Cleaning is something we do on a daily basis to maintain properties. Have you ever wondered how to start your own cleaning business?
For a maid service, an economy car or station wagon should suffice. You need enough room to store equipment and supplies, and to transport your cleaning teams, but you typically won’t be hauling around pieces of equipment large enough to require a van or small truck.
Organising your business
Your office area should be large enough to have a small reception area, work space for yourself and your administrative staff, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. You may also want to have space for a laundry and possibly even a small work area where you can handle minor equipment repairs. Depending on the size of your staff, consider allowing for a small break area.
Before you leap into the cleaning business, it’s important to look at it with 20/20 vision. Though technology has certainly had an impact on cleaning services, this is not a high-tech business. Nor is there any glitz to it. And there will be times when you’ll have as much trouble as Rodney Dangerfield getting respect.
Tailoring your services
Remember that your customers hire you to make their lives easier, and you can ensure your customers are satisfied by tailoring your service to their needs. Ask them what they’re looking for from a cleaning session. Maybe they’re looking for help decluttering or want someone to spend extra time vacuuming all of the pet hair off the couch. They might appreciate small touches like elegantly folded toilet paper ends. Taking the time to discuss these details with your client can make or break an ongoing customer relationship, and set you apart from the competition. Our free Client Profile Template can help you collect and manage this information.
Advertising your business
This is the area where you will invest most of your start-up money. Advertising is expensive, but necessary. Even if you decide to just make flyers at home to hang on local bulletin boards, you have to factor in the expense of the ink, paper and photocopying. Professional advertising can also include yellow page ads and direct mail. Yellow page ads can be quite pricey, but they do work, especially for those who don’t use the Internet. If direct mail is out of your budget, have a brochure professionally printed and canvas neighborhoods.Step 5: Obtain a License
The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quite capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.
Starting a business from scratch can be tough, but it can also be hugely rewarding. Think about ways to manage variations in your income and, as your business grows, get ready to take on the responsibility of managing staff. And above all, don’t get disheartened when the going is tough – as Harriet says, “stay true to your vision!”
Once you’ve decided on a market niche, you must then look at the geographic area you want to serve. If you’re starting a maid service, you want to be able to schedule cleanings in a way that keeps your travel time to a minimum. The same applies to carpet cleaners. Janitorial crews that must move from building to building have a similar concern.
If you’re going to be taking on staff there’s a number of regulations you’ll need to bear in mind. Typically cleaning work is not well paid – it’s likely that your staff will receive the minimum wage (currently £8.72 as of 1 April 2020) so you’ll need to keep on top of annual rises. You’ll also be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and if you’re taking on commercial cleaning jobs you’ll need to adhere to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – which state that when you take on a cleaning contract with an office or other business premises you must use their existing staff. Lastly, there’s a number of health and safety regulations to consider, as cleaning often involves working with potentially harmful chemicals.
Setting up a Facebook page for your business is a free way to establish an online presence. Go a step further and claim the social media handles for your business name on Twitter, Instagram, and any other key sites, so that you have them ready if and when you decide to use them. Create an email address with so that you have a professional communication channel with your customers, and none of your business communication gets lost among your personal emails. Finally, as you’ll most likely be booking first time appointments by phone, have your personal phone do double duty by changing your voicemail greeting to work for your business.
Building a client list is a long process. However, sometimes simple techniques like “refer a friend” work pretty well. Your family members are most likely going to be your first clients, invest in business cards and fliers you can leave to your clients so they can call you back easily or to give to friends.
Promoting your business
Having a designer create a logo for your business also adds to your professional look. Add it to your quotes, invoices, and receipts and you’ll look like a pro from the start.
When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.
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Katie shared her best strategies and tips with us, covering everything from cleaning business operations, to hiring, to customer service, and more. We compiled all of it into a free guide: How to Run a Cleaning Business.
Pricing can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a knack for crunching numbers. Especially in the beginning, don’t rush through this process. If your quote is too low, you’ll either rob yourself of some profit or be forced to lower the quality of your work to meet the price. If you estimate too high, you may lose the contract altogether, especially if you’re in a competitive bidding situation. Remember, in many cleaning situations, you may be competing against the customer himself; if your quote is high, he or she may think, “For that much money, I can just do this myself.”
When you’re first getting started and you have a handful of clients, you may be able to keep track of your clients and schedule on paper or by using free software. As you grow your client list and make the transition to running your business full time, a paid software like Jobber can help you keep track of clients, jobs, and invoices, and save you a lot of administrative time.
If you need to purchase equipment, you should be able to find financing, especially if you can show that you’ve put some of your own cash into the business. Beyond traditional financing, you have a range of options when it comes to raising money. Some suggestions:
Before you go any further, you should consider writing a business plan. This document helps you to build a sound foundation for your venture as you start and grow it. Within your plan you’ll conduct market research, build financial plans, and work out your marketing channels.
One of the hottest business trends today is to be homebased, and cleaning services are excellent candidates for this type of setup. After all, your customers will likely never come to your facility since all your work is done on their premises. But that’s not the only issue influencing your decision to operate from a homebased office or a commercial location.
When it comes to build a website to promote your business, you can visit Wealthy Affiliate where you learn at your own pace.