How to Start a House Cleaning Business from Scratch

Do you want to start your own cleaning business? Well, you have come to the right place. Starting a cleaning service is not too difficult and does not have to be expensive. So let’s get started walking you through the process of starting your own business.

Starting Your Business With Little to No Investment

First, let us take an inventory of what you need to clean a house.

  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Mop Bucket
  • Soft Rags
  • Paper Towel
  • Shop-Vac
  • Duster
  • Cleaning Solutions such as window cleaner, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, tile floor cleaner, hardwood or laminate floor cleaner, baby oil, and dusting spray.

From this list, you probably have most if not all of those products hanging around your home. There may be a few products you do not have because you do not use them at your house.

One of the products you may question is, why do I need baby oil? When cleaning homes as a profession, everything must shine. Most homes today have stainless steel appliances. Baby oil is an inexpensive, natural, food grade product. When you polish stainless steel appliances with it, the stainless steel shines without a fingerprint or spot.

It is also important to use your cleaners for the materials they are intended to clean. In this way, you will not damage a customers floor, counter or furniture and have an expensive problem to fix.

Now you have all the necessary cleaning supplies. You are ready to clean with little out-of-pocket expense. Let’s move on to the next step.

How Much is Too Much to Charge?

Setting the correct rate while starting up a new business is always a challenge. Setting a price for house cleaning largely dependant on the area in which you live or are willing to work.

There are two ways to bid cleaning jobs. One way is by the hour and the second way is a flat rate. Here are some pros and cons so you can choose, the best way to charge for you.

  • Paid by the hour
  • a little less risky
  • do not need bidding skills
  • Can work at a slower pace and still make money
  • Uncertainty of how long you will work in each house
  • Paid a Flat Rate
  • With drive and quickness, you can make more money
  • Bid precisely what you will do, and extra work is extra charges.
  • Can potentially do more jobs in one day

Clearly, the high-rent districts in your area pay more. They often also come with a little more expected from you. But if you are willing to do good, honest work, those jobs pay well.

As a standard rule of thumb, house cleaning pays $25-50 per hour. I do know of some homes that pay upwards of $75 per hour. But that is not the norm for most areas.

To determine the average pay in your area, here are a couple of ideas.

Call one or two cleaning services and have them bid cleaning your house.

Ask a few good friends or family members that live in the same area, to call different cleaning services and ask for a bid to clean their home.

Licensing and Insurance Requirements

Licensing requirements are dependent on the area in which you live or the place from which you will run your business. Some states require sales tax to be collected from the proceeds of house cleaning, and other states do not collect sales tax. Call your state Sales Tax office and ask if you will be required to collect sales tax.

Some cities require you to have a business license. Call your local city hall and ask if you will need a business license. They can assist you with an application if you need one.

Some homeowners may require you to have insurance. If you can afford a General liability policy on startup, this would be for your protection.

As a general rule, business insurance for housecleaning is not expensive. However, if you accidentally break something while dusting or if one of the chemicals you are using damages part of the floor. You will be thrilled you had the insurance.

Profitable or Not?

House cleaning is hard work with very little out-of-pocket expense. So for a purely nuts and bolt viewpoint, it is very profitable.

However, cleaning houses is very physical work. So your body will be tired at the end of the day. But you will have a hand full of cash or checks.

Cleaning businesses also come with some possible tax benefits. By properly recording your mileage in a ledger, you can write off so many cents a mile. That adds up to help pay your car payment and insurance.

It is essential for you to keep all of your receipts for any supplies you use in your business. Writing off the expenses will make your business more profitable.

Tips for Finding Jobs

House cleaning is usually a slower starting business. Then, after a little while, you will start turning work away. So if you tell yourself this is going to take a little bit, it will keep you from getting discouraged.

Here are a few ways you can use to jump-start your cleaning business.

  • Call or email Property Management Companies requesting if they have rentals you can clean
  • Call or Email Real Estate Companies– many times the real estate agents own a few rental homes
  • Take a flyer to Car Dealerships– Most times car dealerships are full of people that work 60-70 or more hours per week. They usually make a higher income, but they do not have time to clean their homes. Sometimes these jobs even include doing the laundry.
  • Call or Email Homeowners Associations — sometimes they will forward an email to their homeowners or put you in the homeowner associations newsletter to all homeowners. This method is useful for homes in gated communities.

Other Helpful Marketing Items

Business Cards are a useful tool. They make your business more credible. Business cards do not have to be expensive. Some online services will print your business cards for the cost of shipping. Just buy a few, they last a long time.

Dignified Flyers or Brochures are other helpful tools. Giving out a list of your services and your contact information to business professionals can help them to remember you if they hear of someone needing your service.

Upscale your Business

For just a little out-of-pocket cost, you could bring in high profits. Your cleaning service can offer to use natural cleaners in your client’s homes. Offering natural cleaners puts your cleaning rates in the upper echelon of the standards price for cleaning in your area.

Natural cleaners make your service stand out from the rest of the standard cleaning service providers in your area. Using natural cleaners may also help you feel less fatigue.

The addition of natural cleaners to your service does not have to be expensive. Castile soap is a generally safe all-purpose cleaner. It is simple to make yourself to cut expenses. All you need is a few products and a crockpot, and you are in business.

You can add a few drops of essential oils known for disinfecting and cleaning. You can add essential oils like orange and lemon, which you find in commercial products on the market. With a little research, you can offer your clients a great upscale cleaning service. In return, you will bring home the extra cash.

The Final Steps

A vital part of your business is the name. Customers will know your business name before they know you. Try to choose a more straightforward name if you can come up with a clever little slogan for your business, even better.

Starting your house cleaning service requires very little and possibly no money to start. House cleaning business can be very profitable in a very short time. Cleaning is a straightforward business model.

Now is the time to get your plan of action together. Let’s make a list:

  • 1. Gather all the Supplies
  • 2. Call about Sales Tax and Business License
  • 3. Order business cards
  • 4. Make appointment for Cleaning service to give me a bid
  • 5. Call 2 friends and have them set appointment with cleaning service for bid
  • 6. Make a check off list to use at each house cleaning job
  • 7.Call insurance companies for pricing general liability insurance
  • 8. Begin marketing my cleaning service with emails to management companies.

There is your todo list. It is not very long, the quicker you get started the quicker you will finish. So, what are you waiting for?

You have the tools you need to start. Go ahead and finish the paperwork and, start your little investment cleaning business today!

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