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How to Start a House Cleaning Business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by davidmattins, May 8, 2008.

  1. davidmattins

    davidmattins UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 7
    The main reason why a person would want to start a business is to make money. Typically, persons would gain success with their careers because they love what they do. In opening a house cleaning business, it doesn't mean that you love house cleaning but of course, you must not hate it in order to gain success.

    Yes, this business is profitable but it still depends on how big you would want your business to be in order to know how big your profits will be. In starting up a house cleaning business, it can be either you operate on your own by setting up at your home, or you set up a commercial office and hire assistants to work for you.

    If you wish to put up your own house cleaning business, there are simple and easy steps that you can follow so you can get started with such business.

    Of course, you need to decide of what kind of house cleaning services you would want to operate like vacuuming, mopping, making beds, waxing floors, dusting and a lot more. You can also specialize such as carpet cleaning, windows cleaning, and so on.

    Of course, you need to do pricing. In making the pricing for your house cleaning business, you can check out your competitors and use them in making your own prices. Check out your yellow pages and contact them, pretend that you are a customers and ask for their prices and services. With all the information you gathered, you can decide the price that you will charge to your clients.

    In starting your own business, you need tools, materials and equipments for it. So, you need to jot down all the tools and materials needed as sponges, rags, cleaners, carpet cleaning equipments and so on. Know the cost of each item and jot it down near the items. You need to estimate all the costs for your business. You also need transportation, if you have your own vehicle, you can just use it in transporting your equipments and materials.

    Of course, in running a house cleaning business, you need customers. So, you need to advertise your business to gain lots of clients. If you are seeking for free advertising, it would be word of mouth but it is an effective way of advertising a business.

    Another way of advertising is by creating flyers. In doing flyers, make sure that all the information are written in there and the flyers would be appealing enough to catch the attentions of people. Post some on notice boards.
    Posted: May 8, 2008 By: davidmattins Member since: May 8, 2008
  2. JoyDivision

    JoyDivision UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,713 189
    A lot of businesses that are in purely to make money fail. You have to have a lot of passion for it, otherwise when the going gets tough you will just quite.

    Also remember that by the time you have paid all your taxes, business rates, public liability insurance, marketing costs, telephone bills, chemicals etc you will not make as much money as you think.
    Posted: May 8, 2008 By: JoyDivision Member since: Sep 25, 2005
  3. officeangel

    officeangel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    268 43
    I use an agency for my cleaner at home. I've been with the agency for a few years now and have had four cleaners in that time. If this is the sort of business you're talking about, then you have to remember that the reputation of your business rests with the people who work for you. I've had three good and one not so good, but the way in which the agency dealt with the not so good cleaner didn't damage my relationship with them.

    I know from my own experience, that I expect a lot from my cleaner, probably more than I would expect from myself. But cleaners can earn a very decent hourly rate, and the good ones are worth every single penny to a busy Mum like me!
    Posted: May 8, 2008 By: officeangel Member since: Apr 20, 2008
  4. daleb81

    daleb81 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 3
    Hi All,

    I wrote about almost the exact same thing as davidmattins this morning on my blog comparing the various advertising avenues available for house cleaners.

    As David mentioned, there are a number of optiosn available to those looking to start up a cleaning business - with varying costs and benefits. Rather than retyping - if anyone is interested check out my blog at (I won't paste as a link as I'm not posting this to generate links - just as useful info).

    Posted: May 8, 2008 By: daleb81 Member since: May 8, 2008
  5. tyronebean

    tyronebean UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 2
    Hi all,

    This is my first post here. I am very pleased to be a part of this community.


    Tyrone Bean:cool:
    Posted: Nov 10, 2008 By: tyronebean Member since: Nov 10, 2008
  6. Sphinx

    Sphinx UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    107 17
    I left a very well paid job, flying all over the world to scrub houses. But my company is now very sucessful and has been going over 4 years.

    The main points i would make from my experience are:

    1. Do not think you can ever employ people to do a job that you could not do yourself or would be willing to do yourself.

    2. employing people and dealing with staff is probably the hardest part about it

    3. Staff let you down ALL THE TIME

    4. DOING THIS BUSINESS MEANS YOU WILL CLEAN HOMES YOURSELF. (it makes me laugh when you read 'oh and you don't even need to like cleaning because you won't be doing it)

    5. You will be training people (that is if your company is going to be sucessful and bothers to train) ALL THE TIME.

    Many Many points to add, but enough for now.

    EDIT; impotant point. Staff work as hard as they feel that what you are paying is worth. Forget all these things about working conditions and feeling valued and big hugs. At the end of the day it all boils down to how much you pay them. The other things yes are nice, and help staff stay a bit longer, but ITS ALL ABOUT THE PAY.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
    Posted: Nov 10, 2008 By: Sphinx Member since: Nov 8, 2008
  7. poppydog

    poppydog Guest

    1 1
    Hi, thankyou for all the advice. I'm hoping to start my own home based home cleaning business with just myself to begin with but hopefully fairly quickly employing some staff. I have no experience of being an employer and any tips in this area would be hugely appreciated - hourly rates for staff, hourly rates to clients etc. Thank you .
    Posted: Nov 24, 2008 By: poppydog Member since: Nov 24, 2008
  8. wardjon31

    wardjon31 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 1
    Hi all, this is my first post, i hope everyones business is going from strength to strength.

    I was particularly interested in Sphinx posting, i am just about to throw in a very well paid job to join my wifes cleaning business which has 10 customers so far.

    I've already started going with her to see how it's done and the plan at the start is to build up enough work for both of us to clean, then we can look at taking staff on. I think this is important as shpinx says how can i expect staff to do something that i haven't.

    Any tips from anyone would be gratefully received, we have advertised locally next month for the first time and over the last 3 days have leaflet dropped 400 leaflets!, how do other people find leaflet dropping?

    Most of the customers so far have been word of mouth.

    Anyway i hope to come back with good news soon.
    Posted: Feb 24, 2009 By: wardjon31 Member since: Feb 24, 2009
  9. steve184

    steve184 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 1
    I know that the barriers to entry with the commercial cleaning market are a bit higher but wouldn't this be the best area to jump into. Profit potential is greater and it sounds like office cleaning is recession proof (well to some extent anyway).

    Get some experience working for an office cleaning firm, learn the ropes and then jump into your own small business.

    The main challenges are finding new accounts and managing a small team to get jobs done - if you focus on these two things as well as becoming the best cleaner that you can possibly be then you should see success before too long
    Posted: Jun 1, 2009 By: steve184 Member since: Mar 12, 2007
  10. Oconnell

    Oconnell Guest

    1 1
    Hi there - I find the comments you have all made very interesting and I feel quite hopeful now. I have just chosen redundancy after 10 years of working, with a brilliant salary, to re-start my cleaning company. We had the cleaning company on the side line to earn extra money, but because both my husband and myself worked full time, it was difficult to maintain, so when we lost the one contract we had (with the company I worked for - due to them bringing in house cleaners in), we decided to give it a miss.

    Although I have chosen redundancy, I am extremley nervous to start up again in the current climate, but have belief that I will be sucessful, and I am keen to offer the best service ever.

    I have most of the equipment from the previous business, and have 2000 leaflets to target domestic houses, which I am going to send out in the local paper - I am hoping this will generate some business.

    Can anybody let me know, or help me with finding out where I can get contracts from for Domestic cleaning (between company and client).

    Looking forward to hearing from you and good luck to you all.

    Posted: Aug 6, 2009 By: Oconnell Member since: Aug 6, 2009
  11. Suziem2p

    Suziem2p Guest

    1 8
    I have owned my own domestic and commercial cleaning company for the past 4 years and it is very successful. I employ 4 full time staff to do the work whilst i concentrate on winning new contracts and marketing.

    I built up my client base through royal mail door to door leaflet drops using targeted audience and through double quarter full colour ads in yellow pages.I have never used free papers as they simply do not work!!If you have any specific questions please let me know,as i am very experienced in managing a cleaning business.
    Posted: Sep 14, 2009 By: Suziem2p Member since: Sep 14, 2009
  12. lady Cleaner

    lady Cleaner UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    8 2
    I am looking for contract forms for clients and staff and any other advice regarding how to get the right staff.
    Posted: Sep 24, 2009 By: lady Cleaner Member since: Sep 24, 2009
  13. lady Cleaner

    lady Cleaner UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    8 2
    My main concern is getting good and reliable staff.
    Obviously I am aware of staff from abroad proving they have the right to work here.
    My thing is - if I am to grow - is it best to employ staff or can they be self employed?
    I would want them to have a police check and if self -employed also public liability where as I understand that if I employ them I then get them covered for insurance purposes.
    Also what is key holding insurance?
    What suggestions do you have for getting staff and what do you look for?
    Thanks very much for replying,
    Kind regards
    Posted: Sep 28, 2009 By: lady Cleaner Member since: Sep 24, 2009
  14. Jason L

    Jason L UKBF Regular Full Member

    271 74
    Hi Suziem2p

    Not sure if you are happy to reveal this, but what do you pay your staff? Do you find that if you pay more you attract higher quality staff members or does it not make too much difference? Do you incentivise them with bonuses or anything similar?

    Also, where are you based (as this will make a difference to how much you pay your staff I would imagine?)

    Posted: Sep 28, 2009 By: Jason L Member since: Jan 10, 2007
  15. cleaningessential

    cleaningessential UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 1
    Hi my name is Andrew i run a company called Cleaning Essential, and want to expand my domestic cleaning service by bringing clients and cleaners together, can anyone help regarding these type of contracts and where i can get them.

    Many thanks

    Posted: Oct 16, 2009 By: cleaningessential Member since: Oct 16, 2009
  16. dave_webb

    dave_webb UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    93 5
    Offer services to your family friends and neighbours.
    Posted: Oct 16, 2009 By: dave_webb Member since: Sep 7, 2009
  17. 8michael8

    8michael8 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 1
    Suziem2p - are we allowed to email each other on this forum ? i am just about to finish my job and would love to know how you started out in buisness.

    warm regards,
    Posted: Aug 2, 2010 By: 8michael8 Member since: Aug 2, 2010
  18. krispykreme

    krispykreme UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    22 5
    The purpose of your cleaning service Business, or anyone else’s business for that matter, is to earn profit while fulfilling the needs or wants of its clients.

    Among the biggest difficulties business owners face is the temptation to leap in without a plan. To increase business they dabble in ideas. Never really embracing a solid strategy, they simply trust one of their endeavors will eventually pay off and cause their business to soar to new heights. In most cases this is a recipe for failure.

    Among the biggest difficulties cleaning service business owner’s face is the temptation to leap in without a plan. To increase business they dabble in ideas. Never really embracing a solid strategy, they simply trust one of their endeavors will eventually pay off and cause their business to soar to new heights. In most cases this is a recipe for failure.
    Posted: Nov 9, 2010 By: krispykreme Member since: May 14, 2010
  19. Franny7

    Franny7 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    42 14
    [FONT=&quot]There are alot of talk about starting up domestic cleaning business BUT lets not continue to start businesses just because of the sake of it... Find out the need and meet that need!!! Theres enough "rubbish" cleaning businesses out that have no interest for the clients or the cleaners already!
    Despite the influx of people starting domestic cleaning businesses, there remains a huge service gap within the industry. Those that survive and are successful will have addressed the issues listed below:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]1. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lack of Training:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Only a few cleaning businesses offer training to their cleaners and this reflects professionalism and how the cleaners conduct themselves in the homes of clients.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]2. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]No Consultation:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Not many businesses offers consultation and this is a great service that not only enables you to offer a better service but it develops the rapport between your company and its customers.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]3. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Non Payment of Tax:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Not many businesses equip their cleaners to deal with their tax affairs and so many believe that domestic cleaners are operating illegally.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]4. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Lack of Follow-up:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] This is a major complaint from many customers of cleaning businesses and a major reason why many clients cancel their arrangement with their service provider. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Now that you can identify the gaps within the industry, what steps will you take to bridge them? [/FONT]
    Posted: Dec 28, 2010 By: Franny7 Member since: Dec 24, 2010
  20. solopreneur

    solopreneur UKBF Regular Free Member

    183 24
    I have some experience of purchasing cleaning services- from a retailers perspective, and for office cleaning.

    I would recommend that you target households, where you will be able to charge a good premium, and hopefully minimise travel. You will find hotspots where you can charge more, and may need to pay more. The flyers that you (OP) have mentioned will do well for this. Set your fee at a sensible rate, and I am sure that you will find clients easily enough. If you try to pick up larger contracts- offices and stores, you will be squeezed very heavily on margin- if you can get above £9 per hour including materials and machinery, you will be doing extremely well. To top this, the cleaners will then leave to get paid £10 per hour by local households wanting a few hours a week, and you may get lumbered with an outgoing companies poorly performing staff under TUPE. You may then have to replace them, still charging £9 per hour and take pot luck from the job centre. Bearing in mind that you are paying minimum wage of nearly £6 per hour, there is not a great deal of room for profit in retail cleaning or office cleaning, unless you can target small businesses and/or do it on a large scale. That brings with it its own issues!

    I think that a domestic cleaning business, if done well, has the potential to prosper. People have less time, and are increasingly outsourcing the tasks that they do not enjoy doing.

    Finally, I would recommend that you do not waste money on template business plans/letter templates etc. A business plan template can be found from 1001 places online, and template letters look just that- they can be spotted a mile away and just get binned.
    Posted: Dec 29, 2010 By: solopreneur Member since: Jul 4, 2010