Achieving success as a small business hinge on offering products or services people need, or at least want enough to spend money on them consistently.
There exists a need for residential and commercial cleaning companies because individuals and businesses often lack the time or resources to maintain their own environments to a high standard. Cleaning is a task many want to outsource, making it a viable industry for newcomers to enter.
So, what do you need to start a cleaning business?
Here’s a brief guide to help you get started.
The Basics: Supplies and Skills
First, turn your attention to the actual services your company will be providing to clients. Whether you’re starting a housekeeping business for residential customers or a janitorial business aimed at commercial spaces, it’s important your small business is equipped to meet client expectations consistently.
People want to walk into their homes and feel wowed by the freshness and difference cleaning makes; businesses want to keep things running smoothly, which includes maintaining a sanitary and pleasing environment for employees and visitors.
The basis of your cleaning business will be your employees’ ability to perform cleaning tasks in a timely manner and up to a professional standard. To do so, your employees will need training as well as access to the right supplies and equipment.
Start by making a list of all the services your business is planning to perform. Then itemize the materials you’ll need — including refills and replacements. This will help you budget accurately and remedy any skills gaps you identify before your business goes live.
Square Away the Business Logistics
Like any business, getting a cleaning company off the ground requires squaring away the logistics. Depending on where you plan to operate, you may need any number of licenses and permits to operate legally. You will also need to ensure you remain in compliance with state and federal regulations for employee health and safety.
You’ll also need to consider the financial risks associated with starting a cleaning business — and do all you can to protect your company against them.
One essential type of cleaning business insurance to carry is a General Liability policy, which primarily covers liability stemming from accidental bodily harm or property damage to a client or third party. So, if one of your employees were to knock over an expensive artifact or break something, your policy would cover the cost to repair or replace it. If you forget to put out a “Caution: Slippery” sign in an office lobby and a visitor falls — then threatens to sue — your policy would cover their medical bills and rehabilitation costs, potentially circumventing a lawsuit altogether. Providers like Verifly offer on-demand coverage for small cleaning companies, too, which can help fledgling companies find flexible and affordable coverage.
Market to a Target Audience
You’ll need an idea of your target audience. As one expert writes for Entrepreneur, “Don’t try to be all things to all people; pick the market you can best serve, and focus on that.”
Within the broader designations of residential and commercial cleaning services, there are many niches to explore. Your selling proposition may be offering affordable services to everyday homeowners, or you may decide to target the affluent market with premium services. Your janitorial company may advertise itself as a solution for large enterprises, or you may aim to partner with smaller workplaces around town.
Your target customer will determine how you market, which services you offer, the scale of your operation, its branding and more — so spend some time upfront narrowing down your niche.
Establishing a strong foundation for your cleaning business is a matter of instituting the necessary business logistics, ensuring you have the skills and supplies to perform your services, and targeting the right types of clients.