How to start a cleaning business

Start a cleaning business

Our consultation service has been in operation since 2004. We have helped thousands of people get into their own cleaning business, including housecleaning, office-cleaning, window, and carpet-cleaning services. Here are the top five elements to pay attention to when you start a cleaning service.

Business name and slogan are important, but do not get bogged down with them. Resist the urge to be super clever with your business name. There are many factors you should consider that may not be apparent to a business start-up newbie. For example, you must consider your online presence, and the domain name you will need. You also need to consider the following:

  • Clever vs. pragmatic
  • Branding for the long-term
  • Family or location
  • Already in use in your area?
  • Online keywords for search engines
  • Resale possibilities

You can find many helpful articles about naming your cleaning business on our site.

For further information:

choosing a cleaning business name

Picking a window cleaning business name

You must have a web presence, but do not depend on it

Your new business definitely needs a website and a Facebook page. However, after putting them online, it is not advisable that you just kick back and assume that these two web elements will funnel work to your business. They cannot do that all on their own; it simply does not work that way. They will help you in the long-term, as a way of keeping the pipeline full of interested clients. But in the short-term, you will need to go directly to a list of targeted potential clients. That is the way to launch your cleaning company. Here is an article on marketing your cleaning business, using both short-term and long-term tactics.

Generate your own leads

The single most common question we get is, "how do I get clients?" First, we want you to drop the whole notion of "leads.” That idea is a trick played by the cleaning service franchises, so sketchy that it's practically a scam.

Look. You do not need ten-thousand diffused leads. You need a few hundred targeted “potentials” that will result in a few dozen actual clients. Do not be impressed by a cleaning franchise offering to hand you a truckload of so-called leads. They are tricking you with scale. The cleaning business franchises send you a generic list of businesses in your area that you can cold call or contact. Gee, thanks, I can do that myself on the internet or pick up a Yellow Pages and create a spreadsheet myself. In fact that would be better because many of these lists are quite old. Even though you can compile your own list of local businesses, it is a bad way to proceed. You want to pre-qualify your clients to make sure they are a good fit for you. Getting targeted potentials is not hard to do. This is done by conducting specific research, and crafting marketing materials that attract the right client through your particular use of design and language. This is a sophisticated practice. How to offer elite cleaning services.

It is not about the contracts & bidding formulas, it is about psychology!

The second most common question we get is, "do you provide the contracts and bid-sheets"? Yes, we do, but just so you know, these items are also available at Staples for $30. It is not about the cleaning service contracts or bid-sheets. They are important, but you need to begin focusing on much bigger and more complex issues when launching this business.

Here are just a few of the important issues in which you should get up to speed:

  • How not to project your personal values onto the client
  • Cultural appropriateness and functional fit
  • Proper systems for your type of services
  • Sending the right message to get the response you want

You need a mentor

80% of cleaning business startups will fail. Is this due to poor cleaning skills? No! Surprisingly, it's because they will make the mistake of thinking they can figure it out all, on their own, through trial and error. You may actually pull that off, or you may make a fatal error from which your young business cannot recover. You cannot predetermine what the obstacles will be. The only people prepared to warn you about them are people who have already faced, and overcome those obstacles. In addition, a mentor has a better system than the typical cleaning service is using. And that will be useful, because to succeed, your company will have to be an improvement over the established services in your area.

Starting a cleaning business is not rocket science, but it is not a lemonade stand either. There is a fair amount of complexity involved, especially in this technologically-savvy era, with all the communication and business gizmos that your clients have come to expect. Gone are the days of the cleaning services being a good business-choice for a luddite!

Learn about our cleaning business system.

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