How To Start a Successful House Cleaning Business

Information on Starting and Running a House Cleaning Business

I started a successful house cleaning business over six years ago. I am going to share some tips that will be very helpful to you when starting your own cleaning business. You can start a home cleaning service with a very small investment.


Advertise in Local Paper: Start by running a text ad in your local newspaper. Running the ad by the month is usually less expensive. Make it short and simple. Something like "Professional and affordable house cleaning services. Free Quotes"


Magnetic Signs or Letting for your Vehicle: Having your business name and contact information on your vehicle is a great way to advertise. Magnetic signs can be purchase for as little as 60.00.


Flyers: You can print nice flyers on your home computer. Hang flyers at Hair Dressers, Laundromats, Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery Stores, etc. Put flyers on car windows at local groceries stores and businesses. You can even go door to door in neighborhoods you would like to work in. You cannot put them in mailboxes. but you can put them in the front door.


Business Cards: One of the most inexpensive online shops for business cards is Vista Print. They have professional quality cards at a very affordable rate. Start passing out your business cards to friends and family members. You can also ask your local businesses if you can leave some cards on their counters.


Website: These days people live very busy lives so they use the convenience of the internet to shop for the services they need. A lot of working women will shop for services while at work. I get most of my new clients from my website.


Supplies: You can purchase all the cleaning supplies you need to start your cleaning business for about $100.00. Home Depot or Sam's Club is a great place to buy cleaning supplies . A step stool, bath cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, soft scrub cleanser, furniture polish, wood floor cleaner, a cleaning carrier and a sack of cleaning cloths and your ready to clean. Remember most customers prefer that you bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they don’t have to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have these cleaners on hand for you to use. I almost always use the customers vacuum cleaner. That way you don’t have to carry a heavy vacuum from house to house. I usually use one mop for tile and linoleum and another just for wood floors. (The recommended product to use on wood floors is vinegar and water).


What to Charge: This all depends on the area you live in. Always charge by the job, not by the hour. If a client knows they have to pay 65.00, they don’t care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know what they are paying upfront and won’t have to worry about added expenses. Normally, for a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath you can expect to make 75.00 to 85.00 for each maintenance cleaning. I charge $125.00 for the initial cleaning since I do a real thorough clean on the first visit. For the larger houses you can add 10.00 to 20.00 more if they have 4 bedrooms and 4 baths. For spring/fall cleanings the starting rate is 150.00 to 175.00/ For move-in/move-out cleanings the stating rate is 150.00 and up depending on if the client wants windows, refrigerator and oven cleaned. You can add 20.00 each for refrigerators and ovens. Window cleaning depends on the amount of windows in a house.


New Construction Cleaning: If you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment. You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions, a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning. You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you live in. Normally they run from .12 cents per sq.ft. to .18 cents per sq.ft.

Most clients are concerned about having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance runs between 350.00 to 500.00 per year. It’s well worth the cost You can pay quarterly or yearly. You can purchase your bond through your local insurance company. You will need to renew the bond every year.


Credit Cards: The easiest way to accept credit cards is through your website.PayPal offers credit card services with no set up and only 2.9 percent per transaction. Some clients will prefer to pay with a credit card. They simply sign on to your website and make the payment. The payment goes into your account immediately.


Gift Certificates:House cleaning gift certificates make great gifts for any occasion. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Housewarmings, Weddings, Baby Showers, Christmas and Valentines Day. I have a lot of requests for gift certificates around Christmas. If you have a website you can email the gift certificates to the recipient. Always remember to keep a record of gift certificate sales. Some clients who receive gift certificates wait several months to use them.

Remember one of the most important qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable. Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up the cleaning.


Hiring Help: If you start out cleaning the homes by yourself, you will eventually get to the point where you need to expand your business. Start out with one part time employee. Train her and let her take your place one day a week. Then have her take your place 2 days a week and so on. This will give you the free time that you need to market your business and obtain more clients. After you get more clients you will be able to hire more part time help. Eventually you will be able to stop doing the cleaning yourself and just run the business end, which is the only way you will be able to grow your business. When training new employees, always either train them yourself or have a lead person train them.


Words of Experience. I started my cleaning business with some business cards and a small ad in the local paper. After my first few jobs, these clients started telling family and friends about my service and they hired me also. Bid by the job and not by the hour. Also you want to be paid upon completion of each job. Bring your own supplies and use their vacuum. Keep a book for taxes and always save your receipts and gas mileage. Don’t under price your work. Cleaning homes is very hard work.


If you are just starting a house cleaning business, the Cleaning Service Directory is a great place to place your listing. I started out placing my cleaning service in their directory. I get a lot of my business from clients who visit the Cleaning Service Directory.


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