6 steps to getting started in the cleaning business

March 18, 2022

Getting started in the cleaning business may seem daunting, but Housekeeper.com has got you covered!

There is huge profit potential and minimal startup costs that come with starting a cleaning business. A savvy housekeeping entrepreneur can start a profitable cleaning company with less than $500.

Below are the first steps you need to take to get your housekeeping business off the ground and start making money. Get started by asking yourself the following questions and writing down your answers!

What cleaning services will I provide?

First of all, decide what type of cleaning you want to do. For example, do you prefer residential cleaning services, like cleaning family homes? Maybe you prefer Industrial cleaning where you specialize in cleaning office buildings.

Some other types of cleaning services include :
  • General cleaning : This is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, general maintenance of the house
  • Deep cleaning : This type of cleaning is usually a one-time job where you need to add a little more elbow grease. This is usually for spaces that have not been cleaned for a while and need a full, floor-to-ceiling scrub down.
  • Move-out cleaning : Just as it sounds! Once a space is vacated, you go in and deep clean the area for the next occupants.
  • Construction cleaning : This type of cleaning can be a bit more specialized, and you’ll want a powerful vacuum if you are going to be doing this. Construction clean-up can be done in both residential and commercial spaces and involves cleaning up the residue and mess left over at a construction or renovation job site.

What areas will I provide my cleaning services to?

After you have decided on the type of cleaning and the services you will provide, think about the area you will service. You will want to consider mileage and other costs to travel to and from job locations when deciding on your rates.

How far are you willing to drive, can you walk or take transit, how much is gas, how much are travel tokens? These are all questions to ask yourself when deciding on your housekeeping service area.

How much should I charge for my cleaning services?

First, evaluate your completion. Take a look at other profiles on Housekeeper.com and get an idea of what other cleaners are charging, and what services they are offering.

Once you have a good idea of what your competitors are doing, you can come up with your pricing system.

Some things to consider when deciding on your rates are distance to the job, the type of cleaning products you are using, the size of the home or building you are cleaning, and the amount of cleaning expected.

For general cleaning, a common way to determine rates is by square footage :

To calculate rates by the square foot, you would multiply the cost per square foot by the size of your home or the area you need to be cleaned.

For example : Cost per square foot ($0.11) X Size of your space (1,500) = $165.00

What cleaning tools and products do I buy?

Okay, so you have taken a look at your competition and have created a housekeeping business plan for yourself. Now it is time to buy the cleaning products and tools that will help you provide the 10-star cleaning services you strive for.

To begin with, you are going to need a good vacuum, a mop, lots of microfibre cloths, a scrub brush and some gloves to protect your hands.

When it comes to cleaning products, it’s best to start with surface cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, and floor cleaner.

While there are tons of cleaning products to choose from, baking soda and vinegar are really versatile products that can be used for cleaning. And they are really cheap too!

Baking soda is great for things like eliminating odours, brightening up white laundry, and removing mildew. Learn more on cleaning with baking soda

Vinegar can be used to remove tough, stuck-on grime, clean floors and glass, and even as a disinfectant. Learn more on cleaning with vinegar

Visit our article on products you need when getting started in the cleaning business, for everything you need to know about which tools and products are the best to start off with.

Do I have to be bonded and insured?

Although it is not mandatory to be bonded and insured , in order to sign up on Housekeeper.com, we do recommend it. Being bonded and insured helps protect you and your business against possible theft allegations or customer dissatisfaction with the services you have provided. Consider speaking to an insurance agent about your cleaning business to get an idea of what is available and best for your situation.

Whether you are bonded and insured, or not, we also recommend creating a contract with your clients. This way you will both be on the same page when it comes to the services expected and how much they will cost.

How do I find clients?

Word of mouth, neighbourhood groups, and sites dedicated to finding cleaning clients, like Housekeeper.com , are great places to start looking for clients.

Once you have done a few jobs and clients say they are happy with your work, don’t be afraid to ask them if they have friends and family looking for cleaning services, then ask them to pass your contact information along.

Starting any kind of business can be scary and overwhelming. Like any great idea, you need a plan.

By answering the above questions, before anything else, you will have a solid blueprint for what you need to do to get your small business off the ground and be successful!