How To Start A Cleaning Business
If you’re looking to start a business as an entrepreneur, then odds are you’re looking for something that has low overhead and high demand. One of the best businesses that fits this criteria is the cleaning business!
Table of Contents
How To Start A Cleaning Business
- Acquire capital for your cleaning business.
- Pick your market / location.
- Choose a specialty (window cleaning, office cleaning, maid services, etc).
- Set your cleaning business budget.
- Register the business (business license, business insurance, liability insurance, etc)
- Start with a client list and continue to add to it.
- Invest in advertising and expanding. (brand name, word of mouth, lead generation, etc)
As a cleaning service provider, you won’t have any crazy upfront costs compared to other ventures like a construction business. This is one of the few businesses out there that you can get started with quickly as long as you’re ok with working hard at a modest profit…and can handle the few necessary operating costs.
Aside from some cleaning products, most of the cleaning jobs you do can be done with the same cleaning products that you use in your own home.
Because residential cleaning doesn’t often require you to bring out the heavy duty cleaning equipment.
That said, it doesn’t mean all your cleaning jobs will be easy, after all, if it were, then there wouldn’t be such a large market for cleaners right now would there?
Obviously if you know cleaning business owners already then that will be a HUGE help. But if you don’t have any connections in the cleaning industry, don’t worry about it. Plenty of people have started a cleaning business from scratch.
Remember Bob Proctor? He got started with no connections and operated a successful cleaning business. He went on to become one of the most successful carpet cleaners.
The only way you will have a successful cleaning company is if you offer your customers high quality service and they are always satisfied.
Check out everything you need to know about how to start a cleaning business.
But let’s get real, who wants to go around and do household chores all day? Even Bob Proctor passed out from all the back breaking work one day.
Research As A Real Business Owner
Before you get gung ho in deciding to start a cleaning business, try to make sure your work is actually worth people paying you for.
A great way to do this is by asking a family member or close friend if you can take an hour to clean a few rooms in their house and ask for their honest opinion.
If that checks out, see if you can connect with a cleaning business owner in town and see if they’ll allow you to accompany them on a job. This will allow you to see if you’ve got what it takes to handle some less pleasant houses. You’ll also be able to see the cleaning standards that other customers will expect.
After that, you’ll need to decide what kind of cleaning services you’ll want to offer to potential clients. Anything from basic house cleaning, maid service, all the way to commercial cleaning business services like pressure washing.
If you’re just running the cleaning business by yourself, odds are that you’ll probably just want to stick to a few residential cleaning clients. It’ll keep you busy, you’ll spend less, and you’ll likely not be having to work yourself down to bone as much if you ran a bigger business.
Something you could also consider is a franchise agreement with a larger company. It’ll likely require a bigger investment upfront, but it will take a lot of the guess work out of your own business since you can use their process.
You can certainly make money with a cleaning business, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to become a cleaning pro (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money.
The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $40,000+ per month teaches some of the same entrepreneurial skills, but shows you how to monetize them in a much, MUCH more profitable way.
Starting A Cleaning Business In 7 Steps
A cleaning business can span from just a simple home cleaner to specialized commercial cleaners. So when you start you cleaning business, it’s important to determine what you want to focus on with it starting out.
You’ll find that the hourly rate will vary greatly depending on the services you offer. You’ll also want to determine how big you want to grow this early on and make sure you have the appropriate systems in place to onboard new clients and employees rapidly if need be. Home-cleaning businesses larger than just yourself will need the structure those systems provide.
When you have finally decided on your target market, you need to start going over your business plan in detail and begin following it out. Things like company vehicles, where you’re getting cleaning equipment from, etc. As soon as you have a solid business structure, you’ll want to start marketing your services right away!
Step 1: Acquire Capital For Your Cleaning Business
The one things business owners like the least is being on the other side of financing. Often times financing the cleaning business from scratch is the toughest part. Mainly because it will require them to go to friends, family, or even the bank for a business loan.
However, if you play your cards right, you might have a chance of getting away with financing the whole operation on your credit cards. We don’t necessarily recommend this method, but it’s possible considering how low the startup costs are for this business.
Just make sure you keep your debt low and your cash flow high.
Generally the only costs you’ll have with a cleaning business are the cleaning solutions themselves, some advertising, business license, and liability insurance. Most of these cleaning supplies you need can be found at big discounts when you buy in bulk.
Some of these cleaning supplies might be, window cleaner, gloves, paper towels, various brush, and so on. If you’re lucky, you could even buy them from manufacturers directly.
Step 2: Pick Your Market / Location
The types of clients you target should be based on what there is demand for in the local area. Also don’t over stretch yourself, you need to be able to get to certain clients in a timely fashion so don’t create a radius too large for yourself.
Along with location, check to see what your competition is up to. That way when you’re wondering how to start a cleaning business, you can look at other cleaning businesses in your area and see what they’re offering or even missing. You could just take over the green cleaning market if no one else is offering it in your area!
When you’re brand new to the game we recommend that you jump into residential cleaning first. You’ll find that it’s much easier to make an entry into compared to commercial cleaning. That big business is dominated by even BIGGER companies that most likely have more resources than you to get things done quicker and cheaper. In residential cleaning you can be a lot smaller and take care of the smaller apartments and single family homes most big companies would ignore.
However, it can be pretty frustrating when you’re limited geographically. That means you only have a finite amount of money you can get access to.
Step 3: Choose Your Specialty ( Office Cleaning / Residential Cleaning)
At the end of the day, the success you have as a cleaning company will come down to how well of a job you do and how much of an expert you are in that area.
For example if you specialize in cleaning carpets and do much better than the competition, then you’ll have a pricing structure that reflects that.
Once you’re at the point that makes sense to specialize and focus on one particular type of cleaning, you may want to looking into eco-friendly cleaning, grout and tile, and even kitchen cleaning as these industries are on the rise.
Step 4: Set Your Cleaning Business Budget
The biggest expenses you’ll ever have as you’re starting a cleaning business are the supplies and transportation. If you’re an individual cleaner with your own transportation and supplies, costs will be quite low as you can imagine. But so will your profit. If you have a multi-person team, your profit might be marginally bigger, but your expenses will too as now you have to buy more cleaning supplies and more company vehicles.
For a cleaning business, transportation is essential. After all, the house isn’t gonna be coming to you. Before taking on a job you have to make sure you can get there first.
Generally speaking the cleaning companies take on the responsibility of getting to the job site. Eventually you may need to invest in company vehicles for you and your employees.
This is probably the expense that will vary the greatest for you. The amount of supplies you need all depends on the cleaning services you plan on offering. It also depends on client size. If you only have a couple clients, then you can get away with one large shopping trip per month at Walmart or Costco.
Although some clients might want you to use there products, wholesalers will likely require you to provide some proof you are who you say you are before they give you product discounts. Showing them a handful of your stellar google reviews couldn’t hurt!
Even though cleaning supplies and transportation will make up the bulk of your budget, cleaning equipment and possible rentals will add up as well. Unfortunately some of these special machines that you may not have access to will come at the price of a pretty penny so beware.
If you’re going to be using the same equipment on a regular basis we recommend performing a cost benefit analysis. It might just make more sense for you to buy the equipment than to rent.
But what if you can do the renting and make BANK off of it?
Step 5: Register The Business (Business License / Insurance)
Surprisingly it’s not as simple as going and cleaning a house and getting paid in cash. Unfortunately you still have to find a way to report all that revenue to good ole uncle Sam so he can get his cut.
However, if you’re just cleaning the kitchen for friends and family once a week for $30 or so, that doesn’t really constitute as a business so you don’t have to necessarily register yourself as a business. But, if you’re bringing in more than a couple hundred fun coupons, you need to find out how to report that so the IRS doesn’t come knocking down your door.
When you start a cleaning business, you can start as a sole proprietor…or in partnership with someone else. We also recommend that when starting any business, you set up an LLC so that you can separate your business and personal finances.
When looking in how to start a cleaning business, you should also consider setting up a franchise under an already large cleaning company. The clear benefit here is the business name. Most people will already have some trust associated with it. But, you’ll still have to run things their way, not yours.
Commercial Cleaning Business vs. Consumer Cleaning Business
If you are working in private homes, you are classified as a Consumer Cleaning Business. If you have contracts with the state or corporate entities, you are classified as a Commercial Cleaning Business.
If a local business wants to use you on a recurring basis, you can be 1099’d by the company if your services are greater the $600 annually.
And don’t forget, when you are picking a business name, make sure to pick something that is catchy and will stick. This will do wonders for your marketing and branding as time goes on. Your name should accurately reflect the services you offer and the value your cleaning services provide.
Step 6: Start With A Client List And Continue To Add To It
When you first start this business, odds are you’re not going to have 20 clients right off the bat. One thing we recommend doing is asking your friends and family to recommend you. Word of mouth is still a big thing today and friends trust friends. Something as simple as sharing your Facebook page or a business card can work wonders for you down the road as your company ages.
It can be difficult for prospective clients to see the quality of your work. We recommend that you reach out to past clients or friends and family who can vouch for you and your work. You could even ask for video testimonials from past customers to use on your website!
The biggest way home cleaners earn new business is through their current clients. Whenever their friends will mention anything about needing some housecleaning, you’ll be the first ones they’ll mention if you’ve done a good job.
And they can add up fast, the average price to clean a single family home is $120-$150 according to Home Advisor. Imagine if you got 5 referrals a week?
Now this is just the average, it could be higher it could be lower, it all just depends on your area. There are different ways to price your cleaning services too. It can be an hourly rate, flat rate, or even by square footage. All that is up to you.
When you first start though, you might not be able to charge top dollar since you are the new kid on the block. However, don’t necessarily work at a loss either. Just be sure to work at rates that are competitive and still profitable for you. It’d also be great if you could start using payment systems like square for credit cards, that way the payment is easily trackable and documented for a later date.
Step 7: Invest In Advertising And Expanding ( Word Of Mouth / Lead Generation)
Word of mouth can only go so far in todays world. Everything is moving towards google and social media. You need a way to generate leads without just word of mouth.
What Is Our Top Recommendation For Making Money In 2021?
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Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.
Where Cleaning Services falls short is in profitability.
You can’t realistically expect to be able to make any REAL passive income when you’re still having to trade your time for money cleaning all day long.
But what if you leverage it?
With this digital real estate program, you can have the ability to completely walk away from manual labor!
Sound too good to be true? Of course it does! But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!
All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!
This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc.
How do you get paid and how much?
Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.
A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.
Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!
That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!
See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment.
The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.
Remember Cleaning Jobs and all the small profit margins?
This one actually allows you to collect that without working in a brick and mortar business all day. Truly passive income!
The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.
You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.
Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions and be in a community with others on the same journey as you.
Unlike Cleaning Businesses, where you have to keep trading your time for money over and over…. You can finally get on the financially free side of life. A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.
Unlike House Cleaning, more people have been able to become financially free as well.
Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the brick and mortar landscape.
Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.