How to Start a Cleaning Business

how to start a cleaning business

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Routine cleaning is necessary for every house, condominium, apartment, school, healthcare facility, and commercial building. Dusting furniture, cleaning windows, vacuuming carpet, polishing floors, removing clutter, and taking out the trash can help keep living spaces and workplaces clean, sanitary, inviting, and, in many cases, safe. Moreover, clean areas make people happy and less distracted. For business owners, this also means greater employee productivity.

These are just some of the many reasons why the cleaning services industry in the United States is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6.6%, according to IBISWorld¹. This growth is noticed by entrepreneurs throughout the country, many of whom launch their cleaning businesses. So, if you want to make some serious profits and are not afraid to get your hands dirty, owning a commercial or residential cleaning business might be for you. This Balboa Capital blog post explains how to start a cleaning business.

Carve your niche.

One of the great things about running a small business in the cleaning services industry is specializing in a particular area. For example, you can run a residential cleaning business and build a network of homeowners who regularly want their living spaces cleaned. Or, you can choose a commercial cleaning business and promote it to office buildings and retail establishments.

Lastly, more specialized cleaning business opportunities involve using advanced sanitation equipment. For example, medical offices, hospitals, medical labs, dental offices, and outpatient centers require deep cleaning of high-touch areas using state-of-the-art PPE equipment. If you decide to go this route, you can set your cleaning business apart by completing advanced training and obtaining certifications in the healthcare industry.

Develop a cleaning service business plan.

After you decide on the cleaning business you want, it is time to write your business plan. It might sound daunting, but it can be completed relatively quickly if you are prepared. To help you get started, you can check out some of the many small business plan templates available online. Your business plan will provide a detailed description of your cleaning business and include a mission statement, executive summary, business description, financial plan, marketing plan, and sales forecast.

Name your cleaning business.

A good business name conveys your industry and communicates what your brand stands for. It should also be catchy and memorable. Deciding on a name for your cleaning business can be difficult because many of the best names are already being used by other cleaning companies. The best approach is to write down your favorite business name ideas and show them to your friends and family. Ask them which names resonate best and communicate what your business is about.

Once you have two or three favorites, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website to ensure the names are not taken. It is also recommended that you check to ensure the names are not being used in your city or town as DBAs. Then, contact your county clerk’s office and register the name of your cleaning business. You can also trademark your business name for a nominal fee with the help of a business attorney or intellectual property attorney.

Fund your cleaning business.

When you start a cleaning services business, you will need funding for rent, business licenses, permits, legal assistance, business insurance, business cards, and marketing. You will also need money to cover the costs of cleaning equipment and supplies and safety equipment. Purchasing a cleaning truck and leasing commercial office space are two of the most expensive investments.

Commercial truck financing is an excellent option if you need a new or used truck for your cleaning business. It lets you obtain a vehicle for predictable monthly payments that suit your budget.

Differentiate your cleaning business.

Nowadays, just about everyone is “going green” and using safer, less toxic cleaning products. As a result, many consumers prefer to hire cleaning businesses that use environmentally friendly cleaning products. It is a great way to differentiate your business and appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious homeowners and business owners. Safety products are better for the environment, but they keep you and your employees safe throughout the cleaning process.

Advertise your cleaning business.

Once your cleaning business is all set up, reality will hit. The phone will not ring because nobody knows that your business exists. That is where advertising comes into play. As mentioned earlier, your business plan should include a section describing your marketing plan and a budget for your advertising costs. Advertising is an investment in your cleaning services business, and the messaging must align with your marketing and growth goals.

Some of the most affordable marketing strategies include signage, business cards, online business listings, customer review websites, social media, and advertisements in local mailers. If you have a website, that is an excellent way to gain exposure online and communicate your services and value proposition.

Follow up with your customers.

One of the most important things to do as a cleaning services business owner is to follow up with your customers and clients after completing the job. It shows them that you care about the quality of work you provide and value their feedback. In addition, their responses can help you uncover potential problems you might not be aware of to prevent them from happening in the future. Customers are more likely to stay with a cleaning business that provides them with an experience that meets or exceeds their expectations, so give your customers a quick call or email.


Balboa Capital, a Division of Ameris Bank, is not affiliated with nor endorses IBISWorld or the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.