How To Start A Cleaning Service

So you are thinking of starting a cleaning service, but are you ready for what it takes? Most people do not have a clear understanding of what it takes to start and grow a successful business. Please, don’t be offended, I am here to help not insult. After 23 years of business ownership I can look back and realize how little I really knew when I thought I knew it all. I have talked to many business owners in my travels. The ones that are the wisest have been in for a few years and understand they could use some help. The ones just getting started think they know everything, now maybe this won’t apply to you but it’s been a common theme from my experience.

So let’s start with the basics. You need a name for your business, a good name that people will remember. I recommend staying away from the ‘cute’ names although I had one when I started. My first company was called Scooters Cleaning Service, I was known as Scott the scooter since I was always on the go. So that’s where the name came from. We changed the name a few times over the years and finally settled on where we are today. You can use your last name and keep it simple- Henderson Janitorial or something like that. Be sure to have several names in mind since the one you want may be taken. I would write 5 possible names on a sheet of paper and show them to several people to get their feedback.

Next you need to register your business name. The easiest way is called a DBA which is an acronym for Doing Business As. Examaple: you name DBA Steamtown Cleaning Co. In most areas you can register your DBA at the county clerks office, you can also use an online company like Legalzoom to help you. As your company grows you will want to form a corporation or LLC to remove yourself personally from the business. Then the business is liable for any potential lawsuite and your personal assets are protected. Im not an attorney and don’t want to give legal advice, this is the basic overview but an attorney can really give you the complete rundown.

You will need business insurance, talk to your insurance agent and see if they offer it. If not they can probably recommend an agent to help you. Basic liability and property damage is all you need if you are a one person company, when you add employees you will need workers comp and disability. You will need basic cleaning supplies and equipment. A good commercial vacuum and mop with a bucket is a simple way to start. Don’t worry about buying more expensive elaborate equipment at this point, just the basics.

So now you have you name, insurance and supplies, that’s the easy part. Now you need clients, without them everything else is pointless. Have some professional business cards made up and get ready to put on your salesman cap, this is where the rubber meets the road. A few suggestions- tell everyone you know and give them your card. Ask them to tell their friends and associates. Old fashion door to door cold calling works as well. Walk into a business and introduce yourself. Leave a card and try to find out who is in charge of hiring the cleaning service. You can also contact businesses by phone to see if they will let you come in and give a free estimate. If you are considering buying a cleaning franchise be sure they offer account location services for you.