Once you’ve settled on a name for your company, check to see whether the actual domain/website name is available online. It would help if you also verified with your local cleaning business registration authorities to ensure that no other company has previously registered with that name. More information is provided below.
Select a location.
Your cleaning business must function from a location, whether a room in your home or a commercial cleaning facility you lease. Each form of space has advantages and disadvantages, so consider your requirements carefully before selecting.
- You will not have to pay for a commercial cleaning business location if you work from home. You’ll save money, but you’ll have to keep the cleaning supplies in your home.
- Having a cleaning business facility allows you to meet with clients in a professional atmosphere. Set up a desk with comfy seats where your clients may sit while you detail your services.
- Having a storefront will assist you in advertising and branding. You’ll be able to show your name and brand for all to see as they drive by.
Conduct a thorough startup cost analysis.
The main reason that 9 out of 10 businesses fail is that they reach a financial wall before or soon after they debut. The primary cause of this failure is an erroneous estimation of launch expenses. When you wind up spending far more than you expected, you may realize that you need more resources to start or manage your firm.
Having realistic expectations about the resources available is also a good idea, as grants and starting loans are tough to secure. Because it is better to be safe than sorry, rather than having unrealistic expectations about how fast you can start producing money, it is best to save some money to guarantee your firm stays afloat until it reaches self-sufficiency.
Cleaning companies frequently utilize estimating software, CRM, accounting software, and pricing structure to manage company money. We’ll go through how to budget, secure finance, and other things to think about when beginning a cleaning business.
We’ve all vowed to create and keep to a cleaning company budget. This is much more crucial in the cleaning business than in personal life.
Chris began Queen Bee with a budget of less than $5,000. If you have a car, he says you can start for less than $2,800. Operating costs should account for 80-90% of revenue.
Think about funding.
Have you ever wondered why so many individuals get into the cleaning industry? It has a low entrance barrier. Starting a house cleaning business can be as simple as one shopping trip to a home improvement store.
Funding for your cleaning business might come from a variety of sources, including:
- Personal finances: Personal savings, 401k, or only a portion of your income
- Family or friend loans: Friends and relatives are sometimes eager to assist people in starting a company; at the absolute least, they may hire you to clean their houses.
- Business associate: When you have a cleaning business partner, you can do twice as much. They might be either active or passive investors.
- Government initiatives: Some individuals may be eligible for SBA loans or government assistance.
Alternatively, the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides free training on financing choices and funding programs. Hartford released an article outlining the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing personal cash to establish a cleaning business.
Consider the following alternatives for funding:
- Crowdfunding is possible if your company’s concept can be scaled to sell throughout the country.
- Credit cards: You’ll need them to pay for things like petrol. Each vehicle will also require a credit card. You’ll get some money back and help enhance your credit. Like a personal credit score, a credit score influences corporate lending rates.
- Loan for home equity: Refinancing your house loan is an excellent option to obtain beginning capital.
- Rollover of business starting (ROBS): If you form an S-Corp or C-Corp, you can transfer your 401K from your previous employment to your new organization and use the 401K to purchase company shares, giving your firm an infusion of capital. You can send dividends to the 401K throughout operations to boost its cash.
Purchase Equipment and Cleaning Supplies
Your cleaning equipment is determined by the service(s) you offer. Begin with a vacuum, window cleaner, and microfiber cloths.
If you’re wondering what cleaning supplies you’ll need for a maid service, read Jobber’s recommendations.
Used Cleaning Supplies
You may obtain specialized cleaning equipment at rock-bottom pricing by acquiring an existing cleaning firm. Always thoroughly inspect the vacuum because it is critical for cleaning supplies. We offer some fantastic suggestions on determining the value of a cleaning business, so read the complete guide.
Cleaning companies will have to deal with some unique issues. When selecting equipment and supplies, keep the following aspects in mind.
Some consumers suffer from severe allergies. Cleaning businesses must be mindful of this when doing cleaning tasks. Consider utilizing a client’s cleaning supplies to keep pet hair contained in their house if they have pets.
Also, while bidding, make sure to inquire about pets. Some housekeepers may be allergic to pets.
You may need to restrict them to office cleaning only, administer allergy injections to help them acquire antibodies to the allergens, or assist them in reducing their risk in other ways. It may be expensive, but it will protect your commercial cleaning business insurance from allergic responses.
To save money when you’re starting, I recommend buying cleaning chemicals in concentrated form rather than buying one bottle of cleaner at a time. You will save both time and money. Purchase a gallon of your preferred cleaning concentration and an empty 32oz bottle. Fill the bottle halfway with water and add the specified amount of concentrate.
What Kinds of Services Will You Provide?
Cleaning and Maid Services
House cleaning firms typically provide three residential house cleaning services: regular, spring/deep, and move-in/move-out cleanings. Furthermore, these services are usually offered on a one-time or recurrent basis, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Cleaning Services for Small Offices
Small office cleaning is frequently included in the list of services provided by House Cleaning & Maid Services. The only distinction between home and small office cleaning is if the office wants you to buff and polish the floors and when you will clean. Residential cleaning hours are typically between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You may be requested to clean a tiny office during cleaning business hours or after the office closes.
Cleaning Services for Corporations
Starting a commercial cleaning service is different from creating a household cleaning service. I own a domestic house cleaning firm without direct experience with commercial cleaning.
I know that commercial cleaning services are substantially larger and need a larger workforce. In addition, cleaning occurs every night after cleaning business hours, and a new pricing system incorporates bidding. Cleaning duties often require specialized knowledge, such as how to care for business floors using buffers and polishers.
Cleaning Up After Construction
Another potential cleaning business model is post-construction cleaning. This specialty service is similar to the ones stated above but with distinct cleaning procedures and costs. These services will come in immediately after a new home is completed and clean, vacuum, and dust all of the inside surfaces. This is comparable to house cleaning but with a lot more drywall dust. You will also be dealing with contractors rather than homeowners.
Set Your Pricing
Rates for a cleaning service can be established in three ways: hourly, flat, or per square footage. Hourly and fixed charges are appropriate for both cleaning and residential businesses. It might be reasonable to start with an hourly amount for residential cleaning properties and then calculate a flat-rate offering based on how long your cleaners take to finish an average single-family home.
Rates based on square footage are typical in commercial cleaning companies. Because you’ll be conducting more regular and repeated work, it makes sense to assess the size of the space and how much labor you’ll have to spend on it.
How to Pricing Your Cleaning Services.
When you first start in the cleaning company and have at least the essential licenses on your own, you may charge at least $25 per hour.
Prices range from $25 to $80 per hour. However, this varies greatly depending on where you live. To get a sense of how the market in your region is for this service, call at least five local firms and get an estimate; some will want a walk-through estimate, while others will give you an estimated phone number. When they question you about it,
- Recruit and train cleaners so that you may expand.
- When the workload increases and you begin to feel overwhelmed (unavoidable), it’s time to leave your home office and hire cleaning. Here’s how it’s done:
- Determine who your ideal person is, what they require in a career, and how to locate them.
- Create a job description so that you (and your potential employee) are aware of your function and obligations.
- Create a job ad and distribute it to job-search websites such as LinkedIn or Indeed and other areas where your ideal employee spends time.
- When you begin receiving applications, shortlist the finest ones and conduct interviews with the candidates. Include a paid audition to evaluate candidates’ abilities as part of your employment process.
- Hire the best applicant for the position and do all your power to retain them on the team.
Spend time and effort training cleaners to be ready to work in the field. Using tools like job cleaning business checklists, staff handbooks, and frequent assessments, you can keep your cleaners’ skills sharp.
Before you begin your first cleaning, you must decide on your cleaning business structure. Next, if you’re starting a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to register your business name with your local registrar of deeds office or with the Secretary of State’s office if you’re organizing an LLC.
You may do this yourself or use an online legal document provider such as LegalZoom to accomplish it for you.
If you are starting and do not have workers, you can register as a single proprietor until you have more liabilities.
If you want to hire staff or do not want your firm to be associated with your social security number on your taxes, you must get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.
Next, you should check with your local municipality or county to discover whether your cleaning business requires a license or zoning permission. Contact your local town or county government agencies for this information. The SBA has provided a list of state business license agencies where you may obtain this information.
Finally, gather your registration documentation and create a cleaning business checking account once your cleaning business has been registered. This is critical since you want to keep your cleaning revenue distinct from your checking account. This is also vital for general financial reporting and monitoring of your business, mainly when keeping track of your business income and spending for tax purposes.
Obtain a Commercial Cleaning business license.
Before you clean a single house, you must obtain a company license. This is the legal basis for operating your business. If you don’t have one, you might be in huge trouble (and pay a substantial fee).
There is a one-time fee that varies depending on where you reside. You’ll also need to renew every year, at which time you’ll undoubtedly have to pay the exact cost.
Visit your city or state’s website to learn about their business resources and apply for your license.
Legally Register Your Commercial Cleaning Business
You have a budget, business checking accounts, and loans, but is all of this viable if your firm is not legal? It is when you’re an adequately recognized cleaning service. To be regarded as an official firm, you must also have a cleaning company name and a business license. Your company can be registered as:
Company with limited liability.
Legal corporate organizations, such as LLCs, will protect you if your cleaning company is sued.
If you operate alone and generate income, you should evaluate your revenue to determine if your firm must be registered. If you make more than a specific amount (for example, $100), you must legally record your earnings to the IRS.
To hire people, you must get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Check with your local legal institution, such as the local ordinances officials, to see if the license or zoning permission is sufficient for your cleaning firm.
Find and maintain potential customers’ Loyalty.
Although internet forums and service platforms increasingly connect individuals with local cleaning providers, word-of-mouth remains essential in the domestic services market. Consider encouraging clients who are delighted with your other cleaning services to share your Facebook page with their friends or give them your business card to pass on to interested friends.
References Because it might be tough to show prospective clients your most excellent work, it’s a good idea to include contact information for previous potential customers who are prepared to serve as references. Better, request that satisfied consumers give written authority for your website.
The current clientele is a great source of new business for house cleaners. While you want to avoid relying on potential customers for new tasks, developing a connection with them may help you build confidence. In turn, they may inform you of future possibilities.
Having fixed pricing that you can give is a crucial element of acquiring and keeping clients. The typical cost of cleaning a single-family house is $120-$150, according to HomeAdvisor.
Your region, degree of competition, services offered, and other factors can influence this pricing structure. In terms of cost, cleaning services often provide fees in three ways: by the hour, by the square footage of the space being cleaned, or by a simple flat charge.
Whatever price strategy you pick, it is a good idea to conduct market research to ensure your charges are competitive, especially if you are starting. Furthermore, consider investing in a payment processor, such as Square, to assist you in taking credit card payments from clients. Just bear in mind that taking credit card payments will incur costs.
Get your first clients by marketing your cleaning business.
Marketing is critical to the sustainability of any new company. You’ll fight for exposure and prospective consumers with several other cleaning providers.
But don’t worry; there are several methods to get your foot in the door, many of which are free.
- Utilize social media to locate local community organizations on Facebook or Nextdoor. Getting your first few clients by promoting your business to your neighbors is a terrific way to start.
- Create your company’s brand. Being a professional business requires you to dress the role. Building a solid brand will assist you in doing this.
- Make use of your network. Inform relatives and friends about your cleaning business and get them to become your first clients (don’t forget to urge them to spread the word!)
- Print professional tear-away flyers with Jobber’s free online tool and distribute them around your area.
- Door hangers are another inexpensive approach to marketing your brand in a specific location.
- Referral programs are an excellent approach to encourage customers to refer you to their friends or to book numerous services with you. You might express your gratitude by providing a service discount or other reward.
- Contact a local business owner who could be an ideal collaborator or send clients to you, such as pet stores, caterers, event planners, or realtors. One alternative is to call the company and discuss your services over the phone. Going in person is even better. You’ll have to phone or visit a lot of establishments – this strategy rewards perseverance.
- Apply decals or a car wrap to your corporate vehicle to turn it into a moving billboard. Please place it in public so that passers-by can learn about your company.
“We know that word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. However, if you want to develop your firm and eventually establish an empire, you must advertise and market. There’s no getting around that.”
Set Up Online Digital Marketing
Because the Internet is where you’ll receive most of your new cleaning clients, it’s critical to master what you need to know about digital marketing in the long run.
- Make a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account for your company. Then, regularly upload material such as how-to videos, before-and-after images, and company growth advice. Setting up these accounts is free and straightforward, and you may lead people to these pages while your website is still being built.
- Create a Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business). This can help you appear in local search results when people look for your company or services. Make a point of asking satisfied customers to post a 5-star review too!
- Include your company in local business directories and lead-generation websites. These platforms assist you in increasing your internet visibility to anywhere consumers in your region go for cleaning services like yours.
- Create a professional website offering services, and lets prospects request they work quickly. Ensure your URL is simple, sweet, and matches your company name.
- Try out Google Local Service Ads, digital advertisements for local cleaning businesses.
Who is your target market?
Identifying your target market is one of the first stages in beginning any small business. This includes deciding whether you want to deal with homeowners (residential cleaning businesses) or business owners (commercial cleaning).
Identifying your target market is critical since it helps you to tailor your cleaning services, hourly rate, and marketing strategy to your potential consumers’ demands. It also allows you to set your company out from the competition.
You may, for example, elect to target homes in affluent communities that need cleaning services. Keeping this in mind, you may charge higher fees and run marketing campaigns describing your professionalism, high-quality items, etc.
Consider the sorts of customers you want to serve and what they expect from cleaning services. Then you can ensure that your company is tailored to their specific requirements.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting a Cleaning Business
- Low beginning costs: To get started in the cleaning company, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment, cleaning supplies, and materials. You may also choose to rent a few cleaning supplies if your firm requires expensive equipment to save money and generate profit.
- Excellent earning potential: Cleaning services are in high demand nowadays, thanks to several project management cleaning solutions for cleaners.
- On the other hand, your earning potential is severely restricted by your limitations on using interactive platforms for cleaning organizations and efficiently running the firm directly from any location.
- No prior experience is required: Wow! Cleaning services do not require any schooling or certification. To begin booking consumers, you need great motivation, commitment, and strenuous effort.
- Work at home: The service provider sits back and relaxes while providing their clients or consumers with the best possible services. Everything is easily handled, and the cleaning firm may be run directly from home.
- Flexibility: Because you are self-employed and the manager of your cleaning firm, you may work for yourself, organize meetings, establish your hours, and have complete control over your cleaning business.
- A few extra expenses: You do not need to rent or acquire office space, purchase a business vehicle, pay salaries, pay utility expenses or have cleaning supplies. Of course, these can all become typical responsibilities later on, but you can start with minimum financial concerns for now.
- It necessitates significant physical labor: Cleaning is physically demanding work that requires considerable time to prepare, perform repeated actions on your own, and transport heavy cleaning supplies. However, this is only true if you do not hire an expert cleaning staff from the start of your hiring process.
- Less income in the beginning: As expected, your cleaning company’s revenue is minimal. However, if you can properly run your firm and figure out how to get clients, you will be ready.
- It is a competitive environment: Cleaning service sectors may be found worldwide in today’s competitive environment. At first glance, standing out from the crowd is a difficult task. However, if you have unique sales talents, you can dominate the market.
- Stressful team management: When running a successful cleaning business, your cleaning staff should be your first concern. There may be ups and downs, and you may not be present to follow them or observe how they do their duties. As a result, you must be prepared with the most excellent marketing staff possible.
Is it worth starting a Cleaning Service Company in 2022-2023?
According to Marketdata Enterprises Inc., the cleaning sector in the United States is worth more than $78 billion yearly. A cleaning company is both profitable and enjoyable. Enter a world of limitless possibilities. As the employer, you have complete control over your financial objectives and timetable.
When beginning household cleaning services, the initial cost is negligible and readily recouped; you spend as the business develops. There is no high investment, and you must perform a miracle to at least return your money.
Cleaning may appear to be a straightforward job, but it is not. Before you make cleaning your full-time or part-time profession, it’s a good idea to spend a few days “on the job” to be sure you’re cut out for it.
You may gradually take on additional work and more customers with a cleaning business as you get experience. As you figure out your schedule and get regular commercial clients, you’ll be able to optimize your time and expenditure while still providing quality service, assuming you take the necessary precautions ahead of time.
Most cleaning entrepreneurs do not receive the coaching or assistance they require to smooth their entry into the new business sector. To assist them, we produced this guide on starting a cleaning business from scratch, which clearly describes most of the issues and questions that potential and existing cleaning business owners confront.