How to Start a Cleaning Business

Wray Bros works with many small and newly started cleaning businesses and though not experts in start-ups, we've seen how our customers are able to do it.

It's likely you have some knowledge of the industry and have cleaning experience, ready to take your career to the next level. But where should you start?

hospital rokleen cleaning trolley

What to Know

  • Identify your market - with three core cleaning sectors: domestic, commercial, and industrial, it's important to decide which area you want to get into. Often this depends on your experience and demand within your local area. Large corporate businesses in particular often outsource their cleaning services to guarantee a professional job is done and to avoid an internal recruitment process which can waste valuable time. Hiring professionals on a contractual basis is much more preferable to many larger organisations.

  • What do you need to service that market? Be sure to look whether you need any cleaning qualifications and become aware of the H&S guidelines on the practices you need to establish to create a safe working environment for your staff and clients.

  • Set a budget and how much you will charge - factor in your costs such as cleaning equipment, wages and marketing. This will then impact how much to charge your clients and whether you wish to be on a retainer basis.
  • Create a plan - a business should start with good foundations and writing down your ideas and strategy will help formalise your ideas. Make sure to include the research you have undertaken so far, outline the sales and marketing channels you'll use and how you would scale your business for growth.

Further considerations

Customer relations skills are essential!

Regardless of who you are pitching to, trust will be key to their eventual decision. First impressions count and taking the time to be organised with your admin will make a difference to managing customer expectations especially if you are juggling various appointments.

Choosing the domestic sector

If you do this, you may start off as a cleaner, so it is very likely you will do most of the cleaning yourself, splitting your time between day-to-day work and finding new opportunities. Most of this work would probably be undertaken between 09:00 - 17:00 whilst your customers are at work. As your business and reputation grows you may need to hire more staff, which means you'll have to practice those management skills.

Choosing a commercial cleaning business

This will require managing a team of workers to clean a variety of businesses and offices. Your role and skill set will likely become less hands-on; and being a confident communicator is vital as you promote your business and oversee staff.

Another alternative to go down the more targeted and niche route such as such as a carpet cleaning business, restaurant kitchen cleaner or a graffiti removal company.

Working with corporate businesses

Here, you will need to demonstrate your credibility with janitorial supplies, PPE industrial supplies used and awareness of health and safety matters. Cleaning involves handling potentially harmful cleaning chemicals, so you will need to comply with acts such as the Chemicals Regulations 2002, Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Safety) Regulations, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Ready to look at getting started? Great! The next steps include registering for tax and purchase public liability insurance, and if an employer of additional staff, take out employer's liability insurance to protect all parties.

cleaning businesses illustration
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Looking for further assistance on selecting a janitorial supplier, or if you need further information regarding COSHH requirements or staff training, contact our team. We've teamed up with thousands of businesses over the years with providing that extra support.

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