How to Start a House Cleaning Business on a Tight Budget
“If you use emotion and love to fuel your sales and business, you’ll create loyalty beyond reason. And I promise you’ll build relationships and enjoy a business that exceeds your wildest expectations.”
First of all, before you decide to start your cleaning business, make sure that this type of work is right for you. You will need to be in good physical condition. Cleaning is very hard and strenuous work. You will need to have good customer relationship skills. You will need to have basic office skills and some accounting skills.
If you plan to leave your full-time position to start a cleaning business, make sure you have at least six months of savings. Or keep your full-time job and start working part-time.
Research all aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonds, what to charge and how to clean a home professionally. Cleaning your own home and cleaning professionally are totally different. Learning to clean professionally takes a long time. When a client pays for your services, they expect to return home to a pristine home.
Landing those first customers takes time, persistence, and patience. You won’t get a hundred clients overnight.
Get those first customers The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is getting those first clients. Most clients want to know how long you have been in business and want references. The best thing you can do is let customers know that, yes, you are new to the business but you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and reassure them that you know what you are doing and are capable of cleaning their home to your specifications. Be confident. I cannot stress this enough. Customers love to see confidence. It eases their worries and lets them know that their home is in good hands.
Referrals – To get some good referrals when you start out, ask a few friends or family members if you can clean your house for free or at a discount. The sound of working for free may not be appealing, but getting some good testimonials will be worth it.
When cleaning those first few houses, go for quality, not how quickly you can clean the house. Efficient cleaning is time consuming, but you will get to the point where you can do a thorough cleaning in no time. After cleaning, be sure to go back and double check all the rooms to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Impress those first customers and the word of mouth will spread soon.
Advertising The image of your company is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to represent in your collateral. Your photo is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo, be sure to use it on all of your advertising materials. I think it’s better to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, use the same logo and colors.
Advertise in the local newspaper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to create an eye-catching ad. Don’t sell your services cheaply, sell your services based on the quality of your work and what you can do for the customer that other companies can’t. There is a lot of competition in cleaning service. You have to stand out from the rest.
Magnetic Signs or Labeling for your Vehicle: Having your company name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use vinyl letters. The letters look much more professional than magnetic signs.
Frills: You can print pretty flyers on your home computer, but I suggest you invest in some professional flyers. Hang flyers in Hairdressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Supermarkets, etc. Put flyers on car windows at grocery stores and local businesses. You can even go door-to-door in neighborhoods you’d like to work in. You can’t put them in the mailboxes. but you can put them on the front door.
door hangers: Door hangers are a great way to get new customers. Choose the neighborhood in which you would like to work and hang the signs on the doors. When people receive flyers or advertisements in their mailbox, they usually throw them away with the spam. But if there’s a hanger on the door, they’ll take the time to look at it.
Business letters: Start handing out your business cards to friends and family. You can also ask local businesses if you can leave some cards at their counters.
Referral Program: A great way to get new customers is through a referral program. Offer existing customers a discount when they refer a friend. You can give a discount to your existing customers when the friend uses your services three times.
Website: These days, people live very busy lives, so they use the convenience of the Internet to purchase the services they need. Many working women will purchase services while on the job. Everyone who has a business should have a website. It shows customers that you are serious about your business and allows them to research your business on their own time.
Cleaning products: By using all natural products, you can offer your customers a healthy cleaning experience and protect us against harsh chemicals. Customers love natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a clean, healthy home filled with the wonderful scents of aromatherapy essential oils.
Advice: Always carry hand sanitizer with you and wash your hands frequently while cleaning houses. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to many different germs in clients’ homes.
Remember that most clients prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way, they don’t have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before cleaning. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their homes. These customers will usually have these cleaners on hand for you to use. We almost always use the customers’ vacuum. That way, you don’t have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house.
what to charge I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services on the quality of their work and not on their low fees. If your rates are too low, clients will think that your work is poor and that you are inexperienced. You also want to attract customers who can afford your services. I made the mistake of pricing my work too low when I started. Cleaning is hard work, get paid what you’re worth. As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”.
Some companies charge by the hour, some charge by the room, some charge a flat rate per household, and some charge by the square foot. I think it’s better to charge by address, not by the hour. If a client knows that he has to pay a fixed fee, he doesn’t care if it takes 2 hours or 5 hours. Plus, your customers will know what they’re paying for up front and won’t have to worry about additional fees.
No two houses are the same. And there is no fixed charge for all houses. You have to clean for a while to get some experience and come up with a system to clean efficiently. Only you know what you want and need to do. Decide what you need to earn per hour to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.
An advice: When you start your business, make sure you charge what you would if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of charging less when they start out just to get clients and then when they grow up and need to hire help, they aren’t making enough money at home to pay for the help. Don’t underestimate the price of your work. Cleaning houses is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.
New construction cleaning If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2-3 person jobs. Cleaning new construction requires a lot more cleaning. You may need to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks, and toilets. Some require you to clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans for cleaning, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning fees depend on the area in which you live.
Insurance and sureties. You have to be an honest person and somewhat affable. People will need to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their home, for good reason. Must be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance company and where you are located. Each person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It is worth the cost. You can pay quarterly or annually. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You must renew the bond every year. *Note: If you hire employees and cover them with your insurance, they must be payroll employees and not subcontractors. If you employ them as a subcontractor, your insurance will not cover them. If they are subcontractors, they are required to take out their own insurance. You
RecruitmentHelp If you start by cleaning houses yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start with a part-time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time you need to market your business and get more customers. After you get more clients, you will be able to hire more part-time help. Eventually, you’ll be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just manage the business end, which is the only way you’ll ever be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person on each and every cleaning job. Employees tend to loaf when they are alone.
grow your business Eventually you will get to the point where you have enough employees and lead people and you can stop working on your business and start running it. You will find that after a while it will be too much trying to clean every day and at the same time giving estimates, answering calls, scheduling, doing book work, getting new clients, etc.
Remember that one of the most important requirements for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know that he can trust you alone in her house. After purchasing a few cleaning stalls, ask customers if you can use them as a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them as a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new customers through referrals. Be trustworthy. Most clients will want to set up on a schedule of every week or every other week on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to change to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, be sure to try to reschedule as soon as possible to make up the cleaning.