Starting a cleaning business is a great idea. The startup costs are low, and the potential for profits is high. Follow these tips to learn step by step how to start a cleaning business and how to run your business once it’s set up.
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When you’re looking to start a new business or earn some extra cash, a common idea is to start a cleaning business. Why? Because there is low overhead, almost no operating costs, and there’s reliable demand.
Cleaning services have smaller up-front costs than many other industries. Since little capital is needed, you have an opportunity to start quickly. You have to put in time rather than money to succeed.
What kinds of cleaning businesses can you open?
Commercial cleaning: associated with janitorial services for factories, warehouses, retail and commercial outlets
Residential cleaning: private homes and residential apartments
Special cleaning: involves special services, such as deep cleaning
Once you know which type of cleaning business you want to start, you can take the needed steps to open your business. You can start off with residential cleaning, but after six months or a year, you add on special cleaning. The sky is the limit! But, how do you get started? Well, keep on scrolling to find out.
We highlight 7 tips to successfully start a cleaning business.
Build A Budget
Spoiler – you’ll need to put in some cash when starting a cleaning business. While finding financing may be difficult, there are options. You can borrow from family or friends, take out a business loan, or spend on credit. If you are a female entrepreneur, there are small business grants worth looking into.
Depending on the scale of your cleaning business, the initial startup costs can be pretty low. As your company expands and generates more revenue, you can reinvest into your company for more supplies, cars, or employees.
Ensure that you have opened a business checking account. This way, your personal expenses aren’t intertwined with your business revenue and expenses. This is particularly helpful when it comes to filing taxes.
Choose A Business Name & Logo
As a business owner, you’ll need to put time into deciding on the name of your business and its corresponding logo. Your cleaning company will be around for the long haul, so the name and logo should be something timeless.
Choose a business name that reflects your services and values while exploring your creativity. If you are passionate about the environment, try something like “Green Cleaning.” Hire a graphic designer to create your company logo so it looks professional.
Register Your Cleaning Business
Before you can launch your cleaning company, you need to register it. You need a business license to open a company bank account, apply for loans, and pay staff. You must choose a company structure.
You need to pick the company structure best suited for you regarding liability and taxes. You can choose between a sole proprietorship or limited liability corporation (LLC) to start. The benefits of owning an LLC are that you cannot be held personally liable should an employee get hurt at a job site.
Regardless of the structure you choose, be sure to keep business and personal expenses separate.
Sort Out The Logistics
You have to think about every stage of operating your cleaning business. If you hire help you also must think about the employee experience. From day one, you and your employees need cleaning supplies, transportation to and from job sites, and training for specialty equipment.
- Supplies: If you have many cleaning jobs, it’s best to buy supplies in bulk at retailers such as Walmart or Costco.
- Transportation: Transportation is crucial. If you can’t get to and from a job, your business will be over before it begins. If you hire employees, you will need to either pay them to use their own cars or purchase company cars.
- Equipment: You should expect to purchase some equipment like vacuums, mops, and buckets. You’ll need to buy or rent the equipment if you want to offer specialty services. Before purchasing special equipment, you might want to rent the equipment while you gauge interest in the service. Be sure to properly understand your machinery before accepting jobs since it might require extensive training.
- Technology: You’ll need to schedule your clients, train new employees, and communicate with them. The easiest way to do that is through a digital app like Connecteam. Connnecteam can help manage your cleaning business from training new hires, scheduling employees, tracking employee hours, receiving field reports, and so on.
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Choose Your Rates
Before publicizing your hourly rates, it’s essential to check what your competitors are charging. There is no one size fits all pricing solution. Check competitors based on location, services, target clients, distance to the job site, and whether it’s a one-off job or a consistent client.
You can offer house cleaning estimates to potential clients to better understand how much a job will cost before starting. A good practice so as to not waste your time is to charge a flat fee for the estimate, and if they book you, credit the fee back to their bill.
Make sure you have an easy way to bill your clients so that you get paid for your work promptly.
Find Your Client Base
When starting a cleaning business, you can find your first clients by posting in Facebook groups. The hope is that a satisfied client will write a positive review on your social media page, website, or relevant channels like Trustpilot. Also, get business cards, and ask clients to pass them along to family and friends.
These are a few other options to find and grow your client base:
- Referrals: Referrals on a trusted platform goes a long way. It establishes trust, and potential new clients love to hear genuine reviews. Incentivize clients to write honest reviews.
- Networking groups: This makes it easy to interact with like-minded people. These groups help you meet people and market your company within the community.
- Print media: Take out an ad in the Sunday newspaper or even go door to door dropping off flyers to get the word out that you are open for business.
Try a combination of all the above until you find what works for you. Don’t hesitate to try new and creative ideas.
Reinvest and Grow
Reinvesting your profits back into your company is the key to growing successfully. The profits that you are making should go towards buying more equipment, paying more staff, and advertising more.
If your clients can’t get an appointment when they need you, they’ll find another company that can, so you must grow as your client base grows.
Now that you know how to start a cleaning business, you need to focus on how to run your cleaning business. Running your business is easier when using a digital tool. We spoke about Connecteam earlier, but let’s focus on how exactly Connecteam can help your cleaning business succeed.
- Scheduling staff: Benefit from drag and drop scheduling or create templates to assign shifts. In the shift, include the location, required tasks, supplies, and all other relevant info needed to get the job done.
- Training: Onboard new cleaners quickly by creating custom courses. Build quizzes at the end of every section, ensuring your employees retain the information.
- Paperwork: require all forms and documents to be submitted directly through the app. This way, storing and searching for paperwork is a breeze.
- Reports: Remove delays by receiving reports directly from the field. These reports are fully customizable. Create incident reports, supply shortage reports, equipment maintenance reports, and more.
- Checklists: Optimize your employees’ workflows by creating checklists for them to complete at every job site.
- Timesheets and Payroll: Track employee work hours when employees clock in and out from their mobile phones. Then easily export timesheets for 100% accurate payroll. Use GPS tracking to avoid time theft by ensuring employees are at the job site when clocking in and out.
- Communication: Contact every employee using an employee directory, chat groups, and one-on-one chats. If any updates happen, send notifications directly to your employees’ cellphone.
- How do I get clients for my cleaning business?
First, you have to decide on your ideal clients. Once you understand your potential customers well, you have to think of the best way to market to them. You can market through newspaper ads, flyers delivered door to door, or digitally.
- Is starting a cleaning business worth it?
Cleaning businesses are always in high demand, as the service is essential, so it’s a great idea to start. You can be pretty profitable if you’re passionate and create a solid business plan. Ensure you’ve covered your bases regarding understanding how much time and money starting your business will cost.
- How can I start a cleaning business with no money?
Starting a cleaning business doesn’t have to cost a lot. Start small and reinvest your profits to grow your company. For start-up costs (like cleaning supplies), use credit cards, borrow from friends and family, or apply for government grants.
The Bottom Line On Starting A Cleaning Business
Starting your own cleaning business is smart, as it includes low overhead, doesn’t have high operating costs, and is always in demand.
Starting a cleaning business can earn profits relatively quickly compared to other industries. Just be sure to stay on top of supply inventory and employee management.
Leading Cleaning Services App
Connecteam is the easiest way to increase efficiency, oversight, and communication at your cleaning service business.