Starting a professional residential cleaning service business isn’t as hard as you may think. It’s mostly about knowing what you want and having a great strategy to go after it. In my opinion, just jump right in! Seems simple, right? It is. But, if you need a few instructions of how to start a maid service, here they are… FOR FREE!
For me, I did just that. I jumped right in and started my professional cleaning service business over 27 years ago. And, 20 years ago, my wonderful husband joined and partnered with me.
At the time, I didn’t have a business plan – I didn’t save money – I didn’t ask permission. It was what I wanted… and so I pursued it. I won’t go into detail about my story, because this article is for you. You can read more about my side hustle cleaning story right here.
As for you, my advice is to just get started. Seriously, if you want to start a maid service, then do it.
Start off cleaning homes in your free time.
Clean for a family member or a close friend on the weekend or after/before your day job to test and see if you even like to clean. Even more, if you like to clean for other people.
What I’m about to tell you is just a suggestion, not a must.
Clean 1 or 2 of your family and friends’ homes and see how it goes. If you tell them that you want the practice, just charge a small fee to cover your transportation costs and any supplies you bring. Or, barter services. After all, it’s just practice.
This practice of cleaning houses, will help you to figure out a few other things.
1. How to charge for house cleaning is one thing. You will learn house to price house cleaning by the hour, by the job, or by the square foot. It’l be your choice.
2. It will help you figure out a house cleaning supplies list.
3. Cleaning your family or friend’s homes will also help you decide if you really want to clean houses.
Do this before you start your house cleaning service business
Cleaning 1 or 2 homes should be enough for you to make the following decisions.
1. Decide if you want a residential cleaning service business franchise. This will be a financial investment up front. However, some franchises will care for a lot of other concerns you’d have like training, cleaning methods, and marketing. If you want to start your housekeeping service company from scratch with little to no money, you can do that as well – this way every decision is yours.
2. Where do you want to clean? Decide on demographics for your service area. Trust me, YOU DO NOT WANT TO WASTE TIME RUNNING ALL OVER YOUR TOWN. You will lose money in travel time. So, decide where you want to clean and concentrate growing your service in one area at a time. Then feel free to branch out.
Just remember this: Start Simple – Grow Smart.
3. There may be initial start-up costs for starting your residential cleaning service, even if you choose not to go with a franchise. The costs can be minimal but you will need some money for somethings.
4. Based upon your experience, determine what type of cleaning products you want to use. Traditional or green. It’s really left up to you. Honestly, you can do both.
Do this when starting your maid service business
1. Think about why you’re starting a residential cleaning business. Seriously. Remembering your #1 goal will keep you inspired and motivated to move past any obstacles that may come your way.
2. Your business’ name. Something that describes you and your services. Something catchy like, “Making Homes Spotless Residential Cleaning Services”. In this day and age, SEO matters! You’ll want the word “cleaning”, or “maids”, or “clean” in you business’ name.
3. Lock down ALL social media accounts with your business’ name. You never know, but you just might want to use social media to grow and engage your cleaning service with your future customers. BUT, more importantly, check to see if the business name is registered already.
4. Set a budget. This budget will be for everything. Your start up costs and marketing. Be willing to adjust everything quarterly. Planning for your business every 12 weeks (quarterly) is ideal. Read this book, “The 12 Week Year”, by Brian P. Moran. It’ll help.
5. Decide on the best structure for your business. Should you start an LLC or a sole proprietorship? Or another type of business? Invest some time into understanding the pros and cons of each structure. The way you divide your profits and pay taxes will change based on each type. If you aren’t sure which is the most suitable structure for your business, work with an expert to figure it out.
6. Develop a business plan and a marketing strategy. How do you want to move forward? How will you get your business in front of your customers? What about customer attraction?
One quick tip, try to use Amazon Home Services to get customers. Once you click the link, read about the program, scroll down a bit and select APPLY. You’ll have to be approved, licensed, and meet their insurance requirements. BUT, still, they’re an excellent way to get your feet in the door.
Another fantastic way to get your business in front of customers is to become a Groupon Merchant. Sure enough, you won’t earn your hourly cleaning rate, BUT, you will get a chance to show off your cleaning skills to prospective customers. If anything, offer those customers and fantastic second and third cleaning incentive!
7. Contact your local governing authorities to find out what licenses and insurances you need for your new maid service.
One tool that I’d highly recommend using is a good Customer Profile Intake Template. A worksheet such as this will help you to collect all the data you need in order to price a house cleaning AND keep important information for each customer.
Just start cleaning somewhere – something, for a house other than your own, to get a feel if owning a residential cleaning service business is what you want. Brainstorm if you want to start a cleaning service business from scratch or buy into a franchise.
Decide where you want to clean and what chemicals you want to clean with. Create a name, register it, and get the licensing and insurance if necessary. Also, lock in all social media accounts with your business name. Develop a budget along with a business and marketing plan. THIS is the realistic, simple, and practical way of how to start a maid service.
“Wherever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”– Peter Drucker, management consultant and writer
Until next time,
Creator of A Janitor’s Story®. I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams! Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams. I’d like to help you do the same.
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