A cleaning business is a solid business venture in the United States because of its consistent demand, low overhead and minimal amount of training involved. Starting a cleaning business in North Carolina involves a series of federal- and state-required steps before you can legally sell your services and foster your client list.
Setting Up Your Business
Plan your business through brainstorming and drafting planning documents that include mission statements, company protocol, policies and marketing strategy. (See the Resources section.) Before opening, write down goals and how to accomplish them, as well as a timeline and marketing plan.
Come up with a short, catchy name, and register it name with the state. Email the North Carolina Secretary of State's office to see if the name you want is taken or not.
Choose a legal structure for your cleaning business, taking into consideration taxes, finances and partners. A common structure is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which prevents personal liability for owners. An LLC also provides significant tax breaks because of the separation of personal and business finances, according the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Fill out the proper forms to file your business with the state. This is done through the North Carolina Secretary of State's Office and filling out a variety of forms. For a sole proprietorship, fill out the Certificate of Assumed Name, the Articles of Incorporation for a corporation, the Articles of Organization for a LLC, or the Application for a Limited Liability Partnership or the Certificate of Domestic Limited Partnership for a limited liability partnership (See Resources section).
Research tax information for your company's particular business structure, so there are no surprises later on. You will receive tax information with the business structure documents you receive upon registering with the state (See Resources section).
Hire employees if needed, and purchase cleaning supplies. Clean family members' and friends' houses and offices for free to get some preliminary practice before you open the business.
Print fliers to promote the launch of your business, and if you have a location, host a party with free food and drinks so people can get to know you and learn about your business. Visit area businesses to hand out your fliers, and post them in public places.
Open your business in a soft launch format, offering discounted and trial cleaning prices to businesses and residents in your area. This will give you a chance to get some additional practice before your hard launch.
Put together internal marketing tools, especially a simple website with prices, special offers, hours of operation and geographic reach. The site should have compelling graphics and text. Your social networking sites should also include this information and be used to raise awareness.
Open your business officially to the public, utilizing radio and print advertising and door-to-door marketing to get the word out. This process is time consuming, and you might not see immediate results, but if you put together a memorable campaign, people will remember you when they need a new cleaning service.
Starting a cleaning business is not an overnight process, but you hold the control over how many clients you get. You need to be aggressive when building your client list. Give away cheap service for a while to get your name out and always do an exceptional cleaning job.