Starting A Cleaning Business? Here’s How to Do It
If you are searching for a low-capital business venture with limited outlays, which you can start relatively quickly, then starting a cleaning business may be the ideal solution for you. Nevertheless – keep in mind – since launching a company is relatively easy, competition is prevalent, with the market dominated by many small organisations. Here are a few tips on getting started:
Decide the type of cleaning company you want – residential, commercial or specialist?
There are two major types:
Residential cleaning– Residential or domestic cleaning may include cleaning the homes of people (usually while at work) and can be completed by you as soon as you have clients. Eventually, you will take on employees as your customer list grows.
Commercial cleaning – You’ll need a team of people to clean commercial property (these properties are often big office buildings) and your job might be more administrative than on the ground cleaning process.
Among these two styles, you may want to consider professional cleaning as there are lots of potentially lucrative niches to explore – from a window cleaning business and a roof cleaning to a carpet cleaning business or a car wash business.
Keep your skillset in mind when making your choice however as you may either be more suited to clean every day or to a cleaning company’s administrative side) and where there’s the best business potential in your chosen field.
Research the market
As described above, it will be necessary to study the potential demand and local demographics in deciding the type of cleaning business you will operate. If you’re trying to run a domestic cleaning company, you’ll need to make sure people in the surrounding area can afford to pay for someone else to do their domestic tasks.
Business analysis will also be crucial in deciding the rates (try to act as a potential consumer and ring around market markets to ensure a good selling point for you). Researching starting a cleaning business will be set you up for success.
Budget appropriately for your equipment
The cost of cleaning the machinery can differ greatly. With domestic cleaners, the machinery is supplied by the homes more often than not, but if you’re dreaming about beginning a professional cleaning service, there are some basic appliances you’ll need to invest in:
- Equipment Trolleys – £250-£400
- Professional vacuum cleaner – £100 upwards
- Sweeping machine – £200 -£2,000
- Van – £3,000 upwards.
Create a marketing plan
As well as any initial expenditures on facilities – a marketing expenditure might need to be allocated. One of the hardest aspects of starting a cleaning company (and indeed any service business) is building up a list of customers. Depending on the nature of your company, some conventional ads such as classified advertisements and flyers may be the right way to start – but it’s also worth considering investing in some online advertisements, such as pay-per-click, particularly if you’re providing a niche service.
Do not be scared to go out and knock on those doors – cleaning is a personal company and potential clients can be more likely to sign up if they see you face-to-face!
Develop a strong brand and build a reputation
As the company gets underway and starts to gather steam, it’s important to create a reputation you can be proud of. Apart from some marketing spending – you should try attracting consumers by word of mouth and personal advice.
It’s a smart idea to have a logo built to create a corporate identity and to provide a uniform with all employees with a specific label on it. Subscribing to industry associations that have a mandatory membership requirement will also help to build a professional image and get testimonials to happy consumers.
Check relevant regulations and training
You don’t need a license to operate a cleaning company, but you can boost your reputation (and that of your staff) as reputable practitioners by obtaining a criminal background check. Training is also not a requirement, but some basic training such as an NVQ or a certificate of competence for cleaning operations may give your company credibility. If you are trying to take on employees there is a range of laws that you will have to bear in mind.
Usually cleaning jobs aren’t well paying – the workers will likely earn the minimum wage and you’ll need to keep up with regular increases. You will also be liable for employer’s liability insurance and, should you take on professional cleaning work, you will need to conform to the conversion of undertakings (employment protection) laws.
Finally, there is a range of laws on health and safety to remember, as cleaning also requires dealing with potentially hazardous chemicals.