How to Start a Cleaning Business

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There are dozens of different companies you can start based on your interests, skills, and potential for profit. Lots of people looking to start their first company may opt for a cleaning business. After all, cleaning is a relatively stable market; people always need their homes or enterprises cleaned if they don’t have time to do it themselves. Plus, lots of people take visceral joy from cleaning. Add to that relatively inexpensive startup costs, and you have a recipe for an excellent entrepreneurial venture, even for folks without many advanced or academic skills. However, you need to start your cleaning business the right way if you want to make sure that it turns a quick profit and that it remains viable for months or years. Let us show you the six big steps you should follow when starting a cleaning business to ensure its success.

Always Do Research First!

As with any industry, you must do market research before determining whether starting a cleaning business is a good idea. Cleaning businesses are everywhere, from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns. So it’s a good idea to figure out whether starting a cleaning company will be profitable. You should consider questions like:

  • How many cleaning businesses are already available?
  • Where are most cleaning businesses located?
  • Are there cleaning niches (i.e., specializations) that aren’t being offered at the moment?

If the market is saturated with cleaning businesses, your business may not make enough money to stay viable for very long. In some cases, it might be wiser to start a different kind of business depending on what your local area needs and what your interests are. You can research by:

  • Searching for cleaning businesses in your area
  • Asking the city hall about how many registered businesses there are
  • Cold calling businesses to see if they already have a cleaning service contracted for them

Step 1 – Get Funding

If the market research shows that starting a cleaning business is a wise idea, your first step is to acquire funding for the business. You can do this through appealing to financial institutions for business loans, ask your friends and family for loans, or fundraising or save up enough money to get started by yourself. Fortunately, most cleaning businesses don’t require hundreds of thousands of dollars to get up and to run. But keep in mind that your funding needs could explode as you decide to offer more cleaning services and depending on what cleaning supplies you already have. For example, do you plan to take a van or another vehicle to your cleaning sites? You’ll need enough money to buy such a vehicle and paint or decorate it with your company imagery. If you’re appealing to a financial institution for funding, have a business proposal in place to clearly outlining your expenses, your projected profits, and your plans to make money. The better your business proposal is, the more likely you will get the funding you need.

Step 2 – Choose Your Cleaning Market and Specialty

You’ll also need to choose your cleaning market; after all, you can’t clean everything in a home or business! It’s best to focus on a specific cleaning service, such as cleaning carpets or cleaning sidewalks. The more specialized your cleaning service is, the higher prices you’ll be able to charge for those services. That’s because you’ll purchase specialized equipment and supplies that you can use to do a fantastic job cleaning a specific area of a client’s property. While you can specialize in general cleaning or house maintenance, you might not make as much money as you would otherwise. Furthermore, you’ll be competing with lots of other cleaning businesses that offer the same services you do. In this case, it’s a race to the bottom; the cheapest cleaning service will likely get most of the business in the area.

Step 3 – Plan Your Budget and Buy Supplies

Next up is planning your cleaning budget and purchasing supplies. The budget aspect of this is crucial, especially if you have already secured funding from an investor or family, or friends. Your budget has to account for all the expenses of your business, including:

  • Purchasing long-term equipment, like vacuums or mops
  • Costs for regular supplies, like soap, sponges, gloves, and more
  • Costs for transportation, including purchasing a dedicated work vehicle like a van or truck and decorating that vehicle
  • Costs for gas, eating out during the workday, and more
  • Fees or taxes you may need to pay for your business

There are many other costs to consider, even for a relatively simple business like a cleaning company. After planning out your costs, you'll need to buy those supplies and make sure you have everything in order before starting marketing your company.

Step 4 – Register Your Business and Make a Company

Speaking of marketing your company, you won’t be able to do that until you fully register your business and form it as a distinct entity. Depending on the size of your company, you might decide to start a sole proprietorship: a company in which you are the only member and the owner. If you have a few people, you can start a general partnership, which is another type of small company but still leaves you liable for lawsuits and similar legal problems. An LLC or limited liability company is likely the best type of company to start if you want to get into the cleaning market. As its name suggests, an LLC limits your legal liability if someone tries to sue you but maintains the simplicity of the above company types. You still file taxes with your business as a combined, single entity. Starting an LLC involves registering with your state’s Secretary of State office, forming Articles of Organization, getting an EIN or Employer Identification Number, and paying various fees.

Step 5 – Market to Get Clients

Next, you'll need to let people know your company is in business if you want to attract clients. This involves marketing. You can market in a few key ways. For example, you can market by creating posters and placing them all over town, particularly in places where companies or homeowners who need cleaning might see them, such as coffee shops, community centers, and more. Or you might leverage social media or digital marketing, which is cost-efficient and which can be targeted to business owners or homeowners in your local area. Facebook and similar ads can be a great way to get the most bang for your marketing buck, helping you create effective and engaging ads that result in phone calls or emails to your company. Regardless, you have to market regularly to attract clients and keep bringing in new clients. Don’t rely on your clients asking you for repeat business at first; you’ll only be able to rely on regular customers over time once you build up a reputation for quality and success.

Step 6 – Start Cleaning and Keep Marketing

After getting your first clients, start setting up appointments and get to cleaning! Depending on your specialization or the cleaning market you choose to focus on, you can take several jobs per day or several jobs per week. Try to keep excellent records through bookkeeping software like QuickBooks and other programs. This will allow you to keep track of your expenses and income and help you send invoices to clients quickly and easily. This is also necessary if you want to maximize the time you can spend working rather than logging additional hours going over your books at the end of every day or week.


Ultimately, starting a cleaning business is more than possible, even if you don’t have any business experience already. You just need to follow the steps above and make sure that you prepare thoroughly before attracting your first clients to make sure your reputation starts off positive. The good news about the cleaning industry is that it becomes easier to find success the longer you stick with it. After your initial clients, you’ll build a reputation for excellence, and you’ll attract new clients much more easily. This, in turn, will result in more profits and will let you spend less money on marketing. Who knows? Over time, you might be successful enough that you can hire your own employees and expand your business into a larger LLC or even a corporation! In America, anything is possible for the go-getter entrepreneur. Want to know more about how to get your business up and running, or interested in contacting a worthwhile lending institution to get the funding you need to launch your business? Contact Seek Capital today. Sources: The Cold Facts On Starting A Cleaning Or Janitorial Service | IJCSA Business Proposals | Limited Liability Company (LLC) Definition | Investopedia

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