how to start a cleaning business

Be Your Own Boss: How to Start a Cleaning Business

Do you want to be your own boss? How about earning money in one of the most in-demand industries you could ever find: starting a cleaning business. Wherever you are in the world, whatever your age – read on to see why this could be a profitable career for you!

It might happen at any stage of your life; one day the thought of becoming a bit more independent will come to your mind. But how do you make it happen? Sure, there are many jobs you could look to do but many of them require training, courses, significant output and other barriers to entry. However, when you start to think about owning your own cleaning business, you’ll realise that it might be just the idea you’ve been waiting for.

how to start a cleaning business

Cleaning services are in demand!

Let’s look at the facts: Cleaning service today are in high demand. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Outsourcing is the new black. From virtual assistants to nannies, gardeners to shoppers, there are very few day-to-day tasks that can’t be handballed to someone else.” People today are time-poor, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

“Outsourcing is not just for the well-heeled,” explains the SMH, “it’s increasingly a popular option favoured by those who see it as a time-saving solution.” According to, it is even possible to run a cleaning business and be employed at some full-time job. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Apart from the basic mechanics of cleaning services, there are lots of elements to this type of work. You will have to combine administrative, marketing and other tasks, including perhaps starting your own social media pages to advertise your new business. You might elect to specialise in a certain type of cleaning too; from office, household and even industrial cleaning for small business, for example.

The different types of cleaning services you can provide

Cleaning businesses have two main areas – commercial and residential. Commercial cleaning is usually occupied by the larger cleaning companies, and although there are many opportunities around, if you’re just starting out, it’s recommended that you focus on residential cleaning services. You might start with providing specific cleaning services (such as cleaning of windows, kitchens or carpets), gradually shifting to cleaning the entire apartments or houses of your clients.

Beginning work as a freelance cleaner: What to start with?

According to, “if you want to evade many troublesome issues, a franchise may be recommended to you. It is a great option for the people, who want to save their time. Franchises can be provided by some large and trustworthy companies. However, do not forget that you will work under the brand name of a particular establishment and you will have to comply with peculiar requirements.” This might be a good option for some people but make sure you do your research and contact a few franchisees in the market to assess their team culture and commercial ethos.

Funding: Where do I get the money to start a cleaning business?

There is no hard and fast answer but the amount of startup capital you need depends on your goals. If you want to run your cleaning business while still maintaining a full-time job, only a very basic investment is required. A serious cleaning business venture or franchise option will cost much more. For some business models, a small bank loan might be an option to obtain the necessary amount.

If you don’t have great credit or this option is not available to you, then there are other sources of investment you could consider, including borrowing a lump sum from friends or relatives, inviting of potential partners or alternative sources of funding, such as selling off items you no longer need.

What equipment do you need for a cleaning business?

The good news here as that most of these items are low cost, readily available and can be built up over time. Often, clients, you take on will have their own cleaning utensils too, such as a vacuum cleaner, brushes and mops, etc. Starting a cleaning business will require a basic level of equipment support. The most essential tools are listed below:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop and bucket
  • Steam cleaner
  • Rags
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Window cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Furniture lacquer
  • Soft scrub for sinks
  • Feather duster
  • Rubber gloves

And what about staff for your cleaning business?

Some services you’ll provide will require a various number of employees. For example, when running a maid service business, you will need several maids; whereas a janitorial business will require an administrator, crew supervisors and salespeople in addition to several employees. Think of these elements when you write up your initial business plan.

Marketing your cleaning business

Potential customers will need to know about your company. Advertising, social media pages and promotion will most likely bring additional success to your services. In this day and age, marketing techniques might factor in several types of promotion, including local leaflet distribution, online advertisement, social media pages and a website.

Ready to be your own boss? Here’s the bottom line!

As we’ve seen, starting a cleaning business is not very complicated but definitely takes planning and preparation. Make a proper estimate, write up a business plan and be ready to work. If you need help with putting together a business plan, get in touch via the comments. Gradually, with planning and patience, you will be able to be your own boss!

Be Your Own Boss: How to Start a Cleaning Business
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Be Your Own Boss: How to Start a Cleaning Business
Do you want to be your own boss? Let’s find out how to start a cleaning business with very little set-up cost. Everything you need to know about being a freelance cleaner.
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Alyce Vayle | Content Strategist SEO
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