Start A Cleaning Business

Start A Cleaning Business.

Ask yourself this question, is it right for me?
You need to answer this question honestly. Many people often make the mistake of starting a cleaning company without thinking it through. If you enjoy cleaning and don’t mind hard work, owning your own cleaning company can bring many rewards. A domestic cleaning business can also be started with little to no capital.

product1How hard can it be to clean a house or small office?
Cleaning is extremely hard work and running your own business can be even harder. It’s better to know now rather than later that it is no walk in the park starting your own business. Other (successful) cleaning companies around you have put a lot of effort into building their businesses up. If you want your business to be a success you will need to have the same drive and enthusiasm as them. You will have to be fully committed and fully believe in your service. This is the only way to achieve your goal.

You will need to have a passion for cleaning and be a perfectionist. Clients who contact cleaning companies expect a very high standard of cleaning that goes above and beyond their own general cleaning routine.

You must also decide when starting, whether you are going to carry out the work yourself or employ cleaners. The beauty of this type of business is, right from the start, the business finances itself. So whether you do the work yourself or you have staff do it, you have a choice as wages are paid after your client has paid you. (Cleaning products are almost always supplied by the client). However, it is probably better if you are just starting out, to do the work yourself. You’ll learn the business faster, you will get to know your clients and best of all you will make more profit. Note of caution, choose your staff carefully, ensure you check all references supplied, ensure they are honest and make sure they enjoy cleaning and take pride in their work. Cleaning is not for everyone.

Running your business.
Like any business you will have administration tasks, staff to manage, advertising campaigns to organise, appointments to schedule, provide quotations and raise invoices and many other things to do. But don’t let any of this put you off. If you start slowly everything will come together. If you become stuck you can always ask family or friends for help and advice or if you are a member of the Federation of Master Cleaners we may be able to offer advice. We can certainly help with letterheads, leaflet printing, business cards, invoice and quotation templates. We can even build you a website if required.

Another option to be considered if you feel you would like some back up, consider a franchise. Or look for an established cleaning business that is up for sale. However, while this option is tempting, the start up cost rise significantly. We are talking thousands of pounds.

However, if you go it alone with perhaps one member of staff, the only immediate costs you may face is insurance and marketing costs. But even these costs can be brought down. Insurance can be paid monthly and marketing can be free if you advertise on the Internet on websites such as Yell, Gumtree, Fridays Ads, Vivastreet and many others.

This may sound bias but joining a Federation such as the Federation of Master Cleaners can help propel your company forward. It will tell your clients that you can be trusted and have been independently vetted. Using our emblem on your paperwork or mentioning you are a member of a Federation in your adverts will set you apart from the competition. So please consider us before placing ads or doing a leaflet campaign.

So after reading the above, if you are still enthusiastic about starting a cleaning company and the reality check of what may be involved has not swayed your decision, you should start researching the local areas where you plan to offer your services.

Let’s Get Started…

Decide how you are going to advertise and where you are going to advertise. For starters you need to advertise in areas where you know your potential clients can afford your services. A good way of hand picking / targeting your clients is by leaflets. A leaflet campaign is a low-cost method, yet effective form of advertising. The local paper is another good source. Also, contact the competition as a client, ask questions and find out what they charge.

When you are satisfied that you have gathered enough information you need to brand your company. You want to be recognised wherever your work. Design a logo and use it as much as possible. Use it on all your paperwork, vehicle and all forms of advertising, put it on your uniform or tabard and don’t forget our emblem if you have subscribed.

Subscribe to the Federation of Master Cleaners, this will help build your reputation. It will show that you have agreed to abide to a Code of Conduct and have been independently vetted and approved. You do not need a licence to start-up a cleaning business, subscribing to the Federation of Master Cleaners will enable your clients to book your services with confidence. Membership separates you from the rogue traders.

Concentrate on a small local area within easy reach from your base and put everything you have into getting your name known. Whenever you get a new clients ask them to recommend you to their family, friends and work colleagues. Keep this up and you will soon fill your week with regular clients. Then repeat the process in another close area.

Grow slowly, don’t take on work you cannot handle, this will only damage your reputation. Give your best every time, a cleaning business relies on word of mouth, recommendations and if you take on too much work in the beginning you may find you cannot provide a high quality service. Build up slowly. Get good reliable staff, learn your business inside out, exceed your customers expectations and you will be a success.

Note. If you take on staff you will be required by law to have employer’s liability Insurance. This is relatively cheap and a few quotes and a monthly instalment plan will alleviate any worries about costs.

Health & Safety is paramount in any business. We have written a separate piece on this subject and you can read it here.