How to Start a Cleaning Service in Wisconsin

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Starting a cleaning service in Wisconsin is a great way to establish a profitable business. With over five and a half million people and nearly two million of them in the Milwaukee metro area, there are certainly enough people to support a cleaning service. Though the Midwest is well known for its strong work ethic, there are still many who would prefer to use a cleaning service and focus their efforts on other aspects of their life. According to the 2010 US Census, the median annual income in Wisconsin is almost $50,000, so in addition to wanting a cleaning service to help make their lives easier, Wisconsin residents should be able to afford to hire one.

Register your business with the Wisconsin department of licensing and registration. The state runs a web-based business portal for new and current business owners. Once you establish your business and pay any applicable fees, you will be provided a user ID and password that allows you to file your quarterly business income tax returns via the web. Sales and use taxes may also be paid on-line, which greatly reduces the time required to manage your business.

Join the Wisconsin chapter of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International. This professional organization is open to business owners in the residential cleaning industry and provides education opportunities to its members. The monthly chapter meetings give members a place to network with other business owners in their area and also has guests speakers share the latest in technology. Benefits include discounts for business related software for payroll, background checks, and insurance.

Order your cleaning equipment and supplies through a local supplier. Establish a wholesale account by providing a copy of your business license and placing your initial order. Though many companies require your orders to be at least $500, you still save a significant amount of money by purchasing your supplies and equipment at wholesale prices. Essential Industries in Merton, JI Supply in Janesville, Modern Janitorial in Wisconsin Rapids and San-A-Care in Waukesha all allow wholesale accounts.

Hire a cleaning staff to support your initial customer requirements. Often this means starting with a small group of part-time employees until your business grows enough to afford full-time workers. A great place to find part-time workers is local college campuses. Since college students have flexible hours, they are often well suited to the types of jobs a residential cleaning service has to offer. There are over 50 colleges in Wisconsin with the University of Wisconsin, Marquette, Lawrence University being the largest. Call the student office and request a spot in the next job fair on campus. You can review resumes, interview candidates and actually hire your staff all on the same day.

Promote your business by advertising in the local newspaper. Whether it is the "Daily Tribune" in Wisconsin Rapids, the "Journal Times" in Racine, or the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," the daily circulation will reach over 100 thousand readers. Contact your local real estate agents such as Coldwell Banker, Shorewest, and First Weber Realtors and discuss options for having them your cleaning service to their clients. By getting in with new home owners, you should be able to significantly grow your business.

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About the Author

Jeri Sullivan is a freelance writer with over 14 years experience based in South Carolina. She works for Flextronics International as a materials marketing manager and specializes in writing about business start-ups. Sullivan has a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

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