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How to start a cleaning business in 7 steps

How to start a cleaning business

Embrace your natural penchant for cleanliness and the joy of creating tidy spaces by starting a cleaning business. In a world where the demand for spotless and well-organized spaces is ever-increasing, your passion for tidiness is a valuable asset. The cleaning industry is in high demand, with the residential cleaning industry showing 20% year-over-year growth, and 80% of two-income households expected to use house cleaning services by 2024.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to start a cleaning business, from developing a business model, to choosing a cleaning business idea to creating a business website and marketing your venture effectively.

What is a cleaning business?

A cleaning business is a type of business that offers various cleaning services—including, but not limited to, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, sanitizing and organizing spaces. Cleaning businesses can cater to residential clients, offering services for homes, apartments or condos. They can also serve commercial clients, including offices, retail stores, medical facilities and educational institutions. Cleaning is a steady and reliable type of venture, that might even be considered a boring business—but in this context, boring is a good thing.

How to start a cleaning business

Now that you understand the benefits and challenges of starting a business, let's explore the essential steps to help you get started:

01. Research and plan

Do your due diligence and conduct thorough research on the local cleaning market, potential competition and target customers. Identify your niche, such as residential cleaning, commercial cleaning or specialized cleaning services. Develop a comprehensive business plan and concept statement that outlines your goals, strategies and financial projections (including how you plan on raising money for your business). Learn how to create a cleaning business plan to get your business off the ground the right way.

02. Define your services and pricing structure

Decide on the types of cleaning services you'll offer. Consider whether you'll focus on general cleaning, deep cleaning, specific areas (such as windows or carpets or starting a pressure washing business) or specialized cleaning for industries like healthcare or hospitality. Determine your pricing structure, taking into account factors such as the size of the space, the level of cleaning required and any additional services you offer. Remember to take all expenses into account to calculate your net profit.

03. Obtain necessary licenses and insurance

Register your business and ensure it operates legally and responsibly by researching and obtaining all the necessary licenses and permits required in your area. Before that, take the important step of selecting a unique and memorable name for your business. For inspiration, consider using a business name generator to find the perfect fit. Once you've finalized your business name, proceed with obtaining the required licenses and permits, such as business registration, liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. By complying with local regulations, you'll establish a solid foundation for smooth and reputable business operations, paving the way for your cleaning business's success and growth.

how to register a cleaning business

If you're looking to start a cleaning business in a specific state, here are some helpful resources:

04. Purchase equipment and supplies

Invest in high-quality cleaning equipment and supplies to ensure efficient and effective cleaning. This may include vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms, microfiber cloths, cleaning solutions and protective gear. Consider environmentally friendly options if there is a demand for eco-conscious cleaning in your market.

05. Develop effective systems and processes

Establish clear systems and processes for managing client inquiries, scheduling appointments and conducting cleaning services. Implement a reliable scheduling and communication system to ensure efficient coordination with your clients and cleaners. Develop cleaning checklists and protocols to maintain consistency and quality across all cleaning jobs.

06. Build a strong team

Recruit and hire reliable and trustworthy cleaners who align with your business values. You may have to do a lot of networking to find the best people. Thoroughly screen potential employees, including background checks and reference checks. Provide comprehensive training to ensure that all cleaners understand your cleaning processes, safety protocols and customer service expectations. This is important for businesses of all sizes, but especially true if you're a microbusiness - because every employee can truly make or break your reputation.

07. Market your cleaning business

Effective cleaning marketing is crucial for attracting clients to your cleaning business. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Create a website: Establish an online presence by making a website that showcases your services, highlights your expertise and provides contact information. Consider using a website builder like Wix to create a professional and user-friendly website without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

  • Local SEO: Optimize your website and online listings for local search engine optimization (SEO). This includes using relevant keywords, creating location-specific content and ensuring accurate business information on platforms like Google My Business.

  • Online directories and review platforms: List your cleaning business on popular online directories and review platforms such as Yelp, Angie's List and HomeAdvisor. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews to enhance your online reputation.

  • Social media marketing: Utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to promote your cleaning business. Share before-and-after photos, cleaning tips, client testimonials and special promotions to engage with your audience.

  • Networking and referrals: Network with local businesses, real estate agents, property managers and community organizations to build connections and generate referrals. Offer referral incentives to encourage satisfied clients to recommend your services to others.

  • Print collateral: Design and distribute professional business cards, brochures and flyers to local businesses and residential areas. Highlight your unique selling points, competitive pricing and customer testimonials.

  • Targeted advertising: Consider targeted online advertising campaigns through platforms like Google Ads or social media ads. Set specific targeting parameters based on location, demographics and interests to reach potential clients in your target market.

Maintaining a consistent brand image is vital for your cleaning business, regardless of the platforms you use for promotion. Take advantage of Wix's logo maker to design a professional and unique logo that can be prominently featured across all your digital assets. If you need inspiration, you can explore these cleaning logo ideas to spark your creativity and ensure your cleaning business's branding stands out and leaves a lasting impression on your target audience. You can also learn more about how to make a cleaning logo for your business.

Thinking of starting another type of business? Check out some of these creative service business ideas to help get you started.

Inspiration from other successful cleaning businesses

Promoting your cleaning venture involves various aspects, from effective marketing and networking to establishing a captivating online presence. Just like these thriving cleaning businesses, you can create an engaging website and connect with your customers online to boost your brand.

  • Lira's Cleaning presents itself as a reliable and trustworthy cleaning company that serves both residential and commercial customers. Their website might focus on building a strong rapport with visitors by sharing the story of their founder, Lira, and her passion for cleanliness and exceptional service. This personal touch can help potential clients connect with the company on a more emotional level.

  • Clean Freaks Cheyenne services customers in Cheyenne, Wyoming, offering recurring residential cleanings, move-out cleanings and commercial cleaning. Their site is as clean and easy to navigate as a cleaned living space.

  • Soaprano's Cleaning stands out with its unique and catchy name, which hints at their expertise in cleaning services. Their website features a modern and artistic design, reflecting their creativity and attention to detail in their cleaning approach. To attract customers, Soaprano's Cleaning showcases their specialization in particular cleaning niches, such as move-in/move-out cleaning, deep cleaning or post-construction cleaning.

For more inspiration, you can check out these service business examples to help you get your creative juices flowing.

How to start a cleaning business FAQ

What's the best business structure for a cleaning business?

The most suitable business structure for a cleaning business depends on factors like liability, taxation and management preferences. Common options for a small business include:

Sole Proprietorship: Simple and low-cost, but the owner has unlimited personal liability.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): Offers liability protection for owners (members) while maintaining simplicity and flexibility. Learn how to start an LLC.

How to scale a cleaning business?

How profitable is a cleaning business?

What are the challenges of running a cleaning business?

Why start a cleaning business?

What is the best type of cleaning business to start?

How do I get my first cleaning client?

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