Starting a cleaning business is one of the best ways to make some extra money while also providing your clients with high-quality service. There are many benefits that come along, like being able earn on your own time and stay flexible enough for when they need it most! If this sounds intriguing or you want more information about what steps must first be taken before getting started as an entrepreneur then keep reading below…
1. Choose your cleaning services to offer
Here are some types of cleaning services your business might offer:
- Basic cleaning
- Deep cleaning
- Spring cleaning
- Move-out cleaning
- New home or construction cleaning
- Residential or commercial
Consider looking at your competitor's websites to see what they're offering. This will show you which services are missing in the market and which ones could be offered or used as inspiration for future business decisions! Start small with just a few options, then offer more options as your business grows. This way it's easier when deciding how much inventory of supplies to keep in stock.
2. Create a budget for your cleaning business
You'll need to determine a reasonable budget for your business, including the replacement of products and equipment as necessary. Factor hiring costs into this equation if you outsource labor but also keep in mind that taxes are important expenses to track along with insurance coverage.
Expect to initially spend $1,000 up front to start your cleaning business with a few must-have purchases. Startup costs will vary depending on how much these items cost in your area:
- License and registration: $100 - 400/year
- Cleaning insurance: $400/year
- Initial Equipment: $100 for an average vacuum and supplies
- Initial Marketing: $150 for a basic website and business cards
To be successful in any business, it is important to have a plan for the long-term. You should pay yourself an hourly wage and calculate estimated taxes so you can prepare your budget accordingly for growth. Neglecting this could lead towards rapid end to your business!
3. Choose a brand name for your cleaning company
The first step to establishing a cleaning business is choosing the right brand. You can use your name or an interesting nickname, start with something based on where you live and what products you offer, e.g., residential vs commercial. Take it one step further by creating cute phrases that describe who you are as "brand" of this new venture into professional cleaning!
4. Setup registration, licensing and insurance for your business
Once you decide on a brand name, to ensure it's not already used by another company, you need to register it with the appropriate government agency. Your state's legislation will determine what documentation and fees are required for this process.
You'll need to decide on the structure of your business. The two most common options for business structure are sole proprietor or partnerships.
- Sole Proprietorship - A sole proprietorship is typically cheaper to establish, and you have total control over your business. However, a sole proprietorship can put your assets at risk if the business is not profitable.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) - An LLC reduces the amount of liability you have as an individual and instead puts the company assets on the line
5. Price your cleaning services
It's time to choose your pricing structure. Charge for services using:
- Hourly rate
- Flat rate
- Room rate
- Square foot rate
- Specialty rate
Using that structure, figure out how much a job will cost by:
- Calculating your labor hours
- Calculating labor cost with workers (if you have any yet)
- Adding payroll expenses, overhead, and other fees
- Factoring in profit margin
- Adding any required taxes
6. Get cleaning supplies and equipment
You can't become successful in this business if you don’t have the right tools to do your job. So before starting out on a residential cleaning project, make sure that you have the necessary supplies and equipment available and ready for use!
- Extendable pole
- Vacuum cleaner
- Broom and dustpan
- Mop and bucket
- Bleach or disinfectant
- All-purpose cleaners
- Soap scum removal cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Face masks
- Rubber or latex gloves
- Trash bags
- Paper towels
- Cleaning towels or rags
- Microfiber cloths
- Scrubbing brushes
- Spray bottle
7. Market your cleaning business and get your first customers
It's vital to market your new business if you want it succeed. You'll be competing with other cleaning companies for visibility and potential customers, but don't let that discourage! There are lots of ways marketing can work its magic on a tight budget- some which may even require no investment at all from an already cash poor company like yours.
You can use a variety of methods to promote and increase business revenue, such as print fliers and online advertising. You might also want to invest in digital marketing by creating an account on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter where you'll post photos related specifically for customers who are interested only with what they see when browsing through these profiles instead if being limited just locally within one city limits!
Once you have an established roster of clients, you can sign up for a platform like Care.com, TaskRabbit, or Handy to make it easier for clients to find your business. Having customer reviews and a registered business will strengthen your online profile.
Also, take a look at our recent article How To Grow Your Cleaning Business
8. Setup accounting to manage your cashflow
Having your business bank account setup with a separate balance from personal assets is important for keeping track of cash flow.
Choose an accounting software application to do your bookkeeping. There are several options but QuickBooks is most popular.
It is important to keep track of your income and expenses so you can report accurately when it comes time for tax filing. There are many tools available to integrate with QuickBooks, which will help manage operations as the business grows with ease!
Creating an expense budget that is tailored to your needs can help you avoid overspending. You may find yourself making purchases without realizing how much it will cost until the end of each month, so creating this type of plan ahead helps keep things under control!
You can decide what you’ll be paid, then set up an automatic bi-weekly withdrawal so that your paycheck is always ready and waiting for when it's time to collect.
9. Hire and train cleaners as you can grow
The demands of work can be overwhelming. That's when it's time to hire help!
- The details of a person's role should be clear and concise in order not to create any confusion on expectations for both parties.
- To find your next great hire, start by determining what they need from a job and then connect the dots!
- Post an ad in online hiring websites that describes exactly why someone should apply for the position by writing out specific responsibilities along with any other requirements.
- Make a short list from the best applications you receive.
- Hire the person you feel will do a great job and be an excellent fit within your company.
- Customer Management - Easily manage all communications, notes, history, contacts and locations. You can also login to Bella FSM anytime, anywhere from any device.
- Quoting / Estimating - Generate quotes or estimates out in the field or from your office. Set follow up reminders to get that business!
- Scheduling - Easy scheduling with drag and drop capabilities and multiple calendar views with color coding options.
- Job Management - Manage jobs at every stage from estimate to job to invoice to paid. The job dashboard provides a real-time view into your business.
- Invoicing and Payment - Invoice clients as some as the work is complete and get paid quickly.
- Accounting - Bella FSM provides accounting features that will assist you to effectively manage your finances, or integrate with QuickBooks if you prefer.
Also, check out our new Free Cleaning Estimate Template