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Starting a cleaning business: a step by step guide

Do you love to clean and keep your own space spick and span? Then starting a cleaning business could be for you! Thanks to pretty low overheads and a constant demand for services, it makes perfect business sense to turn your passion into a career.

But where do you even begin and how do you get started? Regardless of whether you like dusting, wiping, mopping or vacuuming, here’s our step by step guide on getting your business off the ground.

Identify your market

First things first, you need to look at what kind of cleaning services you’re going to offer. Do you live in a heavily residential area or have a wealth of offices close by? Identifying this early on will help you to determine what kind of business you’re going to be.

Typically, cleaning services fall into three main areas:

Residential cleaning – this involves going into people’s homes to clean. From kitchens and bathrooms to living spaces and bedrooms, you’re likely to be vacuuming, mopping, polishing and dusting.

Commercial cleaning – this will involve going into other businesses. You could be cleaning office spaces, shops and even bars and restaurants. You’re likely to cover a lot of ground working on these types of jobs.

Specialist cleaning – this area is likely to involve some real expertise and specialist equipment. You’re also likely to require extra training, health & safety considerations and more niche insurance.

Are you going to be self employed or start a company?

This is a big decision to make, but one that will need doing early on. It will affect your wages and the tax you pay, and may also mean you’ll have to get an accountant on board. Each comes with its own benefits so it’s important to work out whether going self-employed or starting a limited company will be better for your situation.

Work out your costs or packages

How much will you charge for your services? Will you charge by the hour or a flat rate? If you’re not sure how long the job will last, you’re ideally placed to charge per hour. You may find that some clients prefer to get a flat fee from you so they know how much they’ll need to pay up front. Either way, work out what’s best for your business and stick with it.

Get all the equipment you need

In your cleaning business, your equipment is your best friend. You’ll want to get everything you need upfront so that you don’t need to nip off mid job to grab additional bits. Your list of cleaning equipment is likely to include things such as broom handles, brushes, mops, wipes, clothes and maybe even buckets. You’ll also want to invest in top quality cleaning and finishing solutions to make sure your clients are left impressed once you’re finished.