How To Start A Cleaning Business

In this article, I'm going to talk about cleaning business and break it down into every single part you need to do in order to start a residential/commercial cleaning services.

Cleaning the house is a challenging task in most households. Cleaning is a tiring and tedious task directly from making the bed to tidying up the carpet, particularly for individuals who are continually working.

The vast majority presently would joyfully hand over the cleaning job to an expert cleaner as the lives of individuals are getting progressively feverish, and they don't have the time to invest in cleaning their spaces.

Recently, because of this huge demand for proficient cleaning services, there is an inundation in the number of cleaning businesses. Moreover, the cleaning business is blasting nowadays and has gotten one of the highly productive businesses.

If all else fails of what business to begin, starting a little cleaning business may be an incredible alternative as it doesn't require any degree, related knowledge or particular essential information.

I'm going to cover things like choosing the right entity, what type of business you want to go into pricing structure, employees, insurance and tax requirements, tons of marketing ideas, what kind of credit card you should get.

Setting A Budget
Business Structure
Taxation Of Your Cleaning Business
Naming Your Business
Organizing Your Finances
Insurance For Your Cleaning Business
Supplies For Your Cleaning Business
Rates/Models For Your Cleaning Services
Marketing For Your Cleaning Services
Online Marketing For Your Cleaning Business
Find The Right Customers
Hiring The Employees

Setting A Budget

Budget For Your Cleaning Services
Budget For Your Cleaning Services

This is going to vary whether you want to start a residential or commercial cleaning service. Most companies tend to start with the residential level and then the transition level to commercial level once they have the systems, employees and a general idea in place for cleaning service. Not saying you can't start with commercial and with commercial you do make more money on the high end. Those are the companies that are making revenues in the possible millions a year and up much easier.

So on the residential side, you're looking at some basic permits and licensing depending on the state and the entity you want to start your cleaning service. This could range anywhere from $50-$200 to get that going. Some basic insurance requirements the low end of $500/year to $3500/year in the commercial end. That's depending on how many employees you have in your company.

The basic cleaning materials in products could range anywhere around $200-$600 to get going depending on how inclusive you want to be and how much you want to cover right away. That can be done in the lower end. And then some basic advertising expense which would be looking at around $100-$200 just for a basic starter to get going. Some marketing materials like business cards, flyers.

So as you can see the barrier to entry here is pretty low on the residential side of cleaning services. Things can be started for under a thousand dollars on the commercial side cleaning services. You could be looking at a few thousand dollars depending on how intensive you want to be.

You can potentially spend a lot of you want to be customized vehicle and go all out right away which is not necessary. Proving the concept, proving that you like doing in the business and then investing more and more money into expenses as you go on and as you get cash flows coming in.

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Business Structure

The next step is choosing the right business structure for your cleaning services. The two basic business structure that is most common for cleaning business either a sole proprietorship or an LLC. With proprietorship it's cheaper, it's easier to get going. It's less complicated when it has to do with taxes but these definitely have some disadvantages because your income is tied directly with the companies and the same with the liability.

So if something happens to the company or funds of the company or there's some kind of issue you are directly tied financially to that company. Were with the LLC there's a kind of shield around that corporate entity that is separate from you. It has a separate bank account, separate income. It's a fictitious entity is what they everyone calls it.

Taxation Of Your Cleaning Business

Under how your taxes work and this also depends on what entity type you decide to choose with a sole proprietor and you tied directly to that entity, your income is the company income, the company's income is your income. LLC is separate but it's more confusing to the file at the end of the year.

If you do choose analyses and getting some form of an accountant to go over the books with you and make sure that you are doing everything properly. Either way, if you're running a business, then having an accountant at least taking a look at your books or doing the year-end thing because it's going to save a lot of headaches. If it's a good guy or gal who's doing your accounting they are going to end up saving you money on taxes as well.

As you grow and expand they will be able to suggest another service to you and help out. So if you have a good CPA(Certified Public Accountant) as a reference to help your business then go with that. In order to find a good CPA then search online reviews like their CPA in every single city. Just start typing Google best CPA's call around and see which one you fit with. Finding professionals who have experience in what you are doing so.

Also read : 62 Business Ideas With Low Investment and High Profit

Naming Your Business

Naming Your Business - Cleaning Business
Naming Your Business

This is really important because owning a business with unique names and things that stand out or sound larger than they are or sound commercial stands in the long run. So I recommend a memorable name for your cleaning business. In order to find a good name, there are certain ways that you can use to brainstorm or the cheap and easy way to do is write down the few ideas that have to do with your cleaning business and then just brainstorm literally write down every single idea you can possibly think of no matter how good bad.

Write up 50 of them take an hour or two hours to do. Then look back at your list,  cross out the poor ones. Then you might be left with five to ten good ones and then ask other people what they think of these names or if they have any other names suggestions then go from there.

Whittle the list down and then also check availability because sometimes you will have a list of five that you like, the form isn't available in your state. So obviously you have to go with the one. The name doesn't mean everything but it could mean the difference between a few extra cells here and there because people like the name or it sticks out and plus your identity is likely going to be tied this name for a long time so hopefully, it's a name that you like and likes being attached to.

Organizing Your Finances

This is something like getting a business bank account. In order to get a business account like LLC, you will need to register for an EIN which takes literally like five minutes online on the government website. You will also need your articles of incorporation which you will get through the state after you set an LLC.

If you have a bank account through a sole proprietorship then it will be under your name as any other bank account but it's important to separate your individual bank account from the separate business one that way you will have a much easier time tracking expenses, income and understanding how the business is actually doing.

So it's really important to separate that and make sure that you are keeping track of everything. Then getting a business credit card is important that way you can get the cash rewards. The next thing is the credit card processor. The easiest one to set up and use is square and it literally takes 15 minutes to set up.

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Insurance For Your Cleaning Business

So onto insurance and this is the topic that has a lot of opportunities and misunderstanding to it. I will start with the residential side. You need less insurance for the residential side but getting a bond and basic general liability insurance is also important. What a bond does is it covers in case someone pays for a service and doesn't receive for that service.

So it's more like assurance to the customers. Some customers like to see that their cleaning businesses are bonded. This isn't a requirement in every state. So you will want to check your specific requirements if you need these.  But they are recommended because it will be a little bit easier to land clients especially higher-end or the picker type clients.

With commercial cleaning business, a higher level of insurance and bonds is required. A lot of larger buildings will require you to submit. These bonds cover the basic thing it's an assurance to the customers that if they pay for a service and it doesn't happen they will be reimbursed for it or if there are damages that happen they will be reimbursed.

How To Start Cleaning Business In India

Supplies For Your Cleaning Business

This is something that has a wide range of prices that you can possibly spend or budgets you can spend. Purchase fewer things in the beginning but purchase high-quality versions of things because remember you're going to be using these supplies all the time. It's not like the broom in your house which you might use you know once a day or once every few days.

You are going to be using this multiple times a day. So you want things that are durable and you are going to get your money worth. So here's a list of items that you could potentially get to get your cleaning business started. You don't need all of them. It all depends on the kinds of services that you might offer but here's an idea of certain things that you need.

  • A cleaning uniform with pockets you can carry things around much easier
  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Clothes
  • Latex gloves
  • Duster
  • Sponge
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Vacuum disinfectants
  • Sponges and scours
  • Yellow sisters
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Dustbin and brush
  • Protective gloves
  • A little plastic caddy to carry supplies
  • Degreasers
  • Oven cleaners
  • Bleach sanitizer
  • Laundry detergent

So just break it down and think about the services you are going to offer. I recommend starting with fewer services getting good at those and then expanding. Start with house cleaning then expand the carpet cleaning, window cleaning that kind of thing. If you do extras obviously charge for the extras.

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Rates/Models For Your Cleaning Services

For residential cleaning services, there are basically two ways that companies do this. They either charge an hourly rate or flat prices depending on the size of the home. Hourly rates are super simple. With an hourly rate, the customers not going to screw with the price and you are not going to get screwed with a price. Hourly rates for residential cleaning range anywhere from $40-$100. So if you are looking at flat rates obviously that varies quite wildly anywhere from $150-$400.

This scale is depending on the frequency and wished your cleaning and the size of the home. If it's a one-time cleaning then bumping up the flat rate price by around 35%. If it's a move-out cleaning which is a super deep clean then bumping up the price by around 80% because you are going to be doing a lot more intensive work and dealing with a lot more dealings in that case and higher standards because they are selling their home.

Obviously, there are successful companies who do both. It might be slightly easier to sell with flat rates because customers know a guarantee until you build up a name and reputation. It might be easier to sell the flat rates. But there is a potential to walk into a disastrous home and be out some money.

So with commercial cleaning a lot of times, you either charging on the hourly rate or a rate depending on the square footage. So the hourly rate is anywhere between $40-$100 an hour for basic cleaning services. If you do deep clean type services or some kind of special cleaning or anything have to do with potentially hazardous materials you could be looking at 50 per cent more to 100 per cent more depending on the situation.

So the customers who want someone who's going to charge $20 an hour those aren't even your customers so don't even worry about those people. You want to be in the higher end so you can have better margins and more able to sustain your business and hire better employees.

In order to be in the higher end, you need to offer the best cleaning service as possible. So you need to constantly be seeking out little customer service gems on how you can absolutely treat customers the best and get them to refer their friends because they are paying a premium. They are paying much more than the companies who are hiring people under the table or doing illegal practices and things like that so make it worth their while.

You are going to be these customers homes either weekly, bi-weekly and if you give things you didn't say we're going to offer they are going to be wowed. So if you do little thing like leaving a couple of chocolates on the bed, leaving a thank you note on the countertop, little customer service gems like that goes a long way and it gives them a reason to tell their friends which is just free advertising for you and general good business practices.

Marketing For Your Cleaning Services

Marketing Of Your Cleaning Services
Marketing Of Your Cleaning Services

The famous one is offline marketing. Currently, so many people are spending all their money on online advertising for our offline is kind of giving the shift when you're going to get a better return on investment for every dollar you spend offline. So the important way to build offline marketing is simply building connections with people who are able to refer your company to their current clients.

So think about people who are dealing with people may be moving into new homes or any kind of transition in their life. You might be able to work with moving companies who are dealing with people who are moving out and they need a move out cleaning service done or real estate agents who know people are moving to new homes and maybe their old cleaner doesn't service that area or they are from out of town or any other reason and they refer your services to their customers as a little extra tool in their tool belt.

So constantly seek out people who are dealing with people who might be congruent industries to yours and can refer them talk to those people and tell them about their business.

So like I said before little service gems will give them a reason to talk about a company that is a wonderful way of marketing and it's pretty cheap when you compare it to how much it costs for one-click on Google, Yelp or Facebook.

Another form of offline marketing is just flyering. Getting a nice looking business card and putting in door-to-door here anyone in a decent neighbourhood is potential to be your customer and this is something you can also do if you're cleaning someone's home why are the surrounding neighbourhood maybe surrounding 50 houses and do that every time you're at that home that way those people see your card every week or month or so.

And they are just establishing that in their brain. So then maybe when they do decide the cleaner, later on, you're going to be the first one in their minds and make them aware that you're servicing one of their neighbours because people love this social proof aspect that one of their neighbours or their friends is already using you and there is much lower risk to using you.

Also read : Understanding Customer Sentiments For Marketing

Online Marketing For Your Cleaning Business

There are a few ways to do this. Some more time can assume but more effective. Some take less time but more expensive. So a great way to advertise online is with content marketing. Now, this takes a lot of time but if you put in the time it will make it worth your effort. So what this has to do is build your website and put content on your website, anything having to do with cleaning.

Anytime you come across some unique situation you write an article about it and put it on your website and what it does rank your website higher for anything having to do with cleaning in your area and you do this enough article after article and makes higher in the organic search and try and make these articles as quality as possible. You also could do a video for each article. A certain item you can put on YouTube and put that on your website as well.

Another thing this does is it positions you as an expert in this field. So there will be certain people who search for how to clean a certain thing. Then they will find your website there is an article about this and you will have a hundred other articles like this they are going to be like " wow this person is amazing, they know how to handle every single situation"

It allows you to charge a higher price, get better clientele and build the business organically online. What you can also do is run online ads like on Google, Yelp, Facebook. There are so many people running ads for the exact same thing you are and trying to outbid you and it's bringing the prices up and not to say you can't make money on it or you won't get a return on investment.

If you are using online ads using very specific keywords and narrowing down you're demographic so you're not wasting any money on any keywords that don't have to do with cleaning in your area or people who are within your ideal client tell base so think in terms of what someone would be searching when they are looking for a cleaner in their area.

So always invert things when you think about marketing, think about what the customer is thinking or looking for. This isn't to say to not make profiles on these places because making a Google my business profile and put content on them and keep them established and updated. Ask for reviews from your customers and build those up because that is another form of social proof and a way to drive business organically without having to necessarily pay ads.

Also read : How to Do Target Market Selection For Your Business

Find The Right Customers

As you go you will find that there are certain customers that take up all your time, money and energy and you will make no money from them and then you will have another base of customers who pay on time, who pay more than the other customers and you want to focus on this group and fire everyone else.

This is your ideal group over here and you want to sneak out to find more of them and by pounding in the time on those customers and offering them the best service possible you are going to grow your business much faster than if you try and widen your scope and make everyone happy and try and make the customers who don't want to pay as much or cause issues happy. They are not going to help you out in the long run. So focus on that key demographic that earns you the most money and fire everyone else.

This goes the same with the employees. Fire employees who don't have your best interests in mind and fire them quickly because those people will just drag down your company and you will find a few people who want to see the business succeed, who do great work. So focus on those people, nurture those people. Make sure they are appreciated and understood and get rid of bad eggs.

Hiring The Employees

This topic brings an important part of your company. If you do end up hiring employees and not just being a solo enterprise there's a lot you need to know on how to hire them, on how to take care of them, how to get rid of the poor ones. So under hiring spending a ton of time upfront in finding the best people as possible.

On your employment ad detail exactly what the ideal employee looks like and is specific say things like we're looking for someone who is available these hours, who is extremely reliable, who is comfortable in being in people's homes who has come to working long hours. Whatever your personal requirements are. For your fit for your company, label every single thing and try to disqualify anyone else.

Put instructions on the application process. Let's say a group of 20 people that I am interested in hiring for a certain position. Then I will send them all google form with eight to ten different questions and include things like what's something you have learned recently, what is a time that you are excited about your previous job and things like that.

Look for the answers because you will find a lot of people will leave certain things blank or kind of have a snarky response to certain things. Put those people to the side because we will get thoughtful, respectful and those are the few that you want to hire. So these tips are enough to build a cleaning business.

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About Devashish Shrivastava

I work on optimizing articles (SEO).
  • Raipur, Chhattisgarh