Are you good at cleaning your own house that you feel you would flourish if you started a house cleaning business? Then, you are in the right place. Even though cleaning your own home is fun, cleaning professionally can be totally different.
Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time and effort. This is because you have to give the best and ensure that your clients are satisfied by giving their homes a spotless look and leave it smelling fresh.
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own house cleaning business, then you will have to be fit, ready for some dirty work, and be willing to market the business to your neighbours, friends, family, and other people.
Creating your client base is not easy and you will have to deliver exceptional results in order to retain or beat the competition. Also, you will have to develop a good attitude and reputation in order to have a strong cleaning business.
Here is a starting a cleaning business checklist on how to start your own business and all the things that you need to know about the business.
Decide if it’s what you really want
On paper, this business may be easy to start up but it takes more than just that. Start by assessing whether you’re physically fit to perform this job as it is strenuous and cumbersome. You will have to bend, kneel down, stretch, and repeat some actions. If you have had serious injuries in the past, you should visit your doctor to clear you first.
Define what kind of business you want to set up. Do you want a side hustle or a full-time cleaning business? Some people have succeeded by having a house cleaning business as a side hustle for getting extra cash.
If that’s what you want, you can take up small tasks like vacuuming, dusting, and mopping. But if you want to embrace house cleaning as a full-time business, then you will have to offer some extra tasks such as window washing, mildew removal, blind cleaning, and polishing silver.
Do a lot of research
The next step is to do thorough research and know what other cleaning businesses are offering in terms of prices and services. You should compare different rates of different cleaning businesses in the area that you want to operate in.
Are you okay with the current prices being charged or want to offer a lower or higher rate? What will make your services be better than those of other competitors? Also, know the costs involved and the time it will take to reach clients and do the cleaning work.
If you want to work part-time, decide which days or day you will be working. Is it on Fridays after work or on Saturdays? Contact different cleaning businesses that you will be competing with and find out about their services, prices, transportation, and time spent cleaning homes.
Reach out to different clients and find out what cleaning companies they use. Ask them about the services that they offer and if you can give a lower price.
Having such information will help you to compete favourably and offer the best services at the best prices. Be different and stand out from the competition.
Learning to clean
Remember, cleaning professionally is not like cleaning your own house. But for the best cleaning practices, you need to know how to clean your house or that of the client very fast. No matter what you’re cleaning, always begin from the top.
In addition, make a checklist and a plan of attack. Know which rooms you will start with and how many minutes it will take you to clean every room. The best way to clean a house is by starting with the bathrooms, then to ceilings and walls, dusting, and cleaning floors.
Business name and Structure
This is another important step when starting a house cleaning business. You need to choose the right name for your business or else you will be sorry. Choose a business name that is easy to spell. The name should not be limiting as you may want to expand your business in future.
Also, conduct thorough research online and select a unique name. If possible, choose a name that has some strong meaning behind it. Assess if the name sounds good by sending it to a few friends and family to make their opinion about it.
Besides having a nice name for your business, define if your business structure and apply for the right documents. Is it a sole proprietorship or partnership?
Insurance and other legal obligations
Clients will trust you more if they know that you and your services are covered by some sort of back-up. So, being insured increases the client’s confidence in your services and they get to trust you more. They know that if anything goes wrong while you’re working on their property, you or your employees are covered.
And in that case, you also need to ensure that your employees are covered by the employer’s liability insurance. If you’re sub-contracting employees, then you will have to ensure that each and every one of them has their own insurance cover.
The more employees you have the higher your insurance liability will be. But this is worth the cost as you don’t know what to expect from your employees, especially when you’re not there supervising them. Besides getting the employer’s liability insurance, you will also have to get public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.
Public liability insurance protects you against claims from third parties just in case of an injury or property damage. On the other hand, Professional indemnity insurance defends you against claims from unhappy clients or employees.
Another vital legal obligation that you’ve to meet is completing your tax return. This is a must for any self-employed professional in the UK. First of all, you will have to register with HMRC and then complete the annual Self Assessment tax return. Additionally, you will be required to pay your tax bill by 31 January every year and make the payment on account every 31st July.
Take a look at our other article: Insurance needed for a cleaning business and find out what your need.
Equipment and products needed
After you’ve chosen a business name for your cleaning business, done research on competitors, and knowing whether you will practice part-time or full-time business, the next move is to buy equipment for your business.
If you don’t intend to use your client’s tools and equipment, then you will have to purchase your own equipment from a wholesaler to save money. Some of the popular cleaning tools that you need include a dusting kit, hand vacuum, microfibre cloths, spray bottles, a squeegee, a steam mop, white cleaning cloth, lint roller, a scrub brush, and hand duster.
If your client has a vacuum cleaner, then there is no need to carry this heavy tool from one client to another.
Our other blog post will take you through this part: House cleaning business checklist
When buying products, ensure that you acquire non-toxic cleaning products. This is a very great selling point, more so for clients with kids and pets. Also, ask your clients which cleaners they prefer as some have some special cleaners for floors and appliances. Some of the most common cleaners used include essential oils, baking soda, white vinegar, and castile soap.
Always ensure that you buy your products from trusted brands. It is difficult to convince a client about a product they have never heard of. If you have your own made product, explain to your client why you’re using it and its benefits. This will help them understand it better and be ready to accept it.
Apart from having the right supplies, you need to dress well while going to work. Don’t put on rags or appear scantily dressed. You need to create a professional and reliable image by dressing properly and smart. The clothes that you wear should be tidy, flexible, and comfortable.
Furthermore, you need a vehicle that you will use to visit client’s houses and for carrying your cleaning supplies. If you don’t have a van or don’t have the money to purchase one, you can as well hire one for use during your cleaning days.
Pricing the jobs
As discussed earlier, you should find out what the competition is offering and the market rate. You can start small by offering lower prices and win over clients first before increasing your prices later. Don’t just set prices but offer the best services as well.
Don’t know how to price jobs? Learn from our other article: House cleaning pricing guide
Advertising your business
When you’re done setting up your business, the next step should be to market it and make it known around your target area. There are many marketing strategies that you can use to make your business known. These include developing your brand, building a website, advertising, and relying on referrals.
Before you start advertising your business, you should brand it first. For instance, you can come up with a nice logo for your business and use it in all your marketing or advertising campaigns and materials. Choose a logo and colour(s) and stick with them.
Then create a website where clients can reach you through online. The internet has become a major medium of communication and you cannot ignore it. Since some people have no time to visit you because of their busy schedule, the internet becomes a great place to communicate and discuss the services you offer.
Follow our step by step guide on creating a website: How to create a cleaning business website
Related articles: Marketing Ideas
Advertise your cleaning business and make it known as much as possible. You can advertise it on Craigslist, Angie’s list, in a local paper, print flyers, come up with door hangers, or even brand your van by having your business name and logo on it.
Others things that you can use to advertise yourself are business cards and documents. Give out as many business cards as you can to friends and family and help them distribute them for you. Also, you can rely on a referral program to help you get more clients. Give a discount to a friend or client when they refer to a person.
Getting your first customers
The most difficult part about a cleaning business is getting the first client. Many clients want to know how long you’ve been in this business and because they are going to entrust you with their belongings and property, they will definitely want reliable references.
But since you are new, you won’t have any references. So, as you get started, you should ask friends and family if you can clean their homes and use them as references to your first clients.
Be honest and let clients know that you are new in the business but you have learned all that there is to know about cleaning a house like a professional and have the right documents, equipment, and license to do the cleaning work.
Also, assure your clients that you are the right person for the job and will do marvellous work to their liking. If you are dealing with the customer for the first time, you can as well offer a small discount.
Do a great job and provide the best services to your new clients so that they can rehire you without a second thought. If possible, spend more time doing the job to ensure that nothing is left unattended to.
You can as well as take this opportunity to let your clients know that you’re looking for new clients. Just don’t be pushy and assure them that you won’t leave them hanging but you will continue serving them.
Keeping your business organized
The key to a successful cleaning business is being well organized in all activities. From managing to advertising and the actual job, you need to ensure everything runs as planned. With time, your business will grow and the demand for your services will increase.
Related article: job scheduling software for small businesses
You will be required to hire more workers to help you out and at the same time, you will have to manage your work.
For the smooth running of the business, you will have to train your employees before allowing them to take your place. Additionally, you should keep a check on the quality of the work that they deliver to ensure that the standards are maintained.
Also, you will have to change from doing most of the work to managing the business. There will be calls to answer, accounts to balance, schedules, and even acquiring new clients.
With the right strategy and plan, you can turn your small house cleaning business into a lucrative business with a huge client base and workers to help you out. Do your research well and know your competition well so that you can offer the best services at the right pricing.
With our starting a cleaning business checklist above, you should be able to establish and succeed at your house cleaning business. So you no longer need to worry about how do i setup my own cleaning business.