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

#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 solid color polo shirts or T-shirts.  I did this in the beginning of my business.

#3 Don’t let acquaintances take advantage

Don’t let friends and acquaintances quilt you into cleaning their homes for less than you would charge other clients. 

#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 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.

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.

#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 cannot afford it, don’t make the purchase.  My first year I spent $225 a month on an ad in a community. I was promised huge exposure. I never got ONE call from that ad!!!

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. Using several marketing vehicles such as print, web and editorial will help 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 aways 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.

House Cleaning Supplies Checklist

House Cleaning Supplies ChecklistWhen starting your cleaning business there are needed supplies. I highly recommend providing all the cleaning supplies and equipment. When pricing your cleaning jobs you should take into account the cost of these supplies.

Choose equipment and supplies that will work for you so that you spend less time scrubbing. With the right supplies you can clean faster, while still maintaining a high quality clean.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are Affiliate Links. What that means is I may earn a small commission if you click on one. This comes at no additional cost to you as the buyer. All of these products are products that I used exclusively in my Cleaning Business. I only recommend products or services which I have used, tested and highly respect. When you order through my link it helps to provide you free content. I greatly appreciate your support!

 

 

Cleaning Equipment and Supplies Checklist

 

  • Vacuum, use for carpet and hard floors
  • Steam Clean Mop – used to mop hard floors
  • Spray Mop – used to mop Wood and Laminate floors
  • Broom – used to sweep outside areas (porches, walk-ways)
  • Long Duster – used to dust ceilings, ceiling fans, high to reach wall hangings, and baseboards
  • Apron – used to carry cleaning supplies on you as you clean
  • Cleaning Caddy – used to carry all cleaning supplies into a home
  • Small Hand Duster – used to dust small objects such as lamps and picture frames, and furniture surfaces
  • Razor Blade – used to scrap stuck on goo or heavily built up soap scum. Great for use on glass or tile
  • Plastic Scrapper – used to scrap up stuck on grime, usually when mopping with food stuck on floors
  • Large Scrub Brush – used in showers and tubs
  • Small Scrub Brush – used to clean grout lines, around sinks and faucets. Best to get 2 colors (1 for kitchen and 1 for bathroom)
  • Whisk Broom – used in hard to reach areas and to brush animal hair and dust of furniture and lamp shades
  • Plastic Cups – to rinse showers and bathtubs down when client does not have a removable shower head
  • Disposable Gloves
  • 50 foot extension cord – used to plug in vacuum and steam mop so that you can vacuum larger area’s without having to find another outlet
  • 5 & 10 Gallon plastic bags – used to line bathroom garbage cans. Client loves it and makes it easier to empty and keep cans clean
  • 2 step step stool – used to reach high area’s in a home. Usually, liability insurance will not allow higher than a 2 step ladder. Check your insurance if you decide to go with a larger one.
  • All Purpose Cleaner – used on most bathroom and kitchen surfaces
  • Heavy Duty Cleaner – used for tough jobs. Great for build up in showers and bathrooms
  • Glass Cleaner – Any glass cleaner will work. We diluted an essential oil cleaner and worked awesome and smelled great.
  • Bar Keepers Friend – used for porcelain sinks or stainless steel. This was the best way we found to get porcelain sinks to look brand new
  • Wood polish/cleaner – used on wood furniture only when client requested it. This is a light cleaner that can be sprayed directly on your microfiber dusting cloth and does not take much buffing.
  • Stainless steal cleaner – used in the kitchen on stainless steal appliance surfaces
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths – used to clean all surfaces. Get 4 separate colors each for bathrooms, kitchens, dusting, glass cleaning
  • Terry Cloth towels – used to buff out glass and mirrors.
  • Toilet bowl brush – I highly recommend you use your clients. It is not fun carting around a used toilet brush. If you do though, purchase one with a sealed lid like the one shown in the link.

 

 

Maid Service Bookkeeping: A Beginners Guide.

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

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.

 

What is the Best Vacuum for a Cleaning Business

What is the Best Vacuum for a Cleaning Business

What is the best vacuum to buy for your cleaning business? This is a very common question.

There are so many different styles of vacuum cleaners now a days and many more brands to purchase, that this can be a very overwhelming decision. I have seen some sites just listing vacuums with out the experience in cleaning homes.

Anyone who has owned a house cleaning business knows that a vacuum that is sufficient for a homeowner, is not sufficient for a cleaning business.

The difference is that cleaning businesses will use their vacuum up to 600% more times in a week than a homeowner. Also, when your cleaning for profits, you need a vacuum that does not interrupt your cleaning flow.

A cleaning business needs a vacuum that will be able to hold up to very frequent use, be able to clean up to 4 houses a day and not loose its suction power.   
Haven't started a Cleaning Business? Read my post where I guide you through the steps to Start a Cleaning Business.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are Affiliate Links. What that means is I may earn a small commission if you click on one.  This comes at no additional cost to you as the buyer.  All of these products are products that I used exclusively in my Cleaning Business.  I only recommend products or services which I have used, tested and highly respect. When you order through my link it helps to provide you free content. I greatly appreciate your support!

When looking for a vacuum cleaner for your cleaning business there are several things to keep in mind:

The Best Vacuum for a Cleaning Business

The best Vacuum for a Cleaning Business

There are 3 classes of Vacuums I recommend for Cleaning Businesses. Those are the Stick Vacuum, Upright vacuum, or a back pack vacuum. Here are the top vacuums for each of the 3 classes.

Stick Vacuum

Shark Apex DuoClean with Zero-M No Hair Wrap (ZS362) Stick Vacuum

Click here to see the Most Current Price on Amazon

Stick vacuums have become very popular in recent years. They are light weight, and can vacuum under most furniture’s. Most stick vacuums are compact and have easy to dump canisters. These make the vacuum appealing for House Cleaning businesses.

Stick vacuums are great for home use, but they are not the best vacuum for cleaning businesses.

Pro’s:
  • Light weight
  • Vacuum easily under furniture
  • Easy to empty canister
  • Easy transition from carpet to hard floors
  • Cord Length 25 ft
  • Self Cleaning roll brush. Easy to clean between homes.
Con’s
  • Small canisters
  • Attachments are not as accessible when vacuuming.
  • Price is a little higher, you are paying for the compactness of the vacuum.

Upright Vacuum

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with lift away Hand Vacuum and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV501).

This vacuum is my favorite and what we used in my cleaning business. I know other owners who used the same vacuum.

It has a great suction rating, and some bells and whistles for a lower price. The lift away functionality makes it easy to transition from vacuuming to using the want to reach in hard to reach corners and crevasses. I even used it to vacuum baseboards fairly quickly with my clients as I was vacuuming.

This vacuum also easily converts from carpet to hard floors. I know some would recommend bringing 2 vacuums to a home, one for carpet and one for hard floors. But this vacuum can very effectively clean both.

Pro’s
  • Great suction
  • Easy to use attachments with lift away function, hose reaches up to 8 feet.
  • Cleans hard floors well
  • Great filtration system, with HEPA filter
  • Cord length is 25 feet.
Con’s
  • This vacuum is not as light or compact as a stick vacuum. It can be a little cumbersome to carry with your other cleaning supplies. But there is a handle on the top of the canister where
  • Carpet vacuum does not reach under most furniture pieces

Back-Pack Vacuum

 

ProTeam Backpack Vacuums, Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum Cleaner with HEPA Media Filtration and Telescoping Wand Tool Kit, 10 Quart, Corded

Click Here for the Most up to Date Price on Amazon

This would be the best of the backpack vacuums. If you are cleaning larger homes, and larger offices this will be your best pick as it has a large canister and powerful motor to run for longer periods of time.

I have never used this vacuum, but I have known other cleaning companies swear by them. What I did not like about the backpack vacuums was the awkwardness of having it on my back. I was afraid I could run into furniture or walls if I had to back up or maneuver around tight spaces.

The cost was another reason for this vacuum to not be my #1 choice for residential cleaning To purchase a quality backpack vacuum you would be spending close to $400. But the backpack vacuums do allow for hands free movements and less carrying around an upright vacuum.

Pro’s:
  • Easy to maneuver around and under furniture
  • Check to see if it will transition from carpet to Hard floor.
  • Large capacity canister
  • Filtration system is excellent. Four Level Advanced Filtration and HEPA media filter.
Con’s:
  • Awkward to carry on your back, will take some getting use to.
  • Canister used bags, not easy to change between homes.
  • Price is higher, running at about $400.00
Looking for more advice on Cleaning Equipment and Supplies??? Visit My Recommendations page for a list of cleaning supplies and equipment for Residential Cleaning Businesses

What to look for in a vacuum for a Cleaning Business

What to look for when purchasing a vacuum for your Cleaning Business.

When cleaning homes for business you will be cleaning multiple homes in a day. So, you will want something that will last, maintain suction and is easy to maneuver.

1. Suction power

Look for a vacuum with a higher Suction power. Read the reviews as well to get a clue as to how long the vacuum maintains the suction power. You will want to stay away from cordless vacuums.

They generally have lower suction power. In addition you will be traveling from house to house and not have the ability to charge it in between cleaning services.

2. Ability to change from carpet to hard floors seamlessly.

When your cleaning, you do not want to have to spend much time transitioning from carpet to hard floors. Your goal is to vacuum the entire house at 1 time.

If you are using more than one vacuum or have to take several steps to transition vacuums it will take up extra time. Your goal is to clean as quickly as possible, while maintaining high quality. So you do not want to take up extra time transitioning from vacuuming hard floors and carpet.

3. Easy to dump canister

I recommend a vacuum with a bag-less canister. It is important to dump your vacuum canister after each cleaning service. This is where a bag-less canisters are easier and more ideal for a cleaning service.

This keeps the vacuum cleaner between each home you clean. Therefore, you will want a canister that is easy to empty and not complex to where you have to take apart the vacuum.

When packing your vehicle between each clean you should empty the canister before putting the vacuum into the vehicle. I would keep a garbage bag in my vehicle and would throw it away each night.

4. Easy to clean filters

Similar to emptying the canister in the vacuum you will want to clean filters nightly. As part of our nightly routine we would wash all filters and let air dry overnight. Having multiple filters is helpful as well, so that you can have 1 filter washing and using another because more than likely your filter will not be 100% dry by the next morning.

Keeping your vacuum filters clean help to keep your vacuum clean and limit contamination from one house to another. You don’t want to bring an odor from one client to another.

So, when looking for the best vacuum for your house cleaning business, you will want to choose a vacuum that has an easy to remove and clean filter. You will also want to purchase at least 2 – 3 back up filters for use while others are being washed.

5. Attachments to vacuum furniture and high and low.

When choosing a vacuum look for one that has easy to access attachments that allow you to vacuum high and low. You will need to be able to vacuum valences or corners of walls and ceilings. You will also want to be able to vacuum baseboards when needed.

Having easy to access attachments will allow you to do this more quickly. You will not want to fumble around with attachments to connect, this will disrupt your cleaning process flow.

6. Longer Power cord length.

You will want a longer power cord so that you do not have to unplug and look for outlets several times throughout your cleaning service. In addition to the vacuum cord, we used 50 ft extension cords. This way we only had to plug in 1 – 3 times during a clean.  These little steps add up to lots of time saved.

Additional Resources for Your Cleaning Business:

 

 

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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!

 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are Affiliate Links. What that means is I may earn a small commission if you click on one.  This comes at no additional cost to you as the buyer.  All of these products are products that I used exclusively in my Cleaning Business.  I only recommend products or services which I have used, tested and highly respect. When you order through my link it helps to provide you free content. I greatly appreciate your support!

 

Start a cleaning business when your broke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Get access to the FREE Resource Library

Subscribe to get access to business forms, checklists and printables for your House Cleaning Business.

 
 
 

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Run a Groupon Campaign and Get Cash Up Front

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.

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.

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.

Click here —-> For 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.

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

How to Hire Employees for your Cleaning Business

Can you no longer 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.

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 It walks your through the exact steps on how to clean a home and what tools and supplies are needed. It also covers etiquette and what to do and what not to do in a clients home.

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 a team. Let your new employee clean while you are cleaning with them.

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!

More Resources for your Cleaning Business

 

 

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