Those interested in starting their own company may want to consider opening a cleaning business. This type of company is perfect for the novice entrepreneur, as there is very little upfront investment involved and less risk than that of other ventures. All it takes to get you on your way to a successful businessis some basic cleaning supplies, proper planning and a solid marketing effort.
Decide what type of cleaning service you wantto start. Begin by deciding whether you prefer to start a residential or commercial service. Residential companies clean people's homes-the work is easier, and you will typically get to work during the day. Commercial businesses clean office building, schools, and other facilities. While the job may be tougher, the financial rewards are greater, but you will often have to work off hours and weekends.
Think about your niche. This is the specific type of customer you wish to work for. In the residential arena, you may choose to focus on green cleaning or homes in a certain neighborhood. In the commercial arena, you may decide to try and work only with schools or medical offices. Thinking about this early on will help you with marketing and shaping your business.
Purchase equipment. Depending on the type of company you plan to start, you will need mops, brooms, buckets and cleaning supplies. Invest in a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner and any specialty tools you think you'll need. Other options include carpet cleaners or commercial floor buffers.
Hire and train staff. While most people can clean fairly well, not everyone can be trusted to represent your business. The people you hire must be honest and trustworthy. Consider performing a background check on staff before you hire them. This will make you feel more secure and will be a helpful marketing tool as you sell your services.
Purchase insurance. You'll need liability insurance, in case of an incident on the job site, as well as worker's compensation insurance to cover your employees. In most states, you'll also need to obtain commercial auto insurance for any vehicles to be used on the job.
Market your business. Start with friends and neighbors, and ask them if they need help with cleaning their homes, or at their workplaces. If you plan to focus on commercial work, consider formal advertising and a website to make customers feel more comfortable.
Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.