How To Start A Cleaning Business: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

Starting a cleaning business can be an inexpensive way to become a successful entrepreneur. There will always be homes that need cleaning, and it’s a job people are eager to hand off.

Are you interested in owning a cleaning service company but don’t know how to get started? You just need the right strategies and the right checklist.

Cleaning service is an affordable and potentially lucrative option for those looking to go into business for themselves.

Follow along with this guide on how to start your own cleaning company. It will benefit you a lot.

Why Start a Cleaning Business?

A Clean environment is essential for healthy living- whether at home, in offices, industry, and public places, no one can deny the benefits of having clean surroundings.

Everyone enjoys that clean, put-together feeling. But not everyone has time to devote to the process it takes to get there and that is why there are cleaning industries.

Cleaning industry research reports that there were documented 875,000+ cleaning businesses with over 3.5 million employees in the United States in 2015, and since then, the number has only grown.

By starting a cleaning business, you are tapping into an enormous market with plenty of clientele. There will always be a demand for cleaning services, which keeps you in business and keeps every client’s home spotless.

Below are many reasons you should why cleaning business is worth starting.

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  • Stable Market: Commercial cleaning offers a steady market with consistent demand. 
  • Repeat Business: Cleaning is an ongoing service business. There is always a need to clean which brings in a consistent business for you as well as a stable, regular income.
  • Doesn’t require formal Education: You or your employees don’t have to invest in expensive training or recruiting costs. 
  • Low Overhead: Outside of cleaning supplies and other essentials, you can start a commercial cleaning franchise with little capital. You invest in tools and equipment as your business grows.
  • Work from home: You don’t necessarily need an office, shop floor, or warehouse. you can run your business from the comfort of your own home.
  • Be your own boss: setting up your own business means that you’ll be working for yourself. You are in total control of your schedule and expenses. You pick and choose the jobs you want to do.
  • Flexible working: being self-employed means you can work when’s best for you, whether it’s 7 days a week or mornings only.
  • No experience required: Starting a cleaning business requires no specific qualifications or certificates. All you need is hard work, determination, and the desire to do well.

Exploring these benefits and knowing your reasons for wanting to start your own cleaning business will help you stay motivated, even if you experience obstacles along the way. This motivation will make it easier to overcome any setbacks and scale your cleaning business to success. 

How to Start a Cleaning Business- Step-by-step Guide

Below is a complete guide on how to start a cleaning business from the ground up.

  • Choose a Niche
  • Do your research
  • Pick a name
  • Obtain a License
  • Join Professional-Associations
  • Create a Business Plan
  • Get your equipment ready
  • Create an online or Social Media Presence

#1. Choose a Niche

The essence of planning is to figure out what type of cleaning service you want to offer. The cleaning services industry is broad. So, think about what your abilities are and carve a niche for yourself, as you grow, you can decide to expand.

Here are a few types of cleaning services you can consider:

  • Residential Cleaning service
  • Laundry Services
  • Carpet/Rug Cleaning services
  • Swimming Pool Cleaning services
  • Car washing

Residential Cleaning services

This is the most common type of cleaning service that pays well. With the high increase in demands with corporate jobs these days, many people outsource home cleaning, cooking, washing, and other domestic chores. This shows that there’s a market for cleaning services.

You can render your service on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis depending on your clients. It involves general house chores and tidying of the entire environment and may include: dusting, surface cleaning, toilet washing, mopping, sanitizing, polishing, vacuuming of the entire home, etc.

Laundry Services

The laundry business is the most popular in-demand cleaning service today, and it is highly lucrative. People want to wear neat well-ironed clothes but do not have enough time to wash and iron them.

Unlike other cleaning businesses, Laundry services require a high level of professionalism and can be a bit capital intensive because of the expensive equipment needed.

To succeed in this type of cleaning business, some of the equipment you must acquire include; a washing machine, pressing iron, pressing table, hanger, bucket etc.

Carpet/Rug Cleaning

Carpet cleaning is challenging to start. It is not like other types of cleaning services. it requires expertise and equipment like a heated carpet extractor machine, and you need to apply some tactics to stand out from the competition.

Carpet cleaning involves a thorough cleaning, deodorizing, and sanitizing of carpets in commercial and residential buildings.

Swimming Pool Cleaning

This is another specialized kind of cleaning that requires experience and high startup capital. With the increase in pools in private homes, specializing in swimming pool cleaning is a good business to venture into.

Your services will be tailored around hotels, recreation centers, schools, residential homes, etc. Some of the swimming pool equipment are robotic cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, suction-side cleaners, etc.

Car Washing

Car washing service is a highly lucrative business to venture into. With millions of cars hitting the roads daily, you can be rest assured that hundreds of cars visit car wash centers on a regular.

Venturing into the car wash business will bring a consistent and stable income, especially during rainy seasons.

A strategic location is very key to this kind of business. Also, you have to be professional and trustworthy so that you gain the trust of your customers.

#2. Do your research

Another important step to take when starting out a cleaning business is market research. This entails conducting a quick survey to know the selling point of other cleaning businesses in your community.

In doing your market research, find out the going rate for housecleaning services in your area. This will give you an idea of what your charge rate should look like.

Also, research your competitors. This way, you can know where their strength lies and develop strategies that will help you put your best foot forward.

#3. Pick a name

When choosing a name for your business, consider something that sounds both professional and catchy. Make it both unique and search engine friendly so that your business will pop up when people are searching for the services you’re providing.

  • Check to see if the name you picked out will make a good web domain name. Make sure it’s available.
  • Check to make sure the name you pick hasn’t already been registered as a business.
  • Design a logo to go with your name. Make it look modern and sleek since you’ll want to print it on business cards, use it on your website, and use it in other promotional materials.

 #4. Obtain a License

A professional cleaning service will need state licensing to function effectively. Check your state’s Department of Commerce website for information and forms.

Another consideration is the Insurance to protect you in the event you should damage or break an expensive piece of decor at a client’s home. Clients will be reassured if you tell them that you are both licensed and insured.

You may also have to change your automobile policy for business if you plan to shuttle around other cleaners to their job sites.

#5. Join Professional-Associations

Joining professional organizations will give you a chance to network- you never know where a business leader will come from. So you have to be open to exchanging services with other professionals.

You could clean the local print shop in exchange for discounted or free flyers. You also may be able to receive discounted insurance rates for being part of one of these organizations.

#6. Create a Business Plan

To gain proper guidance through each stage of starting and managing your cleaning business, you need a business plan. It is a written description of your business’s future. it contains the goal of your business and tells what to plan to do and how you plan to do it.

There’s great potential in cleaning services, whether you want to work in people’s homes or on a commercial level. Starting a cleaning business is like starting any small business; you’ll need a solid business plan and a good marketing strategy to help you succeed.

#7. Get your equipment ready 

Your choice of the right cleaning equipment makes a difference in terms of your overall cleaning effectiveness and efficiency. Make sure you have the right safety equipment to keep you and any employees you might hire safe on the job.

If your budget is low, you can rent equipment for the first few weeks, so you’ll have the chance to make sure it’s up to your standards before making a purchase.

Depending on what services you’re offering, you’ll need to purchase the following equipment:

  • Brooms
  • Mops
  • Napkins/hand towels
  • Toilet Brush/Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Brush
  • Protective gloves and mask
  • Potable extractors
  • Biodegradable chemicals
  • Office Van
  • Bin bags
  • Detergent/washers
  • Wet floor signs
  • Door signs
  • Disinfectant
  • Furniture polish
  • Ladder

#8. Create an Online or Social Media Presence

Creating an online presence that highlights the type of services you are offering is one of the best ways to attract potential clients in today’s world.

Social media can play a huge role in overcoming that industry problem by giving you an outlet to point out the good your company is doing. Remember, social media reviews are the new word of mouth.

How to get clients for a cleaning service business

Even if your cleaning company has a dedicated advertising budget, promoting it in other ways still helps. Try to get extra exposure by:

Market your business online

Whether you’re just starting a cleaning business or have been around for decades, creating a digital presence is key to reaching new customers.

It’s relatively easy to create a simple website with inexpensive tools like WordPress or Wix, and some plans include features to create business logos, analyze visitor behavior, and buy ads online.

If your budget allows, you can also pay a professional developer to build a website and optimize it for search engine rankings.

Social media are great platforms to promote a business, so you should at least start a Facebook page. Creating a Facebook business page is free, and the advertising tools allow you to target businesses and consumers by location, age, occupation, and other criteria.
If you don’t feel comfortable managing your online presence, tech companies or employees may be willing to trade digital work for cleaning services.

Online reviews

If you want your cleaning business to stand out online, the best way to get as many reviews as possible is online.

Online reviews are great for building your authority and getting noticed in the area. They also make your business more professional in the eyes of the public.

Yelp can be a useful platform to help cleaning companies grow their customer base, but you will need to respond diligently to customer feedback to maximize your social media efforts.

Recurring Jobs

Many successful cleaning business owners will agree that the true art of growing your cleaning business lies in recurring jobs. Selling your cleaning services ahead of time can help you build a solid cash flow and always know there will be work.

You can ‘keep’ your customers from becoming regular customers by sending them emails, or SMS, or offering an irresistible discount if they are considering using your service for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year in a row. Only then will they not see your services as a one-time job. There is software that can help you organize all of that.

Request customer references

After each job is completed, you can ask your prospects for references. If you don’t want to be too aggressive with this method, you can make use of cleaning service software, such as Genio, where your customers can log in via a simple link and recommend your business.

Networking with cleaning companies that aren’t direct competitors is another way to find new customers.

For example, if you run a carpet cleaning business, meet the window cleaners in the communities where you work. Other small businesses often recommend service providers they are comfortable with, and you can do the favor by referring them to your existing customers.

Participating in local events can also help you establish business connections in your community. You can offer your cleaning services for free to a charity or non-profit organization to give back to the community and generate positive publicity.

Downsides of Starting a Cleaning Business

The cleaning business is highly lucrative, but it comes with challenges too. Here are a few things you should be aware of before you begin:

  • It’s tough, physical work: The cleaning business is not for the faint of heart. It is a highly physical job that involves repetitive movements, carrying heavy supplies, reaching high shelves, and crawling on your knees to reach the corners.
  • Income might be slow: You might not earn much money in the first months (or even years) of starting up your business.
  • It’s highly competitive: Cleaning is such a lucrative market that start-ups are popping up left, right, and center. You’ll need to keep your head down, keep on top of your competition and keep your focus on succeeding.
  • It’s stressful: Managing work schedules, employee wages, legal compliance, and advertising as well as doing the actual cleaning, can take their toll when you’re doing it all yourself. Make sure you factor in some downtime.
  • Jobs might take longer than you think: It’s so important that you get your timings right and leave enough time to get jobs finished. If people have a very messy house then what you expect to take you 1 hour might take you 2 hours or more!

Cleaning Business Stories

What is keeping you from starting a cleaning business? Are you in doubt about whether or not you can operate the business and succeed at it? Well, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Many cleaning business owners have gone on to be owners of successful cleaning businesses with little or no experience or funds.

If you’re still confused about whether to start your own cleaning business, here is a compilation of stories from 3 successful cleaning business owners and how they became a success.

Mitchell Spitzer

Mitchell Spitzer started her cleaning business from scratch out of the trunk of her car and now has a multimillion-dollar company on her hands. Today, she has five MaidPro offices and has more than 100 employees.

It all started when she lost her job working with an insurance company in Illinois. She had to move back home to Naples and start college. Her cleaning business idea was birthed as a means to make extra cash while in college.

Initially, she did the cleaning herself. As her clientele grew, she gradually started to employ a few people. “It wasn’t glamorous at first”, she says. There was a case where none of her employees showed up to work because they had all gone to the same event the previous evening. She had to ask her family members to fill in for them. She had a support system, which is a good thing, especially as a start-up.

Talking about dealing with challenges, she says, “You just have to run with the challenges, overcome the obstacles, and do whatever it takes to get the job done.”

After a couple of years, she had a much larger crew and started to work out of her garage. This was when she learned that MaidPro was looking for franchise owners. Once again, she just went for it. Making this decision came with the benefits of a company car and an office.

Now she has more offices and workers. Nearly twenty years after starting her cleaning business, she still looks out for opportunities to expand. She is not afraid to go for it because she is not afraid of taking risks and making mistakes. Source:

Molly Maid 

Molly Maid is one of the most iconic cleaning company brands, recognizable by its iconic pink and blue branding.

Their story began in Ontario, Canada, in 1979 with Chris and Adrienne Stringer. The Stringers believed that busy homeowners would much rather be spending their free time doing activities that are much more enjoyable than cleaning – and the Molly Maid brand was born.

Since 1979 the company has become an international franchise and performs more than 2 million cleans each year around the world. Source-

Adams Johnson

Adams Johnson, owner of TurnClean Services LLC shares a story of how he lost his job and had to find a means to support his family. His cleaning business made a profit of $100,000 in its third year.

After staying at home for six months and being broke, his friend, who owned a property management business, suggested that he start a cleaning business.

The idea was a laughable one because he didn’t know the first thing about cleaning or running a cleaning business.

He says that after being turned down at jobs, he had applied to again and again, having a cleaning business no longer seemed like such a bad idea.

He started by cleaning two vacant homes his friend managed. At the end of that day, he had earned $500. It was at this point that he made up his mind to start his own cleaning business.

He says he is still learning a lot from his business. In his words, with a ton of hard work, he has survived the first three treacherous years of being an entrepreneur. With each year, his revenue has steadily increased.

He says that, although he started his cleaning business because he didn’t have a choice, looking back now, there’s nothing else he would rather do. For Adams Johnson, losing his job became a blessing that opened him up to being his own boss and being financially independent.


Cleaning Business is one of the most profitable businesses that’s easy to start. In fact, it is listed among 35 Sure Ways to make 200 Dollars Daily.

Although highly competitive, it requires little capital to kick off. As long as you can distinguish yourself from competitors with quality services, innovative ideas, marketing skills, credible business structure, specified niche, good public reputation, etc, you are on your way to making cool cash.



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