Starting your own cleaning business is a big step, but it doesn’t need to be an ordeal. You only need to follow eight steps to get your business up and running and start making money. Follow these eight steps, outlined below, and you’ll soon have a thriving business.
Choose What Services to Offer
What kind of cleaning services do you want to offer? Most companies specialize in either residential or commercial cleaning services. Residential cleaning services bring in less revenue than commercial cleaning services, but there are more opportunities, it takes less time to clean homes, and it’s easier to find new clients.
Commercial cleaning services cost more but are also larger and more complex jobs. There are fewer of them than residential jobs, but they are also more stable. These jobs can be harder for a new company to acquire without references.
Setup Your Business
Start by getting your business license and registering your company with the appropriate tax entities. Each city and state are different, so contact your local authorities to find out what you need to do to make your business official. Next, open a business bank account, find an accounting system you like (or hire a bookkeeper), and purchase business insurance to protect you and your investment.
Purchase Your Cleaning Supplies and Equipment
Your next step is to purchase the things you need to do the job. You can buy your equipment new from most major retailers and business supply stores, but you can also source used equipment from internet ads, some hardware stores, and word of mouth. Don’t forget to use your tax paperwork to avoid paying sales tax.
Learn How to Price Your Cleaning Services and Estimate Jobs
You can find many good sources online that will teach you how to estimate jobs. You can choose from hourly rates, square foot rates, flat rates, and more. Once you know how to estimate jobs, you’ll need to decide how to price them.
This is going to involve some research into your local competition. How much are other local cleaning services charging for the same type of work? You want to be sure to price your cleaning services in line with the competition. You don’t want to be either the most or least expensive.
Market Your New Business
Marketing is the key to the success of your new endeavor. You don’t have to have a lot of money to market your services. You can use social media and internet ads at little or no cost. Word of mouth is free. Order some business cards and hand them out and post them around town. If you have a little more money, consider putting ads in local publications.
Invoice Jobs, Collect Payments, and Manage Cash Flow
Once you acquire clients and do the work, you’ll need to learn to invoice for your work and collect payments. Some businesses work for cash on the spot, while others bill their clients and let them pay with a credit or debit card. You’ll also need to learn to manage your cash flow, so you don’t run out of money.
Learn How to Manage Your Business and Client Relationships
You’ve got a business! Now comes the hard part: managing it and your relationships with your clients. The largest part of this is showing up on time and doing a good job. Beyond that, provide good customer service and that will take you most of the way.
Hire and Train Cleaners
This is the last step because you’ll probably start out doing most of the work yourself or with one or two trusted people. At some point, though, if you want to grow your business, you’re going to need to hire some employees and train them. This is the hardest step for many businesses and the true test of a business owner. When you reach this point, you’ll know you’ve made it.