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How to Start a Cleaning Business

Jan 26 2018, 12:21 PM

Ready to be your own boss in 2018? It’s something many of us dream of doing and, if you’re ready to make the move, you could consider setting up a cleaning business.

This market offers a lucrative opportunity for the competent residential cleaner. As a nation we work longer hours and so, as a result, our homes can get neglected. This means we may need to turn to a cleaning service to do the jobs we don’t want to come home to, after a long day at work.

Commercial cleaning also offers lots of opportunity - there are no end of small, medium and large businesses requiring affordable cleaners who can keep working environments fit for their employees.

If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, read on to find out more about how to start a cleaning business.

Start a cleaning business checklist
Here’s everything you need to consider before you get started, we’ll go into detail about each one further below:

Which niche will you target?
Business loan or savings?
What expenses will you need to account for?
Where will cleaning supplies come from?
What business insurance do you need?
Do you need any qualifications?
How do you market yourself?
Do you need to employ people?
How to train staff

Which niche will you target for your cleaning business?
There’s nothing wrong with offering a comprehensive cleaning service, spanning both domestic and commercial cleaning tasks, but sometimes it pays to find a niche and only offer cleaning services for this.

This means you can be seen as a specialist in one area and people specifically looking for this are more likely to come to you. Perhaps you only want to offer oven and kitchen cleaning services? Maybe you’d prefer to only clean offices but offer optional extras such as internal window cleaning or office fridge cleaning?

Consider what service you feel you can best provide to a high standard and focus on this. Of course, you can be flexible if a client asks for something else but going into the industry with a specialism will help when it comes to targeting particular customers. This will also help when it comes to marketing yourself later too.

Business loan or savings?
This depends entirely on your personal situation but if you are going to take on a business loan you will need to do some careful research into future profit projections and whether you will be able to comfortably pay back what you have borrowed.

You shouldn’t need a huge amount of money, as a cleaning business allows you to be mobile and avoid the expensive overheads associated with running your own office.

Speak to a business loan provider about your situation and they may be able to help you find the right product for your business start up.

What expenses will you need to account for?

It’s a good idea to put together a list of business expenses you may incur when starting up. Here is an example list below:

Where will your business cleaning supplies come from?
It’s important you do some research into where you will be sourcing your supplies from. Here at Brosch Direct, we offer a wide range of cleaning supplies to meet your demands. You’ll find a detailed list below of the items that could easily set your cleaning business up for the first round of jobs:

You can easily carry all this in an easy to transfer cleaning caddy with a handle. This will keep bottles upright to avoid spillage and will ensure you look professional when you arrive at a job.

What business insurance do you need for a cleaning company?
Every business needs insurance to ensure it is protected from claims and covered in the case of accidents and injuries.

You should definitely start with public liability insurance. This covers the cost of compensation if a client or member of the public is injured from your work - for example, if they slip on a wet floor. It’s also worth adding extra cover that protects you if you damage a client’s property or don’t secure a customer’s home properly on leaving.

If you work with expensive equipment, it’s also a good idea to look into a policy that can protect against theft, loss or damage.

If you employ staff, by law you must have employer’s liability insurance and this must be displayed in a way that staff can access and understand it - there is a fine of £1,000 if you don’t display this certificate to staff. Things can get expensive if you don’t have employer’s liability insurance, as you could be fined £2,500 for every day you don’t have it in place. 

Do you need any qualifications to start a cleaning business?
Qualifications aren’t necessary to starting and running a successful cleaning business, however it is a good idea. It establishes your credentials and marks you out as someone who provides a reputable service, giving you something to include in your marketing material.

Look into a City & Guilds course, these are different levels available to suit your business needs and client requirements.

How do you market your cleaning business?
Advertising and marketing your business is important, here are a few ways you can get your brand out there:

Do you need to employ people?
Perhaps not straight away but if you get to a point where you may need to start turning down clients because you can’t fit them in or are finding the stress of carrying out so many jobs is taking a toll on your health, it may be time to consider employing staff.

Simply keep an eye on workload and budget and, if it allows, start local and ask around to see if anyone you know is looking for part time work to support you on bigger jobs.

However, bear in mind that once you start employing people there is a lot more paperwork to think about, such as payroll, and budgeting for things like uniform and extra cleaning supplies. Think carefully before you start taking on staff.

How to train cleaning staff
If you do decide to employ people, they will need to go through some form of training process to ensure they understand yours and the client’s expectations. On their first job, it may be a good idea to go along with them. Explain to the client they will be carrying out the task but that you are guiding them - clients usually won’t have an issue with this.

Show them how you would perform a task to a high standard and ask them to complete it. Tell them if there is anything they could improve on. Ask the client to inspect what has been done and offer feedback - this way they will get a better understanding of how to do things.

You may also need to offer specialist training if your team are dealing with hazardous cleaning products or heavy machinery to ensure tasks are carried out without injury. We offer a range of guides here on the site that can help when training staff, covering everything from how to wash hands effectively to how to spot signs of a latex allergy from gloves. These can all be found on our blog.

If you are ready to take on a cleaning business we wish you the best of luck, be sure to come back if you need supplies or advice on products, for the jobs you need to carry out.


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