How to start a cleaning business: A step-by-step guide

By The IFTTT Team

February 16, 2024

How to start a cleaning business: A step-by-step guide
  • Without cleaners, the world would be a mess, literally. From hotels to airports to homes, millions of people across the world demand cleaning services, and are willing to pay big bucks for the luxury.

    The cleaning industry is a vast and continuously growing industry. It encompasses a wide range of services, including residential and commercial cleaning, carpet and upholstery cleaning, window cleaning, and more.

    The demand for cleaning services is driven by various factors, such as busy schedules, an increase in dual-income households, and a growing awareness of the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. The cleaning industry is also relatively recession-proof, as people always require cleaning services regardless of the economic climate.

    By the end of this guide, you will be able to better grasp the process of starting your very own cleaning business, from understanding the industry to launching your own business. Also, we hope to convince you of the value in leveraging the internet for your cleaning business and trying out some free IFTTT automations to make your customer relationships and payments smoother.

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    Why start a cleaning business?


    Starting a commercial cleaning business can be a profitable and fulfilling venture for several reasons.

    Firstly, it requires relatively low startup costs compared to other businesses, making it accessible to a wide range of entrepreneurs. Secondly, the demand for cleaning services is ever-present, providing a reliable revenue stream. It doesn't require any formal skillset, college degree, or large investments, meaning the barrier of entry is incredibly low.

    Additionally, a cleaning business allows for flexibility in terms of work-life balance, as you can set your own hours and schedule. Less talked about but still important; owning a cleaning business provides the satisfaction of providing a valuable service to customers and contributing to their well-being.

    Without further ado, lets get into the steps you should follow in starting your first cleaning business.

    Step 1: Market Research

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    Identifying your target market

    Carry out some market research and identify who your potential customers are, what their needs and preferences are, and how you can provide them with a desirable service.

    Analyzing the competition

    You should also assess the competition in your local area - what services do they offer? What prices do they charge? How do they market themselves? Answering these questions will help you create a unique selling point for your cleaning business.

    Step 2: Develop a business plan

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    Choosing the right business structure

    You should decide on the legal structure of your business - sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC) - before you move forward with any other steps. Each type of business structure has its benefits and drawbacks that must be considered carefully.

    Defining your services and pricing

    Once you've chosen the right business structure, you should determine which services your cleaning business will offer and what prices you'll charge. You'll want to take into account the competition's pricing when setting your own rates.

    Creating a marketing plan

    In addition to developing a business plan, you should also create a marketing plan. This should outline how you'll market your services and attract potential customers. You can create a website or use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help spread the word about your business.

    Here's a hint; IFTTT can help you grow your business in the online sphere automatically. More on that later.

    Step 3: Register your business

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    Registering your business with the government

    To start, choose a unique name that is simple, memorable, and relevant to your cleaning business niche. This process will vary depending on your location, but typically involves providing basic information about your business, such as its name, address, and ownership structure.

    Obtaining necessary permits and licenses

    Depending on your location and the services you offer, you may need to obtain various permits and licenses to operate your cleaning business legally. For example, you may require a business license, a sales tax permit, a waste disposal permit, or a health department permit.

    Acquiring insurance: It's important to protect your cleaning business by obtaining the necessary insurance coverage, including general liability insurance, property insurance, and worker's compensation insurance.

    Step 4: Set up operations

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    Purchasing equipment and supplies

    To start your cleaning business, you'll need to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies. Consider investing in quality equipment to ensure that the job is done right the first time and that your business is efficient.

    Hiring employees or contractors

    As your business grows, you will need to consider hiring additional help. Decide whether you want to hire employees or work with independent contractors. When hiring employees, you will need to comply with labor laws and regulations, such as minimum wage requirements and tax withholding.

    Setting up systems for scheduling and invoicing

    You'll need to establish a system to schedule and invoice your clients. Consider using tools such as IFTTT that can help automate these tasks, such as scheduling software or invoicing software.

    Step 5: Launch your business

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    Creating a launch strategy

    Develop a launch strategy that includes setting a launch date, creating a launch event, and outlining promotional activities. Consider offering discounts or other incentives to attract customers.

    Conducting a soft launch

    This method can help you identify and address any issues before you fully launch your business. During a soft launch, you can limit the number of clients you take on and gradually increase your workload as you gain confidence and experience.

    Implementing your marketing plan

    This may include creating a website, setting up social media accounts, handing out flyers, and advertising in local newspapers or online classifieds. Identify your target audience and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

    Step 6: Manage and grow your business

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    Tips for growing your customer base

    Growing your customer base is critical to the success of your cleaning business. Consider offering referral discounts to existing customers, partnering with complementary businesses such as real estate agents or property management companies, and networking with local business owners and community organizations.

    Keeping track of finances

    As your business grows, it's important to keep track of your finances carefully. Use accounting software to track income and expenses, create regular financial reports, and monitor cash flow. This will help you make informed decisions about your business and ensure that you remain profitable.

    Expanding services and hiring additional employees

    Consider expanding your services to include additional cleaning services, such as carpet or window cleaning, to meet the needs of your customers.

    As your workload increases, you may need to hire additional employees or contractors to help manage the workload. Be sure to comply with all relevant labor laws and regulations when hiring new staff.

    Is starting a cleaning business profitable?

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    The answer is complicated, but in terms of owning your cleaning business; yes, this venture can be quite profitable.

    As an employee of a US cleaning company, you can expect wages of around 13-20 dollars an hour, although this number varies depending on location. Fortunately, there seems to be little shortage of cleaning jobs in many cities across the states.

    However, as an independent contractor, you can earn as much as clients are willing to pay. Independent maids or cleaners in places such as Beverly Hills can easily make six figures, simply due to the budget of the wealthy clients around.

    Additionally, if you become the CEO or manager of a large-scale cleaning company, such as MaidPro, the business becomes even more lucrative. MaidPro, which sources cleaners from all across the nation, brings in an estimated $18 million in revenue each year.

    Putting the profits aside, starting a small and local cleaning service can be an amazing and fulfilling way to make a living. You can provide your community with essential services and develop relationships with a diverse group of clients.

    Using IFTTT automations to better your cleaning business

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    Using IFTTT (If This Then That) automations can be an effective way to streamline your cleaning business operations and improve efficiency. Whether it be automating appointment reminders and billing notifications or scheduling new jobs, IFTTT can help you save time and resources.

    What is IFTTT?

    IFTTT stands for "If This Then That," and is a nod to the common computer programming task that our service is built on. IFTTT is our web-based service that enables users to create simple automation tasks, known as Applets or recipes, between different internet-connected services and devices.

    IFTTT allows users to connect over 800 apps and devices to automate repetitive tasks and streamline their workflows. The platform works by triggering an action in one app or device when a specific event occurs in another app or device. For example, you could set up an IFTTT recipe to automatically save all your Instagram photos to Dropbox or send a notification to your phone when there is a new email in your inbox.

    On our webpage, users can create an account and get started with their first Applet in just a few clicks. With our ever-growing library of user-submitted automations, you have millions (yes, millions) of choices to streamline your business or personal life.

    Our top automations for your cleaning service

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    Automatically share new posts to a Facebook Page This applet automatically shares your blog updates to your Facebook account, increasing visibility and engagement for your company.

    Track your work hours in Google Calendar This applet logs your working hours automatically in Google Calendar, helping you keep track of your work hours and bill customers correctly.

    Send a text when you miss a call to your Android phone With this applet, you will be alerted by text if you ever miss a call to an Android phone, ensuring that you never lose a potential lead with a client.

    Create reminder to follow-up e-mail This applet automatically sends a follow-up reminder to a user after an email is sent by a client, meaning that you won't miss the opportunity to get feedback or respond to a question.

    To access these Applets and many more, try IFTTT for free today!

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