Whether you are working at the commercial or residential levels, a cleaning business is a lucrative undertaking that will earn you a good income. Buildings require regular cleaning, especially the office buildings that need to be clean the next day. Let us check out how to start a cleaning business from scratch.
As a cleaning business, your services will be in high demand as people will always want you to clean their buildings. When you know how to start a cleaning business in the USA, you will get to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
Your cleaning business will require some preparation to keep it operational and well-structured to ensure that it can scale up and even keep improving the services provided to the clients.
Type of cleaning business
There are two main levels of cleaning businesses.
Residential Cleaning Business
This business focuses on the residential level and cleans people’s homes. The client will be responsible for providing all the supplies and equipment required for the cleaning exercise. All you need to do is provide the service and ensure that the home is clean and neat.
A residential house cleaning business will mainly focus on homeowners who need additional help with cleaning their homes. You agree with them before the cleaning exercise and provide the services that you had offered them.
As a residential cleaning business, you can be focused on supplying cleaning services to certain neighborhoods in your area. Focusing on the clients that you would like to serve, ensures that you have your market cut out for you. It is also an easier way of specializing your services and making your brand unique.
Focusing on a given section of clients also makes your marketing work easier. Your reputation will attract more clients who have been referred to you by happy, satisfied homeowners.
Commercial Cleaning Business
These are the cleaning companies that are focused on providing cleaning services to businesses and other companies. All kinds of businesses must maintain a high level of cleanliness no matter what they specialize in. They will require cleaning services regularly, which is where a commercial cleaning business comes in.
The customers will expect to visit clean offices and well-maintained buildings, which means that the business has to outsource cleaning and maintenance services.
The commercial cleaning business has a very large market, and it has better income than the residential cleaning business. However, the terms and conditions for this kind of work are a bit different and depend on the agreement made with the business.
Some businesses are usually very busy in the day and will require that the cleaning be done at night. These odd hours might be challenging for some workers, but if you have a dedicated team working in shifts, the payoff is very good. Working during these hours attracts a better rate than during the day, and it is also quiet and peaceful during the night.
So now let us see how to start a cleaning business from scratch.
How to start a cleaning business in USA
Starting a cleaning business in the USA requires that you first choose a niche that you will be addressing. The market is quite large, and narrowing it down to a single area of focus will be quite useful. Once you have settled on the niche you would like to focus on, you are ready to get started.
Step-1: Write a Business Plan
It is not wise to rush when starting a cleaning business as there are many important things that you must first consider. A business plan may not be a must, but it will be quite useful in solidifying your plan for the business.
With a business plan, you also get better guidance for your business which prevents you from many mistakes. A good business plan also helps your business get started more easily and will be the map to direct your action.
When you are writing your business plan, including the areas and clients that the cleaning business will target. Ensure that you specify what your cleaning business will be mainly focused on and the type of services you will provide to your clients.
The business plan will be your reference whenever you face challenges in starting your business and will enable you to follow through with the aspirations of the business.
Step-2: Hire a Good Lawyer
Your cleaning business will require a good lawyer to help with navigating the legal intricacies of the industry. The market is full of challenges, and whenever you find yourself in a legal complication, a lawyer will be quite useful for you.
Consulting a lawyer is important when starting a cleaning company as it will help define the business structure. A good relationship with the lawyer will also be useful down the road if you require their services.
Step-3: Choose a Legal Structure for your business
Decide on the type of business entity that you intend to register your cleaning business as. The choice of entity will affect many things, from taxes to other factors such as liability.
Research the different types of available entities for your business and decide on the best fit for your cleaning business. Your cleaning business can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.
Your business will also need to be registered under the chosen entity before you can take on cleaning jobs. The registration should be done with your county clerk or secretary of state. During registration, specify whether you are a residential cleaning company or a commercial cleaning company.
Step-4: Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping
To keep track of your finances once your cleaning business has been started, there will be a need for an accounting system. The bookkeeping and accounting will ensure that you can keep track of the cash flow in your business. It will also be important whenever you are filing taxes.
Bookkeeping also ensures that you are more organized in your business, and with the information filed, analyzing your finances will also be much easier. Decision-making will also be heavily influenced by the records you have about your business. Whenever you need to make changes to your structure, the records will be very important.
Step-5: Track your Finances
Your sales and profits are important aspects of sustaining your cleaning business. By crunching the numbers, you will be able to see how your business has been performing financially. With the information, you will also keep your business profitable and operating at a sustainable level.
There are many sources of financing for the initial stages of your business, such as business partners, borrowing from friends, and your assets. You can also apply for financing from government programs and get a grant to maintain your cleaning business.
Business financing determines how you will fund your new business and keep it growing with time. A budget will also be required to ensure that your finances are being directed through the correct channels. Avoid expensive equipment and huge spending that might be a threat to the continuity of your business.
Step-6: Develop Your Cleaning Business Brand
It is important that you set your business apart from the other businesses in the industry. A unique identity is important, and your brand must be different from the other players. Working on your brand will be an important aspect of keeping your cleaning business running and tackling competition.
The brand will also be useful when it comes to promoting your cleaning business. It would be best if you came up with a unique, catchy name that will attract the customers’ attention. The name should be interesting enough to be remembered and embody the services that your cleaning business is out to provide.
Step-7: Get Insured
Business insurance is important for your cleaning business. When cleaning commercial buildings, any injuries and slip and fall accidents will result in legal issues. With insurance in place, your business will be protected from claims and any court cases.
Additionally, your insurance should cover your new business from unexpected costs and expenses, which would threaten the young business.
Step-8: Purchase Equipment and Cleaning Supplies
This is your most important investment, and for a cleaning company, it will not take much to get started. Purchasing the cleaning supplies and equipment will set you up for business and ensure that you already have what it takes to get started.
Additionally, you will be better prepared for any project offers that might be presented to you, and your business will not be caught unawares when a client asks for your services.
Being well equipped sets you up for greater business opportunities and new contracts by businesses. You will be ready to undertake any projects that come up, and your cleaning business will be able to thrive much better when it has all the necessary supplies and tools.
Step-9: Set your Prices
Decide if your business will be charging per hour, per job type or if it will opt for long-term contracts. A bit of research will be required before setting the prices, as the cleaning prices are usually different depending on the location. Your pricing model should also consider your profit margins and ensure that your income will sustain your business and cover operational costs.
You might be asking yourself, how much does a cleaning business make a year? On average, the USA’s hourly rate for professional house cleaning services can range from $25 to $45 an hour. Other factors like location will also factor into the rate. Other job types charge a flat rate that considers the kind of place being cleaned and how many hours spent on the job.
Lastly, there are contract jobs that involve an agreement with the client. The client will agree to pay a certain amount for your services for a specified duration of time. This is usually the case for the commercial cleaning businesses that have been contracted by a business to clean their offices and buildings within a specified season.
The average a cleaning business can make in a year is $36,000, but it can be more when the business negotiates better terms for the contracts and projects that it undertakes.
Step-10: Get a Website
An online presence is an important aspect of your cleaning business and will help you get more business. Having a website also adds to your brand’s strength and provides clients with an easier way to reach you. Any potential client looking for cleaning services will also find your business more easily when you have a website that they can reach you through.
Your website should be designed for accessibility as well as providing information about your business. The contact area should stand out and provide several ways of getting in touch with your business.
A website is available all the time and will be your brand ambassador on the internet. The investment will also pay off with calls and other messages left on your website that can lead to further business opportunities.
Step-11: Market your Business
No matter how good you are at cleaning, no one will notice you unless you market your cleaning business. Marketing is an important aspect of growing your brand and should be taken seriously.
With the first few clients referring more clients to your business, you will ensure steady growth for your cleaning business. Additionally, build up your client list and maintain a list of contacts that you will use to grow your network.
Word of mouth and social media marketing will greatly influence the growth of your cleaning business and is easy to maintain. Social media marketing will usually take a few hours each day but will be a sure way to maintain regular business for your cleaning company.
By marketing on social media, you will also be able to grow your sales and attract more traffic to your website, which will be more likely to lead to more conversions.
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starting a cleaning business in the USA takes a bit of effort, lots of planning, and staying organized throughout. The steps outlined above will ensure that you have what it takes to keep your business running and keep your growth steady and sustainable. Your cleaning business will be in even greater demand when you have a website and actively market it on social media.
I hope it answers all the questions below:
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- Starting a cleaning business checklist
Bijay is an entrepreneur and start-up founder having more than 14 years of IT industry experience. He is the co-founder of TSInfo Technologies, a SharePoint development company.
A dedicated professional and very passionate about public speaking and also wrote thousands of technical blogs in various technologies. He also wrote a lots of blogs on entrepreneurship, investment, startup, business, manage money tips, etc.