Scrub Your Way to Success: How to Start a Cleaning Company

Help people.

Be your own boss.

Work your own hours.

Everyone has a passion. If you are good at what you’re passionate about, turn that into a career. You can turn your talents for organization and cleanliness into a successful cleaning company!

Starting your own cleaning business isn’t as difficult as building a Mars Colony or running for the Senate, but it will take some determination, hard work and homework. You will need some skills you probably already have (like cleaning and organization) and some skills to acquire (like time management and accounting.)

Eager to get started? Read on.

Take a Personal Inventory

Going into a cleaning business for yourself is a big step. Before you start, make sure you are physically able to do this kind of work. Cleaning is very strenuous labor. Even after a full day of cleaning, you will be juggling customer service, sales, record-keeping, and accounting.

Is your financial house in order? If you plan on leaving your current job to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six month’s worth of expenses saved up. Don’t forget health insurance! You might want to consider starting out as a part-timer.

Do Your Homework

Cleaning your own home, cleaning homes professionally and cleaning offices are all completely different. Even the processes and tools change. Research all the aspects.

Your customers will have very different expectations when they pay for service rather than doing it for themselves. Get familiar with services already on the market. You might start with asking around offices to find out who does the cleaning, or looking in local neighborhood groups to see what services are offered and prices.

Your easiest research is probably online. Check out this website. You can find the services offered, the prices and even something about the cleaning processes used. You will also need to research permits, insurance, bonding, and any chemical safety requirements before you begin.

Getting Your Cleaning Company Started

Once you have done your homework and satisfied the law with your permits and insurance, it’s time for the first clients. Often, that is the hardest part of setting out on your own. Be bold and confident!

Get the word out about your new cleaning services. A website is a good start, business cards, flyers, and local bulletin boards are also good choices. Online advertising and word of mouth are your best bets, however.

To build word of mouth, consider offering a discount for new clients, a referral discount or a small reward for a positive reference on review websites. Good testimonials are worth gold. If you don’t have family and friends who can let you clean their house for a review, there are several charities that provide cleaning to cancer patients or others in need.

Use Professional Equipment and Supplies

Those first few clients need to start off right. Pay attention to quality over speed to start. One way to ensure quality is to use the right products. Many products and equipment formulated for home use are flimsy, weak or incompatible with frequent use.

The correct chemicals in the right concentrations are often much faster and easier to use than commercial formulas. Save your chemical safety information sheets that come with cleaning supplies. As a business owner, you are required to keep a file!

Also, safety first! Make sure you and any employees know the contents of every cleaning chemical, its use, and proper disposal. If safety gear is required, provide it. It prevents accidents and injury.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short!

If you’ve done your homework, you know the range of pricing in your area. Don’t try to underprice. Sell yourself on the quality of your work, not on your bargain basement prices.

Remember to set your prices based on hiring someone and paying the correct taxes. If you price yourself based on your own hourly rate, you won’t have enough money to hire people as you grow. Eventually, you want to be the one directing the work, not cleaning!

Look forward to the day that you will be the one to give estimates, answer inquiries, schedules, and sales without doing a full day of cleaning. Set your prices according to that vision!

Specialized Services for Profitability

You might find the market for your cleaning business to be crowded. Specializing in one particular type of cleaning allows you to avoid the most crowded market. Some ideas are:

  • Crime Scene Clean-up
  • Flood or Disaster
  • Party Cleaning and Assistance
  • Real Estate Cleaning
  • New Construction
  • Organizing Services
  • Window Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Estate Sales and Clean-outs

If you decide to do these types of jobs, you may need more equipment. For crime scenes, you may find you are working with biohazards or chemicals requiring special safety equipment. For window cleaning, you will need ladders, window squeegees with long extension poles, a shop vac, etc.

These types of jobs usually need 2 or more people. They tend to be on a short timeline. For example, new construction cleaning might only have a few hours between when the workmen leave and people come to view the home.

Even though none of the fixtures have been used, it takes lots of labor to remove every sticker, dust every vent and baseboard or shine every mirror. Specialized services can be your main offering or a great add-on.

Ready to Start?

Your own cleaning company is just a few short steps away. A good plan sets you up for success. Take the time to assess your personal readiness.

Get your own finances in order, then examine the market. Online is a good place to start. There can be many opportunities in different types of cleaning. You may want to begin with offices or houses then branch out to specialized services.

Start with just a few clients and concentrate on quality over price. Get references and promote yourself. Once you have a few clients, grow your business by adding some new hires.

Would you like to see a few more business ideas? Keep reading this blog!