If you’re thinking of starting your own cleaning business, you’ll find an extensive collection of resources written by various authors to give you a broad overview of what you need to do and what to expect from owning your own cleaning business.
Steps to Start a Cleaning Business
1. Researching the Business – See An Inside Look Into the Business You Want To Start.
2. Choose a Business Location. For more, see Choosing The Best Location for Your Business.
3. Naming Your Business, See How to Choose a Business Name.
4. Business Structure and Legalization – See How to Register your Business.
5. Your Corporate ID – See A Complete Introduction to Corporate Identity Packages.
6. Cleaning Equipment – See The Most Recent Google Search Results Related to Cleaning Business Equipment.
7. Estimating Your Start-up Cost – See Estimating Start-up Costs: Are you Missing Anything?
8. Write a Business Plan – See How to Write a Business Plan.
9. Setting up your Business Banking Account – See, How to Open a Business Bank Account.
10. Get the Funding for Your Business – See Getting a Small Business Loan.
11. Software Setup – Check out Google’s Latest Search Results for Software Packages Related to a Cleaning Business.
12. Get Your Business Insured – See, the latest Google Search Results for Cleaning Business Insurance.
13. Office Setup – See, Here are Considerations for The Setup of Your Office.
14. Choosing Suppliers – See, How to Choose a Supplier You Can Depend on
15. Create an External Support Team – See, Building a Team of Professional Advisors for Your Business
16. Hiring Employees – See How and When to Hire a New Employee.
Before you get to the resources further down the page, I’d like to go over some points you’ll want to consider before you start.
You can run a general cleaning business offering a variety of services, or you can specialize in cleaning services such as window cleaning, carpet cleaning, office cleaning, etc. When you focus on one area, you’ll be able to become a specialist and build your brand. When you generalize, you can take on more work, but your business may not be perceived as a specialist.
With any business getting a new customer is costly. Your business can be much more profitable if you can gain repeat customers. For example, home cleaning, office cleaning, and window cleaning services that need routine cleaning are the best ways to guarantee a steady income into your bank account.
You may want to focus on building service contracts rather than one-time cleaning services. You can still provide service for customers that need a one-off cleaning, but your marketing efforts will focus on service contracts.
Level of Service
Your primary focus is the level of service you provide for your clients. You want to make the area you clean look spotless and feel like new, in the least amount of time possible. You could spend a week cleaning a room, and that would put you out of business very quickly, or you could have a room looking and smelling great in a matter of minutes.
When cleaning and especially when it comes to washrooms and kitchens, you want the area to be sanitary and allow the client to experience the room’s cleanness and hygienic state. You could add some popular scents to amplify the cleanliness of the room.
You want to clean as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next cleaning job. The quicker you can complete the task, the more profit you can earn. You want to find that sweet spot where you are moving quickly, but you’re not missing any areas. For example, you don’t want to wipe down counters with a dirty rag to save time. You want to make sure everything is sanitary and looking great before moving on.
Demand for Your Service
When considering a new startup, you need to identify the demand for the service in the location of the operation. If there is no demand for cleaning services in your area, it will be challenging to experience any level of success.
In a saturated market, it will be challenging to get any market share unless you offer something the competition isn’t, or you can improve on the current services available.
Your ideal scenario is to find an area where you have a demand for the service, and the competition is low, which will allow you to gain market share.
Getting Inside Information Before Starting a Cleaning Business
Here’s a strategy to get inside information before you start your own cleaning business.
Search for cleaning businesses for sale, similar to the one you want to open. Make an appointment to meet with the business owner to get the inside information you need. Once you have met with the first business owner, do the same thing for the next cleaning business for sale.
There are two benefits to this approach. You can pick the brains of someone with experience, plus you get a first-hand look at a business that’s already operating.
And second. You may find it’s better to purchase a cleaning business that’s already operating and has clients.
In my opinion, this is the best way to get great information about a business opportunity you’re considering.
Before you meet with the business owners, make a list of all the questions you have about starting and running a cleaning service.
Here are a few sample questions to ask the seller.
What made you want to get into this business? The answer will give you some background about the person. For example, are they in it for the money, or are they passionate about the business?
How long have you had the business? If the answer is a few months, then red flags should be going off in your mind, because of the following:
- Could this be a flip? (bought recently to sell for a profit)
- Is the owner attempting to make the business look like an attractive investment?
- Is there a problem with the company? Because they have only had it for a few months?
If you had to start over, what would you do differently? This question will identify any mistake or missed opportunities.
Are there any regrets you have made while running your business? This question will also identify any mistake or missed opportunities.
Why do you want to sell? The answer might reveal some problems as to why the owner wants out.
What are the most challenging parts of running a cleaning service? This answer is essential; you must listen carefully to see where opportunities or problems exist.
How long has your crew been with you? Answering I have had my team for a long time tells you the employee retention rate is reasonable. Answering something like we have new people all the time, means it’s going to be difficult to retain employees, or there is a problem with the way employees are treated.
You’ll also want to ask questions such as:
- What is your average monthly revenue?
- What is your average monthly profit?
- What is your most significant expense?
- How large is your customer base?
- What are your marketing strategies?
You’re not done yet; you still have some research to do.
Your next step is to find any cleaning franchises that are available and meet with those companies to gain insights and decide if this may be a better route to take than buying or starting a cleaning business from scratch.
When meeting for a franchise opportunity, they will have a presentation ready to address many of the questions you have. It doesn’t hurt to have a series of questions ready, so you are prepared when you meet.
You’ll want to know the following:
- What restrictions are there for running the business?
- How much is the franchising fee?
- What does the company set up for you?
- Do you have extra expenses like nationwide advertising costs?
- What type of training is available?
- What if you want to sell your franchise in the future?
- What are the profit margins?
- How much of an investment will you need to make?
- Are there financing options?
- What areas are available?
Now you have an abundant amount of information and a lot more insights than you did before you started your research. You can also identify which route to take, including; starting from scratch, investing in a franchise, or purchasing a business that’s already operational.
Be sure to check the listing below for cleaning businesses for sale and cleaning business franchise opportunities.
Considerations Before You Start A Business
How to Start a Home Cleaning Business
This section focuses on starting a home cleaning business. You may find a higher demand for your services in upper-class neighborhoods. To be able to afford luxury homes, couples may have full-time jobs with long hours that leave them little time left to clean.
It’s a good idea to land a few contracts in one neighborhood, because then you can go down the street, cleaning home after home, compared to traveling to different parts of the city to clean each house.
See the articles below for what you need to start a home cleaning service.
How to Start a Window Cleaning Business
With window cleaning, you need to figure out if you’ll be cleaning windows for commercial buildings or residential homes. It makes a difference in startup costs and the equipment you’ll need.
With residential window cleaning, you won’t need a lot of equipment. With commercial cleaning, you may need scaffolding depending on the height of the buildings.
See the articles below for an overview of starting a window cleaning business.
How to Start a Carpet Cleaning Business
If you are going to focus on carpet cleaning, you will be able to offer residential and commercial steam cleaning.
Try to land a few contracts for businesses with high walk-in traffic and require weekly or daily cleaning to keep a steady flow of revenue coming into your business.
See the link below to access the resources you need to get into the carpet cleaning business.
How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business
A commercial cleaning business offers services catering to retail establishments, office buildings, and basically any company that requires a cleanup. The advantage of focusing on commercial cleaning is that once you secure a few contracts, you’ll have a steady stream of revenue.
See the articles below that can give you an overview of starting and running a commercial cleaning business.
How to Start a Post Construction Cleaning Services
With post-construction cleaning, you’ll have a lot more to clean versus the types of cleaning businesses mentioned above. Also, the kind of cleaning is more targeted toward waste removal and heavy lifting.
It would be optimal to get a contract with a home builder. This way, you’ll have work for every home they complete and get a steady stream of revenue.
Look at the articles written below to gain an overview of starting a cleaning service related to post-construction cleanup.
Trends and Statistics
In this section, you’ll gain insights for an overview of the cleaning industry. You’ll want to identify if there is an increase or decline in demand for this type of service. Also, note when you see an industry with billions in revenue, that doesn’t mean you’ll be making millions, it’s an indicator of how the industry is performing.
There are many variables involved in how much revenue you can generate. Your income and profit depend on; the quality of your service, the demand for your service, your rates, and your expenses as well as other issues. These variables will determine how much revenue and profit you can earn.
One more thing to look for is trends. When you understand the patterns of the industry and see a shift, you can adapt to and prepare your business for that shift.
See the articles below for trends and statistics for the cleaning industry.
Profitability and Revenue
In this section, you’ll gain a general idea for profitability and revenue. What you want to keep in mind is that your income and profits will depend on how many clients you have, the rates you charge, and the number of expenses you have.
If you are doing all the work yourself, your expenses will be lower and profits higher, but you are limited to the number of clients you can take on. If you have a good-sized crew, you’ll be able to take on more clients, but you will have more expenses.
When starting, it’s not a bad idea to do everything yourself and hire on a crew once your business is up and running, and you have gained several clients.
See the articles below for an overview of the revenue and profitability related to operating a clean business.
Startup and Operating Costs
The startup cost is low compared to other types of companies. All you need is cleaning supplies and equipment to get started.
Naturally, as your business takes off you can improve your location, you can invest thousands of dollars in equipment, and expand your crew size. But to start, you can be operational with less than $1,000 for setting up your business and the minimum equipment and supplies.
Supplies and Equipment
When it comes to getting the right tools for your business, and especially during the startup phase, you want to get the right balance of what you need versus what you want.
You don’t need to spend an enormous amount of money on tools and supplies. On the other hand, you want to make sure you have the tools to do the job effectively.
When starting, get only the bare minimum, and as you gain experience, you’ll expand and purchase the right tools for the job. The supplies and equipment you’ll need will depend on the type of cleaning business you’re considering.
Here are a few of the tools and supplies to consider for all cleaning jobs.
- Microfibre Cloths
- Glass Cleaning Cloths
- A Large Amount of Cleaning Cloths
- Cleaning Brushes
- Fine Bristle Brooms
- Shop Floor Brooms
- Dustpans and Brushes
- Face Masks
- Cleaning Caddy
- Cleaning Spatulas and Scrapers
- Cordless Vacuum
- Wet and Dry Shop Vacuum
- Furniture Polish
- Glass Cleaner
- Multipurpose Cleaner.
- Mildew Cleaner
- Green Cleaning Supplies
- Kitchen Cleaning Supplies
- A mixture of heavy and light-duty garbage bags
- More in the articles below
Licenses Needed to Start a Business
For a cleaning business, you’ll need to get a regular business license. The permit and license details will depend on the area your planning to open because each country, state, province, and local municipality have specific rules and regulations.
In addition to a business license, you may want to consider making your company a bonded cleaning company. When your employees and business are bonded, you are offering another layer of security for your clients, which can make them feel more comfortable while working on their property. If you plan on cleaning offices, you must be a bonded company to attract decent clients.
See the articles below for more on the licenses and permits you’ll need to consider for a cleaning business.
With almost all businesses, you need to have insurance. With a cleaning business, you must have liability insurance.
For example, your employee is cleaning windows on the second floor of a house, and the ladder wasn’t secure; he falls from the second floor to the ground injuring himself. The ladder also falls on the client’s car denting the roof and cracking the windshield.
As a business owner, you are responsible for both your employee and the customer’s property. Without the proper coverage, you can be out of business very quickly. You need to speak with a qualified broker to ensure you have the right coverage for your business, your employees, and your clients.
As a cleaning business owner, you can’t expect to do everything yourself unless you are planning on keeping your operation on a small scale.
With a decent crew, you’ll be able to expand your business and be able to service many clients at the same time.
You may find challenges putting together a crew that will last. Sanitation work is not a desirable job for many people. You’ll need to do what you can to improve employee retention. You don’t want new people every week, because you’ll need to train regularly. And if you’re a bonded company, you’ll have even more to do with each new employee.
You’re better off paying above-average rates and securing a decent crew. While adding incentives to keep your team motivated.
See the articles below for employee considerations.
How to Finance Your Business
You may or may need a loan to start your cleaning business. Since this is a low-cost startup, you can probably get started without a loan. You may, however, need a loan in the future to expand your business.
You may need to purchase specialized equipment, expand your crew size, purchase vehicles, buy a building, etc.
Whatever the case may be, look at the information below to finance your cleaning business.
Business Name Ideas
In this section, you’ll find sites that offer ideas for naming your cleaning business. Keep in mind when using these sites that other people are also using them. You might be selecting a name that is already selected. For any business name you’re considering, you need to conduct a name search and register that name before you can claim it as your business name.
Take your time, when choosing a name, it needs to be something memorable and something easy to pronounce. Keep in mind you’ll be saying and hearing your business name for years to come.
Business names don’t change much unless the company is being restructured or during a merger.
See the resources below that can help you when it comes to choosing your business name.