How to Run a Successful Cleaning Business
Launching a cleaning business can be a lucrative, rewarding business opportunity with a lot of potential—if you do it right.
You’d be hard pressed to find a person that didn’t want a clean home, office or workspace. But many people don’t have the time, skills, or energy to keep their space as clean and tidy as they’d like. So, what do those people do when they want to get their space in tip-top shape? They pay for cleaning services.
Launching a cleaning business can be a lucrative, rewarding business opportunity with a lot of potential—if you do it right. Let’s take a deep dive into everything you need to know about how to launch, run, and grow a successful cleaning business:
Determine what kind of cleaning business you want to build
The first step to running a successful cleaning business? Figuring out what kind of cleaning business you want to run.
There are a ton of opportunities in the cleaning industry—and if you want your new business to thrive, you need to carve out your niche and figure out what kind of cleaning services you’re going to offer. So, for example, you might build a business around residential cleaning, offering house cleaning services to homeowners in your local area. Or you might be more interested in commercial cleaning, offering janitorial services to large companies. Or maybe you want to carve out a more specialized niche, and partner with real estate agents to clean their properties before showings or open houses.
The point is, there are a lot of different business types within the cleaning industry—and before you get too far into building your cleaning business, it’s important to decide which business type is right for you.
Create a business plan
Once you’ve settled on the type of cleaning business you want to build, it’s time to get a solid business plan in place.
Your business plan lays the groundwork for how you’re going to transform your business idea into a successful cleaning business. Your business plan should include:
- Business name. What are you going to call your business?
- Target market. What kind of client base are you going after?
- Competitor analysis. Who are your competitors in the market? What are they doing well—and how are you different?
- Start-up budget. How much start-up capital do you have to work with—and how are you planning to spend that capital?
- Cleaning services. What services are you going to offer your clients?
- Pricing structure. Are you going to charge clients by the hour or are you going to offer a flat rate based on the service? What does that pricing look like?
- Operational strategy. How are your business operations going to function?
- Cleaning staff needs. Who do you need to hire in order to get your business off the ground—and how do you plan to build your team?
- Marketing plan. How are you going to market your business and sell your services?
- Revenue goals. What are your revenue goals for your business?
Taking the time to create a detailed business plan will give you a roadmap for how to build your cleaning business—and will set you up for success in the long run.
Secure the right supplies and tools
Before you launch your cleaning business and start working with clients, you want to make sure you have the right supplies and tools you’ll need to do your job.
First, you’ll need the cleaning products necessary to do your job. No matter what kind of cleaning services you plan to offer, you should plan to stock up on the basics, like paper towels, brooms, mops, and cleaning solution. If you’re offering more niche services (like carpet cleaning or deep window cleaning), you should also get the necessary supplies for those projects.
In addition to a variety of cleaning products, you should also get the protective equipment you’ll need to keep yourself, your staff, and your clients safe as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, including gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer.
As a business owner, you should also invest in any tools that will allow you to run your business more efficiently. So, for example, if you want to give your clients the option to pay for your cleaning jobs with a credit card, you’ll need to get a mobile payment processor. If you plan to hire a cleaning staff, you’ll want to invest in a payroll and time tracking tool that will allow you to schedule shifts, track hours, and get your team paid.
Get the word out
In order for your cleaning company to succeed, you need to get the word out, connect with potential customers, and convince them that your business is the right solution for their cleaning needs.
There are a number of different ways to market your business, including:
- Social media. Neighborhood-based social media apps like NextDoor are a great way to connect with potential clients in your local area.
- Advertising. Digital advertising (like Facebook Ads or Google Ads) can help to build your online presence, target the right customers, and drive interest in your business. Local advertising (like buying an ad in your local newspaper or putting flyers up in local businesses) can also be extremely effective in building buzz around your new cleaning business.
- Content marketing. Creating helpful, educational materials (for example, a how-to guide on cleaning a kitchen) can help you build relationships and establish yourself as an authority in your industry—both of which can help drive business.
Bottom line? As you’re getting your business off the ground, you need to get the word out to as many clients and customers as possible—so it’s important to focus on marketing, particularly in the early stages.
Focus on customer experience
Building a successful cleaning business is about more than your cleaning services; it’s about providing a high level of service to your clients and creating a customer experience that keeps them coming back for more.
Look for ways to offer perks and create a positive experience for your customers. Some customer experience strategies you may want to consider include:
- Introductory offers. Offering a discount on a client’s first service can help incentivize people to give your cleaning business a try—and once you impress them with your services, you can convert them from a first-time customer into a regular customer.
- Recurring client offers. If you want your clients to engage your services on a regular basis, offer a recurring client discount to incentivize them. For example, you might offer 10 percent off for clients who schedule cleanings on a weekly basis.
- Quality surveys. You want your clients to be satisfied with your services. Sending out quality surveys after a cleaning service can help you get insights into whether your clients are satisfied with the quality of your work—and if they’re not, it gives you the opportunity to fix the issue.
Remember, when you launch a cleaning business, you’re launching a service business—so it only makes sense that you should focus on customer service and experience.
Ask your clients to help you spread the word
Word of mouth is one of the most effective and affordable ways to build buzz around your cleaning business—and, as such, your existing clients are one of the best marketing tools you have.
Make sure to ask your clients to help you spread the word about your business, including:
- Leaving positive online reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review sites
- Writing a testimonial for your website
- Sending you referrals
- Recommending your services to friends, family, and colleagues
The more clients you get talking about your business, the more potential clients they’re going to drive to your cleaning company—and the more successful you’ll be as a result.
Get out there and run a successful cleaning business
Launching and running a successful cleaning business takes determination, patience, and hard work. But now that you know exactly how to build your own cleaning business from the ground up, all that’s left to do? Get out there and start building!