5 Different Types of Cleaning Services to Offer

5 Different Types of Cleaning Services to Offer

Looking to stat a cleaning business but wondering what types of cleaning services you can offer?

Well that all depends…It depends on the type of cleaning business you decide to start.

In this article:

  1. Foreclosure Cleanings
  2. Post Construction Cleaning
  3. Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning
  4. Recurring House Cleaning
  5. Vacation Rental Cleaning

 

The Different Types of Cleaning Service’s to offer:

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

 

Foreclosure Cleanings

When deciding on the types of cleaning services to offer, keep in mind that foreclosure cleanings will be one of the most labor-intensive cleaning services you can offer. Many foreclosed homes  have been abandoned and left in ruins. 

 

What to expect when cleaning foreclosure cleanings

Cleaning foreclosures will not be a glamorous job by any means. A foreclosure is where homeowners defaulted on their mortgage and are forced to move out. When a homeowner is past due with their mortgage banks take legal proceedings to take back the home.

Many times, these houses are left in terrible conditions and it would be your job to clean up what was left behind. Many times these homes are left empty for long periods of time before the bank is able to list it for sale. Therefore these homes can become victim to vandalizing.

To give some perspective, when I was in College my grandmother bought and sold foreclosures. She hired me to help with the cleaning. We cleaned houses where families left all their belongings. When I say all belongings, I mean furniture, closets full of clothes, and even albums filled with family photos. We had to rent large dumpsters and haul all the belongings out of the home.

Some homes we cleaned had been broken into and trashed. There would be graffitied walls and items left behind were scattered everywhere. We would find broken bottles and at one home we even found a pile of human feces….YUCK! So as I said, these types of cleanings will not be glamorous and will require heavy duty cleaning.

These reasons are why you can charge hundreds/thousands of dollars to clean foreclosures. 

 

Equipment/Supplies needed to clean foreclosures.

As you can imagine from the picture I created above, foreclosure cleanings require heavy duty supplies and equipment to help clean up the mess. Equipment you will want to get will include a heavy-duty shop vac to vacuum up debris, a heavy-duty steam cleaner to disinfect and clean walls and surfaces to remove built up grim, a truck or trailer to help haul away furniture and garbage.

As far as cleaning supplies, foreclosure cleanings will require a heavy duty degreaser, mildew remover, lime and rust remover. When cleaning with these cleaners, make sure to have good ventilation and wear a mask to lessen the amount you will inhale.

 

How much you can make cleaning foreclosures

You can charge $100s or $1,000’s to clean a foreclosed home. the amount you charge will depend on how dirty a home is, how much you will need to haul away and the size of the home.

It can take a week or longer to clean a foreclosure. When first starting out, it is best to estimate the number of hours it will take to clean and charge an hourly rate. Then add a disclaimer, letting the owner know that your price is an estimate and can vary. 

Before pricing a foreclosure clean, make sure to do a thorough walk-a-round to avoid many surprises. Take note of any equipment rentals you may need and add the cost of the equipment rental to the cleaning service price. For example, if you have to rent a large dumpster bin to haul junk add the cost of the dumpster to the cost of the cleaning service.

 

How to market foreclosure cleaning services

With foreclosure cleanings, you will not be marketing to homeowners. Instead, you will want to market to banks and realtors. Look for local realtors who specialize in foreclosures and begin building relationships with them. Contact banks and speak with their foreclosure departments, find the person in charge of cleaning contracts and start building a relationship. 

It is also helpful to attend local networking events with your chamber of commerce. Realtors and banking professionals almost always attend these types of events to network with local businesses. Find your local professional realtor associations and attend their networking events. You can even develop a training presentation on property cleaning restoration. 

 

5 types of cleaning services to offer when starting a cleaning business

Post Construction Cleaning Service

With Post Construction cleaning you will be cleaning homes just after they have been built or renovated. You will be cleaning up after construction crews have left.

If you specialize in construction cleaning, you can offer to clean both the inside and the outside of the home. Many contractors also will hire cleaners to come clean the home in 2 phases.

The first clean would be after all the carpentry is completed and just before finishes like the flooring go in. The second clean would be the final detail clean, just before the homeowner moves in.

 

What to expect when cleaning post construction homes

Cleaning post construction homes requires hard work and detailed work. If you choose this type of cleaning service to offer, you will be cleaning up construction debris. This may require hauling the debris off the site as well.

To give you an idea of the cleaning think about when you last hung a picture. When you put the hole in the wall, you probably noticed the dry wall dust just from drilling that one hole. Well, after a construction crew leaves, the home is covered in that drywall dust and it will be your job to clean it up.

Your job will be to remove the saw dust, paint or glue from all surfaces including walls, doors, baseboards, appliances, cabinetry, windows and windowsills, light fixtures and of course the flooring. Things like excess grout may need to be removed from tiles, paint splatters may need to be removed from cabinetry, glue may need to be removed from laying wood floors, and factory stickers may need to be removed from newly installed windows.

 

Equipment/Supplies needed to clean foreclosures

Post construction cleaning will require equipment to help you to haul debris away and clean up the construction residue. A good quality shop vac that can pick up the construction dust with a good filter will be needed. Make sure the shop vac has attachments so you can vacuum inside cabinet drawers, window sills and other hard to reach areas.

Bring cleaning supplies that can remove left over glue, grout, or other finishing residue without ruining the surfaces. Make sure you know what surfaces the cleaning supplies are safe to use on. When I first started, I had cleaned cabinets with a cleaner that scratched the cabinetry. Some of the doors had to be replaced, it was not a fun situation to be in. 

Having a truck and trailer will be useful if you have to haul large debris from the construction site. Bring a tall ladder to reach light fixtures or tall windows. 

 

How much you can make cleaning new home/post construction cleaning

As you can see, cleaning a post construction home can involve several man hours due to the tedious tasks of cleaning construction dust and chemicals left behind by construction crews. It can take more than 1 day to clean depending on the size of the home and would require more than 1 cleaner. Because of this, you will be able to charge more for these types of cleanings.

According to home advisor, the national average for these types of cleaning services is $445.00. Your price will of course vary on the size of the home and the scope of work that will be expected. You can also add additional tasks such as exterior cleaning of windows, yard waste, or pressure washing.

 

How to market new home/construction cleaning services

For new home/construction cleaning services you will want to market to construction firms, general contractors, handy man services and other construction related businesses. These businesses will contract you out to clean homes that they have built or renovated. The homeowners rarely hire the cleaning service for these types of cleans.

To market to construction related businesses make calls or stop by offices to meet either the contractor or whoever oversees hiring subcontractors. The idea is to build a solid relationship so that you can service all their projects that they finish.

It is also very beneficial to visit local chamber events to network and make connections with local contractors. It may be easier to start with smaller firms if you do not have the crew to service multiple projects a week. As your reputation builds you can land larger clients and hire more employees.

 

Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning Service

Move-In/Move-Out will be less manual labor than foreclosure cleanings and construction cleaning businesses. Homeowners generally leave the home voluntarily whether they are selling the home or if they are ending a lease/renting agreement.

In each case, there is incentive to leave the home in good condition. But these types of cleanings do take longer to clean than a regular cleaning service where you come in ever 2 weeks to clean.

The homes will be empty or should be when go in to clean a move-in/move-out clean. They will take longer to clean than a recurring house cleaning service would take. You’ll be expected to clean out cabinets/drawers, remove smudges off walls, doorways and trim, dust and clean high to reach areas such as vents, ceilings, and ceiling fans. Expect to clean windowsills and window tracks.

 

Equipment/Supplies needed to clean Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings

Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings require some heavier tools. For your cleaning supplies make sure you have a heavy-duty all-purpose cleaner, mildew remover and rust stain remover.

For tools and equipment, you’ll need razor blade (a professional tip: this is a great way to remove years of built-up soap scum). Shop vac with hose attachments. This will come in handy when needing to vacuum out cabinets and heavy-duty debris that you don’t want to ruin a residential vacuum with.

A quality high powered steam cleaner that can help clean surfaces and flooring quickly and efficiently. If you get one that has some pressure behind it, you can blast out grim in crevice’s like faucets, drains and toilet seats. A carpet cleaner is not necessary but would be a great upsell if you have a machine to clean carpets with.

 

How much you can make cleaning move-in/move-out cleaning services.

According to home advisor a move out clean can start at $110 for a small apartment up to $650 for a larger 3,500 square foot home. The larger the home, the longer the cleaning service will cost. You can also to upsells such as carpet cleaning, baseboard painting, small handy man works such as filling in holes in the wall, replacing doorknobs, fixing cabinet doors, etc.

 

How to market Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning

For Move-In/Move-Out Cleanings you will want to market to Realtors, property management firms and apartment complexes. These businesses will be the ones handling most move-in’s and out transactions. For apartment complex’s do research on their unit sizes. Start by sending in a letter introducing your business and quoting a price per unit.

Property management firms manage rentals of single-family homes, reach out to them to service their rental properties. Relators are either buying or selling homes. Visit local chamber events to network and make connections with local relators to service their home listings.

 

 

Recurring House Cleaning Service

Recurring house cleaning services will be the easiest homes to clean. For the most part there won’t be many surprise’s, or heavy-duty cleaning. You will clean the home either on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Therefore, the cleaning will be regular and will not require a lot of heavy-duty cleaning supplies and labor.

This type of house cleaning business is the easier to build a consistent income. When a customer signs up for weekly cleaning at $90/week, you can count on that income each week. That one client will make you $4,680/ year. With each new client that you bring on, your business will continue to grow.

Instead of building relationships with other businesses, you will build relationships with each of the homeowners. Provide a quality, trustworthy and friendly service and you will be able to exponentially grow your business with each new client.

 

Equipment/Supplies needed to clean recurring house cleaning services.

The great thing about only cleaning recurring house cleanings is you will not need to invest in expensive equipment since you will not be cleaning heavy duty jobs. Therefore, a residential vacuum and a steam mop is all you will need in the way of equipment. For cleaning supplies a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber towels will go a long way for these types of cleans.  

You’ll want to get good quality dusters one that will reach high places such as ceiling fans and a small hand duster for surfaces. Because you will be cleaning the home frequently, there will be little need for heavy duty dusting with wet cloths and cleaner.

 

How much you can make cleaning recurring house cleaning services.

Each cleaning service will bring in anywhere from You will make less money with each cleaning service. $65 – $200 a cleaning service. The less frequent you clean, the more you will charge and the larger the home the more you will charge.

To scale this type of business, it is best to develop a cleaning checklist that you will perform at each visit. This will make it easier to set your cleaning prices. Any services outside of that checklist you would charge more for. This way too, you can charge a flat fee based on the size of the home and charge the same rate each cleaning service.

 

How to market for residential house cleaning services

To market your recurring house cleaning business, you will target homeowners. Networking events that are more focused on homeowners and working professionals will be your target. Local online marketing will be beneficial. Creating a website and linking to local review sites will be great exposure to market to homeowners looking for recurring house cleaning.

You can also target and network with large employers. Reaching out to HR departments to create a relationship and possibly offering free cleaning service to the employee of the year.

 

 

Vacation Rental Cleaning Service

Vacation rentals are more common in high tourism areas. Where I live on the coast of Florida, most of the homes lining the beaches are vacation rentals. So, cleaning businesses can focus solely on cleaning vacation rentals.

Vacation rentals generally have to be cleaned in a very tight timeframe. If you think of a hotel, they have check out at 10 am and by 3 pm the new renters are checking in. Therefore, with these types of cleaning services, you have to clean all areas of the home, plus change out linens and make beds. In addition to cleaning, you may be asked to stock supplies such as soap and paper products.

To save time, some cleaning services will bring clean linens with them and bring back the used linens and wash them after the cleaning. This way they are not doing laundry on top of cleaning.

For the most part these types of cleaning services are predictable and don’t require heavy duty cleaning. Most renters want to get their deposit back so, the home is generally left in a clean manner. There may be the occasional mess, we once cleaned after a 4th of July weekend. There were bottles left everywhere and smudges on walls and surfaces. We had to do a thorough deep clean, and there was so much trash we had to haul bags and bags away.

 

Equipment/Supplies needed to clean recurring house cleaning services

With vacation rental cleanings you will not normally have to use heavy duty cleaning materials. Most supplies used for recurring house cleaning will suffice for vacation rental cleanings. If you clean in an area where most floorings are tile, it would be a good idea to invest in a good steam cleaning mop. Not like the upright steam cleaners, but those that use steam vapor. These types of steamers cut your mopping time drastically.

A larger industrial broom is also helpful if you have to keep outside patios or garages swept.

 

How much you can make cleaning vacation rental cleaning services

Vacation rentals do take longer to clean than a recurring residential house cleaning does. Not because the cleaning is harder, but because of the time to replace the linens and restock supplies.

Because of this, the cleaning services will cost slightly more than what can be charged for recurring house cleaning service. Vacation rental cleaning fees can range from $75 – $200 per clean. This depends on the size of the home and the scope of the cleaning. If you are expected to stock paper products and soups, you will add the cost of the restock in your cleaning price. It is normal to charge a flat fee for this. For example, $10 to restock toilet paper, $5 to restock soap.

 

How to market for residential house cleaning services

To market your vacation rental cleaning business, you will target realtors who specialize in managing vacation rentals. Like move-in/move-out cleanings, you will be working more with realtors than with homeowners.

To find individual rental owners, such as those listed on AirBnB you can list your business on listing site such as TurnOverBnB.

 

 

To recap, here are the different types of cleaning services you can offer when starting a cleaning business

  1. Foreclosure Cleanings
  2. Post Construction Cleaning
  3. Move-In/Move-Out Cleaning
  4. Recurring House Cleaning
  5. Vacation Rental Cleaning

 

 

Well Kept Clutter provides resources and a knowledge base to entrepreneur’s looking to start a house cleaning business.

 

Sign up for our FREE resource library filled with forms to help you with pricing, sample client forms, house cleaning business checklists, expense and income tracking forms, and more.

 

Cleaning Business Taxes

Cleaning Business Taxes

This guide is to give you an overview of house cleaning business taxes. 

So, I don’t know any house cleaning business owner who started their business to do their own small business taxes. If I had to guess, you neither did you. In fact the words small business taxes probably scare you? Well don’t worry they scared me too.

That is why I created this guide to provide my experience and what I have learned as a business owner. Now, I am by no means a tax accountant so article does not take the place of hiring an accountant. These are guidelines from my experience as a House Cleaning business owner only. 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide general overview of house cleaning business taxes, which should not be construed as professional, financial, tax or professional advice. These are my personal opinions only from my experience as a residential house cleaning business owner.

 

Hiring Accountant:

So, now that we established I am not a tax accountant, but just providing my experience as a residential house cleaning business owner. The first step you need to do in completing your cleaning business taxes is to hire an accountant.

Actually, I thought I could do my own taxes because I previously worked in accounting and auditing before starting my business. I thought, how hard could it be?

Well I got busy and did not realize business taxes have different deadlines than personal taxes. So I filed late and managed to rack up a $1700 tax bill because of it. Yeah, so hire an accountant.

Accountants do not cost as much money as you may think. And if you keep your finances organized as I mentioned above, they will not require many hours to file your returns. 

 
How to save money on your accounting fees

The best way to save money on your accounting fees is to keep up with your bookkeeping through out the year. By doing this you will be saving your accountant lots of time 

What that means is, you are recording all of your expenses and your earnings in a nice organized way that is easy for your accountant to determine the total amount of all of your expenses and all of your earnings.

So then, they just have to take that information and complete your tax returns. If you have a box of receipts and have not recorded them in an accounting software or spreadsheet then they will have to spend the time to do that for you. 

 

Get access to my FREE Resource Library to download a copy of my BOOKKEEPING WORKSHEETS (a client deposit logs and an expense tracking form) to help keep track of your bookkeeping through out the year

 

 

Choose a business structure

Your business structure will determine how and what forms you file your business taxes on. So before you file your cleaning business taxes you need to choose your business structure

House Cleaning businesses come in all different shapes and sizes. Make sure to always consult with an Accountant first before choosing your structure. They can help walk you through the best options for your business and personal situations. 

Before you talk to your accountant you can do some research on the different business structures to get a feel for what you may be leaning towards

There are many different options…

The Small Business Administration does a good job comparing each of the different types of structures. You can view that here.

 

Separate Personal Finances from Business Finances

Before you start making and spending money in your cleaning business you must separate your business money from your personal money. To do this, you will need to open a business checking account. 

By having a separate checking account it will be easier to see how much money is coming in and how much is going out. When you mix funds, it will be easier to ‘loose’ tax deductions. Your business expenses will get lost in your personal transactions making your tax deductions smaller. 

 

Tax Deductions for Maid Services

Tax deductions are business costs that may be used to reduce your taxable earnings, therefore reducing your tax bill. The rules and laws can change each year, so it is important that you keep up to date on them. 

Home Office

If you complete business functions inside your home you may be eligible for a home office deduction. These areas of the home you use solely for business purposes may be tax deductible. Talk to your accountant to see if this is an option for you. Some questions to consider are:

  • Do you store cleaning supplies in your home?
  • Do you wash towels in your home?
  • Do you complete office tasks.

Vehicle to travel to and from the business

There are 2 separate ways to handle your vehicle expense. Either have a vehicle designated just for business use or you can use your personal vehicle and claim a standard mileage deduction.              

Expense all 

Larger cleaning businesses may purchase a vehicle for the use of business. If this is the case you can pay for all of the gas and vehicle expense straight from your business account. 

Standard mileage deduction

But most of you may not be running a business large enough to purchase a business vehicle. Instead if I were to guess you are using your personal vehicle to drive to and from your clients homes.

If this is the case, then you would not be paying for your vehicle expense directly from your business accounts. Therefore could instead claim the standard mileage deduction.        

Road Tolls

Do you have drive on any roads that require toll fees? If so, don’t forget to include them in your cleaning business taxes. 

In Florida we have an electronic toll system (called the Sun Pass) where we can go online and down load all tolls that we have paid. This makes it a little easier tracking toll expenses.

Cell phone

Do you use your cell phone to take client calls or to quote cleaning services? If so, a portion of your cell phone bill could be used as a tax deduction. 

Charitable contributions

Did you donate a basket to your child’s school auction or a local event? Or did you donate a cleaning service to a cancer patient who is unable to clean their home at this time? If so the value of that basket or free cleaning is a marketing expense.

Professional Services

More than likely you do not have a lawyer or accountant on staff. If you hire an accountant to to file your taxes, or a lawyer to help develop your cleaning contract, as a cleaning business owner you can deduct those services. Make sure you save your receipts and record all fees for professional services.  

Client Gifts

Did you buy small gifts for each of your clients for the holiday season? If so the cost of those gifts are a business expense and can be deducted from your business taxes. As always, make sure you save your receipts and record each expense. 

Business License and fees

Some counties or states require house cleaning businesses to apply and pay business license fees. If you run your business in an area that requires a business license, the fees that you pay are tax deductible. So make sure each time you pay you renew your license with your state and or county you save your receipt and record it. 

Interest or Loans

Do you have a credit card or took out a small business loan and have to pay interest? If so, the interest you are paying is a business expense and could be eligible as a tax deduction for your cleaning business.

Taxes

Did you know the taxes you pay are also a business deduction. So make sure you don’t forget about those. 

Business Training resources and fees

Did you attend any paid training webinars, take any certifications or purchase any training materials (like my Maid Services Guide to Cleaning Professionally). If so, save those receipts for your cleaning business taxes.

Training expenses are business expense and can be used as a tax deduction for your cleaning business.

 

House Cleaning business taxes checklist

 

Track Expenses

Always track every expense. This way you know how much money you are spending on your business. The obvious expenses include all cleaning supplies, any equipment you purchase. 

Save all receipts. It can be easy to run to Wal-Mart on your way to a job to pick up a cleaner you ran out of or that you forgot to pack for the day. Make sure you save all of those receipts. To help with this keep a small receipt holder in your vehicle. This way when you get out of Wal-Mart you can stick the receipt right in with others.

Some expenses you may forget about:

  • App’s on your cellphone that you purchase for your business use
  • Printing expenses such as ink or paper used to print out client forms or letters
  • Your email service provider if you use one to send out newsletters
  • Web hosting, if you have a website and pay for hosting this expense is usually paid a year or 2 in advance (don’t forget to add it as an expense when this happens)

 

Track Revenue

Always track your revenue. Without tracking your revenue you will never know how much money you are making from your house cleaning jobs. 

A simple way I would track my revenue was by having a calendar of who I cleaned for with the dollar amount of the cleaning fee. 

 

 

File and Pay your taxes on time

Make sure you ARE paying your taxes. It may be tempting to not claim all of your cleaning earnings, especially those paid in cash to avoid paying taxes. But this is never a good idea. Also, this is why its good to have a separate business account as I mentioned above. So you can actually see how much money you are earning cleaning houses.

If you do not pay or file your taxes on time, you can easily collect hefty fines. I once filed my business taxes late because I did not pay attention to filing date. I racked up $1700 in tax bills. I lost a lot of money. After that I hired an accountant who knew what he was doing and never filed taxes late again. I learned that filing taxes was not my thing!

 

Save a portion of your earnings for the unknown 

A smart business owner will save a portion of their earnings in a ‘rainy day’ fund. This is used for un expected events that you do not plan for. Having this fund can be the difference between a business who can make it long term verses a business who has to shut down when things get rough.

So remember that time when the world got COVID-19 and the country shut down? You probably weren’t able to clean houses, am I right? Well that is the rainy day that you wish you stashed away a portion of your earnings. 

Having a cushion, protects you and your business from unknowns that can cost you unexpected money or business loss. 

 

Get access to my FREE Resource Library to download a copy of my cleaning business tax checklist (a client deposit logs and an expense tracking form) to help keep track of your bookkeeping through out the year

Pro Tips for Running a Successful Residential Cleaning Business

Pro Tips for Running a Successful Residential Cleaning Business

I have compiled all of my best tips for running a successful residential cleaning business into 1 area for you to read through. I hope you find it helpful!

There is a lot of information in this post, be sure to pin it so that you come back periodically. The more you implement each of these practices the more successful your residential cleaning business will be!

Pro tips on running a successful residential cleaning business

So, What does a successful residential cleaning business look like?

A successful residential cleaning business is one that

  • Retains their clients. Basically clients aren’t jumping ship and leaving you.
  • Has continuous growth in the number of clients each month.
  • Makes a profit with each cleaning service, meaning there is enough money to pay for supplies, employees, marketing and office expenses, insurance and travel expenses, and still have money left over to pay you.

Generally your profits should be about 10% of your revenue.

Does this sound like your House Cleaning business??? If not continue reading to get it there.

Visit my other Posts for more information on ruining a successful Cleaning Business:

Pro Tips for Running a Successful Residential Cleaning Business

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

#1 Keep a professional image. 

Inviting a business into your home is personal. Homeowners want to know they can trust you.  Presenting yourself in a professional manner 100% of the time will help build that trust. 

#2 Wear a uniform. 

If you are just starting out and can not afford shirts with your company name, you can buy a solid color polo shirts or T-shirts.  I did this in the beginning of my business.

#3 Don’t let acquaintances take advantage of you

Don’t let friends and acquaintances guilt you into cleaning their homes for less than you would charge other clients. Real friends will know your value and pay you what you are worth.

#4 Keep your supply list consistent. 

Choose quality over cheaper options. This will keep your cleaners effective and your clients surfaces safe. To see what products I used in my Business, and where to get them, check out my Recommendations Page.

#5 Have a consistent cleaning process. 

You want to provide a quality service in the least amount of time.  You will achieve this by cleaning with the same cleaning process for every home you go into.

#6 NEVER BID FOR A JOB. 

There is this saying in the cleaning industry, if you must bid for a cleaning job set your price 2.5 times more than your normal.  The reason being is, you do not want that job! 

#7 Have the right tools. 

Make sure you have the tools to complete the job. If you do not have the proper tools, you will not be able to properly clean a home. Don’t show up to a house without a vacuum and mop! Trust me it happens 🙂

#8 Service your equipment every night.

Service your equipment nightly to make sure it is in tip top shape. This will serve 2 purposes. One, your equipment will last longer, saving you money. Two, this will ensure you are bringing clean equipment into your client’s homes.

#9 Put yourself out there.

Tell everyone you meet that you are a small business owner of a Fantastic Cleaning service! You never know when you’ll meet your next client. This includes your entire email list and phone contacts. Don’t be afraid to reach out to all of your family and friends and ask for a referal.

#10 Order cleaning supplies in bulk.

Don’t waste money on buying individual cleaning bottles.  Find a quality cleaning product and purchase in gallon size.  Buying in bulk will save you money increasing your profit margin.

#11 Don’t undercut yourself. 

Make sure the prices you are charging will result in profit.  NEVER work for less than what you are worth.  In the beginning it takes time, but make sure you know how much you need to charge to make a profit. Otherwise you will never make money with your business. 

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#12 Don’t overspend with fancy tools and marketing. 

If you can’t afford it, don’t make the purchase.  My first year I spent $225 a month on an ad in a community newspaper. I was promised huge exposure. I never got ONE call from that ad!!! It was a huge mistake and cost more money than I could afford and took away money I should have spent on other advertising, like google ad words

Most of my clients came from free or low-cost marketing efforts.  If you are first starting out, $225 a month on an ad is WAY out of your price range.

#13 Utilize several forms of marketing.

To be a successful residential cleaning business you need to bring in new clients. Unfortunately there is not just one solution out there that will bring in all your clients. You will need to use several marketing activities such as print, web, editorial, networking, and client referrals to  help you bring in more clients.

#14 Use Facebook for FREE advertising. 

Join local groups and create a Business account to help spread the word to your local community.  You can also use it as a platform for customers to leave reviews.

#15 Have a positive attitude and be Happy!

No one likes to stick around unhappy or negative people. If you are having a bad day, keep it at home. Put on your smile and greet your customers positively.

#16 Never Stop Learning

Learn about the industry, learn the latest products, learn about running a business, learn marketing techniques … There are so many things to learn that you can apply instantly to your business.

#17 Treat Each Home as your Own

Always clean each home as if it were yours. Excellent customer service is what will keep clients coming back each month. Clean thoroughly, try not to break anything, and use quality supplies.

#18 Develop business systems

Developing office functions that can run without you will give you more time to grow your business. Develop systems for accounting, scheduling, communication with customers and others.

What Well Kept Clutter Readers are saying

  • I got involved more in my community like volunteering two consecutive monthly deep cleans to local cancer patient. it has been absolutely one of the most rewarding things I’ve have ever done but I have also acquired several new clients in a very short period because of it. The new clients have either been the patient’s family members or through the patients in some way. – Gwen Sweeny
  • Be on time! – Hebony Caldwell
  • Offer a discount for military personnel – Cristina Powers
  • Make contacts everywhere you go and always leave your cards. – Krissy from Junnie & Krissy’s Cleaning http://www.junniekrissycleaning.c1.biz/
  • Get personal with your clients they share things that they enjoy with their friends – Jamie from Santa Cruz Cleaning Solutions LLC

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it was helpful and that you have many take always to start running a successful residential cleaning business.


If you have your own Pro Tips that worked for you please share! To submit your top Tip, click on the button below and fill out the form. I will add it to the post.

Cleaning Business Taxes

Maid Service Bookkeeping: A Beginners Guide.

I wanted to write this post because I have learned that many Maid Service owners lack the knowledge of bookkeeping for their small businesses. With a background in small business accounting, I felt inclined to educated small Cleaning Business owners on Bookkeeping! Bookkeeping is one of the most crucial tasks you can do for your Cleaning business.

I often hear, I clean by myself with no employees, I do not need to record my transactions. Or I have heard, but my accountant does my taxes for me, I do not need to do my bookkeeping. Isn’t that what the accountant is for? No! You are in business to make money, but if you do not track your financials you will never know how much money your Cleaning Business is making.

Whether you clean by yourself and have no employees or you have several employees cleaning daily for you, having organized books and knowing where your money is going is crucial to your profitability.  And it doesn’t take an accountant to record the transactions.

Haven’t started your Maid Service yet? Read my Complete Guide on Starting and Running a Maid Service.

Do I need to do Bookkeeping for my Maid Service?

YES!!!! Let me ask you a few questions…

  • How much money do you make per cleaning service?
  • What are you spending on cleaning supplies?
  • What is your income after cost of goods sold?
  • How much does it cost to clean 1 house?
  • How much does it cost to get 1 new regularly occurring client?

The answer to these questions help you scale your business so that you are always making a profit. When I ask maid services, How much income does your cleaning business earn? Most answer this question telling me the total they collect cleaning houses. But did you know there is so much more to Income than the Revenue you collect from your clients.

What is Bookkeeping?

What is bookkeeping anyway?  Bookkeeping is the recording of the financial transactions in your business.  When you buy cleaning supplies you record the expense. And when you collect money from a client, you record the revenue. See, NOT SCARY at ALL!

A business owner does not need to know how to prepare Income Tax reports, how to file quarterly taxes, or how to create financial reports. These tasks can be done by your Certified Accountant.

How to get your Maid Service started with Bookkeeping

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Bookkeeping checklist for maid services

 

Separate Personal Finances from Business Finances

To keep your cleaning business financials organized, it is important to separate your business accounts from your personal accounts.  It becomes VERY difficult to separate out expenses and track income when you are depositing payments into your personal account and buying supplies from your personal accounts.

Open a Business Checking Account

I recommend at the minimum to open a business checking account.  Most banks offer free business checking accounts.  Start with your bank you already use.  Look online or make an appointment to see what they offer for business checking accounts.  If they do not offer a free account look elsewhere.  There are plenty of banks offering free business checking, therefore you should not be paying for a checking account.

Open a Business Credit Card

You can also open a business credit card as well. If you decide to open a business credit card you will want to ensure you are paying it off each month.  Look for credit cards that offer money back.  One credit card I utilized was Amazon Prime card.  Because I ordered some of my supplies from Amazon, I was able to receive 5% back on my purchases.  Other credit cards, similar to Amazon Prime, will also offer money back on gas and other purchases.

Follow these rules when utilizing Credit Cards and avoid unnecessary expenses. You never want to be caught carrying debt and paying high interest expense

  1. Payoff the balance each month, interest can be as high as 20% these can add up quickly.
  2. Look for credit cards that have cash back offers and take advantage of them.
  3. Only use your business account for business related expenses.

Basic bookkeeping tasks for your Maid Service

The essential tools needed for Maid Service Bookkeeping

  1. Excel (or other spreadsheet program like Google Sheets).
  2. Copies of your bank and credit card statements
  3. Copies of your deposit slips
  4. Cleaning Logs
  5. Mileage Logs

Fancy Tools you can get as your Maid Service Grows

  • Quickbooks Online. plans starting at $7.00/month
  • Wave Apps. Plans starting at Free for a basic accounting package, charges for payroll and credit card processing.
  • ZOHO. Plans starting at $9.00/month for basic accounting package

 

Steps to getting started with Bookkeeping for your Cleaning Business

Record your revenue

You should know how much money you are bringing in each day, week, month, and year.  By knowing what your maid service’s revenue is, you will be able to set realistic goals to help you to grow your company.

Create a Cleaning Log

The first step in tracking your revenue for your maid service is to create a cleaning log. Keeping a detailed cleaning log serves two purposes. For one, you will know how much revenue you or your employees are bringing in each day. Second, it will tell you how long it takes you to clean a home.

Labor costs are your #1 expense as a Maid Service owner. Therefore it is SUPER important to know your cleaning times. And make sure they are not running over budget.

Your Cleaning log should include
  1. Date
  2. Clients name
  3. The start time and end time
  4. How much the cleaning fee was.

Keep a written log in the vehicle with you our your cleaners. Update the cleaning log after you have cleaned each clients homes. This will ensure the accuracy of your data. If you keep a client schedule for the year, then you should already have all of this information in one spot.

Note: It will be important to follow up promptly with your clients who did not pay on cleaning day.  It is costly to perform cleaning services; therefore, don’t get caught carrying balances for your clients. A cleaning business should not wait for payments.

Want to find out how to bring in more Revenue? Read these helpful articles:

All revenue should be tracked by client and by month. You can do this using an Excel spreadsheet or an accounting software. This can be done weekly in batches. Use your cleaning log sheets to help you record your revenue for the week.

Create a Revenue Tracking Form

Record all payments you have received from clients each week. If you are using an Excel Spreadsheet it should include the following:

  • Rows for each day of the month
  • Columns for each client serviced
  • Totals by Client
  • Totals by Month

Revenue tracking sheets tell you how much revenue each client is bringing in. It is also a great goal setting tool! By tracking how many cleanings you are doing a week, you can set goals each month of how many cleanings you have. If you know you cleaned 10 homes a week, set a goal to clean 15 the next. Each month you can watch the number of clients increase and your revenue! It is quite fun 🙂

Having trouble knowing what to charge for house cleaning fee’s read this blog post: What to Charge for House Cleaning Service. The article goes in depth on setting your cleaning fee’s also includes a free pricing worksheet for you to use.

Review Cleaning Times

Because payroll costs will be your #1 expense, you will want to control how long it takes you to clean a home. When you first start your cleaning business, you should have established your pricing matrix. In establishing your pricing matrix, you should have defined your cleaning times.

Using your pricing sheet, compare the expected cleaning times of each home you cleaned to the actual time it took to clean. If you are going over in area’s you need to figure out why. Make sure you are following a consistent cleaning regime and not wasting time.

When you first meet and provided a price to your client, you should have estimated total cleaning time and cost of the cleaning. This is where having a consistent pricing formula and consistent cleaning system is so important. There should not be a large deviation in cleaning times of homes of similar size.

Record your Expenses

Record bank account and/or credit card transactions

If you are using Excel, you can create an Expense worksheet to record your monthly expenses. Your worksheet should include separate your expenses into categories you can track easily.

For example you should track how much you spend on:

Your worksheet should include the Date of the transaction, the description of where you made the purchase (Amazon, Walmart …), what was purchased (cleaning supplies, towels, advertising …). To tie it up, your Spreadsheet should add add up each category and total out for each month and each year.

If you are using an online accounting program, it should have the capability to link with your bank account so that you can quickly download the transactions.  Once transactions are downloaded into the program, you will then label each transaction based on what was purchased.

Example: You purchased your all-purpose cleaner from Amazon, this transaction would be recorded as Cleaning Supplies. 

Equipment like vacuums and steam mops should be recorded as Equipment and is considered Capital.  This equipment can be depreciated over the expected life of the item.  Depreciation is an expense and will decrease your tax liability.  You do not have to worry about recording depreciation, your tax accountant should be doing this when completing your year end tax and financial statements.

Tracking Cost of Goods Sold

If you are using an Excel Spreadsheet, you will want to separate out Cost of Goods Sold from all other business expenses.  Cost of Goods Sold is the direct costs for you to clean a home.  These expenses include cleaning supplies, driving expense from each client’s home, and labor cost (whether you or an employee is cleaning).

Cost of Goods Sold are important because you want to know how much it costs to clean a home.  This will be instrumental in setting your prices.  It will provide you the information you need to know of how much money you will have left over to pay overhead costs and to pay yourself profits.

If your Cost of Goods Sold are too high you have 3 choices:
  1. Charge more for cleaning services
  2. Buy less supplies
  3. Reduce payroll

Reconcile your transactions

At the end of the month your bank and/or credit card company will send you a statement. At this time, you will want to reconcile all of the transactions into your your accounting program.

Reconciling is: Comparing your bank records to your receipts. That’s it! I remember I use to be so scared of the word. But it is so simple to do if you have recorded your transactions through out the month in either an Excel Worksheet or accounting program.

To reconcile, you will take your back statement or credit card statement. Going down the list of transaction, and comparing it to your expense and revenue worksheets, you will check off each transaction. Make note of any transactions that do not match or you did not make. You will want to call your bank to research it.

Track your mileage and transportation

There are 2 ways to record the expense of your vehicle and transportation. You can claim actual expense or you can claim standard mileage.

  1. When claiming actual expense is where you track all expenses related to your vehicle. This includes gas, repairs, maintenance, any lease payments or depreciation.
  2. When claiming standard mileage you track your mileage from when you drive to and from a customers home.

Either method you choose, if you are using your own vehicle, or are reimbursing your cleaners mileage, it is important to keep precise records of mileage used.  Mileage and vehicle expense can be one of your largest tax write off’s for your maid service, therefore you will want to keep records of all of your travel so that you can save on your taxes.

Standard Mileage Deduction

In my maid service I did not invest in company vehicles, instead, my employees used their own vehicle and the business reimbursed them the mileage. We reimbursed the employees using the IRS’s mileage rate.

Currently, the IRS allows 56 cents per mile. When you claim this deduction, it does not mean you get 56 cents back from the IRS. What it does is reduces your tax liability. Subsequently, if are not recording and writing off mileage you will be paying more income tax than you should.

Key rules when recording mileage

The IRS has strict guidelines if you will be claiming mileage. If you are claiming Mileage as an expense your mileage log should include the following:

  • Your beginning and ending mileage for the year.
  • Record travel daily.
  • Include the following on your mileage log the date, where you traveled, the number of miles, and the purpose of the travel.
  • Tools and Parking costs

For more information on mileage expense and what the IRS requires visit: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc510.

Record your mileage on paper

If you are recording your mileage on paper, it is best to keep a log in your vehicle. This way you can record each destination you travel to. When you get back to the office you can look up on Google Maps to see how many miles you traveled.

You can then use the paper sheets and record the mileage on a worksheet by month. Then have a cover page which totals the year out for you. When you provide information to your tax accountant you can send them your mileage log for easy recording. This can be time consuming.  (trust me I did this!)

Record your mileage with a Mileage App

This is something I wish I knew about when I had my cleaning business! I use to record all of my mileage on sheets of paper. It was time consuming and wasted paper and printer ink.

Now a days there is a mileage tracking app out there called MileIQ that is GPS enabled and will track mileage for you and provide reports for you to record or provide to your accountant at income tax season.

MileIQ is a free app that you download on your Smart Phone. The app is GPS enabled and records your trips throughout the day. At the end of the day you will be provided a list of your trips where you can swipe right if it was a business trip and left if it was personal.

Recording Mileage for house cleaning business

The program allows for you to print summaries at the end of a month or year. After you print your mileage summary can then give it to your accountant during tax season so that it can be used to process your tax write off. Supper simple!

 

Bookkeeping for Maid Services

 

Tips for Success in Bookkeeping for your Maid Service

  • Keep your Personal finances separate from your business finances
  • Track your revenue by each client.
  • Keep track of your expenses, separating out cost of goods sold.
  • Record transaction timely, this way you have the most accurate data.
  • Reconcile your bank statements monthly to look for inaccurate transactions
  • Don’t forget to track your mileage. (It’s a HUGE tax write off at the end of the year)

 

 

Common Questions/FAQ About Bookkeeping

Doesn’t my Accountant do my Bookkeeping?

No. Accountants, or CPA (Certified Public Accountant’s) will complete your end of year financial statements and tax reports which get submitted to the IRS. Your accountant uses your recorded transactions to complete these reports and statements. The more organized your books are, the less prep work your accountant will have to do, and the less money it will cost you.

I do not have any employees, do I need to do bookkeeping?

Whether you are a Solopreneur or have 20 employees you need to keep up with your bookkeeping. Bookkeeping helps organize your financials for year end tax reporting. More importantly it allows you to be more informed about how much revenue your cleaning business is bringing in and how much your spending on expenses.

Do I need an accounting degree to do my own bookkeeping?

No, you do not. Bookkeeping is organizing your transactions. Know what your expenses are and know what your revenue is.

Do I need to hire an Accountant to do my bookkeeping?

Not necessary, lots of small business owners complete their own bookkeeping tasks. This helps them keep abreast of how well their company is doing financially . As your business grows, you may want to outsource the clerical tasks of bookkeeping which will give you more time to focus on other tasks to grow your cleaning business.

 

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Maid Service Bookkeeping

Be consistent and timely in recording your transactions. This will help you to make better business decisions. May you all be more informed and better business owners.

Did you find this article helpful? Please help me in sharing this information by liking and pinning the image at the top of the page! Thank you and best of luck to you and your business.

 

How to Start a Cleaning Business When Your Broke

How to Start a Cleaning Business When Your Broke

Do you want to start a cleaning business, but have no money? You long to b your own boss, your great at cleaning and people trust you, so how do you start a cleaning business when your broke?

So, is there a way for you to start a cleaning business without having to spend hundreds of dollars you don’t have?

There is! The good news is, there are FREE options and opportunities that can help generate cash to fund your new cleaning business. You don’t have to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars to start a cleaning business. It is impossible to start a cleaning business when your broke!

Please note, this article may include affiliate links. You can read the full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Get FREE business forms and templates for your Cleaning Business by signing up for the Well Kept Clutter FREE Resource Library

 

 

Run a Groupon Campaign and Get Cash Up FrontStart a cleaning business when your broke.

Ever wonder how Cleaning Businesses sell their services on Groupon and how it works? Well, I can tell you from experience it is easy to get set up and you can can run a campaign even if your a newbee business. I did, and I made $1,600 doing it!

When I first started my cleaning business, I needed a way to get cash up front and I wanted to get more exposure for me newly started Cleaning Business.

Below is a summary of what how I got cash up front with my Coupon Campaign.

  • I applied to run a coupon campaign
  • Within a few days a representative called me to set up, schedule and create my campaign.
  • My Campaign was scheduled for a 2 week window (I wanted to keep it short for my first run. I did not want to get more purchases than I could handle.
  • The Campaign ran and I sold just about 100 discounted coupons. (I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!!!!)
  • I started getting calls to book the cleaning services
  • 2 weeks after my campaign closed I received a little over $1,600 in my bank account!!! It was enough to purchase my vacuum and some other equipment I was looking forward to buying and I had some left over.
  • I also gained 6 new repeat clients that signed up for bi-weekly or monthly cleaning service with me.

You can read more about my experience in running the campaign and my lessons learned in my blog post Selling Your Cleaning Services on GROUPON.

If you are ready to start your first campaign, you can create your merchant account here

Here is a look at a sample campaign …

 

 

Free Marketing for Your Cleaning Business when your broke

Just because your broke, does not mean you can’t create an online presence for your new Cleaning Business. You will have to market your cleaning business if you want to get clients. But how do you do that when you have no money?

Create a Facebook Business Account for Free

There are about 2.7 million Facebook users. This makes Facebook a great platform to market your business, and its FREE!

Now I am not saying that you should not have a website once you start making money. The Facebook Business Page is not a replacement for a well developed website. But it is perfect for when you start a cleaning business when your broke and you have no money to spend on webhosting.

The FaceBook Business page has all the necessary information needed for an online site. There is a tab where you can list services, reviews, photos of your work and more.

 

 

Customers are able to interact with you on your Facebook page. When you clean a house, always ask for a review and point them to your Facebook page. This will help to build your reviews and build trust with potential customers.

Make sure to post often on your Facebook page and be authentic. When marketing to services it is important to build trust and let your customers get to know you. Building trust will build long lasting relationships and your customers will keep coming back for more for years to come.

You can create your FACEBOOK Business page here.

 

Sign up for Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool for you to use to manage your listing in Google Searches and Google Maps. It is a great way for local service companies to get their name listed in Google Searches.

When a homeowner searches for Cleaning Companies in your area, your business name and listing will show in the first page results!

I searched for Cleaning Businesses in Boulder Colorado, and this is what shows at the top. A map with listings of Cleaning Companies. When you sign up for Google My Business your Cleaning company Name will be listed here.

 

When some clicks on your business name your business and contact information will show. Here is an example of one I clicked on.

 

 

This is great Free advertising when you start a cleaning business when you are broke. A website is not needed to create a Google My Business profile. Customers are able to leave reviews here. They can also ask questions and interact with you as well.

I have a blog post that takes you through a step by step guide on how to create a Google Business Profile

 

Free Online Booking & Scheduling Software

Start Scheduling clients with a free online scheduling software. Keep all of your clients data in one system, send email reminders to clients before scheduled cleanings and keep a calendar of all of your scheduled cleaning services.

PickTime Scheduling Software is a free online scheduling platform. It allows you to schedule your clients. You can store your clients data, track your earnings based on your appointments. PickTime even has the ability to send email reminders to your clients prior to their appointment.

This online software is a big win in helping your company look professional even when your broke. There is no charge for this software. The company is new, and for the time being you can get their plan for free.

 

 

Free Email Marketing

Mail Chimp

Looking for a way to send all of your email clients newsletters each month? And have professional looking templates? Mail Chimp can help you do that. Their free plan is a basic plan that offers up to 2,000 subscribers and the following:

 

This is perfect for when you are first starting out. As you start networking and gathering emails of interested prospects you can add them to your email list.

A great way to build your email list is to participate in a local even where you provide a giveaway for your cleaning services. When participants sign up for the drawing, you collect their name and email.

Send out monthly newsletters letting your email list know what your business is doing that month. Provide any updates on services or promotions. The idea is to keep your email list engaged so that when they are in need of a cleaning service they think of you!

 

 

 

Buying Supplies when you start a cleaning business and your broke

Cleaning Supplies for Free

A Cleaning Business can’t cleaning houses with out cleaning supplies and equipment. You will need to get purchase some supplies and equipment before you clean your first house.

So how do you purchase cleaning supplies when you are starting a cleaning business when your broke? You sign up for Swagbucks and earn the money.

Sign up for Swagbucks and earn gift cards to purchase your cleaning supplies. Swagbucks is an online reward site where you earn points for online searches, taking surveys, playing games shopping and more. It is FREE to sign up and you can cash in your points for gift cards.

This is a great way to purchase your cleaning supplies without spending your own money!

How much can you make with Swagbucks?

You will not get rich for sure earning points with swagbucks, but you can certainly cover the cost of your cleaning supplies with it. Most users can earn between $20 – $200 a month with their online activity. This is enough to cover the cost of your cleaning supplies. Or even save up for a vacuum cleaner.

Here is a sample of surveys you can take and the points you receive.

 

Below is a sample of the coupons you have access too. If you make purchases using the Swagbucks coupons you can earn cash back on your purchase in addition to the savings.

 

 

Starting a cleaning business IS possible when you are Broke!

Be sure to use these resources listed in this blog post to help you grow and run your cleaning business without having to shell out cash up front.

Have additional resources you have used or have heard about? Comment below to share with everyone!

Was this post helpful for you? Is so, please scroll to the top and share my pretty picture at the top and help me spread the word.

 

 

 

Well Kept Clutter provides resources and training for House Cleaning Business. Sign up for our FREE Resources page to get access to sample client doc’s, business forms, and pricing calculator.

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

Are you struggling to keep up with your cleaning business and need to hire your first employee? Continue reading to learn what you need to hire employees for your cleaning business.

Hiring your first employee for your cleaning service can be scary and exciting. Usually when hiring your first employee it means your business is growing, you have created a service that clients trust and want.

You may have reached the point where you can no longer take on more clients simply because you don’t have enough hands to clean them all. This is when you know you are ready to hire your first employee for your maid service.

 

Before you start recruiting, there are some steps you have to take and implement before you can hire employees for your cleaning business.

Hiring employees for your cleaning business comes with risks and legal obligations for your business. This is because, your employees are cleaning and working in your clients homes. You want to make sure you are protecting your business, your clients home, and your employees.

If you take the necessary steps to ensure your cleaning business is ready to hire employees, you will set your business up for success. This blog post goes over those necessary steps to ensure you are ready for day one for your new cleaning employee.

 

Steps to take to hire employees for your cleaning business

1. File your business name with your State

If you have not yet filed your business name with your state, now the time to do so. This step can be done online by doing a google search on business filings by your states name.

There are several business structures you can file your business as, they include Sole proprietor, LLC, or regular Corporation.

Here is an article that provides further information on each of the business structures. The structure you choose for your business is entirely up to your situation and your goals with your business.

I am not a lawyer and can not advise you on what is best for your circumstances. I can tell you that I filed as an LLC and also filed to be taxed as an S-Corp. This provided the personal financial liability and was the best savings on taxes for my situation.

Everyone’s goals and situations are different. I recommend you either make friends with an accountant or hire one that can help you make the best decision for you.

 

 

 

 

2. Purchase Proper Insurance

If you did not have insurance before, you are going to need to get it now. Once you bring in an employee you will be assuming a lot more risk than if you were cleaning homes by yourself. Your employee will be acting on your behalf, what they do in a client’s home becomes your responsibility. Insurance protects you and your business from accidentals and unexpected occurrences that can occur.

I have a blog post that goes into more detail about the insurances (Why every cleaning business needs insurance), but here is an overview of what you should have when hiring your first employee.

General Liability Insurance

General Liability insurance will cover the costs if you or your employees damage your client’s property. It will also cover costs if someone were to get hurt. What General liability insurance does not cover is car related damage or injury. It also does not cover employee on the job injuries.

Workers Comp Insurance

Workers compensation insurance financially protects your employee if they get hurt on the job. It protects your business and you personally from having to pay the medical claims and lost wages due to on the job injuries. You can read here to learn more about workers comp insurance.

Commercial Car insurance

This will protect you and your business if your or your employee are in a care accident. If your new employee will be driving your vehicle, or your business name is on your vehicle, you will need commercial car insurance. If you or your employees are in an accident and your personal car insurance company believes you were conducting business in your vehicle, they will not cover the claim.

 

3. Decide How to Pay Your Employees

Will you pay your new cleaning employee based on commission for each job they clean, or will you pay them hourly?

Paying Employees based on Commission

The pro’s to paying on commission per job is that you know how much of your revenue will go to payroll. Paying by commission provides motivation to your cleaning employees to clean more jobs in a day.

The down side to paying by commission is your employee has incentive to clean as many homes in a day. This can lead to cutting corners and compromising the quality of your service. Additionally, you will have to make sure your employee is at least averaging minimum wage for each hour they are working.

If it takes them 5 hours to clean a home they are only getting paid $30 to clean, then their average hourly rate would be $6.00. This does not meet the minimum hourly rate for any state in the US.

Paying Employees Hourly

The Pro’s to paying your cleaning employees hourly is you can control the quality of the service. Employees will make the same amount of money if they clean 1 home in 5 hours verses cleaning 2 homes in 5 hours.

The Con’s to paying your cleaning employees by the hour is your payroll costs can sky rocket if you are not tracking your employees cleaning times.

If you are paying your cleaning employees hourly, you will have to track how long they are cleaning a home. If they are not cleaning efficiently your payroll costs will be higher than your earnings.

When being paid hourly employees are not as conscious of how long it takes them to clean a home since they will make the same amount of money cleaning 1 home in 4 hours or cleaning 2 homes in 4 hours.

How I paid my employees in my cleaning business

In my cleaning business, I choose to pay my employees by the hour. My cleaning service was based on quality, this is why clients hired me. By paying my employees hourly I was able to control quality.

In the beginning I struggled with getting my employees to clean within my desired cleaning window. I did not earn as much money as I should have because my employees were not cleaning as efficiently as they should have.

To I developed a cleaning process for them to follow, and I became more strict on the cleaning times. I knew if my employees followed my cleaning system they could clean the homes within the allocated time frames I set for them.

I developed my pricing schedule around these cleaning times. These cleaning times were based on how frequently a home was cleaned and what size the home was. My employees knew how long they should be in a home. If there were unforeseen circumstances, they would have to call me.

If you have not already downloaded it, in my free pricing worksheet I provide my standard cleaning times for homes cleaned on a weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly basis. You can get the form here if you sign up for my email list.

To motivate cleaners to follow my cleaning plan and to meet the required cleaning times, I changed my compensation plan. My employees started out with a base introductory hourly rate. Once they meet the standards I put forth, they earned a higher hourly rate.

 

4. Be Prepared to Process Your Own Payroll or Hire a Company

Before you hire an employee for your cleaning business, you will need to have the capability to pay them. You’ll have 2 choices, either process the payroll yourself, or hire an outside company to do it for you.

Required Payroll Activities

  • Calculate and pay wages appropriately
  • Deduct and pay Federal income taxes
  • Deduct and pay FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare)
  • File and pay Federal and State unemployment taxes
  • File quarterly 941 tax returns
  • Create W-2’s for employees and report wages to Social Security Administration

Processing Payroll on your own

There are a lot of software options out there that make it easy to process your own payroll for your maid service. If you are using an accounting software, you can start there.

QuickBooks is a popular option that many small businesses use. There are other web-based programs out there that can help you process your own payroll. Business.org has reviewed the top 10 payroll software for 2020.

Outsourcing Payroll

If you have no experience processing payroll and paying payroll taxes yourself highly recommend you higher and outside company to do it for you. The benefits of outsourcing your payroll and the reason I recommend it is keeping in compliance with payroll taxes, laws and regulations.

Prior to hiring my first employee I researched and created an account with Benefit Mall, a payroll processing service provider. They processed payroll for me when I only had only 1 cleaner and as I continued to hire new employees.

I provided the employee hours each week and they would process the payroll and provide the check. They also took care of filing and paying all taxes for me. The cost was not as much as you would think and worth looking into. And if your employees opt for direct deposit, the charge was even less.

 

5. Create an Employee Handbook for your Cleaning Business

An employee handbook is a document that provides expectations for the employee. It is the guidebook on what is expected for your employee and what behaviors are and are not acceptable in your cleaning business. for a successful manager-employee relationship, it is very important that your expectations are clear to the employee,

It is not fair to discipline an employee if they were not aware of a policy. For example, if you do not want your employee to bring food into a clients home, you need to make sure they are aware that it is unacceptable to eat in a clients home and what the consequences are if they do. This way if it happens, you can support your reaction with the written policy.

Items you should include in the handbook include

  • Attendance Policy
  • Dress code
  • Acceptable behavior in a client’s home
  • What is expected each day at the start of the day, end of the day, and while cleaning
  • Define required cleaning tasks.
  • What to do if the employee gets hurt
  • Policy on soliciting your clients for their own business
  • Payroll policy (how often will they get paid, how they will report their hours worked, overtime rules

 

6. Create a Training plan

If you are hiring your first employee, you should have your cleaning system and cleaning checklist down to a science. Write your cleaning system down or record yourself cleaning. This will be the start of your employee training. Make sure to cover etiquette and acceptable behavior inside a clients home.

You will have to communicate your cleaning system and checklist to your new employee. It will be important that your employees provide the same service and you do. Your clients have hired your cleaning business based on the service you provide, you do not want to ruin your reputation.

You will start losing clients fast without an effectively training your new employee.  With a solid training program, you can teach your new employee how to clean as well as you.

Basic overview of a successful employee training program for your maid service

Have your new employee read your training manual or watch a training video

Have your employee read through either a training book or watch a training video. This will provide an overview of what is expected and what your cleaning services looks like.

You can use my EBook: A Maid Services Guide to Cleaning Professionally the Ebook walks you through the etiquettes to being in a clients home, the exact steps on how to clean a home and what tools and supplies are needed. It also covers client reminder emails and end of day checklists. 

Have the Employee shadow you while you clean

Next, have the employee shadow you while you clean. This way your new employee will see exactly how you clean, what your clean, and what equipment and supplies you use to clean with. While you are cleaning you can review any important equipment and supply notes.

Shadow your employee while they clean

After your new employee has shadowed you, then you should shadow them. It is important to correct your new employee when you see something they are not following your system. It is helpful to talk them through the movements of moving between tasks

Make sure your new employee is following your routine exactly how you would clean, in the same order as you would clean. When they deviate, kindly remind them what was incorrect and what should have been done.

Your new employee should catch on pretty quickly as you begin shadowing them. Once your new employee starts getting into the grove and flow of the cleaning routine, you can move to the next step.

Ideally you would only have to shadow your new employee for a job or two. I used my home as the shadow home when I first started my business. I only had 1 employee, and did not have the time to shadow at a client’s home. But as your business grows and you are no longer cleaning most of the jobs, you can shadow at a client’s home.

Most clients are ok with training in their homes, it provides trust and security knowing your cleaners are trained and do not clean on their own until they pass your training program.

Let the Employee Clean on their own, with a Team

Now that you have shadowed your new employee and they have picked up on your cleaning system, they are now ready to clean on their own as part of a team. You should still be part of the team, but let your new employee clean on their own.

Your new employee should clean as part of a team for the first few months, this way you can do a walk through of what they are cleaning to make sure the quality of the cleaning service is maintained. You can also keep an eye on how they are cleaning, make sure the right supplies and equipment is being used as well as following the steps in your cleaning system.

 

 

Now Your Ready to Hire Your First Employee!

Are you excited?!?! When I hired my first employee for my cleaning business I was so excited. I was exhausted from cleaning and running my business all by myself that I was relieved to get some help.

You should be so proud of yourself for getting your business to this point. Once you hire your first employee and get them trained you can start taking on even more clients. And when your ready you can move on to hiring a second employee. Only the sky is your limit!

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