Starting a cleaning business offers huge profit potential with minimal startup costs. To start, you just need a business plan, proper licenses and insurance, some cleaning supplies, and a solid marketing strategy. A savvy entrepreneur who doesn’t mind doing dirty work can start a profitable cleaning company for $1,000 to $2,000.
When starting your own cleaning business, it’s important to separate your personal and business finances. Chase Business Checking offers one of the most competitive fee structures, unlimited cash deposits, and you can open an account with a minimum of $25. First-time Chase Total Business Checking account holders are being offered up to a $200 bonus for opening a new account. Visit Chase to sign up.
Visit Chase Business Checking
Here’s how to start a cleaning business in six steps:
- 1. Create a Budget
- 2. Choose the Right Business Structure
- 3. Get the Proper Licenses & Insurance
- 4. Purchase Cleaning Equipment
- 5. Set Your Rates & Your Business Model
- 6. Market Your Cleaning Business
- Starting a Cleaning Business Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Bottom Line
- Required Steps for Opening a Residential Cleaning Company
- Creation of a Business Plan
- Naming of Your Company
- Form a Business Entity
- Decide on Your Target Market
- Set Your Rates
- Open a Business Bank Account:
- Obtain any Necessary Business Licenses and / or Permits
- Apply for Insurance Coverage
- Hire an Accountant / CPA
- Consult with an Attorney
- Obtain Necessary Business Forms
- Start Marketing and Promoting Your Business
- Who is Your Ideal Target Customer ?
- What Equipment Will You Need ?
- Is a Franchise or Starting a Business From Scratch Better for You ?
- Immediate Business:
- High Brand Awareness:
- Advertising and Marketing
- Ongoing Support
- Expenses & Fees
- Profits / Company Value
- Is the Residential Cleaning Business Right for You ?
- How to Start a House Cleaning Business
- Start a cleaning business
- Start a cleaning business by following these 9 steps:
- STEP 1: Plan your Business
- What are the costs involved in opening a cleaning business?
- What are the ongoing expenses for a cleaning business?
- Who is the target market?
- How does a cleaning business make money?
- How much can you charge customers?
- How much profit can a cleaning business make?
- How can you make your business more profitable?
- What will you name your business?
- Find a Domain Now
- Powered by GoDaddy.com
- STEP 2: Form a legal entity
- STEP 3: Register for taxes
- STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
- STEP 5: Set up business accounting
- STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
- STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
- STEP 8: Define your brand
- STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
- STEP 1: Plan your Business
- How to Start Your Own Maid Service: 12 Quick and Easy Steps
- Step 1: Learn How a Maid Service Works
- Step 2: Create a Plan
- Step 3: Discover Earning Potential
- Step 4: Set a Budget
- Step 5: Decide Which Products/Service to Offer
- Step 6: Decide on a Location
- Step 7: Find Suppliers
- Step 8: Promote Your Maid Service
- Step 9: Create a Staffing Plan
- Step 10: Decide on a Style/Design
- Step 11: Create an Accounting Plan
- Step 12: Get Into the Maid Service Community
- Starting a Maid Service Business – A Complete Guide
- Starting a Maid Service Business – Market Feasibility and Research
- Starting a Maid Service Business – The Marketing Plan
- Solomon. O’Chucks
- How to Start a Cleaning Business: 8 Simple Steps
1. Create a Budget
You will need to spend a little to start your cleaning business. But, it is possible to start a cleaning business for less than $1,000. Your budget will mostly consist of licenses and permits, basic cleaning products, and advertising. In the beginning, you may work by yourself. But if you plan on hiring a cleaning staff, be sure to budget for labor.
Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs for starting a cleaning business:
- Licenses and permits: $30 to $60 if you register as a sole proprietor or $100 to $500 if you register as a limited liability company.
- Insurance: $500 to $3,500 annually depending on number of employees. Expect to pay a few hundred dollars per month.
- Cleaning equipment and products: $300 to $600 depending on the type of tools. High-quality vacuums can cost $200 to $300, $10 for several large all-purpose cleaning solutions, $10 for a broom, $20 for a mop, and $20 for dusting supplies.
- Advertising: $100 to $200 for print and online marketing.
- Labor: Roughly $11.63 per employee, per hour.
With these numbers, you can launch an operational cleaning business for as low as $930. While it’s possible to start your business for less than $1,000, it’s always a good idea to have more funds available. With any new business, it can take time before you start seeing a profit, so having funds to cover a few months’ worth of expenses or any incidentals that pop up is a smart business move.
“When I first started, I had a lot of extra money saved up from my previous employment. With the help of my husband, we were able to put up our own cleaning business. Honestly, it is better to be safe than sorry, so I would recommend that you have more than $2,000 to start with.”
– Joanna Douglas, owner at Clean Affinity
2. Choose the Right Business Structure
Prior to launching your cleaning business, you need to have it registered. Registering your business is necessary for opening a business bank account, applying for loans, and hiring employees. Registering your business involves choosing a business or legal structure, a name, and planning for taxes.
Best Business Structures for Cleaning Companies
The two most popular business structures for small businesses are sole proprietorships and limited liability companies (LLCs). Many bootstrapped startups register their business as a sole proprietor. There’s not a lot of paperwork involved under this business structure. Plus, as the owner and sole proprietor, you have absolute control over your business.
The biggest disadvantage to a sole proprietorship is that there is no distinction between your business and personal assets. That means you are held liable if your business goes under due to debt, and your personal assets could be at risk.
Other cleaning businesses register as a limited liability company (LLC), which gives owners some protection from personal liability. So, if your cleaning company were to go out of business due to debt, your personal assets are more likely to be protected. However, the tax structure of an LLC is a little more complicated than a sole proprietorship, and LLCs have higher startup costs.
If you opt to form an LLC, we recommend working with a solution like Incfile to save money while registering your business. With Incfile, you can register your business for free; just pay the cost of your state fees. Visit Incfile to learn more.
How Taxes Work for Cleaning Businesses
Your taxes will depend on the type of business you register. If you registered as a sole proprietor, you won’t have to submit a separate tax report for your company’s profits and losses. You will just have to file a form for individual income tax where your personal and business incomes are considered the same. With a sole proprietorship, you are subject to regular personal tax rates, instead of corporate tax rates.
Taxes under an LLC are much more complicated. Your company can be taxed as a sole proprietor, partnership, S corporation (S-corp), or C corporation (C-corp) depending on certain variables and what makes the most sense for your individual business. There are certain pros and cons for each tax treatment. You can find more information in our small business owner’s guide to LLC taxes.
Choosing a Business Name
Naming your business is a crucial step that requires careful consideration. Ideally, your business name will be around for a long time, so make sure it is something you truly love. The name of your company can reflect your name, the services your business provides, or company ideals or promises.
To help you out here, we created the ultimate business name generator. You just have to enter your services, area, and your name as the founder. The tool generates multiple suggestions which you can use as a starting point to come up with your own unique idea. Once you have the final list, head to the United States Patent and Trademark Office to check which names are still available.
Franchises are another popular and profitable option to consider when starting a cleaning business. With a franchise, you have the benefit of name recognition, regional or national marketing efforts, and established procedures and guidelines already in place. One disadvantage of starting a franchise is that you give up a lot of the creative freedom that comes with owning a small business, and have less of a say when it comes to operational procedures.
“A secret I would like to share with everyone is that it’s a great idea to pick a good franchise that will take care of the marketing for you. You should focus on building good systems and practices—the core of every business’ growth. And choosing to be a franchisee will mean having this core already established for you. Be smart and choose a franchise company that has experience working with hundreds of similar companies—a franchise company that has created and implemented systems leading to a successful cleaning business.”
– Rune Sovndahl, CEO of Fantastic Services
Organize Your Business Finances
Another important step in setting up your cleaning business is organizing your finances. Having your business finances separate from your personal finances makes it easier to manage your cash flow, organize your taxes, and can help protect your personal assets should anything go wrong.
Chase Business Checking is an excellent option for small businesses. They have nearly 4,900 branches, 16,000 ATMs, a mobile app, and an easy-to-use website. Receive a $300 welcome bonus when you open an account today.
3. Get the Proper Licenses & Insurance
Licensing requirements can vary depending on your location, so check with your state, city, and county governments. Some cities require cleaning businesses to secure an occupational license while some only require you to file a Doing Business As (DBA) form.
The registration process may sound intimidating, especially to first-time entrepreneurs. However, the process is usually straightforward and can take as little as one day.
With any cleaning business, accidents can happen. For example, an employee might unintentionally break a mirror or knock a television off of its stand. Liability insurance is critical for protecting your business when accidents happen. For cleaning businesses catering to commercial clients, liability insurance is a must-have.
Before you get started cleaning your first property, it’s important to find janitorial insurance you can count on. AP Intego’s nationally licensed agents shop and compare your coverage needs to get you the right coverage at an affordable price, fast. Reach out for a free, no-obligation quote.
Visit AP Intego
A bond is a form of insurance that acts as a financial guarantee against the terms of the bond. Obtaining a bond shields your business and your clients from losses due to employee theft. Many clients prefer cleaning businesses that are bonded, as they are guaranteed protection from any theft. Investing in a bond can provide peace of mind for you and your clients.
As you grow and hire more employees, your state might require you to pay into workers’ compensation. This type of insurance protects your employees from injuries and illnesses sustained on the job. It provides compensation in the form of wage and benefit replacement to your employees if they’re injured on the job and can’t continue to work. In exchange, employees relinquish the right to sue their employer for negligence.
Specific workers’ comp requirements vary by state and by industry. If you’re using a payroll management service, workers’ comp is often something your payroll solution provider can manage for you. Many accounting solutions, such as QuickBooks, also have options for managing workers’ comp insurance.
If you’re looking for an affordable workers’ comp policy for your cleaning business, we recommend The Hartford. The Hartford integrates with payroll providers to create accurate premiums, and has a pay-as-you-go program to ensure that your insurance costs are always reflective of existing employees. Submit a quick online application to get started with a free quote.
Visit The Hartford
4. Purchase Cleaning Equipment
Purchasing or renting professional cleaning tools and supplies to handle any cleaning job is an important step in starting your cleaning business. Buying powerful and effective cleaning solutions is key, but you may also want to consider alternative cleaning supplies to cater to a wide variety of customer needs. For example, scent-free products may be necessary for customers with allergies or other sensitivities. Other customers may request natural or organic products.
Here are some of the basic supplies you will need:
- Cleaning uniform or apron with multiple pockets to store essential items
- Window cleaner
- Paper towels
- Latex gloves
- Scrubbing brushes
- All-purpose cleaner
You can purchase everything at your local grocery store as you launch your business and figure out which products you prefer. However, as your business grows and you get a feel for which products work best, consider purchasing your supplies in bulk from a wholesaler or a local janitorial supplier. Cutting your supply costs will help your business become more profitable.
“When we started our business in 1994, we started with $3,500 in the bank. Today, I would expect that the price to launch a cleaning business could be much cheaper because of the option to rent. During the time that we launched our business, we had to go out and purchase a ton of equipment, but today, there are several options for you to rent supplies and necessary cleaning machines on a per day usage.”
– Cornell Alston, President of Operations, Bright & Clear Floor Care
5. Set Your Rates & Your Business Model
Cleaning services typically charge a $50 to $90 hourly fee, or a flat rate of $120 to $150 for a single-family home. Factors such as your location, your competition, your clientele, and the size and condition of the home will determine the exact fee you charge. Many cleaning businesses also offer upgrade options, such as window cleanings, appliance cleanings, or wall washings, for an additional fee.
Regardless of your pricing model, you’ll need an easy way to bill your clients so you can get paid in a timely manner. Chase Merchant Services offers affordable payment processing rates and has a mobile app for accepting payments on the spot. All you need is your mobile phone, the Chase Mobile Checkout app, and a card reader. Visit Chase to get started.
Visit Chase Merchant Services
Here are three ways different cleaning businesses determine their fees:
Hourly rates are by far the most common billing method for cleaning services. The easiest way to establish your hourly rate is to call your competitors and ask them how much they charge. They have most likely conducted their own research and have factored in all expenses in their current rates, including labor, equipment use, gas, and products. Use competitor rates as a guide for determining your own hourly rates, while also factoring in your specific costs of doing business.
If you are familiar with the houses and establishments in your area, you can use that knowledge to your advantage by charging a flat rate. Estimate the number of hours it will take you to clean a particular house and offer that rate to your customer. The advantage here is that you provide a fixed price for your services. Many customers prefer this cleaning rate because they know the exact amount they will have to pay for your service, regardless of how long the job takes.
Square Foot Rate
Charging by the square foot is typically reserved for cleaning businesses that target large villas or vacation homes. These types of properties often have rooms and spaces that are rarely used and may require more manpower for an ultra-deep clean. Therefore, many companies set higher hourly rates for properties that are bigger than 1,000 square feet. For example, if you charge $25 per hour for a single-family home, consider charging $30 per hour for homes bigger than 1,000 square feet and $40 per hour for properties larger than 2,000 square feet.
Regardless of the type of rate you choose, it’s a good idea to outline the specific services that are included with a typical apartment or home cleaning. For example, a basic cleaning might include dusting, wiping, vacuuming, and mopping. But spot cleaning walls or windows may be extra. Outlining which services are included and which services come with an extra fee helps set customer expectations and ensures customers are happy with the result.
6. Market Your Cleaning Business
Now that your pricing model is all set, it’s time to get the word out about your new company. As a startup, you are probably working with limited capital and you’d want to make the most of your budget. Therefore, your marketing efforts should be highly targeted. You want your materials to reach the right types of people. For local businesses, the best marketing strategies often include a blend of online and traditional marketing.
As a small business owner, you have the benefit of your friends and family cheering on your success. Instead of asking your friends and family to become customers, ask them to help spread the word about your new business. Word-of-mouth marketing is particularly effective, since nine out of 10 consumers are more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.
Having the right promotional tools can make word-of-mouth marketing more of a science and less of a guessing game. First, create brochures and business flyers that describe the services you offer, pricing, hours, and contact details.
Next, offer coupons and a loyalty program. Coupons for new customers are a great strategy for getting people to try your business. Coupons can be something as simple as 10% off your first 10 hours of cleaning, or 20% off a single-home cleaning service. For extra efficiency, you can print the coupons right on your service brochure.
Customer loyalty programs are an effective way of retaining your customers once they try your services. A simple punch card works fine. But there are also many digital loyalty programs that make it easy for you and your customers to track their progress. Your loyalty reward doesn’t have to be extravagant, just enough to show appreciation to your regular customers. For example, a free window cleaning upgrade after five home cleanings is an easy reward.
“Have a referral program that is strong. The best ways to drive new business is via word-of-mouth marketing. I spent over $2,000 a week using direct mail, but word-of-mouth drove the highest closing ratio by far.”
– Serial Entrepreneur, Mike Kawula
When first starting out, you may be running your business, including cleaning homes, by yourself. Since time is limited, your marketing efforts need to be direct and effective. A majority of customers use the internet and Google searches to find local businesses. Many customers who need your services are looking for you online by searching for terms such as:
- Home cleaning Baltimore
- Carpet cleaning Akron
- Chimney cleaning Chicago
Having a strong online presence is important so that when potential customers search for cleaning services in your area, your business is one of the first to pop up. Having a strong online presence includes having a website and active social media accounts so that customers can find you easily, no matter how they search.
Create Your Own Website
In order for customers to find you when they are doing local searches, you need to have a website. Creating your own website from scratch is not as complicated as it sounds. There are many easy ways to make a business website for little or no money. You just need a registered domain and a web hosting service.
Bluehost is one of the most versatile hosting options and delivers a great value. You can register your domain, host your website, access a WordPress web builder, and get a business email address for just $2.95 per month. Visit Bluehost to get started.
Use Social Media Marketing
Using social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is an effective way to reach potential customers before they even search for a cleaning service on Google. For just a few dollars a day, you can create ads that can reach thousands of people. Our guide on how to create a Facebook ad will walk you through the process.
Register Your Business With Google
Creating a business profile on Google is completely free. If you register your business, it will show up on Google search results and on Google Maps. Plus, you can include information like your website, phone number, and business hours. Registering your business also lets customers leave a Google review. Positive reviews can help draw in new customers. Overall, registering your business makes it much easier for people to find your cleaning company.
Use Scheduling Software to Manage Appointments
Even with minimal marketing, you could end up with more clients than you can keep track of with a simple calendar. Avoid double-booking yourself by using an online scheduling tool. Square Appointments syncs with your personal calendars and lets clients book appointments and make payments right from their phone. Best of all, Square Appointments is free for a single user.
Visit Square Appointments
Starting a Cleaning Business Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Starting a cleaning business involves a lot of different steps.
How much money do I need to start a cleaning business?
You can start a cleaning business with as little as $1,000 to $2,000. But we recommend having more than that as a cushion to sustain operating expenses for the first few months. As with any new business, it may take time before you start seeing profits, so it’s important to have enough cash flow to cover your expenses for at least a few months.
How can I minimize expenses for a cleaning business?
When first starting out, some of your biggest expenses will be credit card processing fees and insurance fees. When choosing these services, it’s important to shop around to find the best value to minimize your expenses. Also, purchase your cleaning supplies in bulk or from a wholesale supplier to minimize costs.
When will my cleaning business start to make money?
This answer will vary depending on your location, advertising, expenses, and how satisfied your customers are with your work. It’s possible for your cleaning business to start making money within a few months if you are diligent. The best way to make money quickly is by making a business plan that outlines your financials and sticking to that plan.
What should I charge for house cleaning?
The average costs for cleaning services in 2019 are $25 to $50 per hour with one person, or $50 to $90 per hour total. You can choose to charge per hour, or a flat fee per house based on size and what type of cleaning the customer would like. For example, you can offer standard cleaning or deep cleaning, with deep cleaning costing extra. Look at what other companies in your area charge and use that as a guide.
What skills do you need for a house cleaning business?
Starting any business requires a lot of drive and motivation. With a cleaning business specifically, you will need attention to detail, ability to work alone, and professionalism when interacting with customers. Especially at first, you will be handling all of the budgeting and financial aspects of your business as well as the marketing and branding efforts, in addition to actually performing the cleaning services.
Starting a cleaning business is a popular option for entrepreneurs because the startup costs and barriers to entry are very low compared to other types of businesses. Before you launch, take the time to map out a budget, business structure, and advertising strategy, and procure all of the necessary licenses and insurance plans.
Organizing your financials is one of the first steps towards success in starting any business. Chase Business Checking is an affordable solution with many convenient locations, competitive fees, unlimited deposits, and just a $25 minimum to open an account. First-time Chase Total Business Checking account holders are being offered up to a $300 bonus for opening a new account. Visit Chase to sign up.
Visit Chase Business Checking
New Cleaning Business Formed
There are many people today who are starting their own businesses. In doing this, they have a number of different choices.
One of the most popular – and potentially lucrative – of those is a residential cleaning company. This is an industry that is currently in very high demand.
There are many benefits to starting a residential cleaning company – beginning with the fact that requires only a very small amount of funds to get established.
In addition, this type of business requires no special training or experience – and, it may be started on a part-time basis.
Therefore, you can continue with your present job while you establish and build up a client base with your new cleaning company.
Owning a residential cleaning company can also provide you with high profit margins.
Because of its low expenses, your net profit percentage can bring your company into the black relatively soon after your company gets going.
Before getting started, however, it is important to know how to start a home cleaning business from the beginning.
That way, you will have an in-depth understanding of what is required from start to finish.
Required Steps for Opening a Residential Cleaning Company
When working through the steps of how to start your own cleaning business, there are several key factors that must not be overlooked. These should include the following:
Creation of a Business Plan
Your business plan will play an essential role in your residential cleaning company’s overall success.
This document will provide an overall summary of your business, along with a detailed plan of action as to how the company will start and grow.
In it, you should describe how you will acquire your clients – including your plans for marketing and promotion – as well as the rates you will charge, and the services you will provide.
The business plan should also include detailed financial information such as an income statement and cash flow information.
This data is especially important, as a bank or lender will want to review it in the event that you apply for any type of business funding or loan.
Naming of Your Company
The name that you give to your company is also important.
While you may initially consider your endeavor as just a way to make extra money, it is truly a business, and it should be named as such.
Therefore, get creative with it.
When brainstorming for good, catchy company names, you should ideally think of things that will resonate and be memorable in potential customers’ minds.
For example, “Clutter Busters” is something that people will remember, and it gives them an idea of the type of service your business provides. Before you nail down a name, though, be sure that the name isn’t already being used by another company in your area.
You can check this information online through a company directory.
Form a Business Entity
While many business owners remain as a sole proprietor, there are others who form a corporation or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
There are a number of tax and legal protections that you are afforded when you do so.
Therefore, check with a tax or legal professional on the benefits of the different types of business entities and whether you should consider having your business become such an entity.
Decide on Your Target Market
You will also need to determine who your target market will be.
Even though you are entering into the residential cleaning business, your target market won’t likely be all homes in all locations.
Instead, you should ideally focus on a particular geographic area such as specific neighborhoods.
Or, you may instead want to focus on a specific type of home such as condominiums.
Set Your Rates
Rates are extremely important, as they can make or break your company’s profitability.
There are several different factors that will go into determining the amount that you should charge your customers.
These include your expenses and your time. Your expenses will include criteria such as your supplies, gas, and maintenance.
Other overall costs of doing business should also be factored in such as the costs of your licenses and insurance.
Most residential cleaning companies charge their customers an hourly rate.
So, you will need to come up with an estimate of how much it will cost you to complete certain jobs based on room size, type of floors (such as carpet versus hard wood), and other cleaning needs.
One way to get an idea of what rates to charge is to contact other residential cleaning companies in your area and obtain estimates of their rates.
You will likely find that most of the companies’ rates fall within a certain price range.
You should keep your rates somewhere within this range as well because while you don’t want to overcharge your customers, you also don’t want to undercut yourself either.
Open a Business Bank Account:
Before actually opening your residential cleaning company, you will need to open a separate bank account for your business.
This is because you are not allowed to “commingle” personal and business funds within the same bank account.
Most banks and credit unions provide special checking accounts that are specifically for small businesses.
These accounts usually provide you with a certain number of checks that you can use, as well as a debit card, and even a credit card for business use.
Be sure to ask your banker about any certain minimum balance requirements or maximum monthly usage fees before opening the account.
Obtain any Necessary Business Licenses and / or Permits
Most jurisdictions will require that you obtain certain business licenses and / or permits before doing business with the public.
Typically, a vendor’s license is required in order to open a cleaning business.
You can obtain an application from your county clerk or county administration office for this license. This particular license will allow you to collect sales tax from your customers.
Apply for Insurance Coverage
Be sure that you apply for any insurance coverage that you need as well. It is likely that you may have to have liability insurance coverage in case you become injured in a customer’s home, as well as if something were to break. Likewise, you may also need to become bonded.
Inquire with your property and casualty insurance agent about this type of insurance coverage and how much it will cost to purchase.
Hire an Accountant / CPA
When you open your residential cleaning company and you start to earn business income, you will also need to start filing business tax returns.
In this case, you may need to start working with an accountant or a CPA who can help you with business tax returns.
It is also a good idea to have a tax professional that you can call on to ask other types of tax and financial related questions of when certain situations arise.
Consult with an Attorney
Because legal issues can and do come up, you should also have an attorney on file just in case.
Obtain Necessary Business Forms
Before getting started, you will need to get several forms for use in your business.
These should include work orders that outline what your customers want to have done, estimate forms that show pricing estimates that you’ve given to your customers for particular jobs, cleaning invoice forms that describe the services you have provided to a customer, satisfaction survey forms for customers to fill out to detail how well your company performed, and breakage report forms in the case that items were broken at a customer’s home.
In addition, you may also want to have bad check notice forms just in case a customer pays you with a check that bounces.
Likewise, should you need to hire any independent contractors for jobs, it is a good idea to have independent contractor forms that outline the specific job responsibilities that the person is hired to perform.
These forms should also include a statement that ensures you that the independent contractor will not steal your customers.
Ideally, you should have your company’s name and logo on these forms so that everything – including your forms, business cards, and advertising materials – all have the same “branded” look and feel.
This will give your company a much more professional look in your customers’ eyes. Although you may not use all of these forms on a regular basis, it is a good idea to have them on hand just in case they are needed.
If you have them in a downloadable format on your computer, you can print them at any time.
Start Marketing and Promoting Your Business
One of the most important steps that you will need to take in preparing to start your residential cleaning business is marketing and promoting it.
Regardless of the type of services you offer or the market that you serve, if nobody knows that your company exists, then it isn’t likely that you will be very successful.
Therefore, you will need to come up with a good marketing plan for getting the word out about your business.
There are numerous ways to do this. One popular method of marketing residential cleaning services is to offer a coupon in the local coupon mailer that is sent out to certain geographic areas.
Here, you can target certain neighborhoods and offer a promotion such as one free room cleaned with additional purchase.
You may also consider advertising in the local newspaper, printing flyers, and doing local radio commercials.
Today, most businesses also have a website. This is a great way to expand on the services that you provide.
You may also want to provide a printable coupon on your website as well. In any case, you will want to have business cards printed.
That way, you can hand out a card to everyone you meet who may have a need for your services.
Who is Your Ideal Target Customer ?
All businesses should have an ideal target market. Therefore, you should really focus on who you will focus your advertising and promotion on.
For example, will you pin point a certain neighborhood or neighborhoods in your region, or will you instead focus on a particular type of home such as apartment units or condominiums?
By targeting your customers, you can also focus your advertising – and by doing this, your potential customers will truly feel that your ads are speaking directly to them.
When this occurs, they are much more likely to respond to your ads and use your company’s services.
What Equipment Will You Need ?
In order to get started with your residential cleaning business, you will need to have some necessary equipment on hand. At the very minimum, you should have the following items:
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Mop and bucket
- Steam cleaner
- Paper towels
- Toilet brush
- Toilet bowl cleaner
- Dust pan and brush
- Dry mop
- Window cleaner
- Disinfectant cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Soft scrub for sinks
- SOS pads
- Feather duster
- Rubber or latex gloves
Depending on exactly what type of equipment you have, you may need to use a van or other type of larger vehicle.
This will make it easier to transport all of your equipment from location to location, loading and unloading it for each of your jobs.
Is a Franchise or Starting a Business From Scratch Better for You ?
One of the biggest decisions that you will need to make when deciding how to start my own cleaning business is deciding whether to create your company from scratch or to buy into an already established franchise.
Certainly, there are both advantages and drawbacks to either of these options. Some of the benefits of going with a franchise model include the following:
When buying into a franchise, you can start your business almost instantly. This is because most of the initial work has already been done for you.
This helps to avoid a great deal of the learning curve – and many of the newbie mistakes – that a new business owner out on their own might make.
As an example, the franchisor has already taken care of creating the overall business model – and possibly even the business plan – so that all you have to do is follow the steps and get the business up and running. In many ways, buying a franchise allows you to simply “open the box and follow the directions.”
High Brand Awareness:
In many instances – especially if you go with a well known name – your business will already be a household name.
When customers are already familiar with your company name, it is much easier to build trust and to sell them on your services.
This can be a key factor when customers are inviting you into their home to clean around their personal items.
Advertising and Marketing
When you buy into a franchise, you will also have a great deal of assistance with marketing and advertising.
There are many bigger companies that will even go so far as to create large multi-national ad campaigns.
This is an ideal way to bring customers into your business, without a lot of effort on your part.
With a franchise, you will also have access to training.
Although a residential cleaning business doesn’t require a great deal of background or advanced training, there are certain aspects of the business that must be learned.
Having a large company to back you up can be comforting. In addition, if your company grows, a franchisor will typically take charge of training your new employees as well.
As a new business owner, it can sometimes feel like you are all alone.
But as a franchisee, you always have the support of the franchisor – regardless of how long you’ve been in business. This is another big benefit of this business model.
Oftentimes, you are able to simply pick up the phone and make contact with someone who can quickly handle a question or concern that you have.
While going the route of a franchise does provide a great many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks as well. These can include:
Expenses & Fees
In return for all of the training, support, and business plan models, there is a price to pay.
Therefore, one of the biggest drawbacks to going with a franchise is the expense that you must pay in.
This cost typically includes an up-front down payment, along with ongoing fees that are based upon sales revenue or performance.
As a franchisee, you also give up a great deal of control over your business in comparison to the amount of control that an independent business owner would have.
Those who own their own firm typically are able to call their own shots. When purchasing a franchise, though, you will usually be required to sign an agreement that states you will follow the company’s rules and regulations as to operating the business.
You may also be required to purchase specific equipment and inventory.
When working with a franchise, the franchisor typically chooses the site locations. With this in mind, they – not you – usually own the building and the underlying real estate.
Any of the equity that is built from that will therefore be passed on to the franchisor.
Profits / Company Value
Likewise, if your company attains substantial value and could essentially be sold for considerable profit, a franchise would not enable you to do this, whereas owning your own company would.
Is the Residential Cleaning Business Right for You ?
There are many factors that are involved in actually starting a residential cleaning company.
Yet, in addition to the step-by-step actions that must be taken as to how to start cleaning, business requires that you have a certain mental attitude or readiness as well.
For example, other than simply asking “what do I need to start a cleaning business,” there are some additional questions that you should ask yourself as well in order to ensure that the residential cleaning business is right for you, such as:
- Am I interested in the potential to earn a full-time income while working part-time hours?
- Do I have the ability and the time to prepare to start my business over the next two to three weeks before any income can be earned?
- Am I willing to put forth approximately $500 in capital in order to purchase the necessary cleaning equipment that I will need to get started?
- Do I want to start my new business working from my home in the evenings and/or on weekends ?
- Am I willing to take the time and the effort to do the marketing and the promotion that is required to build up a client base of residential cleaning customers?
If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, then it is likely that starting a residential cleaning company is the right business for you.
In this case, you will next need to determine whether you should start your company from scratch or if a franchise model is the better route for your particular business needs and goals.
Taking the Next Step
Now that you know how to start a cleaning service business, you are ready to take the next step.
Be sure that you go through all of the steps that are necessary to get your company started the right way.
When you do, you will be able to move through the process quite quickly. Remember, the residential cleaning business is a high demand industry, so it is likely that your business will grow fairly rapidly once you get started.
Whether you opt for your own company or the business franchise model, running your own residential cleaning company can be an extremely rewarding endeavor.
Through it, you will be able to set your own hours, as well as decide who you want to work with. You can truly have the opportunity to make your new business thrive.
How to Start a House Cleaning Business
Starting a cleaning business is a great way to work for yourself, earn money, and be independent. Starting a house cleaning business does require some forethought and planning, though, if you want to be successful.
If you want to start a house cleaning business, it is possible to simply clean people’s homes for cash, but you run the risk of getting in trouble with the IRS for not reporting your income, and you also may be violating local and state laws about business registration.
As a Sole Proprietor
To protect yourself, you need to formalize your business and report your income. To work as a sole proprietor, you can operate under your own name, or you can choose a name for your business. You will likely need to file with your county or state that you are “doing business as” (DBA) this name. You can obtain the filing form online and pay a small fee to file it. You may also need to file for a business registration or license in the county you will do business in. It’s important to know what licenses and permits are required in your state.
As a Limited Liability Company or Franchisee
Another option for starting a cleaning service is to form a limited liability company, to try to reduce your personal liability. You will need to file LLC papers with your state’s Secretary of State online, forming your cleaning business. You may also wish to consider buying a franchise of an existing cleaning business. Doing so could give you a proven business model and a recognizable name, but has added costs.
Getting and staying organized will be critical to the success of your cleaning business:
- Once you choose your business type, you will want to open a bank account for your business so that you can keep records of income and expenses.
- Create a calendar system so you can schedule your clients.
- Research the cost of the supplies you need and create a budget that includes all of your expenses. Don’t forget the cost of a good vacuum.
- Set your fee schedule and determine how long it will take you to clean different size homes.
- Set up a basic accounting system so you can track bills and payments.
When starting a cleaning company, you will need to record your income and expenses. Keep in mind that all of your supplies, advertising, and transportation costs are business expenses for your business. If you are a sole proprietor, you will file the taxes yourself on your personal income tax Form 1040. If you decide to establish your house cleaning business as an LLC, you can continue to file taxes yourself as an individual as long as you are the sole owner.
For your business to grow, you will need to hire employees now or in the future. If you are going to hire employees, you will need to obtain a federal tax ID (or EIN, employer identification number) and withhold state and federal taxes for your employees. You also will need to verify your employees’ eligibility to work in the U.S. by filing a form with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
You will need to obtain liability insurance that will cover any damage or mistakes you or your employees make. If you hope to clean for more than a handful of friends and family, this insurance is absolutely necessary. Contact your current insurance agent for a quote and also check with an insurance broker in your area who can get quotes from a variety of companies.
When starting your own cleaning business, effective advertising can be the key to getting more clients:
- First, consider offering a discount to clients who refer friends and family to you. Word of mouth advertising is often the best, particularly for a business that works within someone’s home.
- A simple website can provide the details about your service, share some glowing testimonials from clients, and offer your contact information so people can get in touch with you.
- Ads in local papers, especially community papers, can be successful for drumming up business as well.
Knowing how to start a cleaning business can present a great opportunity for you to become a business owner and be in control of your own income.
Ready to start a business? LegalZoom can help. Answer a few questions to get started. We’ll assemble your documents and file them directly with the Secretary of State.
Start a cleaning business
Check out the Cleaning Service Resources for free information on starting and running a cleaning service.
“If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and your business, you will create Loyalty Beyond Reason. And I promise you, you will build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds beyond your wildest expectations”.
My name is Patti Page. I own and operate a cleaning service. I would like to share what I have learned through the years in hopes of helping others who are thinking about starting their own cleaning service.
First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure this kind of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relation skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.
If you are planning on leaving your full time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full time job and start out part time.
Research all the aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonding, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally is totally different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a client pays for your services they expect to come home and find their home spotless.
Getting those first clients takes time, persistence and patience. You won’t get a hundred clients overnight.
Obtaining Those First Clients
The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is obtaining those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing to do is let clients know that, yes, you are new to the business but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and assure them that you know what you are doing and that you are quite capable of cleaning their home to their specifications. Be confident. I can’t stress this enough. Clients love to see confidence. It relieves their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.
References: To get a few good references when starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discounted rate. The sound of working for free may not be appealing but it will be worth it to get some good testimonials.
When cleaning those first homes, go for quality, not how fast you can clean the home. Cleaning efficiently takes a long time, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in a short time. After cleaning make sure you go back and double check all rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first clients and word of mouth will spread soon.
Womanessity Women’s Online Business Directory. Affordable business listings. Created for the purpose of connecting women in business with customers who are looking for their products and or services.
Your company image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your advertising material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo be sure to use it on all your advertising materials. I think it is best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick with the same logo and colors.
Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to come up with an eye catching ad. Don’t sell your services on low rates, sell your services on your quality of work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. There is a lot of competition in the cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.
Lettering for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. The lettering looks much more professional than the magnetic signs.
Note* If you decide to use lettering on your vehicle, you will need a commercial auto policy.
Flyers: Free Cleaning Service Flyers and Gift Certificate Templates This is a good place to get free cleaning service flyers. Just click on the free download link, download to your computer and replace the text with your text. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.
Door Hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new clients. Pick the neighborhood you would like to work in and hang the door hangers on the doors. When people get flyers or ads in their mailbox they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there is a door hanger on the door they will take the time to look at it.
Business Cards: Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.
Referral Program: A great way to obtain new clients is through a referral program. Offer existing clients a discount when they refer a friend. You can give your existing clients a discount when the friend uses your services three times.
Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. We obtain 90% of our new clients from our website. Everyone who owns a business should have a website. It shows clients that you are serious about your business and allows them to research your company in their own time.
Free Cleaning Service Forms I wanted to share a link to a great website with free business forms for everyone that has a cleaning business. This site is filled with all kinds of business forms for cleaning services and other businesses. Just click on the forms you want and download them to your computer. http://www.atyourbusiness.com/forms.php
Equipment and Supply List for Professional Cleaning Services
I have been a Cleaning Service Owner since 1998 and have tried many different cleaning tools for home cleaning. Below is a list of the best tools I have found to professionally clean a home. I hope these resources are a benefit to your cleaning service.
Mops and Pads: We use and recommend the O’Cedar Hardwood Floors N More Mops and Pads. Microfiber is the purest clean you can get. You simply attach the pad to the mop end and when finished cleaning, remove the pad and wash and dry. The pads can be washed hundreds of times before needing to be replaced so they are well worth the cost. The best thing about the microfiber pads is you don’t need a separate floor duster.
Brooms: The best brooms we have found are the Libman Professional or Wide Angled Brooms. They can be purchased at Home Depot or Kroger’s.
Vacuums: The Shark Rotator Professional NV400 model is a good choice for Cleaning Services. It has Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, a 30′ power cord and swivel steering. Comes with 18″ fixed crevice tool, dusting brush and premium power brush. The Shark Rotators are sold at different locations but Walmart has them for under $200.00.
Toilet Brushes: The Libman Angled Toilet Bowl Brush is the best we have found. It does a fantastic job of getting the grime from under the rim. The Libman Toilet Brush can be purchased at Kroger’s or you can visit www.libman.com for a list of places that carry the Libman Products.
Cleaning Caddy’s: Home Depot carries the best cleaning caddy’s. They are large enough to hold all your cleaning supplies. These large caddy’s are deep so it keeps your large bottles from tipping out.
Cleaning Cloths: Sam’s Club carries the white cotton cleaning cloths in large packages of 60. They also carry the microfiber cleaning cloths.
Mold: Mix a little Tea Tree Essential Oil in a spray bottle with water and spray on area. Let sit for 30 minutes and rinse.
For getting crayon marks, scuff marks, etc. off of walls and doors, the Mr.Clean Magic Eraser is great. (not for use on wood surfaces such as cabinets and furniture)For cleaning inside Jacuzzi Jets and inside shower tracks the best tool is a good old toothbrush.
Note: Page’s Personal Cleaning (Aromatherapy Naturals founder cleaning business) made the decision in 2006 to start using natural cleaning products with the added benefit of aromatherapy to clean her clients homes. By using all natural products, we can offer our clients a healthy cleaning experience and protect ourselves against harsh chemicals.
Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands often while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to a lot of different germs in clients homes.
Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they don’t have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use.
What to Charge
I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on your quality of work and not your low rates. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is sub-standard and that you are not experienced. Also you want to attract the clients that can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I first started out. Cleaning is hard work, charge what you are worth. As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for.”
Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per home and some charge by the square foot. I always give a flat rate charge per home. I think it is better to charge by the home, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay one set fee, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying up front and won’t have to worry about added expenses.
No two houses are the same. And there is no set charge for all homes. You have to clean for awhile yourself to get some experience and to work out a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to make. Decide what you need to make hourly to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.
A word of advise: Make sure when you start your company that you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of under charging when they start out just to get customers and then later on when they grow and need to hire help they aren’t making enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.
New Construction Cleaning
If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in. Normally they run from .12 cents per sq .ft. to .25 cents per sq .ft. depending on where you are located.
Here is a link to a very good article on How to Start a New Construction Cleaning Business
Insurance and Bonding
You need to be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s well worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you hire employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be an employee on payroll and not a sub-contractor. If you employ them as a sub-contractor your insurance will not cover them. If they are a sub-contractor they are required to carry their own insurance. Also, if you hire a sub-contractor your insurance company will need to see their certificate of insurance. If you are going to hire employees, you will need workers comp. Workers Comp rates vary depending on which state you are based in. It can run as much as 2500 to 3000 per year. If you are a new business most companies will require the full years payment in advance. You can obtain Workers Comp from your insurance carrier.
Here is a link to a website that has some general information about liability insurance and bonding. Note* For residential cleaning you should carry at least 1,000,000 in general liability insurance.
Do you need a license? It depends on the County you are going to be servicing. You should call the County you are going to be working in first to see if you need a license to operate in that county. You can also check to see if your state requires a license to operate at the Small Business Association. http://www.sba.gov/hotlist/license.html
I have listed a few links that are very helpful with answering questions about taxes for your cleaning service business: starting a business and keeping records, deductions for your business, employee taxes and a very nice withholding calculator.
Small Business and Self Employed One Stop Resource. http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/
Starting a Business and Keeping Records
Businesses with Employees
IRS Withholding Calculator
Introduction to Employee Taxes
The easiest way to accept credit cards is through your website. PayPal offers credit card services with no set up and only 2.9 percent per transaction. Some clients will prefer to pay with a credit card. They simply sign on to your website and make the payment. The payment goes into your account immediately.
House cleaning gift certificates make great gifts for any occasion. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Housewarmings, Weddings, Baby Showers, Christmas and Valentines Day. I have a lot of requests for gift certificates around Christmas. If you have a website you can email the gift certificates to the recipient. I have a custom made gift certificate that I email to the buyers when they order. Always remember to keep a record of gift certificate sales. Some clients who receive gift certificates wait several months to use them.
If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always, either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees have a tendency to slack off when they are on their own.
Growing Your Business
You will eventually get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you will be able to stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after awhile it will get to be too much trying to clean everyday and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, obtaining new clients, etc.
Add on Services
After you have been cleaning homes for awhile, you may decide to offer additional services to your cleaning company. There are so many services you can add:
Party Cleaning and Assistance
Real Estate Cleaning
New Construction Clean-Up
Information on hiring and managing employees:
Small Business Administration: This site has a wealth of information. Everything from starting a business to growing a business to subcontracting information.
Buzgate: Free Small Business Help.
BizFilings: Information on Business License and LLC’s
Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.
The Pro and Cons of Running a House Cleaning Business
Let’s start with the Pros
Great income potential
Big demand for professional house cleaners
Work close to home
Your the boss
You choose who you want to work for (most of the time)
Now the Cons
Cleaning is hard physical work
You are exposed to a lot of germs on a daily basis
Cleaning toilets is not the most respectable job
Good employees are few and far between
You can’t depend on a certain salary every week
Start a cleaning business by following these 9 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your cleaning business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
STEP 1: Plan your Business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How long it will take you to break even?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a cleaning business?
A cleaning business can be started on a “shoestring” budget with basic and general cleaning supplies available at any grocery or hardware supply store. Some basic supplies you’ll need include: garbage can liners, spray bottles, trash bags, buckets, feather dusters and dusting rags, mops, toilet brushes, paper towels, squeegees, general or all-purpose cleaners, toilet-specific cleaners, floor cleaners (including supplies for cleaning wood flooring), and liability insurance.
Aim for between $500,000 to $1,000,000 in liability insurance. Larger amounts will be necessary for corporate clients.
In total, your startup costs should not exceed $1,000 for a basic cleaning business.
If you are starting a larger operation, your costs could include professional service vehicles and a cleaning crew. A fleet of vehicles could cost between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on the vehicles you use and whether you buy new or used.
Read our cleaning business purchasing guide to learn about the materials and equipment you’ll need to start a cleaning business, how much to budget, and where to make purchases.
What are the ongoing expenses for a cleaning business?
Ongoing expenses include costs for cleaning supplies, insurance, and vehicle maintenance. These costs vary entirely based on the size of your business and types of contracts you secure every month.
A small company may only spend $500 to $1,000 in cleaning supplies. However, large commercial operations spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and supplies. Larger commercial cleaning companies also may need to spend more on maintenance of commercial cleaning equipment.
Floor polishers, for example, will need to be maintained. For a small residential cleaner, this is not a concern because it’s not typically a piece of equipment used in a home. However, in a large commercial office building, it’s a practical necessity.
Insurance is another major cost, especially for large commercial cleaning operations.
Who is the target market?
Ideal customers are long-term corporate or multi-year clients willing to sign service contracts.
How does a cleaning business make money?
Cleaning businesses make money by charging clients for various cleaning services. These charges can be on a per hour, per square foot, or per contract basis.
How much can you charge customers?
There are several ways to charge for services. Some companies charge between $25 and $35 per hour for cleaning. Others charge per square foot. Typical rates for square foot are between $100 and $120 per 1,000 square feet. Some companies, however, charge more, up to $150 per 1,000 square feet. A per contract flat fee can also be negotiated if the client has an unusual building or home or needs custom pricing for volume business.
For deep cleaning, businesses typically charge more.
For example, a company could charge $75 to deep clean a kitchen, but only $30 for a bedroom, since a kitchen tends to be dirtier than a bedroom. Windows tend to be expensive, at $5 per window and $3 per screen. Polishing and carpet cleaning ranges from an average of $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot.
How much profit can a cleaning business make?
Profit margins vary based on the scale of the operation and the contract. They can be as little as 4% or as much as 48%. Larger businesses tend to have smaller margins, but higher revenue and total profits (by dollars). Smaller cleaning companies may have a higher margin, but lower total revenue.
A small cleaning operation can make between $50,000 and $100,000 per year. A large commercial cleaning company can make between $1 million and $10 million per year or more.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Making your company more profitable is difficult. This is because cleaning services are all relatively the same. However, you can try differentiating yourself by offering services your competitors aren’t. For example, if your local market doesn’t offer pet waste removal, you might add that as a complimentary service.
Another way to stand out in your marketplace is by developing a company culture that differs from other cleaning companies. Most cleaning businesses operate what could arguably be called a “boring” business. The culture is fairly “quiet.” You could offer a sharp contrast to the industry norm by using more audacious advertising.
You could also offer educational material. For example, offer potential clients booklets and brochures about what really lurks deep inside the fibers of their carpets or in the corners along the baseboards. Highlight statistics and research on indoor air pollution and how it makes people sick. Position yourself as a leader in your industry instead of “just another cleaning company.”
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
Find a Domain Now
Powered by GoDaddy.com
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google’s G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your cleaning business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC’s, and DBA’s.
You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.
For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, and it’s easy enough to form by yourself, or check out the top business formation services.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: You can get $200 when you open a Chase business checking account with qualifying activities. Learn more.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business’ expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
Recommended: Read our guide to find the best small business credit cards.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a cleaning business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
Cleaning services may also wish to look into applying for a resale certificate, as a resale certificate allows retailers to purchase goods intended for resale without paying sales tax.
In businesses where services are provided on an extended basis, a services contract is often put in place outlining terms and conditions of service. You may wish to require clients to sign a services agreement before starting. This agreement clarifies client expectations and minimizes risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, and service level expectations. An example of one such services agreement can be found on the ACRPWS website.
Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your cleaning business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.
STEP 7: Get Business Insurance
Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
How to promote & market a cleaning business
Getting new clients beyond the first year requires more advanced marketing. Business networking events are also a great way to meet potential clients. Hand out flyers to local businesses or in residential neighborhoods (check local laws first). If you’re experienced with direct mail, contact a list broker and buy a list of names of people who have already purchased cleaning services in the past. Then, mail those prospects, pitching them your services.
How to keep customers coming back
Your company’s services should differ from other cleaning services in the area or you should focus on a particular demographic or market. For example, specializing in cleaning certain types of buildings or offering specific services may give you a competitive edge.
STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence
A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
How to Start Your Own Maid Service: 12 Quick and Easy Steps
It is universally known (unless you’re Monica from Friends) that people hate to clean. It’s a chore. That’s why one of the practical businesses to start is a cleaning or maid service. From residential maid services to business cleaning, this chore that everyone hates can easily be made into a business as long as you have a plan.
You can make more money with more clients, or sell more services to fewer clients. Just remember to be careful to not go too fast. If you promise too much to too many new customers, you may not be able to deliver and then you can lose those clients.
Go slow and look at how much you can earn as a growing concept.
So how much does a maid service owner make? You can make $30-50,000 every year with no problem. With a partner, you can double that. And with more help, you can bring in more clients.
A maid service is not one you think of as glamorous. You clean up after other people’s fun. Many people are not even aware you are there. There is a lot of hard work involved, and you always get to hear that wonderful, wonderful joke “Hey I think you missed a spot!”.
While it’s not glamorous, there is a ton of business and money to be made, especially if the service you provide is exceptional every time.
My maid service gives me more financial security than I ever dreamed of as a teenager who spoke no English scrubbing toilets in a motel 25 years ago when I came to this country.
It is not that people are lazy. It is that they have the money to spend on not having to clean up, so they just don’t.
I realized that years ago. And I talked to some of the other girls I worked with and we decided we could make more money on our own.
Our boss paid us nothing, so we did not see a harm in trying.
The work was hard, and we were abused physically and financially as we learned what to do and what not to do.
I have never looked back.
Starting your own maid service is not an easy thing, but it is a good thing, and it is a needed thing.
You will always have work and you will always be able to find more.
If you are wanting to begin your own maid service, please read my words and may they guide you on your way to a better life as you read how to start a maid service.
Step 1: Learn How a Maid Service Works
There are many different types of cleaning services.
Your company may be a commercial cleaning service or an office cleaning service or a residential cleaning service.
Your company may be a mix of those.
In this day, you do not need to be a maid to own a maid service, but it is a very good idea for you for many reasons to clean for someone else before you open your own service.
You will learn what must be done as well as what should not be done.
You’ll understand your maids and they will respect you more knowing you did what they do.
You will see every piece of your business on different levels.
You’ll go through the hiring process.
You will see how a company does schedules and organization. You’ll get a better understanding of house cleaning prices per hour and a price list of add ons.
It is a very good thing to be involved in the business and to have your own, one should start at the beginning.
And then when you are ready, you will understand how to start a maid service in 30 days.
Step 2: Create a Plan
When we first started our company, we did not have a plan other than to go work hard and share everything.
We would clean anything.
Since then I have learned what to do.
As my teacher told me, have a plan.
There are not just rules for running a maid service but laws.
Do you know them?
Everything must be done right.
- You must have permits and insurance.
- You must have maids.
- You must pay taxes.
- You need an office.
- What cleaning supplies will you use?
- Where will you find the supplies?
- How much money will you have to start
- And how will you find your clients?
It is important to know before you start how you will do everything.
And if not to know then at least to think about.
Having a plan really will make your maid service operate better.
Step 3: Discover Earning Potential
The average US homeowner spends between $110 ~ $158 on cleaning services. A maid can make $30-50,000 a year.
But a maid service can make much more than that.
I make sure to pay my maids more than that to see to it they do not leave and clean at a high level because then I charge my clients more for top service.
To know how much your maid service startup can bring in, first you must know what you will offer and who you will offer it to.
If you are cleaning homes, you may see more customers but for less money.
If you are cleaning offices, you may see more money but for less customers.
But your earning potential will always depend on how many clients you have and what services they can afford.
If you know who you will be serving and what service they will need, you know how much you can earn.
Here are some house cleaning price guidelines to consider:
- Charge by the hour (anywhere from $40/hour ~$80+ depending on how amazing your reputation is)
- Charge extra for more maids (you an offer the customer the option to finish the job faster, with a 2nd maid on site)
- Charge by sq. footage (the size of the house should be factored on top of the hourly rate because it’s more surface area and work).
- Give small discounts for pre-scheduling or for scheduled cleanings (per week).
- Some maid services charge extra for pets (fur cleanup)
- Charge extra for specialty add ons
- Furniture cleaning
- Window cleaning
- Deep cleaning
- Move in/Move out Cleaning
- Carpet Cleaning
- Chimney and Fireplace Cleaning
Step 4: Set a Budget
How much does it cost to start a maid service?
That depends on you.
We started with very little. But our budget kept us on the right path and we grew our money and started buying better equipment and hiring more help.
If you have more money, you can learn how to start a small maid service very quickly.
Here is a list of what you need to start a maid service and what it costs:
I did not put rent on this list because when I started we worked out of my apartment and you may want to do the same to save money. But if you want an office you will need to add rent to this list.
Your budget will tell you how much money you have to improve your service. But you may have to stretch your money to start.
To keep costs down my service always uses the same rags and cloth over and over by washing them after every service.
We also use concentrate products.
We buy the chemicals and then add them into spray bottles with water. This way the supplies are less expensive and we know how strong they are.
You should always try to keep costs down so you have more money to put back into your maid service so it can then make more money for you.
Use a budget and stand by it to do that.
Step 5: Decide Which Products/Service to Offer
The easiest way to set your prices is to look at other maid services in your city.
See what they charge and how their payment plans work.
I have seen many will charge by the hour. And rates change if there are more maids working on the same project.
You can also charge by the project or by the size of the space you are cleaning.
A bathroom will take less time than an office floor and will cost much less.
Here is a housekeeping services list to consider offering to your clients as your cleaning package:
- Dust surfaces
- Dust and hand wipe furniture tops
- Dust baseboards, chair rails, and door panels
- Dust ceiling fans (within reach)
- Vacuum carpets
- Vacuum and damp mop floors
- Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
- Dust furniture
- Dust pictures frames
- Dust lamp and lamp shades
- Dust and clean mirrors
- Empty all trash
- Dust surfaces
- Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
- Dust cabinets, door panels, and baseboards
- Clean and disinfect surfaces
- Clean, disinfect and shine showers and tubs
- Clean and disinfect toilets inside and out
- Clean and disinfect doorknobs and switch plates
- Shine fixtures
- Vacuum and damp mop floors
- Empty trash
- Dust surfaces
- Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
- Dust chair rails, cabinets, door panels, and baseboards
- Dust top of refrigerator
- Clean and disinfect counter tops
- Clean and disinfect doorknobs and switch plates
- Clean and disinfect sink
- Clean and disinfect microwave inside and out
- Clean, disinfect and shine outside of oven and top of range
- Clean, disinfect and shine outside of dishwasher
- Clean, disinfect and shine outside of refrigerator
- Clean and disinfect kitchen table
- Vacuum and damp mop floors
- Empty trash
- Dust surfaces
- Dust and hand wipe furniture tops
- Dust furniture
- Dust baseboards, chair rails, and door panels
- Dust blinds, window sills, and lock ledges
- Vacuum carpets
- Vacuum and damp mop floors (if non-carpet)
- Change sheets (upon request)
- Make beds (upon request)
- Empty trash
Spring Cleaning Tasks
Everything included in the regular cleaning plus:
- Damp wipe baseboards and window sills
- Damp wipe door panels and frames
- Vacuum upholstered furniture
- Remove cobwebs
- Damp wipe kitchen and bathroom cabinets
There are many maid services, so you must think why a customer will want you.
Price is one way to get business but if you are too cheap they may think you are not good.
You can have nice uniforms. Or be very fast.
But I think if you do a good cleaning and good service you will never be without customers.
You must know why someone should choose your maid service over another and base your services around that.
Step 6: Decide on a Location
I started my maid service out of a small apartment.
You can do that too.
Or you can have an office to put everything.
But you do not need a big space. Customers do not come to the office. The maid comes to the customer.
So you must focus more on where to serve.
Do you have a small service area? If you are by yourself, you cannot serve the whole city. But the more maids you have, the more area you can cover.
And remember your customers.
If you are cleaning offices, you will want to be by corporate areas.
If you are cleaning homes you will want to be by nice neighborhoods.
Your location is part of your plan. Make sure you do not ignore it.
Step 7: Find Suppliers
There are not that many things needed to start a maid service.
You need cleaning supplies and cleaning equipment.
You’ll also need office supplies like pens and paper and stationery.
If you have an office you will need chairs and a desk and other furniture.
You can order these and have them delivered from websites like http://www.restockit.com/.
But when you are ready to start a small maid service you want to keep costs low.
Look for bulk ordering and discounts from bulk shopping options like Costco or Sam’s Club.
They have what you need to start a maid service without spending too much money.
You must have a plan for supplies, especially when your service grows.
Make supplies part of your plan before you ever start so you do not have to worry about suppliers later.
Step 8: Promote Your Maid Service
This is very important.
You cannot run a service without any customers.
Start with your friends and family and their friends and family.
Figure out what areas you want to work and go put hangers on doors.
If you want to clean offices then go in person to talk to the office manager.
Make sure you have business cards with you all the time.
Pay for a nice website so that people will trust your service.
Put flyers wherever you can.
Use technology so people see you online.
Yelp is a great site which can help people find you and is worth paying money to advertise on.
You can also advertise in newspapers or local mail coupons.
And put bright signs or magnets on your car so people see your car on the road.
Just make sure you are always trying to bring in more clients.
Step 9: Create a Staffing Plan
The more maids you have the more money you make.
When you start a small maid service you will probably not be able to afford a lot of maids.
But when you grow you will need as many as you can find.
You must have a plan not only to hire them but to schedule them.
How many maids will work at once? And where will you put them?
How will you find them to start?
I recommend starting with friends and family as I did.
Looking in Craigslist and local newspapers are very good ideas, too.
And do not be afraid to put up flyers around neighborhoods for your future maids to find you.
I sometimes find more maids when I wear my company shirt while shopping at the market. Women will approach me sometimes to see if we are hiring.
Always think about having more help and where to find the help.
Step 10: Decide on a Style/Design
How will people look at your company?
I see maid services with different names all the time. But I notice that a service with a name, like “Maria’s Cleaning Service”, will not do as well as the chains like MollyMaids.
This is because people assume it is a smaller and not as good company.
I would say to keep a name out of your service and call it something with Maids in it.
Or something fun!
After you have your name you should also think of a uniform.
Uniforms show customers we are professional.
If a maid wears jeans and a t-shirt, she does not look professional. And even if you think cleaning is not professional, your service is professional and your maids show that.
You should spend money on branding. Have nice business cards and a nice website and cars with signs and magnets.
The more professional you and your maids look, the more clients you will have.
Step 11: Create an Accounting Plan
I have a lot of immigrants as my maids.
And because of that, I see a lot of attention from the government.
They review my accounting to make sure I am paying all taxes and everything is documented.
You can expect that also.
But if you use an accounting software like Quickbooks or have an accountant then you will have nothing to worry about.
This is why having a plan for accounting is so important.
It can protect you in the future.
Step 12: Get Into the Maid Service Community
I have met many connections through the maid service community.
It is important for you to be involved in the community to understand new tips for better and faster cleaning.
And you can find new maids at shows and in online groups.
You should join the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association for news and trade shows.
There are also a lot of local meetups and Facebook groups you can join.
Always be nice to everyone in the industry because it can only help.
Someone may have a cousin or a friend in your area
Clients can come from anywhere, especially the service community, so make sure you join it.
The Bottom Line
It is hard work to have a maid service startup.
But it is worth doing.
I am my own boss and I make my clients’ homes look very beautiful.
I provide work for my wonderful maids and my family is taken care.
To me, that is a dream come true.
Hopefully, you put this guide to use. If this was helpful for you and you want to learn more about opening a maid service, StartupJungle.com has a 21 point checklist for starting your new business. Make sure you download this if you’re serious about getting started.
Do you want to start a maid service? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a maid service business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample maid service business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample maid service marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for maid service agencies. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a maid service business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Why Start a Maid Service Business?
The maid service industry has two primary market groups: consumer and commercial. Research has shown that the consumer arena is made up of solely residential maid services, along with carpet cleaners, window cleaners and a variety of other maid services required on a less-frequent basis.
While the commercial arena is chaired by janitorial services which typically provide a wider range of services than maid services, along with other cleaning services such as carpet and window cleaners that target businesses rather than individual consumers.
This business is surely a business that people will always need because as long as there is dirt, we will always need this business. But before you venture into the maid service business, it is important to look at it with long term vision. We agree that technology has certainly had an impact on maid services, but not that this is a high-tech business.
We believe that in this industry you can build an extremely profitable business that will bring in substantial revenue very quickly. Note that a lot of maid service businesses can be managed as part-time or full-time businesses, either from home or from a commercial location. This goes to say that this unique flexibility gives this industry a strong appeal to a wide range of people with a variety of goals.
We believe that another positive factor in this industry is that within each category of maid service businesses are market niches and operating styles that vary tremendously. This simply means you can create a company that suits your individual style, vision and talents. Whether you agree or not, just very few industries can offer this tremendous range of choices and opportunities, and the need for general and niche maid services is expected to increase in the future.
Starting a Maid Service Business – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
The general cleaning industry where maid service falls in can be roughly divided into residential cleaning, commercial janitorial services, specialty cleaning and laundry/dry cleaning services. Analysis in 2015 has it that there were approximately 875,000 businesses employing about 3.5 million people.
We believe that this industry as a whole is very susceptible to economic downturns and suffered through several rough years during the recession period; revenue fell to 5.3% in 2008 and another 6.1% in 2009. Note that the general cleaning services, and particularly residential services, are seen as an expendable luxury when times are tough.
However, reports have stated that the years of economic strength has seen the industry bounce back, and in 2015 it generated $51 billion in revenue. Note that this recent upward momentum can be attributed to both unemployment and office vacancy rates declining as well as a pickup in non-residential construction activity. This is why people have more money to spend and feel more secure spending it, and there are more offices that need cleaning. Also note that strong economic activity is forecast for the next 5 years as well, and industry experts are predicting job growth of about 6% from 2014 to 2020.
Maid services may be different from what is generally thought to be the historically prevalent services performed by a maid, and these services may be provided by both male and/or female individuals. This being part of an elaborate hierarchy in affluent homes and profitable businesses, today a maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford comfortably.
In this industry, maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning and grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and tending to the household children.
Starting a Maid Service Business – Market Feasibility and Research
- Demographics and Psychographics
We all can attest to the fact that be it home, office, shopping malls, theatres or any public place, nobody likes to be in an unclean environment. We all know how important our health and overall wellbeing depends upon the levels of hygiene that we maintain. Dirty and unclean environment are the breeding grounds of various disease causing pathogens.
Most of the illnesses we suffer are caused by unhygienic living conditions. We also know that poor health affects our personal, professional and social life. From absenteeism in offices and schools to missing out on important events, living in unclean surroundings makes us miss out on various important things in life.
We have also noted that demand for maid services is most popular with people of higher than average wealth looking for a little more free time – especially in two-income households. Market research suggests that the ideal target for clients are married couples with college degrees, 45 years old or older.
List of Niche ideas in the Maid Service Business
When planning to start a maid service business, you would need to carry out a research that would reveal to you the qualities and characteristics of maids that are in high demand. We believe it will help you when recruiting maids. Your research would also enable you to know where to get maids and how to locate those in need of their services. It will also equip you with knowledge of the niche to follow.
There are three main types of cleaning business which can serve as a niche idea even for maid services businesses. Note that under these categories, there are few specific niches you can decide on., but you can decide to offer all these services depending on the size of your business and your start-up capital.
- Domestic maid services
This particular category involves cleaning people’s homes (normally while they are at work) and can be undertaken by you as soon as you secure some clients. But later on you decide to take on staff as your client-base builds.
- Commercial maid services
For this particular niche, you will need a team of people (the properties will be tend to be large office buildings) and it may be that your role is more managerial than on-the-ground cleaning.
- Specialized maid services
Note that in this category, there are lots of niches to explore, from window cleaning to schools to vehicle cleaning.
Level of Competition in the Maid Service Business
Reports in this business has it that the average cleaning company loses up to 55% of their customer base every year due to poor service. In this business, good work goes unnoticed for years, but a bad job gets you fired immediately. From our well detailed research, we have been able to ascertain that Competition is fierce in this industry.
Note that there are many small companies competing for both residential and commercial cleaning contracts, but yet barriers to entry in this business are low as there is very little expensive equipment needed and little to no training required for employees – so new competitors spring up all the time from every corner of the world.
For dry cleaning and some specialty cleaning services, however, expensive equipment actually can be a significant hurdle, including needing commercial or industrial real estate to sell and perform services.
List of Well Known Maid Service Business Brands
- Anago Cleaning Systems
- CleanNet USA
- Molly maids
- The maids
- Merry maids
- The cleaning authority
- Cleaning masters
In some parts of the world especially the western world, few households can afford live-in domestic help employees; in lieu of live-in staff, maid services are used as a periodic cleaner. While in developing nations, differences found within income, social status and socio-economic classes, lesser educated women are believed to provide a labour source for domestic work in homes.
We have been able to note in history that making use of a maid service was thought to be affordable only to the wealthy; these services though, have become increasingly common in many developed cultures, because of the rise in dual-income families and constant work.
There are thousands of residential cleaning businesses throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Indeed maid services are becoming more popular in this modern age, maybe because of a relatively well-off population.
But history has it that cleaning was considered a woman’s role, but as more and more women have joined the workforce, the time pressure on families with children has grown, so paying a service for cleaning makes sense to persons who can afford it. Also a lot of modern homeowners lack the proper knowledge to use the safest and most effective cleaning products, which is why they opt for professionals.
Starting your Maid Service from Scratch or Buying a Franchise
When you buy a franchise, note that the franchisers will work closely with you as you start your business and take it to the point where it is running smoothly and profitability, especially in the beginning. But have it in mind that you may discover that once you become established and financially secure, a franchise agreement is a decided disadvantage.
But for individuals who want to own their own business but would rather choose an opportunity that has proven successful for many others rather than gambling on developing their own system, a franchise is the way to go. We also believe that most franchises provide a degree of marketing support–particularly in the area of national advertising and name recognition—which is very difficult for individuals to match when starting from the scratch.
But at the ability end, you will likely invest far less money operating as an independent service than as part of a franchise. Also if you decide to start from the scratch, you will not be tied to any pre-established formulas, concept, name, services offered etc., which we believe is both an advantage and a drawback.
Possible Challenges and Threats of Starting a Maid Service Business
We believe that one of the biggest challenges you will be facing when starting your own maid service business is the amount of responsibility that you will have on your own shoulders. Note that it will be your responsibility to find new clients, earn enough money, manage your timetable, and if you are planning to get employees, you will be responsible for them too.
We believe that another thing you should be weary of is the competition in the industry. Indeed there is a low barrier to entry into the general cleaning business, that is why you will see a lot of competitors: from individual cleaners to big cleaning service companies. That is why you should be aware of this fact and make sure you have something special in your services to offer your potential clients.
Starting a Maid Service Business – Legal Aspect
- Best legal entity for your maid service business
A lot of individuals trying to start this business tend to overlook the need to register their business properly. Have it at the back of your mind that ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well. When you plan starting your maid service business, you need to do all things necessary and fulfill all protocols to be able to function without troubles. Indeed the stress and cost of registering businesses around the globe has gone down drastically, which is why you should stick to the law governing the industry.
Starting your maid service business as a Corporation, limited liability company and limited liability partnership can give you and any investors or partners personal liability protection. You can start forming these business entities via your state’s secretary of state’s office.
It is advised that you consult an attorney or accountant to figure out what makes the most sense for you. For the sake of this article, the LLC is the best entity for your maid services business. The benefit of the LLC simply includes;
- Ease of setup
- Inexpensive to start
Catchy Business Name ideas for a Maid Service Business
- Dirt Cleaners
- American Cleaning Service
- Fabric Services
- Clean Ribbon Cleaners
- Wet Sky Cleaning
- Alfred Cleaners
- Carpet Dry Clean
- Clean surface Company
- Intercontinental Cleaners
- Home Cleaners
- Crystal Angel Cleaning
- Safe Cleaners
- Red Apple Cleaners
- Natural Cleaners
- Greener Cleaner
- Unique Maid Services
- Pretty Dry Cleaners
- Artillery Cleaners & Laundry
- Maids help
- Maids zone
- New Life Cleaners and Laundry
- Perfect Dry Cleaners
- Everyday Cleaners
- Perfect Touch
- Pro maids
- Home Dry Cleaners
- Revolution Cleaners
- Future Cleaners
It is very important to state that unlike commercial janitorial services, maid services are trusted to work in private homes of their clients. But they do encounter many of the same risks as larger commercial cleaning operations and yet still face their own unique set of risks.
There are numerous kinds of business insurances that you can consider for your maid service business. That is why you should consult an attorney and an insurance broker to be able to understand the insurance needs for your business, both presently and for the future. Insurance you will need may include;
- Property and equipment Insurance
- General Liability Insurance
- Crime & Fidelity Insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Auto liability insurance etc.
Intellectual Property Protection
Modernization has made it very necessary for businesses to protect its intellectual properties. Intellectual Property rights which is vastly made up of patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights-even the right URLs-, play an important role in monetizing innovation. When you let others steal your ideas in any of your business endeavours, you are simply letting them take the things that makes your business unique and functional.
A lot can be said about intellectual property protection and it actually does not feed the world, but it does provide the invisible infrastructure that allows innovation and success in any business industry. In this business, you might devise a means to carry out your activities and ideas to leapfrog your competitors.
All these have to be protected if you still want it to maintain the sole reason why it was designed. Intellectual property protection is needed in this unique industry to protect patents and new ideas, registered and unregistered trademarks, copyright and trade secrets.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Maid Service Business?
In almost all business industries, professionals are often needed to complete and maintain certifications as a bona fide professional in their field of expertise. Note that Certification provides employers, and/or the people they serve, with certain levels of confidence that the individual knows how to provide their particular service at established standards.
In the maid service business, formal training is either not required or it is provided by the employer (or franchise), with no disclosure to the general public as to what was included or if the employee actually passed any formal testing. Maid service has gone beyond a mop, bucket and vacuum.
Nowadays a maid is entrusted with the care of a home, its furnishings and the health of its occupants. Note that with the many new materials and surfaces being used in home décor, a professional maid have a much broader range of knowledge than in the past as many of these newer surfaces require specialized care.
Also apart from caring for the home and its contents, a professional maid helps care for the health of the occupants. This includes hygienic cleaning, effective sanitizing of surfaces, use of appropriate cleaning agents to prevent cross contamination.
- IICRC house cleaning technician certification
- HCT certification
- IJCSA House cleaning certification
- Cleaning Business Owner certification
- Green clean certification etc.
Legal Documents Needed for a Maid Service Business
When starting this business, note that the rules and regulations of business legalization differs from one city to the other in the United States. That is why you need to be aware of these rules in order to get your business registered. You need to do an accurate research on the rules and regulations of the city where you are planning to open up your maid service business. Some of the most common licenses and permits that you need to acquire to initiate your business operations are listed below:
- Business license
- Fire department permit
- Air and water pollution control permit
- Sales permit certificate Etc.
Financing your Maid Service Business
Note that in this business you will need funds to buy equipment, hire staff and pay your bills. Beyond traditional financing, you have a range of options when it comes to raising money. Some suggestions include:
- Your personal resources
First and foremost, you need to do a thorough inventory of your assets. Naturally people have more assets than they immediately notice. This may include savings accounts, equity in real estate, retirement accounts, vehicles, recreation equipment, collections and other investments. At this point, you may decide to sell assets for cash or use them as collateral for a loan.
- Looking to your Friends and family
Another aspect you should consider after gathering your own resources is to approach friends and relatives who believe in you and want to help you succeed. We advice that you should be cautious with these arrangements; no matter how close you are, present yourself professionally, put everything in writing, and male sure the individuals you approach can afford to take the risk of investing in your business.
- Getting Partners
You can also look around for someone who may want to team up with you in your business. You may also choose someone who has financial resources and wants to work side-by-side with you in the business. Another option is to find someone who has money to invest but no interest in doing the actual work. It is strongly advice that you create a written partnership agreement that clearly defines your respective responsibilities and obligations.
- Leverage on Government programs
Note that you can take advantage of the abundance of local, state and federal programs designed to support small businesses. You are advised to try the U.S. Small Business Administration; then investigate various other programs. Women, minorities and veterans should check out niche financing possibilities designed to help these groups get into business.
Choosing a Suitable Location for your Maid Service Business
Indeed one of the greatest and hottest business trends today is to be home based, and maid services are excellent candidates for this type of setup. After all, your customers will likely never come to your facility since all your work is done in their homes.
Also, a lot of municipalities have ordinances that limit the nature and volume of commercial activities that can occur in residential areas. A lot of them prohibit the establishment of home-based businesses. Even though others may allow such enterprises but place restrictions regarding issues such as signage, traffic, employees, commercially marked vehicles and noise. Here is why we advise that before you apply for your business license; find out what ordinances govern home based businesses in your area.
Also experts believe that in order to achieve authentic business growth, you must get out of the home and into a commercial facility. They believe that doing so will help you create a successful and professional image, but before you begin shopping for an office, think carefully about what you will need.
In this line of business, your office area should be large enough to have a small reception area, work space for yourself and your administrative staff, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. There is also a possibility that you may have to create space for a laundry and possibly even a small work area where you can handle minor equipment repairs. Also depending on the size of your staff, consider allowing for a small break area.
Starting a Maid Service Business – Technical and Manpower Requirements
In this business, note that your initial staffing needs will rest on how much capital you have, how large a business you want to have, and the volume of customers you can reasonably expect to service. A lot of independent maid services start with just the owner, while others start with the owner and an appropriate number of maids.
But we believe that if you handle the administrative chores, chances are you won’t need to hire office help right away. Also just because your work is done at your customers’ sites, vehicles are as important to your business as the location of your office. Have it mind that your vehicles are essentially your company on wheels. That is why you need to be careful when choosing them.
Note that an economy car or station wagon will be the best option. This is because you will need enough room to store equipment and supplies, and to transport your cleaning team, but you typically won’t be hauling around pieces of equipment large enough to need a van or small truck.
It is important to note that you can either provide vehicles or have employees use their own. But if you provide the vehicles, paint your company’s name, logo and telephone numbers on them. It will help advertise your business all over town.
But if your employees use their own cars–which are particularly common with maid services-ask for evidence that they have sufficient insurance to cover them in the event of an accident. We also advice that you check with your insurance agent to know if your own liability policy protects you under those circumstances. Equipment you will need may include;
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- White cloth rags
- Paper Towels
- Toilet brush
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Dust pan & brush
- Dry mop
- Wet mop & bucket
- Latex gloves
- Wet floor signs
- Extension cord
- Window cleaner
- Disinfectant cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Soft Scrub product for sinks
- SOS pads
- Feather duster
- High duster
- Caddy with handle to keep your supplies
The Service Process Involved in the Maid Service Business
This particular service used to be seen only in the home of the wealthy, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford. It is very evident that maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In many places in some poor countries, maids often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities.
Certain legislations in a lot of countries make certain living conditions, working hours, or minimum wages a requirement of domestic service. But the work of a maid has always been hard, involving a full day, and extensive duties. Analysis has shown that a lot of maids suffered from Prepatellar bursitis, an inflammation of the Prepatellar bursa caused by long time spent on the knees when scrubbing and fire-lighting, and it has in turn led to the condition attracting the colloquial name of “Housemaid’s Knee”.
Starting a Maid Service Business – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies for a maid service business
When starting this business, it may be necessary to allocate some budget for marketing. Note that one of the hardest elements of starting a maid service company (and in fact any service business) is building up a client list. It all depends on the nature of your business, but some traditional advertising such as classified listings and flyers could be the best place to start – although it’s worth considering investing in some online advertising as well, such as pay-per-click.
Also don’t be afraid to go out and knock on some doors – cleaning can be a personal business and prospective clients may be more likely to sign up if they meet you face-to-face. Below are some of the most effective strategies for recruiting clients for a new maid service business:
- Build a unique website
- Reach out and network
- Set yourself apart
- Join local business groups or organizations
- Attend as many tradeshows and events as possible
Winning competitors in the maid service business
Note that everything in this business, right from opening your doors to becoming a major stakeholder is centered on getting clients and keeping them. To win your competitors in this business, you need to always reach out to your customers. Media to reach them may include;
- Email list
- Postal mail campaign
- Paid advertising
- Phone, postal or email follow up after paid advertising
- Strategic Alliances
- Joint Venture Partners
- Social Media
- Public Speaking
- Writing (blogs, articles, lead magnets, etc.)
- Public Relations & Press
- Social Proof
Strategies to Boost your Maid Service Brand Awareness and Creating a Corporate identity
Note that immediately your business gets underway and starts to gain momentum, it is important to build a brand that you can be proud of as you will mainly be reliant on gaining customers via word of mouth and personal recommendations.
We believe that to build a brand identity is very necessary. You can start by having a logo designed and to have a uniform for any staff with clear branding on it. It is advised that you subscribe to trade organisations which have compulsory standards for membership. This can also help create a professional reputation, as well as getting satisfied clients to provide testimonials. Other strategies may include;
- Never stop learning
- Use all your resources
- Clean it like it’s your own
- Create systems
- Don’t undersell yourself
- Take care of your maids
- Be careful and focus on your niche
- Let your maids be computer literate
- Track labour cost
- Watch the economy
- Invest in customer service
- Don’t take every job
- Recent Posts
Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd Solomon O’chucks is a Researcher, Prolific Writer and a UNICEF trained & certified Facilitator and Counselor, A Graduate of Morris Cerullor School of Ministry and He Holds a Degree in Personal Development & Science of Success from IIGL Asheville, NC, USA.
Latest posts by Solomon. O’Chucks (see all)
- A Sample Ready Mix Concrete Plant Business Plan Template – January 22, 2020
- A Sample Biomass Power Plant Business Plan Template – January 22, 2020
- A Sample Online Custom Tailoring Business Plan Template – January 21, 2020
How to Start a Cleaning Business: 8 Simple Steps
Although you might disagree, most people find cleaning their homes to be stressful and even painful. By starting a cleaning business, you are tapping into an enormous market with plenty of clientele. There will always be a demand for cleaning services, which keeps you in business and keeps every client’s home spotless. Here are steps on how to start a cleaning business from the ground up.
- Do the Initial Cleaning Jobs Yourself
When you consider how to start a house cleaning business or how to start a maid service, you might feel tempted to begin with staffing, but one of the best ways to start is actually by doing most of the work yourself. After all, you need to learn the business before you can successfully run it from afar. One way to land your first few clients is by asking friends and family either for references or to clean their houses.
Committing to sourcing and working for your first few clients on your own will ensure you keep your costs low as well. Instead of investing money in hiring workers, you can pay yourself a reasonable wage while you work out any kinks in your business model and determine best practices for your company.
By taking care of clients yourself, you also earn a positive reputation and maintain control of your business image. Once the business begins to pick up, you can start contracting help with bigger cleaning jobs. You might decide to outsource employees to service regular clients while you work on other aspects of the business or you may hire employees in-house.
- Set a Reasonable Cleaning Business Budget
Some questions that many potential cleaning business owners ask are – Can I start a cleaning company with no money? How can I keep my costs down? Is starting this type of business expensive? The answer is it will take some money, but it can be a lot less expensive than you might think!
Performing most of your cleaning jobs solo will help keep more money in your pocket, but budgeting is about more than how many hours you work. After all, you will need to invest in some supplies for your business to succeed, as well as track and cover vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.
Determine a reasonable budget for your business, including the replacement of products and equipment as necessary. Factor hiring and payroll costs into the equation if you outsource labor, but also keep in mind you need to set aside money for taxes and insurance as a business owner.
Aim to pay yourself an hourly wage, set aside money for cleaning equipment, and calculate estimated taxes so you can prepare for successful business ownership. If you neglect to set money aside for taxes, your business budget will quickly disappear.
- Decide What Cleaning Equipment to Purchase
Think about the types of materials and cleaning products you need for cleaning clients’ homes and businesses. You will need cleaning solutions and spray bottles, sponges and scrubbers, protective gloves, disposable or reusable towels (or both), and housekeeping tools such as mops and brooms.
Consider what type of cleaning products to buy: will you use bleach and other traditional cleaners in clients’ homes, or are you planning to use environmentally friendly or other “green” products? Determine how you will prevent cross-contamination between client homes—whether through using disposable materials or adopting stringent sanitation practices—and plan accordingly when it comes to purchasing equipment.
- Choose a Brand Name for Your New Cleaning Company
Any startup cleaning business needs to establish a brand. Choosing a brand name might just be the most enjoyable part of owning a cleaning business. You can use a play on words, part or all of your name, a quirky or fun nickname, or something based on your geographical location or the specific type of cleaning services you offer, whether it’s residential cleaning or commercial cleaning.
– You should aim to choose a title for your business which:
– Accurately describes the company
– Is easy to spell and remember
– Is not already in use
– Sounds good and reads well
– Can grow with the business
While deciding on a business name, you should search online for the names you like. If another company already has the same name as you, you should find out sooner rather than later. Legal issues with using another business’ name—even if you do it unintentionally—can cost you.
- Setup Proper Licensing for Your Cleaning Business
Once you choose a business name, you need to register the name to prevent others from using it. The requirements vary based on your state and local legislation, so check to make sure you follow your local ordinances for businesses.
You will need a license and possibly permits for your business, especially if you opt for a name other than your own to operate under. Depending on your state law and other local requirements, you may need to apply for a business license and pay a fee.
Two popular options for business licensing are limited liability corporation (LLC) and sole proprietorships. An LLC reduces the amount of liability you have as an individual and instead puts the company assets on the line. 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.
If you are choosing a brand name for your cleaning company, you will also need to file a DBA—Doing Business As—license. The license establishes your fictitious business name and ensures your company operates legitimately.
You will also need to determine whether local law requires you to have business insurance, liability insurance, or other protections. Working in clients’ homes is not always free of risks, so business insurance can help protect both you and your clients in case something goes wrong.
- How to Start Marketing Your New Cleaning Company
After you decide on a name for your cleaning business, file the proper permits and licensing documents, and purchase all your cleaning supplies, it’s time to find clients. Marketing for a cleaning company can be as simple as word of mouth or as complex as running advertisements in your local paper or online.
You might print fliers to advertise your services, start a website or email campaign to get the word out, invest in digital marketing, or post signage on your property or other locations (with permission). If you have one or two clients already, you can ask for referrals from satisfied customers. You can even offer referral coupons or discounts to encourage existing clients to direct more work your way.
- Make Customer Service a Top Priority
Cleaning is a straightforward occupation: you remove dirt and make surfaces shine. But in customer service roles, you need to put client needs first, and that means being available to potential and existing customers, responding promptly to service and quote requests, and following up with clients to ensure repeat business.
To effectively manage the technical side of your cleaning business, you need a means of communication with your clients. Tools such as voice mail and phone service, an email account, a website, social media pages, or all of those combined can help enhance your company’s outreach and customer satisfaction.
- Get Organized with Cleaning Software to Run Operations Smoothly
Doing the house cleaning work, filing permits and paperwork, and replenishing cleaning supplies can take up much of your time as a cleaning company owner. But in addition to catering to clients’ needs and stocking up on supplies, you need to track your budget, oversee employee scheduling, process client invoices and record pertinent account information, and plan for taxes and other business fees.
Cleaning software can help you organize and oversee your business with less stress than a pen and paper method. Imagine even trying to keep your employee or contractor schedules, customer list, account notes, and payments info in a spreadsheet? It gets cumbersome and confusing really fast, even with systematized sheets. An all-in-one software removes all of that confusion.
Professional cleaning business management software also helps enhance your image when it comes to marketing your cleaning business with features for requesting reviews, marketing automation, customer surveys, & more. Keeping your branding streamlined—from the software you use to the uniform you and your employees wear—can do wonders for your new company’s image.