Do you know how to start a house cleaning business? Here is all you need to know about opening such a venture in your locality.
Cleaning has been your hubby for long. This strong desire has kindled an interest in you to establish a house cleaning business for long.
However, you seem stuck due to confusion on what steps to take. Does this sound familiar? It does for many people.
Starting a House Cleaning Business
Establishing a house cleaning service, though exciting, can be challenging.
We’ve written this article to help overcome and eliminate all confusion. As you read through, you will find definite steps that, when implemented will enable you to achieve your goals.
Without further ado, let’s get to business!
Cleaning Your Home Vs Cleaning For Others
An important fact we need to establish is this; cleaning your home as compared to cleaning for others is an entirely different ballgame.
In other words, while you may cut yourself some slack when cleaning your apartment or home, it doesn’t apply to clients. When you get a house cleaning contract, the client wants to walk in and find a spotless house.
Your client won’t be cutting you some slack because they believe you are a professional. Therefore, you must prove yourself to be one. You may want to learn the ropes by working with a professional cleaner. This is hard work and will take some time.
Nevertheless, the benefits derived far outweigh the stress involved.
Sticking to Your Specialty
There are many specialties within the cleaning niche. You’ll want to know exactly the type of cleaning service you are competent in. If you feel you can offer general house cleaning services, then, by all means, you should consider that.
The reverse is true if you’re good at cleaning windows or glassware etc.
House cleaning specialties will include carpet cleaning, floor cleaning, window cleaning, drainage, roof, dryer vent, chimney, furniture, and kitchen cleaning services among others.
Find out the type of service you are good at and focus on it. This will mean specializing in a particular area. The decision is yours to make.
No house cleaning business will function effectively without making necessary transportation arrangements.
Remember you’ll need to move your supplies and equipment to job locations. Using the public transport system is totally out of consideration. You want to be able to reach your clients on time as well as to and from cleaning jobs with ease.
Having a van or truck will save you additional costs. These can be used for your business. On the other hand, having no such vehicles means you’ll have acquired them. Now, you have the option of leasing a cleaning truck or vehicle or buying outright.
From experience, we’ve seen that leasing a cleaning vehicle for house cleaning is much less expensive than having to buy one from the market.
One of the requirements for starting a house cleaning business is having it registered. There are different registration guidelines for different states. You will need to find out what applies to yours.
Whatever applies to your state, such registrations follow the same procedure.
Picking a name for your cleaning business is the first step. You should be able to convey your message through the name you choose.
Find one that resonates with your target market. The name you choose for your business will need to be checked for availability. You only get to use it when it’s available for use.
Your revenue will also determine how your house cleaning business is categorized. Choosing its structure is vital and must be done in a way that serves your interests. There are sole proprietorship, partnerships or LLC business structures.
So, which is best for your house cleaning business? Let’s find out;
A lot of house cleaning businesses take this form. One of the reasons for this is due to its ease of formation. This is less tedious compared to other structures because as the name suggests, it is most ideal for one-person ownership.
But there must be benefits, right? Absolutely! The most obvious benefit is its tax exemption status. The IRS gives some slack to house cleaning businesses having this form of legal structure.
A sole proprietorship is not so rosy though. There are downsides to this type of structure. This lies in the fact that your assets as an entrepreneur are at risk. In other words, there is no distinction between business and personal assets.
As such, your assets are exposed to lawsuits. These can be used to settle business debts.
This can be between two or more people. Under this type of operational structure, the house cleaning business is also easy to form. Easy in the sense that there are limit upfront costs to incur.
Taxation is quite friendly to the business too. Owners get to pull resources together to fund their operations. The downside here is when conflicts arise. This may lead to long-drawn-out legal battles that unsettle its entire operations.
Limited Liability Company
LLCs have a much complex type of operation. By its name, this structure limits your level of exposure to liability. For instance, assets belonging to your house cleaning business are differentiated from your assets.
In other words, the business takes the form of an independent entity.
This advantage is seen in a situation where a client sues your cleaning business. However, the case goes, your assets don’t come into the equation. It begins and ends with the business.
- Get A License
In getting your house cleaning business registered, you are expected to obtain a license. This is a requirement for all professional cleaning services. This process starts with your state’s Department of Commerce.
Start by visiting its website to know details about the requirements for obtaining such a license.
Clients are wary of housecleaning services operating without a license. Such types of businesses are avoided by clients and rightly so. You will want to create a sense of professionalism by having your house cleaning business licensed.
Get An Insurance
House cleaning jobs are quite risky. During your professional cleaning career, you are likely to have a bad day. Having a bad day in the sense that things might mistakenly get damaged as a result of your cleaning activities.
This is why you need insurance as it saves both your business and the client some stress.
Clients are more comfortable working with house cleaning services that have insurance. That way they know that the cleaning company foots the bill when an accident happens as a result of their cleaning activities.
Join Professional Associations
As a serious cleaning business, your network should be broadened. This can be achieved by joining professional associations related to cleaning services. That way, you get to keep up with happenings.
But more importantly, you can attract clients which might eventually lead to a cleaning job.
What more? You can also exploit such associations by exchanging services. A construction company, for instance, can use your house cleaning services to clean up newly constructed residential buildings. That is a way to get a steady stream of jobs.
Being reliable in this regard can fetch you a lot of house cleaning contracts.
Determine Your Coverage Area
One of the main reasons a lot of house cleaning businesses struggle is due to overstretching their resources. In a bid to win over more clients, such businesses accept jobs from clients far off from their coverage area.
This means incurring more expenses on gas, time and other things to reach such clients.
You shouldn’t fall to the temptation of desperation. Establish your coverage area and stick to it. It saves you a lot of stress and cost.
Also, you get to provide better cleaning services to clients within your target area. You should only expand your coverage area when you have increased your capacity.
Plan Your Entire Operations
This is of the essence as it helps your house cleaning business to succeed. Your business plan is indispensable. It doesn’t matter if you cover as both employee and administrator. All stages of house clean cleaning services need one.
It enables you streamlines, and focus on what is most beneficial to growth.
A copy of your plan will also be required during the business registration process. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to write one as long as it’s done properly.
All services must be reflected in your cleaning business plan. Systematically implementing its contents is a significant step to building traction
To have clients patronize your house cleaning business, some work will need to be done in the form of marketing.
This is all about creating awareness of its presence as well as exploiting the edge you have for promotion. Having an edge means you’ve compared your operations with those of other house cleaning services and found yours to be better in several respects.
Find out what your competition offers and what stands your services out. Also discover how you can do things better and let your clients know.
To market your business, you’ll need to use all the tools available to you. This includes word of mouth marketing, printing, and distribution of business cards and flyers, social media marketing and building a website for your service among others.
These are ways to start a cleaning business. Consider moving out of your comfort zone and giving it a try. These steps, when followed will be of immense help to actualizing your dreams.
Above all else, you must be passionate about what you do. Without the passion and love for cleaning, little can be achieved.
How to Start a Residential Cleaning Business
Residential cleaning can be quite tasking and sometimes overwhelming, but not when it’s being handled by professionals.
Professional cleaners take charge of the most difficult cleaning jobs and finish on time and do a good job of it. If you think you are cut out for this type of job, it may be time you considered starting your own residential cleaning business.
Don’t know how to begin or what to do? That’s why we are here. So relax and read on!
Types of Residential Cleaning Services
It is important to decide beforehand the type of residential cleaning services you intend to offer. This helps you get along with your clients. When clients call, they may either ask for your complete residential cleaning package or choose a particular type of service.
You need to know these to be well prepared when the need arises.
There are two types of residential cleaning. These include the one-time cleaning service and also the recurring services.
One time residential cleaning service is just like the name suggests. Here you are called to provide cleaning services without an agreement to return in the future. Clients may decide to re-establish contact whenever they need your services again.
One time cleaning service has other sub-categories. These are; regular, deep and move-in/move-out cleaning services.
i. Regular Cleaning
This type of cleaning offers clients just the most basic cleaning services. What these consist of is a whole different story.
In other words, you will need to find out what type of services qualify for regular cleaning. This will be no problem at all if you’re an industry expert. However, for novices, you could make inquiries about such services from cleaning businesses around.
ii. Deep Cleaning
Regular cleaning is much more thorough than regular cleaning. It is a more detailed cleanup of residential properties. This will take more time, effort and resources. It might also include both indoor and outdoor surroundings of such property.
Deep cleaning isn’t done frequently but periodically after dirt must have accumulated in difficult to reach or clean areas.
iii. Move-in/Move-Out Cleaning
Under this type of cleaning arrangement, residential property is cleaned before the client’s stuff is moved in. Move out cleaning is the opposite. During move-out cleaning, furniture, gadgets electronics, etc are cleaned before moving to the new property.
The clients may decide to ask for cleaning of the residence they are moving out of.
Recurring Cleaning Services
Some residential cleaning services offer recurring services to interested clients. This means the contract entered into requires periodic cleaning visits.
The duration might be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. It depends on what you decide to include and the frequency of visits you feel is necessary.
On the other hand, some other clients won’t need you convincing them for such services. They may be the ones asking for it.
In any case, you’ll need to be very prepared when inquiries are made.
Are You Buying Into a Franchise or Owning Your Business?
This question must be asked and well answered when starting a business. Residential cleaning franchises have made it easy to own part of a brand. This usually comes with a term limit. The operational model of such businesses requires franchisees to abide by set terms.
It is much easier to operate a franchise than it is to own your residential cleaning franchise.
Independent ownership means you are starting from scratch. However challenging this type of business is, it will be much more profitable if it’s well run and becomes stabilized.
No one should make this decision for you. You have to sit back and reflect on this question and also compare the two models to find the one that serves you best.
Choose a Name
What will your residential cleaning business be called by? This name is useful for several things. To begin with, you need to have one to write a plan. Also, your business needs some form of identity.
What more? The registration process will only be possible when there’s a name.
The choice of a name shouldn’t be haphazard though. It must be meaningful to you and your clients. Clients should be able to relate it with your type of service which is residential cleaning.
Also, it must not be so abstract that it disinterests your target clients.
Above all, the name you choose for your residential cleaning business must be available. How? Other businesses may have picked that name. A search for name availability must be conducted. There’s a directory available for this purpose.
However, most states require you apply for a name check, to begin with.
Have an Action Plan
All residential cleaning businesses irrespective of the legal structure they take must have a good business plan. You will be doing a disservice to yourself and your business if you don’t have one. A business plan gives direction to your cleaning business.
There must be a grip on the affairs of your business.
All the services you’ll be providing, the rates, marketing strategies to adopt, expenses and projected earnings are all contained in it.
To write one, you’ll need to have the experience. Not having the experience doesn’t mean you can have an excellent plan put together. Consultancy firms and experts are willing to provide you with this service at a cost.
You might be lucky to have a family member who’s an expert in this area. Their advice, inputs or services will be very much needed.
Choose a Business Entity
What do you want to achieve with your residential cleaning business?
The answer to this question will help you choose a business entity that aligns with your vision. While some entrepreneurs prefer to operate as a sole proprietorship, others are more comfortable registering as limited liability companies LLCs or Corporations.
Why is it necessary to choose a business entity? Because you enjoy certain privileges or legal protections. Each type has its advantages.
However, one of them stands out, and that is limiting your exposure to liability. This doesn’t apply to all business entities though.
Ask for expert legal advice on the best entity that serves you best.
Establish Your Rates
The going rate for residential cleaning services isn’t fixed. In other words, there are variations to pricing. Each depends on a host of factors that serves the entrepreneur. Nevertheless, there’s a common factor that influences all sorts of rate fixing. That is a competition.
Thus, a residential cleaning business will want its rates to be competitive enough.
While trying to be competitive, others can keep up. You shouldn’t be pressured into lowering your rates to the extent of hurting your business or diminishing its chances for profitability. This can be balanced by quality cleaning services.
Make your research about average rates for cleaning businesses. The internet provides a wealth of information on that.
One other way to find out what rates apply for a cleaning service is by asking the business (your competitors) themselves.
Call or contact them online to as for their residential cleaning quotes. You should have all the information you need to establish your going rate.
Ensure Your Cleaning Business
When starting a residential cleaning business, you should think about all the risks that come with the job. A lot of unpleasant things or incidences might happen.
These could range from injuries (happening to either your client or workers), damage resulting from breaking home items among many other risks.
Although these situations are unpleasant, you won’t need to worry about compensation if you have a comprehensive insurance plan. Your insurance cover protects your business and your client’s property.
Being bonded is an added plus to your operations. Plus, clients are more comfortable patronizing a cleaning business that has insurance.
It Will Is Necessary to Have An Attorney
Your residential cleaning service will need the services of an expert in law. An attorney comes in handy whenever there’s a dispute with a client or when your business is sued.
Apart from disputes resulting or being sued, an attorney advises on the legal aspects of doing business.
Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they can survive without one until they get stuck. You shouldn’t allow that happen to you. This will come at a cost, but it’s worth it.
Get one to avoid or significantly reduce legal problems.
Advertise and Market Your Business
Setting up a world-class residential cleaning business isn’t enough. Such a business won’t announce itself you have to do that.
Now there are many ways to sell your business to residential clients.
One of the common ways to advertise cleaning services is by targeting your campaigns in predominantly residential areas. You need some materials to distribute in the form of your business cards, and fliers all bearing your contact details.
Word of mouth marketing is another. You can knock on their doors and politely and nicely introduce them to your cleaning services. The online space is another way to sell your residential cleaning business.
First, have a website that carries all the information a client needs to know. You can link up such services on your website with social media accounts for your business.
Setting up a residential cleaning business and getting across to clients is a necessary line of action that must be taken by any interested entrepreneur.
This entire process can be tiring. Hence the need to motivate yourself. Your love for cleaning should be able to keep you focused even in the most difficult times.