The Complete 6-Step Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business in 2020

Starting a cleaning business involves careful planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of key activities. You need every advantage you can get.

When starting a cleaning business people often ask:

    • Is it profitable?
    • How much will it cost to start?
    • How do I get clients?
    • Do I need insurance?
    • What supplies do I need?
    • How do I market myself?
    • What types are cleaning businesses are there?
    • How much do I charge?

With the right resources and strategies, starting a cleaning business can be an inexpensive way to become an entrepreneur.

1. Define your cleaning business

Cleaning can be a lucrative and rewarding business at both the residential and commercial level. So, before you pack up your mops, brooms, and Magic Erasers, consider these facts:

  • In May 2018, there were about 924,290 jobs in residential cleaning with the titles ‘maid’ or ‘housekeeper.’
  • Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows the cleaning industry growth at 7%, which is above the national average for all occupations. The field is expected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, presenting a good opportunity for prospective business owners in this category.
  • Hourly rates for house cleaning range from $20 to $50 per hour per worker, with most home cleaning visits lasting at least two hours with one worker for $75–$110.

Household cleaners market value worldwide from 2017 to 2025 (in billion U.S. dollars)*

Intriguing, right?

But, even if you’re motivated by the potential, it’s natural that you’d still have some questions.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make as an entrepreneur is to decide if you’re interested in starting a residential or commercial cleaning service.

While you can certainly add on services as your business grows, most cleaning businesses fall under one of these two umbrellas.

Once you’ve determined which type of cleaning business you’re going to start, you’ll want to develop specific services to offer within that niche.

Residential Cleaning Business

Residential cleaning businesses offer services that pertain to a client’s home.

It’s important to note that residential cleaners supply all cleaning products and equipment needed to perform these services (unless otherwise agreed with the client).

Consider offering these services as a residential house cleaner:

  • home maintenance
  • move-in/move-out cleaning
  • deep cleaning
  • home event cleanup
  • green cleaning

Let’s explore some of these services together…

Home maintenance

Duties in this type of cleaning business can vary, but they usually include dusting, vacuuming, washing surfaces, mopping floors, polishing mirrors and interior window cleaning.

Think about the typical maintenance of a home – those should be covered under this service.

Each client’s needs will vary and will need to be agreed upon before starting service.

Pricing averages can vary by location, home size, etc.

Move-in and move-out cleaning

No one likes to move. It’s stressful, exhausting, and after everything is moved out, there is still cleaning left to do.

Landlords are often left with a rental property that needs to be properly cleaned to prepare for new tenants.

Moving cleaning services are highly sought offer by clients to lighten their load.

This type of cleaning service will go beyond simple home maintenance. While expectations will vary based on the circumstances, you can also expect to deep clean walls, appliances, windows, and more.

Pricing for move-in and move-out services is generally a flat rate, determined by the amount of work needed and the size of the home.

Deep cleaning

You may consider offering deep cleaning services. This type of cleaning, also known as spring cleaning, goes beyond normal maintenance.

Deep cleans involve cleaning out pantries, cupboards, and more. It also will likely include walls, baseboards, fans, and other hidden areas.

The pricing structure for deep cleaning services can be hourly or a flat rate, depending on the client’s needs.

Residential event cleanup

Hosting a party is fun, cleaning up after one, not as much.  Consider adding event cleanup to your service roster.

Event cleanup involves cleaning up the mess left from an event and getting the home back in tip-top shape.

Pricing for this type of service can be both hourly, or a pre-determined flat rate.

Green cleaning

We don’t suggest following all trends for your new business, but offering eco-friendly cleaning services, is a piece of the pie you’ll want to sink your teeth into.

Clients today are more concerned with the ingredients in cleaning supplies, and the effect those ingredients have on the environment as well as their own health.

In fact, a recent survey showed that approximately 18 percent of respondents stated they would spend up to 10% more for environmentally friendly cleaning products.

You will have a distinct advantage by offering your customers something that your competitors aren’t:  toxin-free cleanliness.

Eco-friendly cleaning is especially desirable for parents who might worry about the chemicals their young children are around, people with allergies or respiratory issues, or even your regular Joe who is pretty sure breathing in bleach isn’t the best idea.

Use this to your advantage.

Green cleaning can be a model you follow for all cleaning jobs or an upgrade service that your client can add on.

Commercial Cleaning Business

Commercial cleaners offer services that cater to businesses.

Regardless of the type of business, it is important to maintain cleanliness in our work and business environments.

Whether maintaining an office building, disposing of hazardous waste, or window washing an 87 story building– there is a large market for commercial cleaners.

Pricing for commercial cleaning jobs is generally based upon a contract price.

Consider these four types of cleaning services when starting yours.

General Office

Office buildings are the start of transactions, collaboration, and client interaction.

It is vital to keep them clean and prepared to handle day-to-day business.

Business owners want to impress clients and maintain property values, so they will hire you to maintain the cleanliness of their offices.

General office cleaning contracts often include: mopping and vacuuming, removing trash, waxing floors, dusting, and sanitizing bathrooms.

Large Scale Niche Services

Some commercial cleaning businesses offer large job services such as window and carpet cleaning.

These specialized jobs require specific equipment and skills. You’ll want to keep this in mind while calculating start-up costs.

Commercial window cleaning has an average cost of $5-$14 per hour, while commercial carpet cleaners charge between $30 and $70 per room.

Construction Cleanup

Construction site cleanup services perform a final cleaning and removal of construction materials. This type of cleanup is needed in both commercial and residential properties.

Take note that construction cleanup businesses require a variety of licenses and permits for the services they offer.

This type of work requires long hours and specialized equipment (again – an added start-up expense).

Typical customers include contractors, construction companies, and property management firms.

Disaster/Hazardous Waste Cleanup

Disaster and hazardous waste cleanup are less familiar but certainly necessary, sectors of commercial cleaning.

These services may be required after natural disasters, in the medical field, or even surrounding crime scenes.

Commercial companies offering this type of service must work closely with EPA and OSHA guidelines.

A final word…

You have a lot of options when starting a cleaning business.

While we suggest you decide on a single niche to start with when building your business, you always have the option to continuously expand your services and markets as your business grows.

The best strategy is to thoroughly research each of the above business types and consider what would be the best fit for you.

Defining Your Business Action Items:

☐ Determine if you are opening a residential or commercial cleaning business
☐ Research the requirements of services you are contemplating offering
☐ Decide on a niche

2. Branding your cleaning business

Every cleaning business is different.  The way your business is run is specific to you.

Your brand and brand identity should also be unique.

You may find yourself thinking, “I’m just cleaning houses, do I really need to worry about branding?” But, the clear answer is yes.

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Your brand is how customers and potential customers will view your business.

Whether you are intentional about your branding or not, your brand exists.

Making deliberate branding decisions for your business will give you a leg up on the competition.

Cleaning professionals, especially residential cleaners, are invited into the most sacred place in a consumer’s world – their home.

Ensure your brand embodies trustworthiness in addition to quality to gain a client’s trust. And, be committed to that message.

It is important that you not underestimate the importance of brand authenticity.

So, if you want to gain clients, you’ve got to create a brand identity for your cleaning business. Your identity will fill in the blanks of who you are, and what you have to offer.

Before you start posting ads for your services, consider the following:

  • What makes my cleaning business unique?
  • What type of cleaning business am I?
  • What services will I offer?
  • Who are my customers?
  • What are my brand values?
  • What is the most important part of my customer’s experience?

Your answers to these questions will help build the foundation of your brand.

Once those are set, you’re ready to think about your business name and business logo – the core branding elements for your business. 

Branding Basics

The most important visual branding elements for any business are the name and logo.

These are the tools used to communicate your brand. And, you’ll want to invest time in getting them right. So, let’s take a deeper look…

Naming your business:

What’s in a name? Everything.

For some, this is the hardest step in starting a business.

In order to avoid any common naming mistakes, it’s essential to take the time you need to choose the perfect name.

There are a few things you must consider when naming your business.

Naming Elements To Consider

You want the perfect name. A name that you a proud of, that is memorable, and represents what you have to offer.

Consider these naming elements while brainstorming:

  • Spelling: There are plenty of times when inserting creativity into your business is a good thing. However, the spelling of your business isn’t one of them. You may be tempted to stand out by naming your business “Karen’s Kleaning Services,” but, you’re asking for trouble. If your business name isn’t spelled properly, clients will have a hard time finding you online – and they may find a competitor instead!
  • Descriptive: A client should know what service you offer at first glance. For example, “Karen’s Home Cleaning Services” fills in all the question marks about your business. But, “Karen’s Home Services” leaves more questions than answers. Also, if you intend to expand your services at some point to include anther niche, like office buildings or industrial sites, you should take that into consideration before committing to a business name.
  • Short and to the Point: It’s important that your business name be memorable. Try to keep your business name as concise as possible. A shorter name is easier for clients to remember and locate online. It will also come in handy when you are visually branding and marketing your name.
  • Piques Interest: A clever name that captures interest can help clients remember and get to know your brand. For instance, consider bakery franchise “Nothing Bundt Cakes.” The strategic naming of the company meets all the guidelines above, while including a fun play on words that certainly piques interest.

Branding and Trademark Elements to Consider

By now you may have a list of names you’re tossing around.

It’s a good idea to cross-check your front runner options with branding and trademark availability.

To put it simply: Has someone else already claimed that brand name?

Branding Elements to Consider
  • Domain name: Do yourself a favor and check to see if a website domain name is available for your business website before making your final choice. You need to be accessible where your customers are. And, to be frank, your customers are online. Check to see if your name is available as a domain here.
  • Social Media: Clients will want to find your business on social media. So, ensure that there are social media handles available for your preferred name. According to  Smart Insights, 63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. So, save your clients some frustration and make your business easy to find.
Trademarking and Incorporating
  • Trademark: Can your business name be trademarked? Once you’ve decided on a name, perform a search on the U.S. Patent and Trade Office’s (USPTO) database of registered trademarks. We also suggest you run a series of search engine searches for your desired business name to make sure there isn’t another company offering similar services under that name.
  • Incorporation: Has a business with the same name been registered in your state? It’s important to protect your business name by registering it with your state authorities. If you have a limited liability company, a corporation, or a limited partnership in the U.S., you’ll need to register the business itself, which will also register your business name.

Business Logo:

You’ve heard the saying, “You get only one chance to make a good first impression.”

For a cleaning business, your logo is often that opportunity.

And, much like your business name, your logo should be well-informed by your overall brand.

With a strong logo, you can inspire consumers who have no prior knowledge of or experience with your business, to believe you can deliver a great service.

Your business logo will become a client’s main visual identifier for your business.

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Each impression is valuable. A strong, brand-centered logo will showcase a clear difference between your business and your competitors, quickly connect with your prospective clients, and stick in their minds.

When developing your business logo, consider the following:

  1. Avoid generic logos: You don’t want your business to be known as “just another cleaning business,” you want to stand out as a front-runner.  In order to achieve that, your logo can’t look like a hundred others.  You need a one-of-a-kind design that conveys what you do and who you are. Your logo must be in alignment with your brand values.
  2. Pick the right typography: Good logos are not just about creative illustrations and drawings! Many companies use typography in their logos either instead of, or in addition to, images and symbols. Next to the graphical element, the typography used in your logo is a critical choice. The typography you choose will speak about your brand.
  3. Be mindful of color: Color affects us deeply.  According to a study examining the effect of color on sales, 92.6% of people surveyed by the CCI: Institute for Color Research said that color was the most important factor when purchasing products. Be diligent in your research when choosing a color palette for your logo design.
  4. Consider how your logo will be used: When developing your logo, think about its use. Will your logo be used on business cards, uniform embroidery, social media, and vehicle wraps? Be sure the graphic and typography elements translate well into the various ways you will display your logo. The best logos can scale and adapt to any size or background without losing impact.
  5. Hire a professional: With so much of your success riding on how your brand is perceived, logo design is not a place to cut corners. Here at crowdspring, we take the stress off your shoulders and deliver some of the best logo designs in the world, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional graphic design firm.

Whether you intend to have your cleaning business as a side gig or a full-time endeavor, your branding is crucial, essential, vital.

Be thoughtful and precise in developing your brand identity, and watch your business grow.

Branding To Do:

☐ Develop your brand identity.
Name your business.
☐ Hire an experienced logo designer to create your business logo.

3. Crunch the numbers

Crunching the numbers when starting a new business can seem like an arduous task.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, cleaning services tend to have some of the lowest up-front costs compared to other start-ups.

So, let’s dive right in.

Start-up Costs

Start-up costs for a cleaning business include:

  • registering your business
  • insuring your business
  • tools and supplies
  • transportation
  • branding and promotional tools

Register Your Business

In order for your business to function legally, you must register or incorporate it with your state. And, this costs money.

When it comes to a legal structure for your business, you have options. And, it’s important to make the right call because the business structure you choose will impact your business at many levels.

As a new business owner, you may feel overwhelmed and pressured to decide. But, it’s not wise to rush into this decision.

You’ll find more information about business structure options in the next section. But for now, the key takeaway is to factor your registration or incorporation fees into your overall start-up costs.

Insuring Your Business

It’s alarming how many new business owners forget to protect themselves and their businesses via insurance before they officially start.

Acquiring business insurance won’t help you after claims against your business have already been filed.

As we shared in The Complete 12 Step Guide to Starting a Business in 2020,

Insurance can cover property damage, theft, intellectual property lawsuits, and other incidents. Those can be very costly to small businesses and you need to properly protect yourself and your new business.

And if you will employ people, you’ll need to have workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Coverage varies by location, and many general liability (GL) policies will cover at least workers’ compensation.

If you provide services, you’ll want to have professional liability insurance so that you’re protected against possible claims.

Here’s a good read on the different types of insurance you should consider as a business owner.

Tools and Supplies

The volume of supplies needed for your cleaning business will depend entirely on the services you offer and how many clients you have to start.

In general, you’ll need basic cleaning supplies and tools such as sponges, disinfectant, paper towels, mops, etc….

When you’re just starting, you can use products found in your home. However, once you’ve established a larger clientele, you may want to begin purchasing supplies at bulk retailers like Sam’s Club or Costco. Once your business has really taken off, it’s time to consider wholesale vendors as well.

You will also likely require vacuums and steam mops.  On average, $500-$800 should be enough to get you started.

Transportation

Transportation is essential to any mobile business like a cleaning service. Before starting a job, you have to get there first.

Ensure you have reliable transportation that will easily fit your cleaning supplies and tools.

And, don’t forget the importance of getting there on time!

Branding and Promotional Tools

Building up your client list is one of the bigger challenges in your new business. After all, you need clients to have a successful business.

As we emphasized earlier, branding is not a place to cut corners.

Once you’ve established the core of your brand, work with professionals to get a name, logo, and website that will serve your business well.

Setting Your Prices

Getting your pricing structure right can make or break your business.

The three most common pricing models for cleaning businesses are per hour, per job type, and long-term contract.

To develop your pricing guidelines, consider the profit margin you are trying to achieve. Then keep that in mind when setting your overall prices.

Determine your costs and expenses, per job, (don’t forget travel, supplies, and labor!). Then factor in the amount of profit you want to make for each job. This is the amount you should charge.

Do some market research to see how your pricing structure compares to that of local competitors and adjust your pricing accordingly. This doesn’t mean that your prices should be exactly the same. Maybe your service offers a higher (or more economical) level of service.

But, it’s important to check that your services are priced fairly for your market. Your customers certainly will.

Hourly

The average hourly rate for professional house cleaning services in the U.S. is anywhere between $25-$45 an hour. Before deciding on an hourly rate you should consider:

  • Job location: Decide on a geographical radius you are willing to travel for the per hour rate.  If you are willing to travel outside of that radius, you’ll want to add on extended travel fees.
  • Cost and profit margin: When deciding what to charge per hour, consider the costs (travel/supplies) and the profit margin you hope to achieve per hour.
  • Hourly minimums: It’s common practice to enforce minimum hours charged for a job. For instance, consider a 2-hour minimum commitment per job. This ensures that you’re getting paid an amount that is worth your time and effort.
  • Tiered per-hour pricing: You may consider a tiered pricing schedule for long-term contracts.  If a client is willing to sign a long-term commitment to your services (ie. 2 hours of cleaning/week for 3 months), granting them a price break (per hour) can be an excellent way to retain that client and ensure consistent workflow. This can be particularly welcomed by commercial clients.

Flat Rate By Job Type

Charging a flat rate fee based on job type (ie. home, office building, construction site cleanup) is another way you can set up your pricing structure.

You’ll want to calculate the hours required to complete the job before quoting a price.

When opting for a flat rate structure, consider the following:

  • Size of the area to be cleaned: This factor will vary for each job. And, it’s an essential consideration when deciding costs. After all, an 800 square-foot home can be cleaned in fewer hours than a 3000 square foot residence. Likewise, if you are contracted to only clean bathrooms in an office building, less time is required than cleaning several complete floors with bathrooms, kitchens, and offices.
  • Location of job: Decide on a geographical radius you’re willing to travel within. If you are asked to travel outside of that radius, add on extended travel fees to cover your additional time, effort, and expense.
  • The intensity of job: Maintaining a home on a weekly or biweekly basis requires fewer hours cleaning, than a home that is very messy or needs a deep clean (which is more thorough and requires more cleaning supplies).  Deep cleans will cost more compared to basic maintenance cleaning.
  • Frequency: Consider a pricing break on jobs with a higher frequency.  For example, offer a pricing tier on home cleaning 1x/month, 2x/month, and weekly.

Term Contract

While less common for small businesses, charging for a term contract is another viable option.

Term contract pricing involves a client agreeing to pay for your services for X period of time, with the expectation of X cleaning appointments during that time. This is very popular with commercial clients who need their professional buildings maintained.

While determining the pricing structure for term contracts, consider:

  • Contract length: How long is the contract for? Will you offer a price reduction for longer contracts?
  • Location: Decide on a geographical radius you are willing to travel for the contract.  If you agree to travel outside of that radius, add on extended travel fees.
  • Frequency: How often will services be rendered?
  • Size of job: How large is the job/and or building that requires your services? Will you need to hire additional employees or buy extra supplies to complete the job?

When planning an effective pricing strategy, you have to know how much it will cost you to provide service, what the current market pricing looks like, and what profit margin you are trying to achieve.

Your prospects are shopping around.  They’re checking out your services and your competitors.  That’s why you need to know what your competitors are charging.

It is also important to note that perceived value – what a customer thinks your services are worth, is a big piece of the puzzle. And, your branding will play a large role in determining how your clients perceive your business.

A Word About Payment Methods

I think we can all agree that getting paid is an essential part of any business.

It’s smart to offer your clients payment options.

You may consider offering the following:

  • Cash: Cash may no longer be king, but plenty of customers will still want to pay for services this way.
  • Check: About 20% of U.S. consumers use checks.  Proceed with caution. While most transactions may go off without a hitch, you do risk canceled and returned checks.
  • Credit Cards: It is common, particularly with contracts to keep a credit card on file with planned charges. You may also consider using services such as Paypal, Venmo, and Square to collect payment via credit or debit cards.

Financial Action Items:

☐ Calculate startup costs (registration, insurance, tools and supplies, transportation, and branding)
☐ Research pricing structures and desired profit margins
☐ Determine pricing
☐ Set up payment methods

4. Fill in the business blanks

Whether you’re starting a cleaning business as a full-time venture or simply a side hustle, it’s important to remember that it is a business.

You will need to follow your state’s legal requirements that are required for all businesses.

Legal Considerations

As we mentioned earlier, every business must choose a legal structure.

Well, as promised, now’s the time to dig a bit deeper.

In our guide on starting a business we recommend:

…spend some time reading about each possible entity your business might fit into. Consider which structure is most helpful for your business, and how each structure can help you accomplish your professional and personal goals.

Once you’ve made a decision about which entity would be the best fit for you, the next step is to register with the government (each state has its own set of rules regarding new businesses) and the IRS.

You can find a full list of the forms for each type of entity on the Small Business Administration’s website. You can also find state-specific tax obligations on the same site.

We all agree paperwork is no fun.

But fun or not, it’s necessary to file the proper paperwork when starting your new business.

The SBA tells us that some form of license or permit is necessary for virtually every type of business. You can find all the info you need regarding licenses or permits needed on their website.

For more details about legal considerations for your cleaning business, read this article by NOLO’s contributing author David Steingold.

Also, remember that most states require you to register your business if the trade name under which you operate your business differs from the legal name of your business.

For example, if your registered company is an LLC and is named Three Brothers, LLC, you cannot operate that business lawfully in most states if you’re selling products under the trade name Three Tigers. That’s because the registered name, and your trade name, are different.

Fortunately, this is not a difficult problem to overcome. You can simply register your actual trade name with your state (and or local government) by filing a “doing business as” (DBA) certificate. DBAs are also commonly called “assumed name”, “fictitious business name”, or “trade name”. Here’s a terrific resource that explains what a DBA is, the DBA state requirements, and how to file a DBA for your business in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

And, to learn more about these business structures and other common legal missteps people make when starting their own business, watch 10 Legal Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Small Business And How To Avoid Them.

Safety Considerations

Cleaning offices or homes may not be the most dangerous activity, but you could be working with toxic cleaning supplies. And, if you take on a medical cleaning contract, you may find yourself exposed to other dangers.

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has a variety of regulations relating to, among other things, eye and face protection, hand and foot protection, toxic and hazardous substances, and ventilation.

You will want to review these and any other federal regulations related to cleaning services.  For more details on federal safety and health rules, check the cleaning industry section of the OSHA website.

Sure, these aren’t the most exciting parts of starting your small business — but they are vitally important. Lay the foundation right and you’ll set your business up for success.

Fill In The Blanks To Do:

☐ Choose a legal structure for your business
☐ Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website for the required forms, permits, and licenses
☐ Research additional legal considerations
☐ Visit the OSHA website for up-to-date safety regulations

5. Build a web presence

Your cleaning business needs a website.

Gone are the days of thumbtacking black and white flyers with tear-off phone number tabs in your local library or laundromat.

Consumers today expect all businesses to have a website.

In fact, most people prefer the convenience of researching your business via the web over talking to anyone on the phone or in person.

As we previously emphasized,

Your website is a crucial component of your marketing and branding strategy. Customers visit your website because they have a particular purpose in mind – they need something from you – and your website should help to make them feel comfortable to purchase a product or service from you.

If you have a poorly designed website, the chances are good that you’re losing a chance to turn researchers into loyal customers. Make sure you’re not giving up thousands of dollars in revenue and get your website functioning the way you need it to.

A business website will give your business credibility, serve as a 24-hour ambassador even when you’re unavailable, and can even tackle some vital tasks like setting appointments and making sales.

You may feel overwhelmed at the idea, or question if you have the budget for a website, but the reality is: your business can’t afford not to. 

In How to Create a Business Website in 6 Easy Steps,  we provide step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions on how to create a business website. That’s a great place to start.

Remember – your website doesn’t need to be complex to be effective.

Suggestions to get the most from your website:

Your website must be consistent with your brand, what you represent, and offer. This consistency is key to building trust, recognition, and customer loyalty.

Create brand consistency on your website by…

  • Featuring your business name, logo, and tagline in a prominent way.
  • Using the same brand colors from your logo to create visual coherence.
  • Offering an “About Us” page introducing prospects to you and your business.
  • Including a “Services” page highlighting the services you offer.
  • Featuring a “Contact Us” page that is easily accessible from everywhere on your website.
  • Providing links to your social media accounts.

To learn more about great website design, check out Grow Your Small Business With These 7 Website Design Best Practices and The 8 Biggest Web Design Trends of 2020.

Establishing Your Web Presence Action Items:

☐ Ensure your chosen business name has a web domain that can be purchased.
☐ Choose a web hosting service.
☐ Get your website (and logo if you haven’t already) professionally designed.
☐ Hire a developer to code and deploy your website.

6. Spread the word

You’ve laid the groundwork, and now it’s time to get clients.

While your first few clients will likely be family and friends who want to show their support, you’ll need to spread the word to build up your client list.

You may be wondering:

  • How can I get exposure for my business?
  • Should I run advertisements, and if so where?
  • Should my business have social media pages?
  • Should I offer promotions?

While there are no one-size-fits-all answers to these questions, you should consider the following methods of growing your client list:

Word of Mouth

Before social media existed, the most powerful form of marketing was Word of Mouth (WOM).

Guess what? That’s still true.

People still hold the opinions and experiences of those they know above social media marketing and advertisements.

It makes sense.

Imagine you see an advertisement for a steakhouse claiming they’re the “Best steakhouse in town!” But, your good friend also recently told you about a different steak restaurant that has the “best steak she’s ever had.” Which would you be more apt to try out?

Statistics say you’ll heed the recommendation of your friend.

Encourage your first customers to share their experience through word-of-mouth. You can do this verbally, in a written thank-you card, or via a follow-up email. However, you do so, be sure to follow up after providing service.

You can even consider rewarding your clients with refer-a-friend campaign discounts.

With willingness on their part and consistent quality service on yours, new clients will begin rolling in.

Social Media

Your clients are on social media. Most people are.

Statistics show that billions of people are active on social media each day. And, it’s not just young people.

If you’ve questioned at all whether your business should be active on social media, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

You may be asking yourself:

  • What social media platforms should I have a business page on?
  • What type of posts should I share on these platforms?
  • When is the best time to be active on social media?

Social media marketing is the use of social platforms to connect with your audience.  Actively marketing on social media will build your brand, increase sales, and grow your website traffic.

The best social marketing involves great content, consistent engagement with your followers, and running social media advertisements.

Maintaining an active social media presence will help you build an audience of devoted clients.

What platforms should I use for my business?

There is no one right answer to which social media outlet will work best for your business.

At a minimum, you will want a Facebook account. But don’t discount other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Most social media platforms give the option to create a business account for free. Do that.

Business accounts have relevant features such as contact information, analytics, customer reviews, and the ability to purchase advertisements.

As we previously mentioned,

Consider these five social media platforms for your new business:

  • Facebook: Still ranking as the most popular network. With 1.59 billion daily users,  every business should have a Facebook business page. Use Facebook to share photos, blog content, company updates and more. Business accounts come with helpful advertising tools and in-depth analytics.
  • Instagram: Visual platform, Instagram has the third most people on the platform (1 billion!) and active users (500 million!). There are various posting formats including static and live video, still photography, and the ability to share links. Affiliated with Facebook, paid advertisements from your business Instagram account are connected to your Facebook business page.
  • Twitter: Twitter is great for updating and sharing links to content. On this platform, you can share short tweets (240 characters or fewer), videos, images, links, polls and more. Some businesses choose to use this platform to receive and respond to customer service praise, complaints, and inquiries.
  • Pinterest: While not a perfect fit for every business, Pinterest is the leading social media channel for sharing ideas and finding inspiration. There are over 200 million people that utilize Pinterest to discover new products, recipes, blog posts, and so much more. Sharing content on Pinterest includes the option to backlink to your website which increases traffic and visibility. Here’s crowdspring’s Pinterest account, as an example.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn has over 250 million monthly active users, and it’s the most-used channel for business-to-business marketers to share content. This is the best platform for business networking. Use LinkedIn to showcase yourself as an industry leader and promote your business.

Spend some time researching the various channels, and be sure to note which platforms your competitors are on.

What types of posts should I make?

Your social media content must be valuable, relevant, and consistent… while staying on brand. Think about what kind of content your clients will find interesting or useful. That’s what you should post.

Keep posts related to your businesses, but don’t be afraid to show some personality and a sense of humor. After all – it is social media.

And, tailor your content to the platform. Instagram may be the perfect venue for “before and after” cleaning photos; while Twitter would be a great choice for general announcements.

Use these platforms to connect with clients, post ads and specials, respond to feedback, and share helpful cleaning tips.

When is the best time to post on social media?

You can ask this question to a hundred marketers, and you would likely get 100 different responses.

The truth is, there is a science to social media posting. But it’s not the key component.

Consistency is. 

Be sure to try posting at different days and times so that you can compare performance. And, over time you’ll learn what posting times receive the most interaction with your clients.

Your main focus should be to consistently provide content and respond to interaction.

Spread The Word Action Items:

☐ Reach out to friends and family members to establish your first clients.
☐ Encourage your clients to share your new business via word-of-mouth.
☐ Research social media platforms, and decide which ones are right for you.
☐ Establish business accounts on social media.
☐ Publish content and ask your followers to share.
☐ Post and engage consistently!

You Made It!

Phew! You made it!

If you’ve made it this far and followed the advice in this article, you are well on your way to a successful cleaning business.

Give yourself a pat on the back! (With white gloves, nonetheless!)

You may still have lingering questions, and that’s okay.  Building a business is hard work and requires continuous education.

That work, when done well, pays off big.

We suggest reviewing these additional resources for your cleaning business…

Additional Cleaning Business Resources

Blogs

Cleaning Business Today

Savvy Cleaner

Swept

Cleaning Marketer

Podcasts

Grow My Cleaning Company Podcasts

Websites:

U.S. Small Business Administration

OSHA

EPA Waste Cleanup

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We regularly update this guide to keep it current. It was most recently updated on April 29, 2020.