how to start a cleaning business in 10 steps

How to Start a Domestic Cleaning Business in 10 Steps

If you are entrepreneurial at heart and you’re looking for a lucrative business opportunity with high demand and low start-up costs, starting a cleaning business could be the perfect fit for you.

The industry continues to grow as an increasing number of people prefer to spend their valuable time on things other than chores.

With a clientele that’s ready and waiting for you, all you need to do is follow the 10 steps below to help you start your business. Let’s take a closer look.

Step 1: Conduct a market research

Starting a home cleaning business should begin with market research before taking any other steps. As part of the market research process, you should consider the following:

Identify your target market

There are many options available to you when you choose to open a cleaning business. Examples include serving residential clients, commercial businesses, or facilities such as hospitals or clinics.

Each of these market segments has different requirements and expectations. So, knowing who you’ll serve will help you get started.

When you have a clear picture of who it is you want to target, you can then create an ideal buyer persona and target your marketing to this fictitious avatar for more precise and stronger results.

Analyse your competition

The cleaning market is quite competitive because of its low entry costs and high demand. You should therefore spend some time studying your competitors to understand their services, pricing, and marketing strategies so that you can provide an improved offering and an even better customer experience.

Studying review sites such as Trustpilot or Yelp and exploring both positive and negative reviews will give you a great idea of gaps in the market that you can fill.

Understand your customers’ needs

Finally, you should study the expectations that your potential clients have of cleaning services to ensure that you meet their unique needs.

The more customer-focused you are, the higher the chances of a successful business and positive referrals through word-of-mouth marketing.

Step 2: Plan your business

After you’ve done your market research, it’s time to get your business off the ground. To do this, you should consider the following:

Create a business plan

This is considered a fundamental document that conveys your road map to success to potential investors and to you. When you have a clear outline of your business goals, strategies, budget, pricing structure, marketing plan and financial projections, you will have a better vision of where your business is heading, while at the same time aiming to secure the finance you need.

Select a business name

You should also decide on a business name that you will be known for among your clientele and in the industry. However, there are some best practices to consider as you do this. For example, it’s wise to select a name that’s relevant and easy to remember and pronounce.

You’ll also want to ensure that it’s easily searchable online with a relatively short URL.

Moreover, you should ensure that the name isn’t already in use. There is an official company name checker you can look into to achieve this goal.

Decide on a business structure

There are several business “vehicles” you can take advantage of as you start your business.

In the UK, businesses can choose from several structures, each with its own legal and tax implications.

These include a sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), incorporating a limited liability company (Ltd),

Each structure has its own advantages and is suited to different business needs and goals, depending on factors like the desired level of personal financial risk, tax considerations, and the need for investment.

Register your business

Once the steps above have been followed, it’s important to abide by and follow your local regulations to register your business.

You should get in touch with the Companies House to gain more clarity on this point.

Step 3: Make sure to adhere to legal requirements

Starting a house cleaning business means you need to comply with the law applicable to your area of operations. For this reason, you need to:

Obtain the necessary licences and permits

Although in the UK, there are no formal requirements for starting a cleaning business, you may wish to double-check if you need any special licences and permits with your local authority.

There may be a need for certain certifications with your local government, especially if you are planning on offering specialised services such as window cleaning, sanitisation or anti-bacterial cleaning.

Get insurance

Insurance is a must to protect yourself, your business and your employees from any claims or damage that may arise as part of your cleaning service.

Examples of insurance you should consider include:

  • general liability insurance
  • health insurance
  • vehicle insurance
  • business owners’ policy
  • workers’ compensation
  • employment practices liability.

Set up taxes

Your responsibility as a business owner is to file all the necessary tax documentation with the HMRC within the allocated time frame.

Before this, you need to register as a business and obtain your own individual business tax number. 

Step 4: Think about the branding and marketing of your business

When considering what you need to start a cleaning business, an important element will be your branding and marketing.

These are what will make your business stand out in the public. It’s also what will make your business memorable among your clients. That’s why you will need to:

Create a brand identity

Creating a brand identity goes beyond designing a logo and choosing a colour scheme. It’s also about determining your business’ tone of voice in all external communication and ensuring consistency across all your marketing channels.

Develop marketing materials

Marketing is an essential piece of the business promotion puzzle. For starters, you’ll need to create an optimised website that also caters to mobile users.

You should claim your Google Business listing and ensure that all the details are accurate.

You may also wish to use traditional marketing methods such as creating business cards, flyers and brochures.

Utilise social media

The importance of social media marketing cannot be overemphasized.

You should choose social media platforms that are relevant to your cleaning business and be sure to promote your services while adhering to your business’ brand identity.

Step 5: Compose an operational plan

Operations planning is step five in starting a cleaning business. It involves:

Procure equipment and supplies

To provide high-quality services, you need high-quality tools, equipment and supplies. Examples of what you may need include:

  • Face mask
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Mop and bucket
  • Bleach or disinfectant
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning towels or rags
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • All-purpose cleaners
  • Soap scum removal cleaner
  • Duster
  • Extendable pole
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Spray bottle

Determine the services you will offer

A good rule of thumb in business is to niche down and focus on your area of specialisation. The same is true for a cleaning business. You should clearly define what services you will offer, such as deep cleaning, standard cleaning, or specialised services.

Set your pricing

Pricing appropriately is another part of operations planning. Some service providers charge by the hour while others charge per square foot cleaned. It’s important to research local pricing that’s used by your competitors and set competitive rates for your services.

Step 6: Hire staff for your new cleaning business

In addition to operations planning when starting your cleaning business, you’ll also need to consider your recruitment needs. When thinking about these, it’s important to decide on the following:

Decide on staffing needs

If you have the financial resources and capacity from the outset, you may wish to hire employees to carry out the cleaning work for you. However, if you plan on starting small, you may wish to initially do the cleaning yourself. This is an important decision because it has financial implications.

Hire employees

When you are ready to hire staff, you need to dedicate time to recruitment efforts. This means conducting interviews, checking references and hiring based on experience and fit with your business.


After the hiring process is complete, you need to train your employees on various aspects of providing the service you’ve decided on, including exceptional cleaning techniques, customer service and anything else that sets your business apart through specific practices.

Step 7: Plan customer acquisition and retention

Acquiring and retaining customers is another important step on the road to starting a cleaning business. Here’s what you should consider:


Networking starts with attending local business events and connecting with property managers and real estate agents to spread the word about your business and the types of services that you can offer with your unique selling proposition.


In order to acquire more customers, you’ll also want to invest in online advertising through pay-per-click campaigns. You should also implement search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices to increase your website’s visibility.

Referral programmes

Referral programmes are an excellent way to incentivize current clients to refer new ones as they get something in exchange for bringing more business to you.

Step 8: Make sure to have quality control processes in place

Quality is an essential part of your business reputation. One minor slip can mean that your business reputation suffers. That’s why a commitment to quality control is essential. For this purpose, you’ll need to:

Develop a checklist

Make sure that each cleaning job is performed to a high standard. To optimize and manage the workflow, you might consider developing company procedures in the form of checklists that ensure each cleaning job meets a high standard.

These checklists will later help you stay on top of customer requirements and uphold your business reputation for quality.

To further enhance this process, investing in workflow management software could provide a more streamlined, efficient, and potentially automated approach to managing these tasks.

Gather feedback

Customer feedback is one of the best ways you can implement continuous improvement in your service. That’s why regularly asking for customer feedback is so essential.

Feedback can be both positive and negative and negative concerns need to be managed through a solid complaints management system.

Implement systems

You also need to use the right tools to ensure quality control and a great customer experience.

Implementing software for managing appointments and payments simplifies client interactions, making the process smoother and more professional. Effective communication with clients through these tools can significantly enhance their overall experience with your service.

In addition, managing and communicating with your team in the field is equally important. Utilising field management software can streamline this process, offering real-time updates, efficient scheduling, and direct communication channels.

These types of software help in coordinating field operations more effectively, ensuring that your team delivers consistent service quality and promptly addresses any on-site client needs or issues.

READ MORE: How Can a Field Management Software Benefit Your Cleaning Business?

Step 9: Don’t forget about the financial management

Opening a cleaning business also requires dedication to accurate and thorough financial management. You’ll need to do the following:

Open a business bank account

Keeping your personal and business finances separate is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This means opening a separate bank account for your business.

Keeping finances separate is a great way to manage income and expenses, while also ensuring that you do not hold personal responsibility for any financial defaults your business may experience.

Set up accounting software

Modern accounting software helps you track your income and expenses to manage your budget and prepare for the tax filing season.

Monitor cash flow

Be sure you always stay on top of your finances by regularly reviewing your financial reports to ensure a healthy cash flow.

Step 10: Invest time into planning your growth strategy

Once your cleaning business is up and running, it’s time to think about scaling and growth. Your growth strategy should involve the following considerations:

Reinvest profits

Reinvesting in your business is an essential part of scaling it. This means looking at purchasing or renting better equipment or even expanding your marketing efforts to ensure you gain greater visibility in your community and beyond.

Expand services

You may have chosen to offer a niche cleaning service when your business just started out. However, now that it has grown, it’s time to consider offering additional services or operating in new geographical areas.

Franchise or licence

When your business is established and successful, you might consider franchising or licensing your business model for greater business exposure, success and profitability.

In conclusion 

Now that we’ve covered the steps involved in how to start a home cleaning business, you’re ready to begin. However, starting a business requires dedication and hard work.

As you grow, it’s essential that you continue to assess and adapt your business strategy to meet the changing needs of your clients and the dynamics of the industry.

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