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How to start a cleaning business from scratch

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Do you want to know how to start a cleaning business from scratch?

In this blog post, you will learn everything you need to know about launching your own cleaning business, what skills and qualifications are required, and how to price your services.

Decide what services you’re offering

First, you need to consider the cleaning services you offer. There are many different types of cleaning products or services you can offer such as:

  • residential cleaning,
  • office cleaning,
  • industrial cleaning, and
  • carpet cleaning. 

You need to decide which type of cleaning services you will offer so that you can focus your marketing efforts on that specific area.

Location

You also need to think about the location of your business. You want to make sure you choose a location that is easy for your customers to find. 

Business Size

You also need to think about the size of the business. If you are starting, you may want to keep your business small to start with and then expand as you gain more customers.

Legality

Considering the legal aspects of starting a cleaning business is also essential.

You will need to:

  • register your business with the local government,
  • obtain any necessary licenses and permits, and
  • ensure that you are compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.

Starting budget

Finally, you need to consider your budget. Launching a cleaning business from scratch can be quite expensive, so you must plan carefully and have a budget before you start.

Benefits of Starting a Cleaning Business

There are many benefits to starting your own cleaning business. 

Cleaning service is profitable!

Cleaning is an evergreen industry, and there is always a need for cleaning services, making it a very profitable service if you consider and control your costs.
Ensure that your quotes build in enough margin to guarantee you a profit by thinking about the following:

  • Transportation costs: You’ll probably have to travel around to client sites. Consider the wear and tear of your vehicle, fuel costs and other running costs like tax and insurance.
  • Material costs: If you use your own cleaning products and equipment, factor in the prices or purchase/replacement.
  • Administrative costs: You’ll be managing your business by doing essential tasks like responding to quote requests, sending invoices and managing your staff. Time is money, so be sure to factor in your admin time when pricing your services.

Low barrier to entry

Secondly, it can be a great way to make a living, as no qualifications or experience are required to start a cleaning business. You can start independently and grow your business as you gain more customers.

Provide services of value

Thirdly, starting a cleaning business can be very rewarding. You will be providing a valuable service to people who need it, and you will be able to take pride in your work. 

Gain financial freedom

It can be a great way to gain financial freedom as you can work as much or as little as you want.

Working Flexibility

Finally, it provides a large amount of flexibility, with many cleaning companies being able to set their working hours. 

 

Pros and cons of starting a cleaning business

You can learn more about the pros and cons of starting your own cleaning business here.

What Equipment Do You Need to Start a Cleaning Business?

When starting a cleaning business, you must have the right equipment.

You will need a range of cleaning supplies such as:

  • vacuum cleaners,
  • mops,
  • buckets,
  • cloths, and
  • other cleaning tools. 

You will also need a reliable vehicle to transport your equipment to different locations. 

It’s a good idea to research available products thoroughly; often, industrial products offer more cleaning power and are cheaper in bulk. 

You may also need to purchase specialised cleaning equipment such as steam cleaners or carpet cleaning machines for some cleaning services. 

You must also ensure you have the right insurance to protect yourself, your equipment and your business.

What skills do I need to start a cleaning business?

You do not need formal qualifications to start a cleaning business, but specific skills will benefit you. 

Firstly, you must have good customer service skills as you deal with customers daily. You also need to be able to work independently and have good organisational skills.

You need to have good communication skills as you will be talking to customers and other professionals in the industry. 

You must also have basic cleaning skills to provide a high-quality service to your customers. 

Finally, you must be reliable and punctual, as your customers expect you to arrive on time.

 

Free training courses for cleaning staffFor cleaning training services see our blog post here. 

 

Develop a marketing strategy for your cleaning business

Once you have set up your business, you must develop a marketing strategy to attract customers. 

 

Website

Start by creating a website to showcase your services and pricing structure. Ensure your website is SEO (Search engine optimised) to appear high on the search engine results page. 

 

SEO is based on what your customers search for in your local area. So, create keywords and ensure the wording on your website matches as closely as possible. This will help you get better positions on search engines. 

 

It’s essential to sign up for a Google Business Profile. So that you appear in local searches for cleaning companies. When people need anything, the typical process is to ‘Google’ it. 

 

This is a great way to funnel many local searches to your company. Over time, your customers can leave reviews on your Google My Business page and catch new leads. 

 

Social Media

A consistent social media presence is essential to reaching new clients and keeping existing customers updated with any new services or offers. 

Ensure you respond quickly to any engagement on social media. How you interact with people online can persuade new customers or change opinions from poor reviews. 

 

Social media post ideas:

  • Create social media posts around before and after pics of your cleaning services
  • Create time-lapse videos of your cleaning process using different products
  • Showcase your best cleaning tips 

 

Traditional Marketing

You can also use traditional marketing methods, such as flyers and posters, to promote your business locally. 

Don’t forget that you can use local business directories to list your business and make it easier for potential customers to find you.

 

Employing cleaning staff

You may need to consider employing staff to expand your business and attract more customers. 

Ensuring you have the right people to provide a high-quality service to your customers is essential. 

Look for employees with experience in the cleaning industry who can provide excellent service.

Ensure that your workforce has the necessary qualifications and that your business is covered by insurance. Ensure that they are adequately trained and familiar with operating the tools correctly.

 

One way of ensuring you have the right team around you is to onboard them correctly. This will help reduce staff turnover and create happier employees. 

See our post on the employee onboarding process so you don’t miss a beat!

Pros and cons of starting a cleaning business

How to Price Your Cleaning Services

When pricing your cleaning services, you need to ensure you are charging a fair price that reflects the quality of your service. 

You must also consider the local market and ensure your prices are competitive. 

Research the prices of other cleaning services in your area and adjust your prices accordingly.

It’s essential to consider additional costs, such as transportation, insurance, and equipment. 

Ensure that you are making a profit after all of these costs have been considered. 

 

Usually, cleaning companies charge an hourly rate or look at fixed-term contracts with larger customers. 

 

What should I charge?

The amount you charge for your cleaning services will depend on the type of services you offer, your business’s location, and the job’s size. As well as the local market.

Starting your own cleaning business, how much to charge UK

For improved customer relationships, a good strategy is to offer discounts for regular customers or larger jobs. You can expect to charge an average hourly rate of between £10-£25 for a cleaner. For one-off cleans or intense cleaning services, this can increase to £25-£30. (Based on the average cleaning prices during February 2023) 

Starting your own cleaning business, how much to charge US

In the US cleaning industry, the hourly rate usually ranges from $20 to $50 per hour for regular services. However, for more intensive cleaning or one-time jobs, this rate can increase to $25 per hour or a flat fee of $100 to $200.

 

How much to charge for house cleaning per hour?

The amount you charge for house cleaning per hour will depend on the type of services you offer and the job size. 

Generally, you can charge between £15 and £25 per hour for essential house cleaning services. You may want to charge more for larger jobs or more specialised services such as deep cleaning or carpet cleaning. The more specialised the cleaning, the more you can charge. For instance, the typical rate for a car valet clean is £60-£100.

 

How to structure your cleaning business?

When starting a cleaning business, you need to decide on the structure of your business. You can operate as a sole trader or set up a limited company. If you are a sole trader, you will be the sole proprietor of the business and will be personally liable for any debts or losses.

If you set up a limited company, you will be protected from personal liability and can raise funds more efficiently. You will also need to decide on the legal structure of your business, such as a partnership or limited liability company.

 

What insurance will your cleaning business need?

When starting a cleaning business, you must ensure you have the right insurance to protect yourself and your business. This covers 

  • Public liability insurance covers any claims related to injury or damage caused by your business. 
  • Professional indemnity insurance covers any losses related to mistakes or negligence on your part.
  • Employers liability insurance if you are employing staff. Ensuring you have the right insurance to protect yourself and your business is vital.

 

What license do I need to start a cleaning business?

 

You can learn more about the types of insurance needed for a cleaning business here. 

 

Invoice cleaning jobs and manage your cash flow

Once you have started your cleaning business, you must manage your cash flow properly. 

Invoice your customers promptly and make sure you are getting paid on time. While also keeping track of your expenses and ensuring you stay within your budget.

 

Using software for documentation

Online invoicing software can be used to make invoicing and payments more manageable. Document Management software helps you create and track quotes, proposals, contracts, onboarding forms, and much more. Docflite allows you to link documents to your favourite Accounting and CRM apps.

Learn how to manage your cleaning business and client relationships through software

When running your own cleaning business, managing your business and client relationships can be difficult. 

That’s why using the DocFlite system ensures you provide high-quality customer service and build relationships with them. Stressing over staying organised and keeping track of your finances is redundant when we have a purpose-built tool that does it all for you.

Your documentation of quotes, invoices, onboarding documents, SLA and e-signatures will be a breeze. Find out how to complete these processes through the cleaning client onboarding process.

 

Conclusion- How to start a cleaning business from scratch

Starting your own cleaning business from scratch can be a daunting task. But with the right knowledge and resources, you can launch your own cleaning business that can be profitable and successful.

In this blog post, we have discussed everything you need to know about how to start a cleaning business from scratch, what skills and qualifications are required, and how to price your services.

If you’re still undecided on whether to bite the bullet and start a business, read our post on the pros and cons of starting a cleaning business here. 

We hope this article has been helpful and given you the confidence to start your own cleaning business. Good luck!

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