Are you ready to launch your own commercial cleaning company but don’t know where to start?
If you need help, check out these six tips on how to start a cleaning business, with advice on everything from picking out your cleaning territory to getting your first customer.
1. Be Strategic About Picking the Right Territory
Your service area can play a big role in how quickly you grow a successful cleaning business. Pick too large of an area and you run the risk of spending most of your working hours commuting. Choose a too-small territory and you may struggle to find customers, especially if other cleaners are already in the area.
Here are a few recommendations for picking a territory that works for you:
- Don’t spread out too much; focus on a couple of neighborhoods that are easy to get to
- Include neighborhoods that are dense in housing (if you live in a more rural area, you may need to expand your territory)
- Keep your cleaning territory within 15 to 25 miles of your business’ home base.
Doublecheck your territory with an established cleaner—one whose feedback you trust and who won’t feel too threatened at the thought of a new cleaner on the block.
2. Find Help With Your Marketing Musts
Marketing plays a crucial role in bringing customers to the door, but it also takes up a lot of time and energy. Consider outsourcing some of your biggest marketing projects to people who can help, whether they’re family members or freelancers who fit within your budget.
Unless you have the passion and time for marketing, get some extra help with the following:
- Building your cleaning business website
- Setting up social media pages
- Implementing and testing paid ads on Google
- Managing a profile on digital marketplace like HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack
- Sending out marketing emails to customers.
The more you can outsource to others, the more time you can devote to what you’re really good at: building your cleaning business.
3. Insure Your Cleaning Business
When you’re just starting out your commercial cleaning business, you may be tempted to save money wherever possible. Although business insurance seems like something you can put off until you’re bigger, you need a policy as soon as you start marketing your services.
Here’s why: Without business insurance for cleaners, you could be on the hook financially for any property damage or accidents your business causes. Even if you weren’t responsible for the damage or accident, you’d still have to pay legal fees if your client wanted to take you to court. These costs can be so catastrophic that they could put a cleaner out of business.
Plus, most customers want to work only with cleaners who carry insurance. When it comes to landing those lucrative projects, it pays to have business insurance.
4. Get Creative About Putting Your Name out There
Getting your first customer can be tricky, but there are creative ways to let the world know your cleaning business is taking on clients:
- Use your business Facebook page to advertise your services
- Post on sites like Nextdoor or HomeAdvisor to get your business in front of people looking for cleaners
- Ask friends and family to mention your name if they know anyone looking for a cleaner
- Whip up some business cards and leave them in the mailboxes of the neighborhoods within your territory (bonus points if the cards feature a first-time customer discount)
- Contact local real estate agents to see if they’d be interested in hiring you to clean homes after viewings.
These scrappy techniques can come in handy if you’re struggling to find your first few customers.
5. Invest in Your Car
If you’re using your own car to get to cleaning sites, it’s worth spending a little extra money to ensure it looks as sparkling clean as your clients’ properties once you’re done with them. Get your car detailed, invest in regular car washes, and install special compartments inside your car to organize your cleaning supplies.
6. Launch Enticing Specials to Get New Customers
Some people may need a reason to try out your cleaning services. Others may need to be tempted away from their existing cleaners. Give new customers a compelling and enticing reason to try out your business. For example, you could offer a steep discount for a first-time cleaning or give a gift to clients after their first three cleanings.
Whatever you offer, the goal here is to convince people to become your clients. Once they do, it’s up to you to deliver such an exceptional service that they’ll never want to work with another cleaner again.