If you’re looking to launch a business that has low start-up costs, high potential for growth, and will always be in demand, look no further. There are many families and businesses that need high-quality and reliable cleaning services, and demand for these services has only increased following the 2020 pandemic.
When considering whether to start a cleaning business, think about your personality as well as your skills and experience. If you’re someone who takes pleasure in cleanliness and organization, and who doesn’t mind getting a bit messy, then a cleaning business could be a good fit for you.
Read on to learn how to start a cleaning business and what is needed to make your cleaning business successful.
Research the market
If you’re thinking about starting a cleaning business, then the first thing you should do is to research the market.
Get on Google and find out who is offering cleaning services in your area. Maybe you already know that you want to focus on house cleaning—find out who the big names are in your neighborhood, what their services entail, and how much they are charging. Take note of any gaps in the market. It might also be a good idea to pay attention to how they are marketing themselves, though you’ll focus more on marketing later.
This is also a good moment to learn about what the day-to-day of owning a cleaning company is like, in order to make sure that this is a business you’ll be interested in long-term. Another thing to research is the differences between residential and commercial cleaning if you’re not sure which direction you want to go in.
Reflect on your skills
While you learn more about the industry, reflect on the skills and experiences you bring to the table. Most cleaning businesses start with the owner as the primary cleaner; this tactic helps you keep your start-up costs low. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a cleaning person? Is there a way that you can improve upon those weaknesses before you start to service clients? If you don’t already have professional cleaning experience, you can learn how customers might perceive your work by completing small jobs for family and friends and asking them to evaluate your service.
Another way to get experience and feedback prior to launching your own company is to register as a freelance laborer on sites like TaskRabbit. The contacts you make might even carry over once you open up your own cleaning business.
Determine the focus of your services
Now that you’ve done lots of research and had some practice completing cleaning jobs, you need to decide exactly what services to offer. Sanitization, deep cleaning, and window cleaning are just a few of the many different cleaning services people are looking for.
Decide which services you feel confident providing, taking into account the supplies needed for each task.
Get your money in order
Deciding how much of an investment to make in starting your own cleaning business is a very personal decision. The basic costs of business registration, liability insurance, cleaning supplies, and small-scale marketing come out to just $1,000-2,000—low compared to the start-up costs of other businesses. The Small Business Administration provides other resources to help you calculate your initial costs.
You can fund your business from your personal savings, of course. But, you also might want to look into using crowdfunding to fund your business. A small business loan from a bank or credit union is another funding option.
Once you’ve secured funding, you’ll want to make sure you have a good budget in place so that you can be profitable and pay back your investors. Determine how much to charge for your cleaning services by adding up your costs along with your expected taxes.
Register your business
A crucial part of how to start a cleaning business is to secure the correct licenses for your business’s operation. Each state has different licensing procedures, so make sure that you find the correct information for your state.
Decide whether you want to run your business as a sole proprietor or limited liability corporation. If you need help with this decision, you can contact your local Small Business Development Center.
Gain and maintain clients
Start looking for clients by telling your family and friends about your new business venture. Urge them to recommend you to anyone who needs cleaning services.
Produce basic promotional materials such as business cards and flyers. Figure out where your potential clients go when they’re looking for cleaning help—Google, Facebook, Nextdoor, etc—and make sure that your name comes up there.
Keep your clients coming back by delivering a consistently high-quality service. To streamline the appointment and payment process, consider a platform like ServiceWorks, which handles those details for you. ServiceWorks can also maintain your CRM, track the costs of your materials, and optimize your cleaning routes. You can try ServiceWorks for free for 14 days.
When you get positive feedback from clients, make that feedback known. Positive business reviews on Google can have a huge effect on your business: 72% of consumers say that these reviews make them trust a business more.
You’ve done it! You’ve started a cleaning business from scratch. With all the effort that went into your planning, you may feel compelled to turn to your original business plan for every single decision. But, remember that your business will grow and change, and your business plan should evolve as well.
Check in with your plan regularly to see what is and is not working, and be open to experimentation. Some of the best ideas appear when you relax and keep your mind open.