Starting your own house cleaning business can be a great way to make some extra money, after all the residential cleaning industry is a 1.2 billion dollar industry. But before you take the plunge, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. In this blog post, we will go over 10 things you should know before starting a house cleaning business. This includes information on what services to offer, how to price your services, and what kind of marketing strategies you can use to get more customers.
You may have to deal with difficult clients
There may be some difficult conversations to be had with clients. No matter what business you’re in, you’re bound to have a few difficult clients. This is especially true in the house cleaning industry where people can be very picky about their homes.
The best way to deal with difficult clients is to be upfront with them from the beginning. Explain your policies and procedures clearly and let them know that you offer a 100% guarantee on your work. And if the issue arises, make sure you fix any mistakes quickly.
Clients may not always agree with the way you clean, or they may want you to clean in a specific way that you know may not be the best. But it’s important to remember that you are the professional and they are hiring you for your expertise. If a client is unhappy with the service, be sure to listen to their concerns and see if there is anything you can do to improve the situation.
Start small and grow from there.
When starting your house cleaning business, it’s best to start small. This means you should only take on a few clients at first so that you can get a feel for the business and what it takes to run it. This will also give you an insight into knowing if this business is right for you. As you take on more clients, you can then invest in your business so that you can continue to grow.
As you grow you will have the opportunity to build on your processes and fine-tune your service. You can even branch out and offer additional services, like office cleaning, carpet cleaning, or window cleaning.
Get the right cleaning supplies for your cleaning business
It may be tempting at first to just use whatever cleaning supplies you have under your sink. But the best approach is to invest in quality cleaning products.
This is because you want your clients to be happy with the results and you don’t want to damage any of their belongings. Do your research and find quality products that work well, and that you can buy in bulk.
There are a few different ways you can get cleaning supplies. You can either buy them in bulk from a wholesaler or retailer, or you can sign up for a subscription service that will send you the supplies monthly.
Here are some of my favorite cleaning supplies that I used in my house cleaning business. My favorite was the All-Purpose cleaner. I could use it in the kitchen and in the bathrooms. This eliminated the number of cleaning products that I had to bring to clients’ homes.
Create a cleaning system that will sell itself.
When you’re starting your house cleaning business, you want to create a system that will sell itself. This means creating a cleaning service from start to finish that is so good, that your clients will be happy to refer you to their friends and family.
There are 2 approaches to a cleaning system.
- You can customize each cleaning service to each client. This means you let the client tell you what you will clean. This is not a scalable approach that will help you grow. Also, with a customized cleaning service, you will want to charge by the hour rather than a flat rate.
- Create a consistent cleaning routine that you use at each home. Create a checklist to provide to clients when quoting for services. This is the best approach to scale your business for growth. It is also easier to train employees, and all the larger franchises are using this approach as well because it is easy to replicate, and your clients always know what to expect. Using this approach it is more beneficial to charge a flat fee.
To be effective, your cleaning service needs to be consistent each time you clean a home. Your clients will notice more when you start missing areas of the house faster than they notice a job well done.
Be professional, show up on time and follow a high standard of behavior when interacting with clients and cleaning their homes. Wear a uniform, don’t bring food into the house, and NEVER bring children.
Include a 100% money-back guarantee, it’s a sure way to show your potential customers that you are confident in your product. Offering a 100% money-back guarantee is not enough, you need to make sure that you can deliver on your promise before making this type of offer. Otherwise, you may end up losing customers fast.
- Efficient cleaning system for Maid Services.
- Should you charge by the hour or a flat fee.
- How to Price your Cleaning service.
You will need to invest in insurance
Insurance protects you from the unexpected. When you’re self-employed, you are responsible for your own health insurance and liability insurance.
Liability insurance protects you if someone is injured while you are working in their home. This could be something as simple as slipping on a wet floor that you just mopped, or breaking a vase while dusting.
When you’re self-employed, you are responsible for your health insurance and liability insurance. This is something you should factor into your business expenses.
If you use your vehicle for business purposes, you will need to have commercial car insurance. This is different from personal car insurance and it covers you in the event of an accident while you are working.
Many new House Cleaning Business owners don’t realize that if you are in an accident while driving to and from a client’s home and you get into a car accident, your Personal Car insurance more than likely will not cover it.
There are a few different options for commercial car insurance, so be sure to do your research and find the best policy for your needs.
You’ll need a mentor
There are a lot of things to think about before starting a house cleaning business. These are just a few of the things that you should keep in mind. If you have any questions, be sure to ask an experienced house cleaner or business owner for advice.
No one knows it all, and there’s a lot to learn from those who have been through it before. Mentors can help you avoid some of the mistakes they made when they were starting, and they can offer guidance and advice on how to run your business.
If you don’t know any experienced house cleaners or business owners, there are plenty of online resources and forums where you can ask questions and get advice. Join Facebook groups, your local chamber of commerce, or visit your local SBA.
Out source tasks that you are not good at or passionate about
The thing about being an entrepreneur you can fall into the trap of always learning and not doing. Learning new skills is great, but the task of learning will not get you new clients or generate revenue. This is why it is important to outsource what you can. This will allow you to focus on the task of running and growing your business.
Take for instance your taxes. More than likely you are not a tax expert or CPA. The US tax system is super complex, and they have whole degrees on this stuff. So it is best to just hire a qualified CPA to take care of filing your taxes each year.
Consider hiring a Virtual Assistant for your cleaning business
When you first start your business, more than likely you will not have the cash flow to hire an assistant. But there is another option, it’s called a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant can do a lot of administrative tasks for your business. This can free up your time to focus on cleaning and growing your business.
Some of the things a virtual assistant can do for you are:
- Answering phone calls so that you don’t miss out on booking a new client because you can’t answer calls while you are cleaning.
- Giving quotes over the phone or online and Scheduling appointments
- Handle social media accounts, email marketing, and keep your website up to date.
- Sending out invoices and doing basic bookkeeping tasks
Remember, you won’t be able to do everything for your business, you are only 1 person. Virtual Assistants are not employees and can charge by the hour or a flat fee and are very reasonable.
When I was starting my house cleaning business these were not a thing, but I did hire my sister who just had a baby to answer calls that came in.
Don’t go into debt starting your cleaning business
One of the worst things you can do is to go into debt starting your business. The key to being successful in business is to be profitable and not have a lot of overhead costs. This means that you need to start small and grow as your business grows.
You don’t need a fancy office or the latest and greatest equipment. You can start adding those things later when you have the income to support the expenses.
For now, keep your costs low and don’t go into debt. You can always upgrade later when you are making more money.
If you take a vacation or have to call in sick, you won’t get paid.
One of the downsides of being a self-employed house cleaner is that you don’t get paid when you take a vacation or are sick. If you worked for an employer, you would have Paid Time Off, so there is no loss of income on those days when you are sick.
This is why it’s important to have some savings set aside for those days when you can’t work. Plan to set aside a certain amount each week and call it your vacation fund. House cleaning and being self-employed is hard work, you will thank yourself when you’re able to take off for a week for some much-needed R + R (that’s rest and relaxation).
Another option is to hire someone to cover your shifts when you’re gone. This way you can still get paid, and your clients won’t have to go without service.
Have a good business plan before starting your house cleaning business.
You need to have a good business plan in place before you start your house cleaning business. This will help you map out what you need to do to be successful.
Your business plan should include:
- What type of business structure will you start
- Your target market
- How you are going to reach your target market
- What services you are going to offer (remember plan to start small and as you grow add more services.
- What location will you service
- How much will you charge for your services
- What are your estimated marketing and advertising expenses
- What are your estimated business operating expenses
- Who is your competition and how are you going to differentiate yourself from them.
Creating a business plan may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it in the long run. It will keep you focused so that you can offer stellar service to your clients and you continue to work towards your goals. Remember starting without a plan is planning to fail!
Now that you know these these 10 things about starting a house cleaning business, are you still interested?
Your next steps will be to Start your Cleaning Business. I have created a Beginners Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business. It will get you off to a great start to making money cleaning houses.