How to start a cleaning business
How To Start A Cleaning Business? A cleaning business can be any business that offers cleaning services in various establishments. Seems pretty simple, right? Whether you choose the path of residential cleaning or commercial cleaning, starting a cleaning business can actually be quite complex. Business owners face a number of challenges when starting a cleaning business, and the fear of failure often drives many aspiring business owners away.
To succeed, here’s everything you need to know about starting a cleaning business along with a cleaning business checklist to help you launch your new business quickly.
An overview of the cleaning industry
The cleaning industry can be divided into two main categories: consumer cleaning services and commercial cleaning services. Consumer cleaners specialize in residential properties (homes), while commercial cleaners deal with businesses and corporations.
Both consumer and commercial cleaners offer a variety of services that can be broken down into the following subcategories:
- Janitorial cleaning refers to the general upkeep of a specific property. Janitorial cleaning businesses have a series of equipment that can include everything from vacuum cleaners to bathroom equipment. They usually charge by the hour.
- Carpet cleaning is a specialized service that focuses on cleaning floors. This specialty business charges based on the specific project and the materials needed to effectively clean a floor.
- Window cleaning is another specialist service that focuses on cleaning the blinds and shades of buildings and may be charged based on the size or number of windows.
When starting a cleaning business, decide on a specialized service that falls into one of these categories. This can help you better define your goals and price your cleaning services right.
Legal Considerations for Starting a Cleaning Business
When it comes to knowing how to start a cleaning business, you must take into account some legal considerations and registration requirements.
It is important to become familiar with the general business laws that apply when starting any type of business. The first decision you’ll need to make is the type of business entity you want to establish, which can include a sole proprietorship, LLC, S corporation, and more. .
All business owners are required to register their business, obtain a business license or permit, and have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Cities and states also have specific legal requirements, so once federal registration is complete, check with your state office to make sure you’re following the correct protocols.
Another thing to think about is this: when you or your staff enter a client’s home or office, your cleaning business becomes responsible for their belongings. Insurance coverage can protect your cleaning business from unexpected damage and financial loss that may occur during the job.
Here are some insurance options you can consider:
- General liability insurance covers accidental damage that may occur to a customer’s property.
- Workers’ compensation is mandatory in some states and pays for employees’ medical expenses if they are injured on the job.
- Commercial auto insurance covers liability for your automobile and repairs, legal claims, and damage caused by uninsured drivers.
Of course, as with all of our business guides, this is for informational purposes only; you should consult a legal expert based on your specific needs
The cost of starting a cleaning business
Due to the variability of jobs in the industry, the cost of starting a cleaning business depends on several factors such as equipment, location, transportation, and employees.
The cost of your equipment includes the cleaning supplies needed to complete a particular job, as well as the tools for the services offered. For example, businesses specializing in window cleaning services need to purchase soap and window polish, as well as buckets of water, squeegees, and sponges.
Cleaning equipment of this type can be expensive (depending on how often it is worked), so it is important to research businesses that sell wholesale items. When you order cleaning equipment and supplies in bulk, you typically spend less per unit and shop less frequently (reducing shipping costs).
Many cleaning businesses start with a home office. Rent and the cost of facilities can be significant expense that significantly affects your bottom line, and a home office can help reduce those costs. However, your home office needs to have storage space to accommodate all of your cleaning equipment and supplies.
Some cleaning businesses need a commercial location in order to successfully carry out their daily operations. A commercial space helps your business to create a professional image, but you must carefully evaluate how much space you really need so as not to overspend. Be sure to think about the space needed for the reception area, warehouse, laundry room, and break room for your employees.
Since cleaning services are provided at the client’s premises, transportation costs must be included in the cost of starting a cleaning business. The cost of a vehicle, the gasoline used, and routine maintenance are cost factors to consider.
The initial personnel needs depend to a large extent on the capital you have available when starting your cleaning business and the volume of clients it is aimed at. Some owners start out on their own and carry out all services individually.
As your business grows, you can consider hiring more employees, but that comes at a cost. In addition to salary and benefits, you should factor in the cost of tools that help you manage your team, such as employee management software that tracks employee hours and has an automated payroll service.
Watching costs add up can be unsettling, but there are business financing options you can explore if you don’t have the cash upfront. If you are considering requesting a business loan, here are some issues that you should keep in mind:
- The total amount of return
- The ease of reimbursement
- The application process
- The reputation of the lender