If you're thinking about starting your own business but have no experience, you should dream big and start small. Look for a concept with high demand yet low startup and operating costs. Something that won't need a physical location and doesn't require a high skill level or extensive training. One business that fits the bill is a house cleaning business. It's easy to start a house cleaning business; you don't need a lot of capital or experience and, most importantly, it's easy to grow
Here are 7 steps to follow if you want to start a house cleaning business:
1. Decide on the scope of your business. Most likely, you’ll start cleaning houses by yourself, maybe for friends or relatives. While this may earn you a sustainable income, it’s impossible to grow your business past a certain point, since there’s a limit to the number of houses you can clean by yourself. In order to increase the number of jobs you can take on, you’ll need to hire dependable employees. You may also want to plan for a day when your sole responsibility is managing your crews, and you don’t do any of the cleaning.
2. Consider what services you’ll offer. Most cleaning services offer a deep clean for new customers, then set up a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule. You’ll need to develop a detailed list of exactly what you’ll clean on each visit, so your customers know what to expect. For instance, will you change the sheets on the beds, or dust the ceiling fans as part of your regular cleaning? You may want to offer extras as a way to increase your revenue. Your customers may be interested in paying an additional fee for you to wash the windows, clean the oven, or scrub the baseboards.
3. Determine your market. Transportation should be a major factor in choosing a market. The farther you commute to the houses you clean, the more money you’ll spend on gas, and the less time you’ll spend working. Target affluent neighborhoods near where you live. People who spend more money on their homes will be most able to afford a cleaning service.
4. Obtain the proper license and insurance. Before you start a house cleaning business, check with your city and county and governments to find out what kind of license and/or permits they require. You’ll also need insurance in case you or one of your employees breaks or damages something while cleaning.
5. Acquire the necessary equipment and supplies. You’ll need to invest in a top- of-the-line commercial vacuum cleaner, but other than that you won’t need a lot of equipment. You’ll need a mop and bucket, broom and dustpan, duster with extendable handle, rags, and a toilet brush. Supplies will include cleaning solutions, rubber gloves, paper towels, and garbage bags. Once you determine which cleaning solutions do the best job at the most affordable price, you’ll be able to pick them up at a warehouse store.
6. Figure out what to charge your clients. Properly setting your rates may mean the success or failure of your business. Obviously, if you set them too low, you won’t make enough to cover your expenses. But if you set them too high, you won’t be competitive. You can charge by the square footage of the house or by the hour. When setting rates be sure to factor in your expenses including supplies, transportation, and payroll. Make sure to see what other area cleaning services are charging their customers, and then keep your prices in the same range. You’ll also need to figure out which type of payment you’ll except. Traditionally, cleaning services accepted only cash or checks. Today, you have options like credit cards and payment services like PayPal and Venmo.
7. Develop a Marketing Plan. Because starting a home cleaning business is relatively easy, a lot of people do it. You need to think about how to market your services to stand out in this crowded field. Print a flyer you can distribute to residents in the neighborhoods where you want to work. Keep an eye out for real estate signs in the yards. The agent may want the house cleaned when the current residents move out, and the new residents won’t have chosen a cleaning service yet. Offer a discount for clients who refer your services to friends and neighbors. Encourage them to post online reviews on Google and Yelp. No matter how small your business is, you need a website or at least a business Facebook page. Register with platforms like TaskRabbit or Handy to make it easier for clients to find you. Turn your vehicle into a mobile billboard using decals or a wrap, and it will advertise your business wherever you go.
One of the easiest ways to start a house cleaning business is to buy a franchise. You’re instantly part of a well-established brand, and the franchisor will provide you with their proven business model to follow. Two Maids, formerly Two Maids and A Mop, has been franchising for almost 10 years and is one of the most recognizable names in the house cleaning industry. Only two employees are required to run the business, and it can be operated on a semi-absentee basis, meaning you can continue to work at another job while someone else handles the day-to-day responsibilities of the business. What really sets Two Maids apart from other cleaning services is our performance- based pay system. Our clients rate how satisfied they are with each clean, and the higher the team is rated, the more money they earn, ensuring they do the best job possible to keep the clients happy.
If you think buying a franchise is a better alternative than starting a home cleaning business on your own, contact Two Maids today. One of our franchise advisors will be in touch to answer your questions.