When I came home from the hospital with a newborn, I needed help. Big time.
I was exhausted and overwhelmed. To help, my husband and I hired a cleaning professional twice a month. For us, the help was well worth the cost.
If you’re starting a cleaning business—good for you! I’ve seen how cleaning services can help new parents, newlyweds, elderly people, and busy professionals. In fact, I’ve thought about starting a cleaning service myself. You can schedule your own hours and interact with a ton of people. The best part? You’re paid pretty well too.
So what does it take to launch your own cleaning company? Grit, focus, and some equipment. To help you get started, I’ve created checklist with the equipment you’ll need to make your clients’ homes or commercial businesses shine on a regular basis.
First, what type of business are you starting? You’ll need different products for homes and commercial customers.
Depending on where you live, residential cleaning is a big business. During the past few years, many homeowners have recovered from the last recession and are happy to spend extra cash on cleaning services. If you live in a higher-income area, then you’re really in luck. The market for your services is needed—and probably growing.
Here are the products you’ll need:
Depending on your comfort level, you may want to buy an eye or face mask, especially if you aren’t using organic cleaning products. Over time, the smells and chemicals impact you.
Want to save on a mop? Here’s a hack. Our house cleaner cut a hole in the center of a hand towel. Then she put the end of the broom handle through the hole. The hand towel covers the end of the broom and acts like a mop. When she’s done, she tosses the towel in with the wash. Voila! It’s the perfect homemade mop using products she already has.
Want to add a special touch? Leave your business card, a kind note, or even a small flower for your customers. These are small touches that can make a big impact.
Offering natural and eco-friendly cleaning is another way to make your business stand out. Homeowners who are health- or environmental-conscious, or who have small kids want to use safe cleaning products.
But before investing in natural products, do your research. It’s important to make sure they’re truly organic, nontoxic, and actually get the job done. According to an article in New York Magazine, these are some of the best natural cleaning products in 2019, according to experts.
Not cleaning houses? There are a ton of benefits to cleaning businesses instead of homes. Companies offer a steady flow of cash—and they can pay more too. But you might need to invest more upfront. You’ll need many of the same products that are used in residential cleaning, but on a larger scale and for a team of professionals (usually 2 to 3 people, but up to 10 to 50 employees).
Search online or visit a local janitorial supply store to pick up your starter equipment:
Don’t forget you’ll want to invest in a branded company van too. A van will give your team space to store supplies and ride together—plus, a level of professionalism that’s required by companies.
The good news is you can start a cleaning business at a low cost and grow over time. Invest in a few key pieces and then build on your products over time. The longer you own your company, the more you’ll learn about the products that work well and where you can save money.
I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.
Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.
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