How to Start a Cleaning Business?

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Understand the nitty-gritty aspects of starting a professional cleaning business and taking it to new heights. Go through detailed steps for detailed learning.

You can start a cleaning business with less than $500 as the initial capital.

Staggering, right?

But starting a cleaning business is one thing, and running a sustainable business in a highly competitive market is different. The global cleaning service industry was estimated at around $55,715.0 million in 2020.

You must have a solid business foundation to achieve your desired business goals and ensure that you can stand out.

So, how to start a cleaning business that has a strong business foundation?

You need to follow a few basic fundamental steps that can help you strengthen your business core and ensure that you can unlock your desired business potential.

Our team has filtered result-oriented steps you can use to kick-start a successful cleaning business. So, without further ado, let’s get the learning started.

📝Key Takeaways:

  • Learn about different cleaning businesses based on business structure and insightful tips before starting your cleaning service business.
  • Detailed breakdown of the top seven steps required to establish and run a successful cleaning business and how you can sustain it for the long run.

Types of Cleaning Services

You can set up different cleaning services based on the business structure. You must pay attention to the local ordinances and the federal requirements during the naming and registration of your business.

Here are your options:

1. Self-employed or sole proprietorship

Registering a cleaning business as a sole proprietor is the cheapest and the fastest way to kick-start your business operations. 

The type of cleaning business is ideal for you if you want to work by yourself under your brand name. 

Being an independent cleaning contractor, you have complete ownership of your business and need to handle or outsource different business aspects to deliver quality service.

2. DBA

Doing Business As is a type of cleaning business when a sole proprietor registers the business name under another name. Other rules and regulations for running the business are the same as the sole proprietor or self-employed cleaning business.

3. Limited Liability Partnership 

When two or more co-owners want to run a cleaning business, they can register under Limited Liability Company (LLC). It can help you run a small-scale business and separate your assets from business liabilities.

The cleaning company is treated as a separate entity, and you can expand your business operations by hiring multiple employees with the initial business capital to handle the business expenses.

4. S-Corp

It’s an independent corporation that enables you to pass profits and losses through the owner’s income. The business cash flow is linked with the owner’s income, and you’ll be taxed based on the overall business income.

5. C-Corp

It’s an independent corporation that doesn’t combine the owner’s income with the business profits and losses, and the taxation process of the business is separate from the owner’s income.

Apart from the difference in business structure, there are multiple factors you must be aware of before starting a commercial cleaning or residential cleaning business.

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Everything You Must Know Before Starting a Cleaning Business

You can choose different factors, but we have filtered the important ones before starting a cleaning business. Have a look.

1. Cleaning Services Niche

You must choose a specific cleaning business niche that can help you increase your business effectiveness and showcase your expertise in the industry.

When starting a business, you should tailor your focus to help you increase the quality of cleaning services. Once you gain experience, you can add more services to your portfolio to scale your business.

Look at the top cleaning service niche.

  • Residential cleaning

cleaning business ideas

Also known as household, domestic, and home cleaning services, residential cleaning has great demand in the industry. People opt for different residential cleaning services that can help them save time for their personal life and shift their focus from house chores.

With residential cleaning services, you must cater to different areas like the living room, kitchen, bedroom, and other spaces in a residential building.

With the increase in demand, the scope of the service types is amongst the top in the cleaning industry. The investment is basic; you can hire a few cleaning professionals to kick-start small-scale residential cleaning jobs.

  • Commercial cleaning

Also known as office cleaning services, commercial cleaning is more important than residential services for independent contractors and cleaning businesses. The demand is rising because of the increase in commercial clients and buildings in the country.

Commercial cleaning services are performed for shops, commercial buildings, schools, and working areas.

Compared to residential cleaning services, commercial projects are more structured and long-term. You must have a solid team to handle a large-scale commercial cleaning project that can help you generate profits compared to at least ten residential projects.

It involves cleaning cubicles, desks, cabins, canteens, windows, restrooms, and receptions. The quality of the commercial project should be top-notch, and you should have the right tools and equipment to showcase your professionalism.

  • Green cleaning

A new concept in the cleaning industry, green cleaning emphasizes eco-friendly cleaning for residential and commercial projects.

Cleaning service providers perform different cleaning tasks using minimal chemicals and only focusing on environmentally friendly practices.

With more awareness in society about global warming and an eco-friendly approach to living, green cleaning is slowly picking up the pace in the cleaning industry.

You can choose green cleaning in your services to stand out from other cleaning service providers and increase your clientele.

  • Janitor cleaning

Janitor cleaning

Janitor cleaning is misunderstood as simple office cleaning services. But with janitor cleaning services, you must cover daily office cleaning duties, industrial places, or other working areas.

You must maintain consistency in the janitor cleaning process and hire reliable and trustworthy employees who can deliver the required services in the long run.

Janitor services are highly demanded in the commercial and industrial segment, increasing the chances of profits and revenue generation for your cleaning business.

  • Sanitization and Disinfection

With increasing health concerns, the demand for professional sanitization and disinfection services is increasing. Both residential and commercial clients require the services, increasing the opportunity in the niche.

Sanitization services ensure that the place is disinfected and sterilized from various viruses, bacteria, and other microbes.

You require experienced staff and certified medical and cleaning supplies to deliver quality cleaning results for your clients. 

These are the top five cleaning niches you can choose from. Apart from these, there are laundry and dry cleaning, ceiling, and wall cleaning, carpet cleaning, pressure washing, chimney sweeping, and window cleaning, among other services that you can specialize in.

Before choosing one for your business, a basic understanding of these cleaning services is important.

Understanding your niche can be your USP to increase your clientele in the specific cleaning service industry.

2. Cost of Capital to Start Cleaning Business

how much money do i need to start a cleaning business

Apart from the niche, you should also focus on the capital required for starting your cleaning business. Different cleaning companies and small business owners raise funds independently from financial institutions or angel investors.

But you should first analyze your cleaning business operational requirements or create a cleaning business checklist that can help you better understand the capital required for starting your business.

Based on the business structure, you can choose different ways to raise funds to ensure that you have the initial setup to start a cleaning service business. 

Include the business insurance, cleaning equipment cost, business license cost, and other initial investments for running your own cleaning business.

You don’t require a high-end investment to start a cleaning business, but understand the required cost and minimize the hassle of starting your business.

3. License

Every business should follow the legalities set up by the governing body before officially starting the service process. There are a few financial and legal details you must iron out before handling your first client.

Acquire a business license to help you build credibility and trust among your audience. You must provide different business documents to help you avail of the service license, and you need to renew the cleaning license every year.

Connect with the governing officials or visit their website to know the information required to acquire the cleaning business license.

4. Fix Cleaning Charges

You also need to set the right pricing model to help you charge a competitive service price for your clients. Ensure that your cleaning charges are not underpriced or overpriced and help you attract decent profits and new clients.

You can use four different ways to estimate the house cleaning rates. Using these methods, you can effectively get an accurate calculation as per the service and the project requirements.

  • Rate Per Square Feet

This is an easy and effective method for commercial and residential cleaning businesses to set the cleaning price. You can decide per square foot rate and then multiply the number by the overall square footage area to get the desired service pricing.

The pricing method is time-saving and lets the clients get a transparent view of the situation. But to calculate the per square footage rate, you must calculate the cost meticulously and apply mathematical skills to help you finalize the ideal cleaning service price.

  • Hourly basis

Hourly basis

The per-hour method is a flexible and safe option for pricing your cleaning services. Especially if you are starting your business operations, you should choose an hourly rate based on per-hour wages for the number of employees delivering the service.

It’s a great strategy for cleaning service businesses unsure about the scope of the work and the ideal pricing strategy that can ensure profits, client satisfaction, and retention.

The beginner-friendly approach of using an hourly-based pricing model can fail when you scale your business operations and want to stand out.

  • Fixed-rate

The flat cleaning service fees are common and used by different businesses to deliver a quality experience. Flat pricing is ideal for your business if you understand the project requirements well and know the project’s scope well.

Once you know that your team can compete for the clearing task within a specific time, you can charge a fixed price to help you earn decent profits.

  • Rate per room

The per room costing is equally effective and easy compared to the square footage method. You can decide the standard rate per room for cleaning based on the scale of the project.

Clients have different cleaning requirements, and if you want to, you can choose a per-room pricing model to earn good profits.

Also, you should set standard pricing for different types of rooms in a residential or commercial building. 

For example, the kitchen can take more time and effort to clean, so calculate the rate for the kitchen cleaning separately. Similarly, perform the same for the bathroom, living room, and bedroom.

The pricing result calculated per room becomes straightforward for the clients and helps you maintain transparency.

Now that you know the basic details before starting a cleaning business, it’s time to address the core topic of our learning. 

Our team has filtered the top seven simple steps; you can choose to start a cleaning business and set up a solid foundation for your business success.

Start Your Cleaning Business in 7 Simple Steps

Multiple steps are involved in starting a successful cleaning business, but we have only picked the most important result-oriented steps. Have a look.

1. Create a Business Plan

As a professional business owner, you must set the foundation for your business operations and ensure that you achieve the desired business results with finesse. A solid business plan can help you stand out from other cleaning business owners and help you attract prospective clients with finesse.

Hire professional experts or learn from different sources, but you should ace the business planning. Highlight different areas of business operations like finance, marketing, operations, management, etc.

It can help you set a specific company growth path to help you run a profitable business and ensure you can skyrocket your business growth. A lack of clear understanding and goals of climbing the success ladder can result in poor cleaning results.

A business plan can help you conquer and visualize your goal unfailingly and boost your on-ground cleaning service performance. You can stay organized, be ready to handle the unexpected, and focus clearly on accomplishing your business goals.

You can set the standard operating procedures that highlight the rules and regulations for your workforce and help you unlock the true potential of the cleaning industry.

A solid business foundation can help you optimize your operations when things don’t go according to plan. You can also tweak your business plan based on the industry regulation, changes, or different scenarios that force the change.

Be specific and clear with your business planning and align your business resources to execute your plan.

2. Acquire the Equipment and Supplies

Acquire the Equipment and Supplies

While starting a cleaning business, you must stay ahead of time and ensure that you have the required cleaning equipment and supplies to deliver desired services to your customers. 

Contact different wholesalers or manufacturers who can help you acquire the required material at a fairly great price that can minimize the business expense and help you boost your profits.

Here’s the standard cleaning supplies checklist for your business operations.

  • Trash bags
  • Face mask
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Sponges
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning towels or rags
  • Duster
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mop and bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Extendable pole
  • Spray bottle
  • Glass cleaner
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Soap scum removal cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Bleach or disinfectant

The right tools and equipment provide your on-ground employees to deliver the best results. This also ensures that you don’t increase the chances of customer churn because of poor service.

It can assist in bringing out the best from the cleaning employees and boost your business productivity. Irrespective of the scale and size of the cleaning service task, you can handle the complexities of the project and simplify the process using the right tools.

It may require a specific capital at the front, so you can focus on the basic tools or equipment or allot a specific budget to strengthen your arsenal.

The type of cleaning tools can also vary from the niche of your business. The commercial cleaning business requires different tools than the residential cleaning business model. Take advice from industry experts or your employees and make the right investments.

3. Filter the Target Audience

Your target audience is the ones purchasing your services. You must ensure that you clearly understand your potential customers and what they want from your cleaning business services.

Dig deep with your marketing and competitor research that can help provide you with valuable insights about your target audience. You can create a buyer persona that can highlight the desires, pain points, problems, and vital emotions that can help you in the sales process.

Although cleaning services tend to operate at a low investment, you must utilize your business resources for the right audience and avoid focusing on a wider audience from the start.

Choose a vertical approach to tailor down your ideal prospect rather than using a horizontal approach to target a different ideal customer base. Being a new cleaning company, try focusing on the warm or hot leads that can convert quicker and help you achieve decent profits.

Once you have experience, you can target a wider audience to increase your clientele by delivering quality cleaning solutions in the local market with finesse.

4. Choose a Business Name

During business registration and legal certification acquisition, you must plan a specific name for your business brand that can help you increase your cleaning services’ reach, visibility, and popularity.

The brand name should reflect what you do, how you do it, and what is your vision and mission. It should be short, crisp, and easy to remember. It should also be unique and help you in business branding and marketing. 

The business license and the registrations require the brand name, and also when you are hiring employees, they should be aware of what brand they are associating with.

5. Create a Bank Account and Insurance

Another vital segment during the setting up your cleaning business is creating a professional business account and separating your account from it.

You should operate your business as a separate entity and focus on managing the finances separately from your account. It can help you manage your financials and cash flows.

You can accept credit cards, debit cards, or other forms of online payment from your customers, maintain transaction records, and check the capital inflow and outflow for easy tax filings.

You should also focus on taking a standard cleaning business insurance that can help you protect your business, employees, and other business segments from undesirable circumstances.

Here are a few types of insurance for cleaning business owners.

  • General Liability Insurance

The GLI helps you cover your business from a financial loss like damaging items in a customer’s home or losing your tools or materials.

You can also cover different disputes with your clients. For example, if your client slips on the wet floor that your team mopped and got serious injuries, it can help you cover the general issues of your cleaning business operations.

  • Surety Bond

do you need a license to start a cleaning business

Using a surety bond, you can compensate your clients if anything gets stolen while delivering the residential cleaning services. People hesitate to work with businesses that are not bonded and avoid associating with the unsecured business.

You should consult a professional insurance provider who can assist you with the surety bonds and help you attract new clients based on your surety bonds.

  • Compensation Insurances

The compensation insurance covers your employees’ medical expenses, lost wages, and other undesirable scenarios. Compensation insurance is highly demanded by professional cleaning service providers and helps you attract the brightest talent in the industry.

Your employees can feel safe and secure working for your cleaning brand that can help you deliver quality service and ensure that you stand out from other businesses.

6. Market Your Business

Once you have calculated the startup costs, finalized your business licenses, simplified your hiring process and business resources, and acquired company vehicle and equipment, you should start with your business promotion.

You must market your cleaning brand to attract the first few clients and scale your new business. Integrate different marketing strategies and tactics to help promote your brand and connect with your ideal prospect.

Perform quality market research that can provide you with tailored cleaning business marketing ideas and set a solid foundation for your marketing efforts. 

You can focus on blending the online and offline marketing efforts to help convert local business leads into your long-term customers.

Ensure that you focus more on digital marketing efforts to help you get an extra edge over others and amplify your marketing results.

Use the following powerful marketing tactics for your cleaning business.

  • Search Engine Optimization

Create a professional website that can help you implement a solid SEO strategy and increase your business reach and visibility on the search engine results. SEO can help you increase your domain authority, website rankings, and credibility on the web.

You can use on-page or off-page SEO strategies that can help enhance your marketing result and rank your website higher than competitors for different keywords.

You can generate organic traffic using SEO towards your website and then using lead generation forms, contact forms, blogs, or other lead generation tactics to convert the visitor into your prospective client.

  • Paid Advertisement

SEO efforts can be time-consuming and require a lot of effort to get the desired results. If you want to skip months and years of hard work to generate clients for your business, you can use paid advertising methods to enhance your marketing efforts and help you connect with your potential prospects on social and the web with finesse.

You can set a paid advertising budget and filter different platforms that can help you set the basics of a powerful paid advertising campaign. 

Platforms like Google, Meta, and LinkedIn offer a quality ecosystem that can skyrocket your marketing results based on your marketing budget.

You can use the most popular advertising type, i.e., PPC marketing, to help you pay when the users click through the advertisement. 

You can target the hot audience using Google Ads because it’s a powerful demand fulfillment platform or Meta Ads for cold or warm audiences. After all, it’s a demand generation platform.

  • Online Business Listing

You can list your cleaning business online, which connects you with potential clients searching for quality service providers. Use Google My Business, Thumbtack, or other listing websites that offer free or paid lead conversion solutions based on the target market.

You can also use social media pages to boost your business listing reach and visibility. With the increase in mobile users, having a presence on social media is highly important.

  • Offline Marketing

Apart from the online marketing strategies, you can blend your overall marketing efforts with offline marketing that includes business cards, flyers, walk-in discounts, and exclusive offers to cater to the target audience you didn’t connect with the internet.

Use the true power of offline marketing to increase positive word-of-mouth marketing and promote your cleaning business effectively in the local market.

These marketing efforts can help you attract quality clients that you must convert into long-term customers by using effective business software.

7. Use the Right Software

Integrate professional business software ideal for your cleaning business that can help you streamline your business workflow and help you deliver an excellent customer experience.

You can use field service management, employee management, financial management software, etc. These tools can help you get an extra edge over others, automate your business process, and reduce the complexities of cleaning business operations.

Most businesses neglect the importance of quality financial management software and face trouble generating professional estimates, invoices, and purchase orders for wholesale vendors.

You can avoid the mistake and integrate quality software that can streamline your accounting and help you deliver excellent financial management results.

Our team has filtered the best financial management software to handle your business accounts with finesse.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  1. How do I start a cleaning business for beginners?

    You can start a cleaning business by setting up the fundamentals like equipment, a business license, aligning with local regulations, pricing structure, business registration, etc. Once you are done with the basics, start promoting and connecting with your potential clients to scale your business.

  2. Can you become rich from a cleaning business?

    You can become rich by delivering quality cleaning services in the industry that can help you increase your clientele and minimize customer churn. Outshine your competitors using professional software and business resources to strengthen your business presence and attract the desired profits.

  3. Is it worth starting a cleaning business?

    With the rising commercial and residential properties, the demand for a quality cleaning business is rising. You can leverage tremendous opportunities in the industry and earn decent profits. Starting a cleaning business will be worth every penny if you can deliver an excellent customer experience in the industry.

  4. What is the fastest way to start a cleaning business?

    The quickest and easiest way to start a cleaning business is to take a business loan and register a sole proprietorship cleaning business. The scale of business operations might be small, but it doesn’t involve higher complexities than a large-scale business operation.

InvoiceOwl Can Simplify Your Cleaning Business Financial Management

InvoiceOwl is the leading contractor estimate and invoice software that can help you manage your estimation, invoicing, purchase order, and credit memo creation and processing with finesse.

You get centralized control of your business operations that can help you reduce the complexities and simplify your cash flow management. You can increase the business efficiency and maintain records for your inflow and outflow of capital.

The powerful features of the software help you remove the inefficiencies and human errors from the financial management and help you achieve desired business profits.

The account payable team can automate the cross-verification of different financial documents and easily process and approve the documents within a few clicks.

Avail of the 14-day FREE trial to kick-start your cleaning business.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.

United States