Starting a cleaning business can be an excellent idea if you are looking for something new to do or start your own company. Many people have the skills and knowledge necessary but are not sure how to go about it. Also, some make themselves believe that this project is tough and almost impossible to start when in fact, it is easier than it seems.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it will get done in a couple of days, but you can definitely do it without much effort and even money.
If you are here, you must be halfway in when making your decision, and we will help you to come up with the final one in this blog post by providing you the steps necessary and see how simple it can be, or maybe give you the info you have been looking for to get started in no time.
Do Your Research Properly
If you are considering starting a cleaning company, ensure that your work is worth the investment.
Begin with family members or close friends. You might offer to clean your house for free in exchange for honest feedback and cleaning supplies. You could also ask a friend or relative who is a cleaner to join you on a job, ensuring that you are competent and have the right tools.
It is important to ensure that your personal cleaning standards are in line with the expectations of paying customers. The best way to do this is to take on a job for someone else.
Researching isn’t only about going to the Internet and figuring out what other companies do in the first place. Instead, you must focus on what you can offer and guarantee it is worth it.
It is also important to choose the type of cleaning service that you will provide.
Many cleaning services are available, from single-person businesses to large chains to more specialized services like industrial carpet cleaning and pressure washing.
It’s worthwhile to consider expanding your business skills and resources if you have previous experience cleaning.
Individual cleaners only work in private homes and for a limited number of clients. This means that you will spend less on house cleaning.
Independent contractors may have weekly appointments and a set schedule for clients and jobs. Others are available to provide one-time or short-term services by the hour or day.
Consider buying into an existing franchise cleaning business. While this option comes with its own pros and cons, it is likely to offer a simpler process if you aren’t too confident about all the information you’ve found and your skills for the business.
Establish a reasonable cleaning business budget
Many potential owners of cleaning businesses ask the following questions: “Can I start a cleaning business with no money?” “How can I lower my expenses?” “How much does it cost to start a business?”
It will cost money, but you may be surprised at how affordable it is.
It will save you money if you do most of the cleaning yourself. However, budgeting is more than just how many hours you work. You will need to purchase supplies to make your business successful, track fuel costs, and maintain the vehicle.
Establish a budget that covers the cost of replacing products and equipment and hiring costs if you outsource labor, factor in hiring costs, and payroll costs. However, you must also consider taxes and insurance.
Set aside an hourly wage and money for cleaning, and calculate tax estimates to prepare you for business ownership.
Your business budget will soon disappear if you don’t have enough money for taxes.
Basic cleaning services are primarily funded by transportation and supplies. Your cleaning costs will vary depending on what services you provide.
They can be very low for an individual cleaner or much higher for a company with multiple employees and a vehicle.
Once you have established a backup and transportation plan, you can begin to estimate other costs associated with starting your business.
Mobility is vital to any mobile business, such as a cleaning service. One of the most important prerequisites to a job is to be there before you start.
Cleaning services usually take care of transportation to and from jobs.
The services you provide and the number of clients you have will determine how much and what supplies you require.
You can purchase supplies in bulk from retailers like Costco or Sam’s Club if you only clean a few private homes each week.
You might not want to use the products of some clients. Although wholesale vendors may require proof of your company’s legitimacy, if you are offering a larger service, it shouldn’t pose a problem to find discounted prices from suppliers once you have registered the business.
Basic cleaning services will cost you transportation and cleaning supplies. However, equipment and other rentals can add up.
If you don’t have the equipment or are unable to rent it, renting special cleaning machines and agents for flooring and carpets is a good option.
It’s worthwhile to investigate the cost of renting equipment if you are familiar with its use. You can save money on rent until you feel more comfortable.
Select your market
You should consider local needs when choosing the clientele and services you offer.
If you have to commute on foot to get to your cleaning job, you can focus your market research on the nearest areas. People who have access to public transportation or a car can be more flexible and aim for another market.
Part of selecting your market is researching competitors.
If you are looking for ways to start a cleaning company, it is worth researching cleaning companies in your local area. You should be looking for services that are not offered by other businesses by doing this and see where you need to aim.
Residential cleaning is more accessible than commercial cleaning for those just starting.
Large janitorial firms dominate the commercial cleaning industry, which typically has more resources. You can also narrow down your market in residential cleaning by focusing on single-family homes or apartments.
Remember that your first jobs will likely be done by you alone when choosing your market. This means that you need to be selective about the clients you work with.
It’s possible to not take on a large-scale job cleaning up a mansion by yourself, as it will take you more time than it’s worthwhile.
You can also save money and plan your work around your schedule by doing the job yourself.
Select a brand name for your new cleaning company
A brand is essential for any startup cleaning company, and the most fun part about owning a cleaning company is choosing a brand name.
A play on words, part of or all your name, a funny or quirky nickname, or something based on where you live or what type of cleaning services are offered, such as residential or commercial cleaning, can be used.
You should choose a name for your business that is:
- The company is accurately described
- It is easy to spell and remember
- Does it not exist?
- Sounds good; reads well.
- It can be adapted to the business’s growth.
When choosing a business name, it is good to search online for names you like.
You should check to see if another company has the same name. Even if you don’t intend to, legal issues arising from the use of another company’s name can cost you.
Create your service listing and price
Look at the offerings of your competitors when building your service list. You can use their websites to help you get started with your service list and find any gaps in the market.
You can use the pricing and services of your competitors as a starting point, but don’t be too concerned about what they are doing.
For a long time, some cleaners believed that they shouldn’t share their secrets since the cleaning community members don’t think sharing their secrets is a good idea.
But in our opinion, you shouldn’t be concerned about this. After all, your goal isn’t to copy them but just have an idea.
But should you really put a lot of effort into figuring this out? Absolutely since your pricing structure directly influences your profit margins.
Some cleaners charge by square footage, while others charge an hourly fee.
Many experts and companies agree that pricing is key to a successful business, no matter how you do it.
Now, how can you determine the price even after looking at competitors and some examples? Well, pricing cleaning services should include:
- Calculating your hourly rate.
- Calculating the hourly rate for employees (if any).
- Consideration of overhead, insurance, or equipment.
- Special services or materials: Making adjustments.
- Estimating profitability.
- Factoring in taxes & fees.
Make sure you have the funds you need
With the budget done, you now know the amount of money it will take to open the cleaning business and keep it running for at least a while.
Now, you have to raise the money or find it in order to start your cleaning business. However, do you have it or know where you can find it?
You would want to use your personal funds to start your business in the ideal world since avoiding debt is your goal.
However, it isn’t always possible, and even if you sell some goods to finance it, we wouldn’t actually recommend it if you have other alternatives.
To start your cleaning business, you might consider the following funding options:
- Personal funds: Transfer the money to a business account before you use any personal funds for the start of the business.
- Crowdfunding: Many new cleaning companies overlook this funding option. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from family and friends before you open your business. The funds can be used to buy equipment and then for prepaid services. Some third parties would also be willing to donate for new projects, although this latter is usually unlikely.
- Credit cards: We don’t recommend that you take on significant amounts of debt in order to start your business. A credit card is usually a better option if you are willing to take on debt instead of going for a loan directly. You can get a 0% APR for 12-18 months if you have excellent credit.
- Personal loan: We recommend that you do not take out a personal loan in order to start a cleaning company. Because the loan is not secured by collateral, the interest rate is usually high, and when it is secured, you have lots to lose if you miss payments. But sometimes, it is the only option.
- Home equity loan: You can get a loan to fund your business if you have equity in your house. The interest rate on this loan will be very low because your home secures it.
If you’re thinking about the usual traditional bank loans or SBA loans, you will have to rethink that.
You can’t apply for traditional bank loans or SBA loans until you have a minimum of three years worth of income and expenses or paid off any equipment. Banks don’t usually lend to startups.
A bank loan or franchise financing may be available if you are franchising. A bank may be able to arrange funding through the franchise, and this is why you would want to consider franchising instead of doing things alone when necessary. If the franchise’s overall failure rate is low, a bank might be willing to finance it, and you won’t have much to lose.
Register your business
It can be confusing to understand the legal requirements for domestic services such as house cleaning, especially when only one person provides the service and clients pay in cash.
The extent of your business (i.e., your revenue) will determine the amount of income reporting and registration you must do.
A $20 cleaning service for a friend’s house once a week doesn’t make it a business.
If you only provide services to your immediate family or friends, it is probably best to wait before you register it because it isn’t necessary.
However, if it starts to be an income that reports more than $100 per month, you must use the IRS’s formal channels to report it.
If you wish to separate your personal and business finances, you have the option of operating a cleaning company as a sole proprietorship or partnership.
You might consider becoming a franchisee for a major cleaning service chain when you are thinking about starting your own cleaning business. This is because you already have brand recognition, policies, and procedures.
You won’t be able to have as much control of your business, however.
It’s possible to work as a cleaner in your own home, but it’s easier for private individuals and businesses to pay others than for businesses to pay employees.
It is essential to register your business and provide tax documentation for cleaning services provided to corporate clients.
Find & Maintain Clients
Online forums and service platforms are becoming more popular, but word of mouth still plays a vital role in the domestic services sector.
What does this have to do to find and maintain clients? Everything since those options (and many more) will be your source to get the deals your cleaning company needs.
Below, we will include two crucial ways to find more clients and guarantee you are going in the right direction.
If you need an idea, references or referrals are the keys.
It can be hard to show prospective clients your best work, so it is a good idea for past customers to give contact information.
Ask satisfied customers to help you get more clients (indirectly, of course) by considering you as an option whenever a friend or family needs cleaning services or if they could leave a review for your business that you could use. That would be amazing as well.
Many home cleaners find new clients through their existing clients. Although you shouldn’t rely on your clients for new work, building a relationship with them can help you gain confidence and let them know about possible opportunities.
Setting Prices & Payment Methods
Setting rates is an important aspect of maintaining and finding clients. HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost to clean a single-family house is $120-$150.
Prices can be affected by where you are located, how competitive your services are, and many other factors. There are three options for pricing cleaning services: hourly, per square footage, or flat.
It doesn’t matter what pricing model you choose. Market research is a great way to make sure your rates are competitive.
You may also wish to invest in Square or another payment processor to accept credit card payments.
Make sure you give as many options as possible, including cash, deposits, and more.
Promote your cleaning business
Market your business to build your client base, or you won’t get too far.
Have you ever met a company that is able to get clients without marketing? We don’t think so.
We know it isn’t as simple as mentioning it, but here are some factors you can consider and follow to succeed in the process.
Create a professional website for home cleaning services: List your services and give prospects an easy way to ask for your services, quotes, and get some extra information.
- Register yourself in the local business directories: Lead generation websites like NextDoor are great places to advertise your business without paying for anything.
- Buy uniforms for people to see it (and show professionalism): Uniforms are essential. It gives your business a professional and trusted appearance. Nobody will take you seriously when you arrive at a house looking like you are cleaning out your own homes. You won’t be trusted with their homes by clients. The uniform doesn’t need to be that elaborate, and you can invest in just a shirt with a logo for now.
- Make a Google My Business Listing: Ask your clients who are happy to give you reviews on Google for you to appear on the top 3 results whenever someone searches for house cleaning services near you.
- Make business cards: Business cards are inexpensive and very effective. You can give them to your prospects and keep some in your pocket.
- Make a Facebook and Instagram Business Account: Social media is an excellent marketing channel to show before and after cleaning photos (while respecting your clients’ privacy) and bring more prospects your way.
- Join your local Facebook group: If you join these groups to show your expertise and not push out advertisements, you will get new leads and clients. Just provide value to your community, teach how you can clean certain items, and spread the importance of a clean home. This is going to be more effective for your company than posting endless advertisements plugging your business.
- Place an advertisement in the local newspaper: Offer your cleaning services in an old-fashioned way yet effective.
- Ask your customers for recommendations: If you offer referral rewards, people will be willing to refer you to their friends and family, but for it, you should establish a healthy boundary that allows you to give your customers something in return.
A referral program might be created that encourages customers to recommend their friends and families through word-of-mouth.
Referring to customers is a great way to increase your business’s sales. You can keep an existing customer and win a new one.
Or you might establish a customer loyalty program that encourages customers to come back for your cleaning services.
Many cleaning companies offer discounts to customers who have completed a certain amount of cleanings. Customers who sign up for recurring monthly services can receive a discount, which will boost your opportunities.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Cleaning Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Cleaning Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Cleaning Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.