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How to Start a Small Cleaning Business [Essentials]

10 min read

So, you want to start a cleaning business. You think you have what it takes to be a business owner and you have a knack for tidying up dirty or disorganized spaces. You might be surprised to learn that opening a new small cleaning business involves more than just buying supplies and marketing yourself. Luckily, the process is simple and we have covered the bases you need to cover in this handy article all about starting a small cleaning business.

So, if you dream of making it big with a mop in your hand, your dreams are one step closer to becoming reality…if you keep reading.

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Crafting a Business Plan

Creating a descriptive business plan should be the first step in opening a successful business in professional cleaning. With a little planning and some luck, you can be on your way to cashing in on your cleaning skills.

Here’s a quick rundown on which questions your business plan should answer:

  • What will your business structure look like?
  • What type of business insurance will you secure?
  • What will your hourly rate be?
  • How will you secure funding for startup costs?
  • What are your goals for the cleaning business?

Making sure you can answer all of these questions before moving forward to creating your cleaning business is your best shot at becoming successful. Remember — having a plan is your best line of defense against failure.

Registering Your New Business

Becoming a small cleaning business owner is an exciting possibility on the horizon, but have you thought about how you will keep your business legally compliant? The Small Business Administration (SBA) and other state or corporate entities require registration of all new businesses to be compliant with state and federal law. Registering your business also ensures that you have the proper tax documentation to keep your business and personal finances in order, which can save you a headache later.

Since we’re talking about a small cleaning business, there are two main classifications you can choose between: a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company. We know it sounds confusing. Luckily, each option was created with a specific business owner in mind.

Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship consists of a single business owner doing business alone and usually under their name. A sole proprietorship is a great option for business owners who:

  • Don’t wish to hire employees
  • Aren’t interested in separating their personal finances from their business revenue
  • Want to save money on the initial registration
  • Don’t wish to file formation documents with local government
  • Want to operate with minimal government regulations
  • Don’t mind paying personal income tax on business income

One of the main differences between a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company is the way business income is recognized concerning personal income. If you choose to become a sole proprietor, your business and personal income are not separated. This means that if a client sues you, your personal assets could be seized to satisfy a judgment.

If you would rather separate your income from your business assets, consider forming a limited liability company.

Limited liability company

A limited liability company (LLC) is a business classification that allows business owners to separate their personal assets from their business income. Registering to become an LLC is generally more expensive and time-consuming than a sole proprietorship, but many business owners agree that the extra effort is worth the resulting benefits.

Here are some benefits you will take advantage of as the owner of an LLC:

  • You can create a company name that reflects your business and company values. This can help you attract your target audience and start making money as quickly as possible.
  • Most LLC owners enjoy a lower tax liability versus sole proprietorships.
  • Registering as an LLC shows that you are serious about your business, which helps build customers’ confidence in doing business with you.
  • Your personal assets are protected in the event of a business dispute.
  • Most banks require formal LLC filing documents at a minimum before you can open a business checking account.

Limited liability companies are great options for business owners who have the cash to furnish filing fees, registration charges, and maintenance fees. If you have the extra money to spend, forming an LLC is never a bad idea.

Startup Costs

The best things in life are not always free. When it comes to opening a successful cleaning business, there are startup costs you are responsible for. Making sure you have enough money to cover all of these expenses makes your journey to entrepreneurship possible.

Cleaning supplies

Chances are you’re not planning on getting the job done with your bare hands, right? There are supplies that you need to get the job done right, and we’re here to help you make sure you don’t forget anything. Opening a new business can be stressful — the last thing you need is to come unprepared on your first day.

Don’t forget these cleaning essentials for your business:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Scouring pads
  • Cleaning detergents and sprays
  • Scrub brushes
  • Brooms/Mops
  • Caddies
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Dusters

The initial investment in cleaning supplies can be hefty. Minimize costs by purchasing items in bulk and opting for reusable items when available.

Business cards

One of the best ways to get the word out about your new company is by existing customer referrals. People love to hear what their friends have to say. No matter how much advertising you do, there’s nothing better than a sparkling review from a previous client.

The best way to get your clients talking to their friends is to offer business cards with your company logo on them. Include pertinent contact information and a brief rundown of the services you offer for the best results.

Business license

Business licensing is essential to running a compliant cleaning business. This also helps build confidence in your client base since these licenses require special training and testing to obtain. Make sure to research licensing requirements in your state and set aside the money needed to obtain the documentation before taking on your first client.

Finding Customers

You’re ready to share your passion for cleaning with your community, but you might be wondering how to get your business in front of potential customers. Many business owners’ first clients are friends and family members who then help spread the word to the people they know.

Word of mouth is one solution, but what about reaching clients that aren’t already in your network?

Create social media accounts

One of the easiest ways to get the word out about your new cleaning business to your target market is by focusing on your online presence. This means setting up social media accounts on websites like Facebook and Twitter and posting on them actively.

Social media websites are a wonderful option because they are free, user-friendly, and give you access to thousands of people in your area. Having an active social media account provides a space where you can connect with clients who need the service you offer. You can use social media to promote your business, run sales, and keep your clients informed about your cleaning business.

Get a website

Creating your website gives you the freedom to create your brand, display examples of your work, and even share reviews from happy clients all in one place. It is also a great resource to refer potential customers to if they want to learn more about your business.

Ecwid is an online ecommerce platform where you can create a website tailored specifically to your cleaning business. There are no hidden fees or credit cards required, so you can get started on your website for free today. The best part? You can share your website seamlessly across all your social media channels to maximize your client reach.

Your passion can make a difference in your community, and we want to help empower you to take the plunge. So get started with your own website today and get on the path to your dreams.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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