Every homeowner wishes to see shiny flooring, clean curtains, and dust-free upholstery 24/7. However, doing that single-handedly is a challenging task. That’s when a cleaning business comes to the picture, and takes care of these mundane-yet-important chores.
Moreover, starting a cleaning business is lucrative in both residential and commercial sectors, especially when your funds are limited. But, be mindful that it’s a long-term decision. You cannot snap out of it after investing your effort because that’s not how a business succeeds. That’s why everyone who wants to start a cleaning business must learn its ins and outs beforehand. When you have a clear roadmap, you drive comfortably and reach your destination within time; the same goes for a business.
Also, establishing a successful cleaning business is not something that happens overnight; you should put time and effort into it. From deciding which sectors you’ll target to determining the rate charts, every step should be carried out smartly. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to start a cleaning business from scratch and make it well-equipped for future happenings. A business needs modifications with time and must be well-prepared to meet new challenges.
If you want to make a foolproof start, you’ve landed in the right place. Follow this checklist and establish your cleaning business from the ground up:
- Make a business plan
- Equipment and resources required
- Pick a name for your company
- Get your business registered and keeping track of expenses & taxes
- Look out for competitors and stand out in the market
- Get professional advice from an accountant and fix rates
- Online and offline marketing
- Public liability insurance for your cleaning business
- House cleaning supplies
Checklist items you need to keep tabs on for starting a cleaning business:
1- Make a business plan:
Can you reach a place without knowing about the route? You cannot! The same happens when you start a business. Unless you have clear directions to reach a certain point, you shouldn’t start. Plan your investment, partnership, targeted regions, office location (if any), and the number of required employees to avoid confusion. This plan doesn’t have to be difficult (as we see in the corporate sector), but an easy one. Most cleaning businesses start with one or two people. The plan should be decided after mutual discussion of the partners.
2- Equipment and resources required:
Making the list of essentials is essential when you start anything. This gives you a precise estimate of the investment you need to make initially. A cleaning business requires different kinds of tools depending upon the services you opt for. For example, if you run a grout cleaning business, you’ll need scrubbers, mops, brushes, and heavy detergents. Similarly, an upholstery cleaning business requires heavy-duty vacuum cleaners, steam irons, and water supply injectors that you have to carry along.
Listing these items will clarify what’s essential and what’s avoidable for a new business.
3- Pick a company name:
A cleaning business must have an easy-to-remember name to facilitate the customers. An old-age woman wouldn’t remember a confusing business name when she needs to get the tiles or upholstery cleaned. You should choose a comfortable and exciting title representing your services, i.e., Laura, the launderer.
4- Get your business registered and keeping track of expenses and taxes:
All businesses should be registered with the state authorities for smooth running. If this is your first business, study your area/state’s policies, and comply with them. This might be overwhelming for the first-timers, but it doesn’t take much time.
And if you have connections, approach them to get your business registered. Having professional help is always a wise decision which can save you from many troubles.
5- Keep a lookout for competitors and standout:
When you want to be approached by the customers, you have to be the best at what you do. If you rely on old-school cleaning services, contemporary house owners won’t be comfortable getting you on-board. However, when your cleaning business has the latest tools and friendly staff, it portrays a positive image.
6- Financial advice from accountant and fix rates:
It is predicted that industrial cleaning activities will reach a whopping revenue of $538.8 million by 2024. This figure indicates that you can make good money while running a small-scale cleaning business.
When you start, consult an experienced person for financial advice and budgeting of your company. This will give you a clear insight into what to invest and what to expect in the coming months from a new business.
7- Offline and online marketing tactics:
Word-of-mouth marketing surely helps small scale businesses, but it cannot replace the importance of digital means. When you have a trustable online presence, the first time customers approach you instead of an unknown competitor. Similarly, print media is another powerful medium for promoting a new cleaning business that targets a particular region. You don’t have to spend a fortune to efficiently market your business, get an SEO expert on board, and be good-to-go.
8- Public liability Insurance:
Property damage, worker compensation, business vehicle, and house cleaning bonding insurances, and basic liability insurance are essential for a business’s safety. Once you register your business, get these insurances for a foolproof growth. These insurances minimize the loss of misfortunes and accidents.
9- House cleaning supplies:
Make sure you have a list of all the chemicals, disinfectants, equipment, such as brushes, scrapers, microfiber cloth or dusters, etc. noted. Once this list is ready, shop from the most affordable seller, and never compromise on these tools’ quality.
Is starting a cleaning business worth it?
It sure is. People always look out for a helping hand to make their lives more comfortable. Hiring a cleaning business is one of the most acquired luxuries these days. A busy person won’t have time to scrub the tiles or wash his curtains. Instead, he’ll opt for a trustworthy cleaning business to save time and hassle.
When you specialize in a cleaning method, i.e., flooring or gutter cleaning, you’re always in demand. After seasonal changes, people call your company to get rid of the lawn debris or stuck tree leaves after heavy storms, giving you more business.
The benefits of starting a cleaning business
In 2018, 1.04 billion US dollars were spent on household cleaning supplies. This data indicates that people are getting more conscious about the cleanliness of their homes and surroundings.
Starting a cleaning business comes with many questions. How much investment do you need, the outcomes, or which services are most demanded are some essential points that determine your business’s benefits. Here are a few reasons to look at the bright side:
- Working at your choice of time, choosing your clients, and no “boss pressure” are the main benefits of a cleaning business.
- A cleaning business doesn’t need an office building or a huge investment before you start. You can operate from the garage of your home and still become successful.
- No initial investment is required except for the cleaning tools and a vehicle (if you cover a broad region).
- Anyone can start a cleaning business unless he/she is healthy and active, as this job requires sufficient physical exertion.
- When you operate a company single-handedly, you can minimize the expenditures and enjoy the right profit margin while being your own boss.
The cons of starting a cleaning business
Every good thing comes at a cost; a cleaning business is no exception. When you build a business from the ground up, several hazards might affect your progress. Here are a few negatives to consider before you start your cleaning business:
- As I mentioned earlier, you have to be physically fit and healthy to start a cleaning business (especially if you plan to hire no staff). A lot of labor and strenuous tasks will be included in your job profile.
- A business doesn’t start paying overnight; the same goes for a cleaning company. You’ll have to be patient and build your clientele before expecting a good income each month.
- Since the cleaning businesses are mostly area-specific, be ready to see many competitors prepared to take over. You’ll have to be on the toes to maintain and expand your trusted clients.
- All houses/buildings aren’t the same, and some require more than usual time for detailed cleaning. Therefore, manage your appointments wisely and never over-commit.
- Once your cleaning business expands, it will need more staff to be up-and-running. It might cause some distress in the finances, but a well-established cleaning business can manage.
Here are a few points you need to consider before starting your cleaning business
Running a cleaning business is not a cakewalk because it has its ups and downs like any other organization. To know if you can turn this to a fruitful work, read the points I’ve listed below:
- Love for perfection, as no one will hire an inattentive cleaner.
- Organizational skills because your clients won’t like seeing the aftermath of heavy cleaning.
- Stamina to meet deadlines and manage different types of cleaning services.
- Working alone because you won’t have a helping hand initially.
- You need to be trustworthy, as you have to be entrusted with possessions and their house keys.
- You’ll have to repeatedly do the same mundane routine, so be ready to take a little boredom.
- You need to have likability and friendliness so that people would come back for your services.
What are the types of cleaning businesses?
A cleaning business should specify its preferred region before starting to remove any ambiguities from the process. Here are the three significant types of cleaning businesses you should know about:
When you target residential colonies to offer your services, you fall under a domestic cleaning business category. This type can be operated with a few staff members and doesn’t usually require specified cleaning tools. Instead, you can start with a few essentials and still offer satisfactory domestic cleaning.
Approaching business centers, shops, cinemas, hospitals, etc. makes you a commercial cleaner. You target more significant buildings and larger areas at this level, which shows the importance of having staff members. You’ll need heavy-duty vacuum cleaners, water supply, scrubbers, and brushes to be a trustable commercial cleaner.
Upholstery, carpets, tiles, gutters, and lawns need specialized cleaning methods different from each other. When you master one area, i.e., parks/gardens, it gives you the upper hand over a generic competitor who opts for all cleaning types. Also, specialized cleaning needs you to buy different tools/gadgets depending upon your forte.
Do you need an LLC to start a cleaning business?
Limited Liability Company (LLC) reduces the risk factor of any business and makes it a registered organization. You have to apply for LLC, and the government authorities will allocate LLC after seeing your credentials. Although it helps you play safe, it isn’t necessary for starting a business. You can start a cleaning business without it, and get it once you’re established.
What documents do I need to start a cleaning business?
Firstly, you need to show your money trails as they determine if you can cover the costs of a business or not.
Secondly, you need to have licenses and permits required for any business. This includes office, vehicle, and hiring permits.
Thirdly, you need to file LLC papers to reduce the liability of your cleaning business.
And lastly, keep track of all your expenses with your accountant, and be fair in your dealings—file income tax to become the sole owner of your cleaning business. You’ll also have to get your federal tax ID before hiring employees and verifying if they are qualified to work in the United States.
Resources to help grow your understanding of the cleaning business: