Many people believe that starting a home cleaning business is as simple as buying some antibacterial spray plus other cleaning products and knocking on some doors, but it’s more complex than that. Just like any other enterprise, a cleaning business needs careful planning, budgeting, and marketing to ensure continued and sustainable growth. For example, you will need to decide early on if you will be working alone or employing others, how much your equipment and supplies will cost and whether you will clean just homes or business premises as well. Here are some of the key factors to consider when starting a cleaning business.
Source funding for start-up costs
One of the most challenging parts of starting any new business can be getting the funds together for the initial start-up costs. You may choose to take out a business loan, use a low-interest credit card or borrow from friends or family, but you need to sort this out as soon as possible. The start-up costs for a cleaning business should be relatively low as you won’t need premises, but if you are purchasing equipment like carpet cleaners or pressure washers this may increase the costs involved.
Create a business plan
Your business plan should be your blueprint and handbook for how you will run your business, including how you will find customers, your budget, and financial projections.
You should carry out market and competitor research to help decide which services you will offer and which customers you will target. This will tell you what services are in demand in the local area, who your competitors are and how you can differentiate your service, e.g. in terms of price, extra services or promotional offers. You may want to specialize in a particular service such as carpets, patios, porcelain, etc.
The ongoing expenses in a cleaning business are the cleaning supplies and the transportation required to visit your customers. If you will be working alone, this will be simple to calculate, but if you are employing others you will need to calculate the likely mileage and supply usage as well as any vehicle maintenance costs. You will also need to decide if you want to invest in equipment up front or to hire it as and when it’s needed.
Register Your Business & Get Insured
Assuming that you intend to clean for people outside of your family, you will need to register yourself as a business. You can do this as a sole proprietor, in partnership with someone else or as a limited liability corporation (LLC). Setting up an LLC will separate your personal and business finances which offers an extra level of security should the business get into financial problems. Depending on the amount of income you make you may also need to register for tax purposes.
Carrying out work in or on other people’s homes will also require a level of liability insurance to protect you financially should you be accused of damaging a person’s home. For example, pressure washing can be a high-risk process, so look into pressure washing insurance cost as this will vary depending on your company’s size and services.
Find and retain customers
Once you’re ready to go, you will need to find customers. Word-of-mouth can be very effective in terms of house cleaning businesses so try encouraging clients who are satisfied to recommend you to a friend with a referral scheme, i.e., offer a discount for both them and the friend when the referral generates new business. Try to collect testimonials and positive reviews which you can display on your social media and website.
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