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How to start your own cleaning business

Cleaning businesses can be very lucrative, and are relatively easy to set up.

If the mere thought of a speck of dust fills you with horror, you’re likely the right sort of person to take on a professional cleaning venture. It’s the realm of the perfectionist, where anything below the highest standards simply won’t do, and it’s a service that’s increasingly in demand.

Cleaning is, at its most basic, a great option for sole traders. All you really need is a few tools, a bottle of bleach and an eye for detail. But you also need great business acumen to really make a success of it. So if you’re thinking of starting your own cleaning company, here are some handy tips to help you create a squeaky clean business plan.

Commercial or domestic?

Before you start anything else, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work as a domestic cleaner or a commercial cleaner. While both are fundamentally the same service, the scale of labour required differs greatly between the two. Domestic cleaners typically maintain a small number of properties a week – usually family homes or properties whose owners are too busy to do the cleaning themselves.

Commercial cleaning, on the other hand, can be anything from a small office to large business premises over multiple floors requiring a large team to get the job done.

Find the right area

If you decide to go down the domestic cleaning route, you’ll need to think carefully about where you work. Not everyone wants or can afford the additional expense of a cleaner, so you’ll need to choose an area where residents have the disposable income to hire your cleaning services.

Think about franchising

Running a cleaning business requires top-notch administrative skills in order to keep everything running smoothly. You could be looking at a few hundred clients, but if you can’t keep on top of the diary then you’ll quickly find it difficult to manage.
It’s understandably daunting for the uninitiated, but there is a way round it: franchising. There are plenty of opportunities in the cleaning industry to join successful franchises that come ‘readymade’, and provide you with support and back up if you should need it.

Sites like Franchise Direct  give you listings of available franchises, so it’s really up to you to choose one that you think you’d work well with. It isn’t free, but if all goes to plan you should make back that initial expense fairly quickly.

Extra resources

When you’re starting up, it’s likely that you’ll be working by yourself during those early stages. This will give you a good idea of the timeframes you should be working to, as well as whether or not an extra pair of hands (or two) is needed.

If you do take on extra staff, you’ll need to revisit your budget and take things like salary and training costs into account. Many clients favour the cash-in-hand method of payment, but you don’t necessarily have to go with that.

You can offer card processing machines even if you run a mobile business, and it just so happens that here at XLN, we have secure and fully portable solutions that are tailored to your small business. Find out more about how we can help.

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