How to start a house cleaning business on a budget
“If you use Emotion and Love to drive your sales and business, you will create Loyalty beyond reason. And I promise you that you will 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 tiring 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 part-time.
Explore all aspects of the cleaning service business. From customer service to advertising, taxes, employees, insurance and bonds, what to charge and how to clean your home professionally. Cleaning your own home and professional cleaning are completely different. Learning how to clean professionally takes a lot of time. When a customer pays for your services, they expect to come home to find their home spotless.
Attracting those first customers takes time, persistence and patience. You won’t get a hundred customers overnight.
Attracting those first customers The hardest part of starting your own cleaning service is finding your first customers. Most clients want to know how long you’ve been in business and ask for references. The best thing to do is to let clients know that yes, you are new to the business, but that you have thoroughly researched all aspects of the cleaning business and reassure them that you know what you are doing and that you are fully capable to clean their home to their specifications. Be confident. I cannot stress this enough. Customers like to see trust. It eases their worries and lets them know their home is in good hands.
Referrals: To get some good referrals when you’re starting out, ask some friends or family members if you can clean their home for free or at a discount. The sound of working for free may not be appealing, but it will be worth it to get some good referrals.
When cleaning those first homes, focus on quality, not how quickly you can clean the home. Cleaning effectively takes a lot of time, 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 recheck all the rooms to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Impress those first customers and word of mouth will soon spread.
advertisement Your company’s image is everything. Before you start advertising, decide what image you want to portray on your promotional material. Your image is very important. Be consistent with all your advertising. If you have a logo, be sure to use it on all your promotional materials. I think it’s best to have a website developed before you start advertising. When advertising, stick to the same logo and colors.
Advertise in a local newspaper: Start by placing a text ad in your local newspaper. Try to create an attractive ad. Don’t sell your services on low prices, sell your services on the quality of your work and what you can do for the client that other companies don’t. Competition in cleaning services is high. You need to stand out from the crowd.
Magnetic signs or inscriptions for your vehicle: Placing your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. We use vinyl signs. Lettering looks much more professional than magnetic signs.
Leaflets: You can print nice flyers on your home computer, but I would recommend investing in some professional flyers. Post flyers in hair salons, laundromats, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, etc. Place flyers in the car windows of local grocery stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in the neighborhoods where you would like to work. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them on the front door.
Door hangers: Door hangers are a great way to attract new customers. Choose the neighborhood you’d like to work in and hang the hangers on the doors. When people receive flyers or advertisements in their mailbox, they usually throw them away with the junk mail. But if there’s a hanger on the door, they’ll take the time to look at it.
Business cards: Start handing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards at their counters.
Referral Program: A great way to attract 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 shop for the services they need. Many working women will shop for services while at work. Everyone who has a business should have a website. This shows customers that you are serious about your business and allows them to explore your business at their leisure.
Cleaning preparations: By using all natural products, you can offer your customers healthy cleaning and protect yourself from harsh chemicals. Customers love natural cleaning products with essential oils. They come home to a healthy clean home filled with the wonderful aromas of aromatherapy essential oils.
Tip: Always carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently while cleaning homes. Wear gloves when cleaning bathrooms. You will be exposed to many different germs in clients’ homes.
Remember that most customers 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 you clean. 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 cleaner. This way, you don’t have to carry a heavy vacuum cleaner from house to house.
What should I charge? I mentioned earlier that you should sell your services based on the quality of your work, not your low prices. If your rates are too low, clients will think your work is substandard and that you lack experience. You also want to attract customers who can afford your services. I made the mistake of underestimating my work when I first started. Cleaning is hard work, charge 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 home, and some charge by the square foot. I think it’s better to bill at home rather than hourly. If the client knows they have to pay a certain fee, they don’t care if you spend 2 hours or 5 hours. In addition, your customers will know what they are paying in advance and won’t have to worry about additional costs.
No two houses are alike. And there is no flat fee for all homes. You should clean yourself for some time to gain experience and develop an effective cleaning system. Only you know what you want and need to do. Decide what you need to make per hour to cover all expenses and still make a good profit.
A tip: Make sure that when you start your company, you charge what you would charge if you had employees. Some people make the mistake of not charging when they start out just to get clients, and later when they grow and need to hire help, they don’t make enough money on their houses to pay help. Don’t underestimate your work. Cleaning homes is very hard physical work and you didn’t get into this business to work for nothing.
Cleaning of new construction If you decide to do this type of work, you will need additional equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vacuum, etc. These types of work are usually done by 2 to 3 people. Cleaning new construction requires a lot more cleaning. You may need to remove stickers and labels from windows and shower stalls, sinks and toilets. Some require you to clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans for mopping, floor scrubbing and window cleaning to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area in which you live.
Insurance and bonds. You must be an honest person and somewhat personable. People will have to trust you to be in their homes. Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You must be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance rates depend on your insurance carrier and where you are located. Every person you hire will increase your liability insurance. It’s worth the price. You can pay quarterly or annually. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year. *Note: if you employ employees and cover them under your insurance, they must be a salaried employee, not a subcontractor. If you subcontract them, your insurance won’t cover them. If subcontracted, they are required to carry their own insurance. You
Help with hiring If you start cleaning homes yourself, eventually you will reach the point where you need to expand your business. Start with one 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 promote your business and get more customers. Once you get more clients, you’ll be able to hire more part-time helpers. Eventually, you will be able to stop cleaning yourself and just run the business, which is the only way to grow your business. When training new employees, always either train them yourself or have a lead person train them. Make sure there is a lead person for each cleaning job. Employees tend to relax when they are alone.
Growing your business Eventually, you will get to the point where you have enough employees and management people that you can stop working in your business and start running your business. You will find that after a while it becomes too much to try to clean every day and at the same time give estimates, answer calls, schedule, book, bring in new clients, etc.
Remember that one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. The customer needs to know that they can trust you alone in their home. Once you’ve acquired a few cleaning items, ask customers if you can use them for reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients through referrals. Be reliable. Most customers will want to be set up on a schedule every week or every other week on the same day of the week. Try to always keep the same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, try to reschedule as early as possible to accommodate the cleaning.
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