Starting a cleaning service is a great business to start on a shoestring budget and there is always a demand for good quality cleaning services.
Just pick up your mop, bucket, and cleaning supplies and you’re in business!
When you start your business you can specialize in a house cleaning business, start a commercial cleaning service (office, industrial, or medical), do construction cleaning, or add a variety of different types of jobs to your business routine.
One of the biggest challenges to starting a cleaning service is managing the expectations and special needs of your clients while managing the amount of time it takes to provide your services profitably.
When getting started, you’ll want to discuss what the individual expectations are of each client. One client may indicate the bathrooms are her top priority while another may want the kitchen to sparkle.
The industry standard is to charge for a “deep” cleaning initially to ensure you have a baseline for future visits and minimize your time when you return on a regular basis. You’ll also want to communicate about your requirements regarding general tidiness and what you will and won’t do (laundry/dishes?)
Another consideration is are you able to provide additional services to your clients and provide more value-added services.
My house cleaner is very creative and has partnered with other local businesses to provide a variety of additional services – picking-up/dropping of food or catering orders and dry cleaning.
Consider local businesses you can partner with to add to your client’s experience working with your company.
Resources: Starting a cleaning service will require basic cleaning supplies found at most discount stores – cleaning fluid, mops, dust clothes, and a light-weight quality vacuum.
Time Required: 5-20 hrs/week; can work full-time 30-40+ hrs/week
Training: A keen ability for the details involved in getting the “nooks and crannies” clean. Experience working for another cleaning company, hotel, or restaurant can teach you what to look for, what products are effective, and the best way to develop a routine. Skill in communicating with your clients – asking about their expectations and helping them to be realistic about the services you are providing (in case of unrealistic expectations). Consider communication classes at local community colleges or universities.
Market: Home owners, professional business women, business owners, property managers, realtors
Home Based: Yes
Start-Up Costs: $50 - $500
Minimizing Start-Up Costs: As you start a cleaning service, use your existing equipment or buy good quality commercial grade equipment that will last over time to minimize replacement costs. Look for cleaning supplies at wholesale prices buying in bulk and using minimal products which can be used on multiple cleaning tasks. Make sure you are happy with the products in a variety of cleaning situations. Buying fewer products will make transport easier and keep your costs to a minimum.
Attend home shows, talk to realtors, and network with other business owners to let them know about your business and get personal referrals. Team up with a non-competing business to expand your value-added services to your customers. Ask for referrals from current clients. Look for free apps for keeping your calendar of appointments.