BUNZL Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies Blog

How to Start a Cleaning Business – The Ultimate Guide

How-to-start

What does every single building in the entire world have in common? Well at some point, they’re all going to need cleaning, meaning there’s always going to be plenty of work out there for anyone who would enjoy cleaning for a living!

Not everyone relishes the thought of scrubbing and wiping all day long, but those who adore the therapeutic nature of cleaning might like to monetise their hobby by setting up their own cleaning business. It’s also among one of the easiest businesses to set up, as you may need only a small amount of equipment, you’ll have fairly low overheads and most importantly for many people, you can work the hours that suit you.

But how do you start a cleaning business from scratch? Here are our must-know tips to setting up a cleaning company that sparkles.

Take Stock of Your Skills

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Before you can market your cleaning skills, you need to know exactly what they are. Do you have an all-round knowledge of domestic cleaning, or are you exceptionally good at cleaning industrial equipment or certain types of dirt and debris? And perhaps most importantly do you know how to handle cleaning chemicals safely?

The more skills and knowledge that you have the more competitive you can be and the more confidence your clients will have in hiring you, so you may even want to consider gaining a cleaning qualification, or an accreditation from the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc). You should also get up to speed on the relevant laws around health and safety in the workplace and what will be required of you to keep both yourself and those around you safe, including personal protective equipment (PPE).

Decide if you’ll specialise

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Cleaning businesses typically fall into one of three categories:

  • Domestic – cleaning people’s homes
  • Commercial – cleaning offices and other businesses of varying sizes
  • Specialist – cleaning a very specific area or place e.g. windows, schools, factories or cars

The type of cleaning business that you set up can affect how often you’ll get work, the scale of the work that you are offered, and how much competition you’ll face, among many other factors. Do your research to discover which type of cleaning company is the right fit for you and your capabilities.

Consider Your Competition

3If you live in an area where there are lots of homes but not many businesses, you might feel naturally drawn towards domestic cleaning, but you’ll need to make sure other people haven’t got there first!

Once again, research is the key to discovering marketing opportunities for your cleaning business. You need to identify your competition, how much work you’re likely to find in your local area, and most importantly what kind of unique offering your business needs to have in order to stand out to potential clients – our five must-know marketing tips for cleaning companies will come in handy here.

Acquire The Equipment You Need

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You can’t do the job without the right tools! The equipment you’ll need for your cleaning business will depend on the type of business you set up, but there’s no need to shell out on dozens of products when you’re just starting out.

Instead invest in a few core products, such as those included in the TASKI Building Care Bundle, which is under £40 and includes 6 bottles each of TASKI Sani 4-in-1, TASKI Sprint 200 multi-purpose cleaner, and TASKI Jontec 300 floor cleaner. Along with the appropriate wiping products, these three cleaners are enough to tackle a vast number of cleaning tasks, and you can add other products to your cleaning arsenal as and when the demand appears.

TASKI Building Care Bundle

As for equipment, at Bunzl CHS you’ll find an excellent selection of floorcare machinery including vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners at affordable prices. Multi-tasking machines like the Numatic George 3-in-1 Carpet Extraction Machine could be the ideal choice, as you’ll make your budget go further and also have less equipment to carry around. Lastly, don’t forget about the essentials for every cleaner: non-slip safety footwear, gloves and goggles.

Have Appropriate Transport

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Forget lugging buckets and bottles on local transport. You’ll need your own set of wheels in order to run a successful cleaning business and be able to travel to customers quickly, on time, and often within large distances.

Bear in mind that your vehicle may suffer the occasional spillage from cleaning products, have to carry around wet mops or dusty brooms, and not to mention large or bulky equipment, so it may be ideal to have a large car or van with plenty of space – and easy-to-clean surfaces! What’s more if you have your vehicle branded up with your company logo and contact details, it will act as a daily, mobile advertisement for your business.

Think About Branding

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To distinguish yourself from your competitors you’ll need to think of a snappy or memorable name for your cleaning business, and perhaps even a slogan or tagline too that sums up what your business does. This is one of the trickiest parts of setting up a business so don’t be afraid to call on your friends and family for ideas.

You may also wish to have a logo and signature company colours that you can use across all your marketing materials and online channels, as well as on your uniform and company vehicle. Be sure that your company branding isn’t similar to that of your competitors so your business can be as easy to identify as possible.

Start Promoting Yourself

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Once you’ve followed all the steps above, you’re ready to attract your first customers. Placing adverts in local magazines and newspapers, handing out flyers, setting up social media pages or a website, and even directly calling businesses are all good ways to spread the word about your cleaning company.

It’s a good idea to kick off your cleaning business with an offer or discount to tempt potential customers to try out your services. Once you have a few happy regular customers, they will begin to promote your business for you through word-of-mouth advertising, and your business will grow and grow!

Do you have any more tips for enterprising Bunzl CHS blog readers that would like to start their own cleaning business? Share them with us in the comments below, as we’d love to hear from you.

And whether your cleaning business is brand new or well established, don’t forget to download our free commercial cleaning schedule template which will help you to stay organised and on top of all your cleaning tasks.

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