Residential cleaning is a multibillion-dollar industry, and getting your piece of this very lucrative pie is very easy. Cleaning requires no special skills, start-up investment and equipment costs are minimal, and there is no shortage of work. Residential cleaners perform duties such as dusting, vacuuming, washing surfaces, mopping floors, polishing mirrors and fixtures, and you may also choose to offer interior window washing. For the most part, residential cleaners supply all cleaning products and equipment needed to perform these services. Ideally, you want to land customers who will be using the service on a regular basis'daily, weekly, monthly, instead of only occasionally. Market your services with flier and coupon drops, as well as by running classified advertisements in your local newspaper. Referrals will also make up a large percentage of new business, so quality and excellent customer service are musts. Expanding the business requires no more than subcontracting cleaners with their own transportation to work on an hourly rate or an income-splitting basis. On average, most cleaners charge in the vicinity of $15 to $25 per hour.
Research your competitors. Search online, in local newspapers and in your telephone book for other residential cleaning services companies. Review their websites to determine the target markets that they serve. Make notes about how much competitors charge, what services they offer and the kinds of clientele they focus on.
Select a focus for your business. Determine which markets have needs that are not being met by your competition and consider how you can set yourself apart from competitors. For example, if local cleaning companies do not currently offer specialized services like carpet or window cleaning, consider offering them. Consider how you can focus your services on retirement homes, condominiums, apartment buildings or middle-class neighborhoods. Differentiate yourself by offering eco-friendly cleaning and specialized services for clients with allergies or health issues. Offer lower rates or other perks.
Name your business. Generate a list of potential business names that set you apart from competitors and appeal to your target market. Incorporate your desired company image into the business name. If fast or friendly service is your strong suit, or if you want to appeal to upscale clients, work these ideas into your business name.
Register and insure your business. Go to your city hall, describe your business and acquire the proper registration forms. Complete all forms and receive approval before you begin offering services to clients. Purchase liability insurance in case any damage occurs while cleaning clients' homes.
Secure supplies and equipment. Visit online wholesalers to buy cleaning supplies in bulk for cheaper prices. Research multiple vendors to get the best deal on high-quality products. Purchase scrub brushes, buckets, mops, a good vacuum cleaner and a vehicle to transport your supplies.
Hire employees as needed. Start your business as a one- or two-person operation and expand as your clientele list grows. If you’re cleaning apartment complexes or other high-volume residencies, hire only enough help to do the job. Hiring employees with experience in the industry will ensure that your clients are satisfied and reduce turnover rates.
Distribute marketing materials. Create fliers and door hangers that list your services and contact information. Make sure they evoke the business image that will attract your target market and show what makes your company special. Include coupons to attract new customers. Distribute materials in areas populated by your target market by leaving them in mailboxes or near the front door. Post them on bulletin boards in grocery stores and other retail shops in these neighborhoods. Keep business cards handy for encounters with potential clients and put your company name and logo on your company vehicle.