How to start a home cleaning business from scratch

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Home cleaning business

Looking for an easy to start business? A home cleaning business is one of the easiest businesses to start from scratch.

Demand for home cleaning services is always increasing as people become time poor in their busy lives. Equipment and products to start a cleaning business can be inexpensive to start and profits can be very good. You have been cleaning your own home and don’t require any technical training or special equipment.

Decide what types of cleaning services you’ll provide, starting with the basics may be the best way. Once you get established, you can look at providing more services that may require professional equipment.

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1.The first step is picking the services you’ll provide.

Will you provide a weekly or fortnightly service, will it include specialty services like carpet cleaning or floor polishing or just vacuum and mopping with dusting and bathroom cleans.

List skills you have and skills you may have to get training for. To start, vacuuming,dusting and mopping don’t require any technical skill and your own vacuum and mop will get you started.

After you have got some regular customers and they ask for more detailed cleaning, now is the time to consider updating your equipment.

Other things to consider are how many hours you want to work, time when you can work and if you want a team of cleaners or are happy to clean yourself.

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2. Should you buy a franchise or start out yourself

You need to decide early on whether you are going to start your own cleaning business or buy a claning business franchise.

Starting your own business is the cheaper alternative as franchise businesses can start at around $5000 to $100,000’s. As there are only the basic tools such as mops, buckets,vacuums and dusters required, start up costs are minor, a large out lay up front for a franchise is not a smart move.

There are pros and cons for both options as set out below.

FranchiseStart your own business
1. Established business name (Brand)1. Complete control
2. Proven business model2. Low start-up cost
3. Marketing support3. All profits are yours
4. Ongoing support and advice4. No ongoing costs or royalties
1. Upfront cost1. You’re on your own
2. Royalties (monthly/annual fee and a percentage of your profits)2. You have to learn everything yourself. There are plenty of guides available
3. Restrictions (Territory, advertising)3. No brand.
4. Your success is link to franchiser 

If you do consider a franchise, please do your research. Check with current franchisees and ex franchisees to see what support and benefits the franchise will give you, as not all franchises are reputable.

3. Decide on your business structure

Are you going to be a sole trader, partner or a company for your home cleaning business. This is a decision you need to make early.

A sole trader is the easiest way to start, you can use your own name which costs nothing. You’ll get all the profits and will be accountable for all your business’s debts.

A partner comes with all sorts of issues, which you don’t need when starting your home cleaning business. In a partnership, you’ll be splitting the profits between you and your partners. You may also become accountable for your partners debts if things go wrong.

A company involves getting professional help with setting up your company and ongoing support from your professional advisers, (accountant, solicitor). With a company you’ll be treated as a separate legal entity, having to to pay tax on your profits and your earnings.

When starting out the less issues you have to deal with the better.

Other business considerations

Licensing – Are there any special licences you require to carry on your business.

One would be registering your business name. If you are going to use a name other than your personal name, you need to register your business name. This helps protect you from others using your business name and also helps to build your own brand.

Training – Do you require any training to deliver your cleaning services.

Insurances – You’ll need public liability insurance as a minimum ($5 million). Other insurances will be income and workers compensation insurance if you have workers on your team.

Bookkeeping – You need to know how business is going and bookkeeping is the only way to get a good picture of your business’s financial health. Get your accountant to help you set up a system to keep track of your business’s income and expenses. Set it up right from the start and your paperwork will be kept to a minimum.

Start a cleaning business check list to track your steps when setting up your home cleaning business.

  1. Decide what services you are going to deliver.

2. Are you going to start your own cleaning business or buy a franchise.

3. Are you going to start as a sole trader or not.

4. Get professional help setting up business records and tax

5. Find the right equipment for your business.

6. Promote your home cleaning business.


Your home cleaning business won’t need a whole lot of equipment.

You can start with a basic vacuum, mop and bucket, plus some brushes and rags. Choose environmentally friendly cleaning products and go for commercial strength as low cost products just mean more time has to be spent doing the tasks required.

Once you’ve got regular clients, think of up grading your equipment and look to the professional tools then.

5. Go the extra mile

How can you stand out from the crowd? Go the extra mile, do what your competitors don’t.

Exceed your customer’s expectations and you will out shine your competitors straight off the bat.

Any business that exceeds it’s customer’s expectations never has to advertise, word of mouth will always be the best advertising.

How do you go the extra mile? By doing more than is expected, giving discounts to regular customers, doing little things that mean a lot like personal notes and cards for birthdays and the like.

6. Pricing

How do you figure out how much to charge?

There are many ways to price your services, get quotes from other cleaning businesses to get an idea of what your competition is charging. Figure out what you time is worth and add your cost to your hourly rate, for example, your time is worth $30 per hour and the travel and products you use average out to $10. Then you should charge $40 per hour.

Don’t price yourself at the low end of the market, as the lower end of the market usually has the people who only look at costs and expect more than their willing to pay. Charge a premium and you’ll have a better client base that will appreciate your services.

7. Getting customers

When your starting out, let everyone you know that you are available for home cleaning work. People are always looking for cleaners and many of your friends and acquaintances can let their friends and relatives know your available to clean.

Use unique cleaning ideas to stand out form the crowd, such as windows only cleaning or yard cleaning.

Get in touch with real estate companies and property managers, put up flyers in your community or do letter drops in the area you wish to clean.

Start a Facebook page and Instagram account for your home cleaning business.

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8. The most important step

Start your home cleaning business from scratch now!

It’s all very good reading and planning what you going to do, but unless you take action, your plan will only ever be a plan.

Get out and get your business going, if you never start, it will never happen.

Things may not go to plan straight up but you can revise and improve all the time. This is the best way to learn, your failures are not an excuse to quit, but are lessons to be learned.

Take action, make a commitment and change your life. Starting your own home cleaning business will give you an income and the freedom of working to a better future.

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