When you’re looking to start a new business or earn some extra cash, more often than not, you turn to starting a cleaning business. Why? Because there is usually low overhead, almost none of the usual operating costs, and there’s reliable demand.
In addition, cleaning services might have smaller up-front costs than some of the other endeavors, and you can also start to operate pretty quickly with little capital, although you do have to be committed to working hard to achieve a good profit and steady gains.
What are the kinds of cleaning businesses you can 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 dry cleaning.
Once you know which category is relevant for you, you can focus on starting a cleaning business. You can always upgrade a category as your business and revenue grow. Maybe you start off just 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, just keep on scrolling.
8 tips on successfully starting a cleaning business:
1. Build a budget.
Spoiler – you’re going to need to put in some cash when starting a cleaning business. While finding the right financing may be difficult, there are options on the table that won’t put you in serious debt. For instance, 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 just for you that are worth looking into.
Depending on the scale of your cleaning business, the initial startup costs can be quite low so that means you will experience less debt in the beginning as you expand and spend more as you generate more revenue. In time, you will be able to hire a cleaning staff as your cleaning company booms.
Now with the statistics highlighted above, the market if there if you’re looking to make a profit in your cleaning business.
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2. Choose a business name and logo.
The name of your business and its corresponding logo requires time and consideration. The goal is for your cleaning company to be around for years to come so the name and logo should be something you genuinely like.
Choose a business name that reflects your name, values or allow your creative side to play. If you are all about the environment then maybe something like “Green Cleaning” would get the message across. Hire a graphic designer to create the company logo so it looks professional and reflects the company name you choose.
3. Register your cleaning business.
Before you can launch your cleaning company, you need to have it registered. Your cleaning company must be registered so you can open a bank account, apply for loans and hire staff. This means that you must choose a business structure, a company name and plan for taxes.
If you’re just one individual and your clients pay in cash then you need to consider the registration amount and income reporting due to your revenue – this will help you determine if registering your cleaning company is necessary. For example, if you clean a family member’s home for $25 once a week and you only provide your services to your family then you don’t need to register your cleaning business. If, on the other hand, you earn more than a few hundred dollars a month then you need to formally send your reporting income to the IRS. You can run your cleaning business as a sole proprietor or as a partnership with someone else, or you can even set up a limited liability corporation (LLC) so that your business finances are separated from your personal finances.
It’s important that you know that business registration and proper tax documentation is incredibly important for a cleaning company with corporate clients.
Commercial vs. Consumer
If you work in private homes then you are classified as a “consumer” cleaning services, while “commercial” cleaners, such as janitorial service providers, have official contracts with state or corporate entities.
A local business may contract your cleaning company on a regular basis, based on the full extent of the services your provide. Therefore, the IRS requires your cleaning company to provide a 1099 contract to said individuals who offer services that exceed $600 annually.
4. Sort out the logistics.
Depending on the size of your cleaning company and the services you provide, the supplies and transportation required can amount to your two highest expenses. However, once you create a plan for both then you can honestly estimate the true cost of starting a cleaning business.
When you have a mobile cleaning business, transportation is crucial! Before you can start a cleaning job, you need to get there, right? Right! As you are running a cleaning business, the responsibility of getting to and from a job is all on you so make sure you can really take on the cleaning job.
Depending on the services you offer and how many clients you have, the cost and volume needed in terms of supplies is dependent on this information. If you have cleaning jobs in many private residences per week then it is best you buy supplies in bulk at retailers such as Walmart or Costco. However, be aware that some of your clients may prefer that you use their own products so be sure to ask before showing up with your own supplies. (Once you register your business, you can find equipment at discounted prices from suppliers).
As we pointed out already, transportation and supplies are the main expenses you are faced with, but equipment and equipment rentals can add up as well. If you own your own equipment or have access to free cleaning equipment and cleaning agents, you will see that rental prices add up. Be sure to shop around to find the best place to rent from or you can refrain from using special equipment until your cleaning business is more established.
5. Choose your business rates.
Most cleaning business providers charge around the same fee:
- Hourly: $50 to $90
- Flat rate: $120 to $150 (for a single-family home)
However, you need to factor in your location, competition, clients, and the size and condition of the place so that you can determine the exact fee you will charge. Consider offering upgrade options like window cleaning, wall washing or appliance cleaning for an additional fee.
Make sure you have an easy way to bill all your clients so that you can get paid for the job in a timely manner.
6. Find your client base.
When starting a cleaning business, you can find and maintain most of your client base through online forums and word of mouth. Be sure to ask your clients, the ones who are super pleased with your work, to write a positive review on your social media page, website or on relevant channels like Trustpilot. If you have business cards, ask them to pass it along to interested parties.
It can be hard to show prospective clients your best work but offer contact information of past clients who were satisfied with your work and would be happy to act as a reference. Or, like pointed out above, ask them to write a referral on the relevant channel.
More often than not, you will land a new client through a current one! Don’t just rely on this for new jobs but know that establishing a good relationship can help build your confidence and might even turn into a potential opportunity in the near future.
7. Start marketing!
Regardless if you rely on current clients to help you find new clients, you still need to invest in an online presence as it will benefit your cleaning business in the long run. In this day and age, if your company isn’t online then you aren’t reliable and you’re stuck in the dark ages! Your clients, both current and new, need to be able to find you online, even if you don’t have a website, some digital footprint is better than none. You can create a social media page, like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and be sure to keep your contact information updated. Here you can also include your mission statement, your beliefs, the products you use, what brands, and positive client reviews.
Most people will only hire a business if they have an online presence, and a good one at that, so make sure you cleaning business is one of them! You can also create an email address so you have a professional channel to communicate with your clients.
8. Use an employee app.
By using an employee app, you are able to stay on top of all tasks while meeting the bottom line each and every day. Connecteam’s cleaning business software helps take your business to the next level. Job scheduling, time tracking, daily cleaning checklists, digital reports, training & on-boarding, and so much more. It’s an all in one mobile solution for all your business needs!
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