Starting a Cleaning Business: Checklist For Success

A business person stands with a bucket and cleaning products on blurred background after starting a new cleaning business.

Are you considering starting a cleaning business and maybe you’re a little unsure on how to go about it or if it’s even the right move for you? Start by taking the time to consider your own personal situation and then work out how you want to get started–should you start from scratch or open a franchise? 

Today, we will weigh out the pros and cons of each option and also share the best tips for starting a cleaning business (checklist included). 

Commercial Cleaning Vs. Residential Cleaning 

Once you have decided on starting a business, there are a few options you should then consider. Although a cleaning company may seem pretty straightforward, there is actually more to it than that. For example, will you focus on residential or commercial cleaning? Or possibly both? (Keep in mind that if you are first starting out, it’s probably a good idea to do one or the other). In the next section, we will take a look at the differences between both types of cleaning companies and the various services that each one has to offer.

  • Commercial CleaningCommercial cleaning services are meant to keep your business running smoothly and looking its best. They’re what keep your office or retail space clean, organized, and safe for you and your employees and customers. Commercial cleaning services can include everything from janitorial services such as vacuuming and dusting to carpet cleaning, window washing, and more. They may also be trained to help with post-construction cleanups, proper disinfection, and other specialized or on-demand cleaning services for commercial facilities. 
  • Residential Cleaning – This type of cleaning company is responsible for keeping your home, apartment, or condo clean. They can be hired to come in and clean once a week, once every two weeks, or even once a month. The frequency depends on your needs as well as your budget. Residential cleaners are usually responsible for vacuuming, dusting, mopping floors, washing dishes and laundry, disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens, and more. Some companies offer even more specialized services like dry-cleaning or carpet shampooing.

Opening A Business: Franchise vs. Private

The next step is choosing whether or not to open a franchise or start your own business. Both options have their pros and cons: opening a franchise means less work on your part but also less control over what happens with your company; starting your own business means more work on your part but also more control over what happens with your company. However, keep in mind that opening a private business could potentially cost more money and time due to expenses like logos, branding, marketing, etc. On the other hand, a franchised cleaning company name could save time and money because this option comes with a recognizable and established brand name as well as all the marketing tools that you will need to successfully run your business. 

Both options have their risks and benefits, but ultimately, it is up to you to weigh out the pros and cons and make a decision that fits your business goals. Here are some things to consider before making a decision:

  • What kind of cleaning services do you want to offer?
  • How much money do you think it will cost up front?
  • Will you need employees? If so, how many? Will they be full-time or part-time? How much will they get paid?

A Checklist For Starting A Cleaning Business

Once you have considered the above options, it’s time to make an actual checklist of things you need to get started. Keep in mind that some of the items on the list might differ depending on whether you want to open a private or franchised business.

  • Decide what type of cleaning business to start: residential or commercial.
  • Determine the size of the area you’ll be providing service.
  • Find out what’s included in your local government’s regulations for starting a cleaning business.
  • Get insurance for your business, including liability coverage and workers’ comp coverage (if needed).
  • Decide whether you’ll hire employees or work alone as an independent contractor (IC).
  • Take out a business loan or create a business plan if you are looking for investors.
  • If opening a private company
    • Choose a name for your business
    • Hire someone to create a logo
    • Register your business (check local laws in your state)
    • Purchase website domain (register on Google My Business as well)
    • Choose a storefront (or vehicle) to operate your business
    • Get any equipment that you might need to run your business successfully. Supplies and equipment will depend on the type of cleaning you will offer, but some basic supplies are:
      • Brooms & dustpans
      • Mops
      • Vacuum
      • Dusters
      • Microfiber cloths
      • Cleaning supplies and disinfectants (glass cleaners, bleach, carpet cleaning solutions, etc.)
      • Bucket(s) for carrying supplies and for cleaning
      • Long and short dusters
      • Paper towels
      • Glass cleaning cloths
      • Protective gear (goggles, rubber gloves, masks, aprons)
    • Protective gear (goggles, rubber gloves, masks, aprons)
    • Hire staff (if necessary)
    • Set up your accounting and bookkeeping
    • Set your prices for your services and review your operating expenses (look at competitor prices)
    • Developing a great marketing strategy through advertising and by establishing an online presence 
    • Grow your business
  • If opening a franchise
    • Choose a trusted company with franchise opportunities, such as Coverall
    • Contact the company for further information regarding:
      • Starting costs or initial investment
      • Finance options
      • Training 
      • On-going support 
      • Initial base of customers 

The Bottom Line

Whether you decide on opening a franchise cleaning company or starting from scratch, there is no doubt that cleaning businesses are more in demand than ever. No matter what you decide, we hope this checklist will be the first step on your journey to success. If you would like more information on becoming a franchised business owner with Coverall PCS, contact us today. No experience is needed and we will train and guide you on all aspects of running your own company, from business operations to delivering a gold-standard clean to your customers.