November 13, 2023

How to run a home cleaning service business


So you want to start your own business. And since you know everything there is to know about home cleaning, you’ve decided to build your own home cleaning services business and become your own boss.

But hold up – running a cleaning business involves more than just cleaning! If you’re new to the business world, here’s a detailed guide on how to run a home cleaning services business for success.

Understanding the moving parts of a service business

Whether you’ll be hiring other cleaners to work for you or cleaning your customers’ homes yourself, you’ll be running a service-based business. Before you start gathering your equipment, you first need to figure out how you’ll do business.

The more time you take to prepare and understand the moving parts of your cleaning service business, the better off you’ll be to take the right steps – and make your business a successful reality.

Who: Who will be doing the cleaning? And whose homes will they be cleaning? Although your first instinct may be to target everyone, get clear on who exactly your target clientele should be. Are there particular home types you want to specialize in?

What: What will you be doing? This might seem obvious – you’ll be cleaning homes – but that’s not always the case. You can get specific on what types of home cleaning services you want to offer (we’ll go into more detail on this later), but you can also establish your role in the company. Down the line, what do you want your role to be? Do you want to be cleaning homes or handling the business side of things?

When: There are a few ‘whens’ to answer: When do you plan on launching your business? What hours of operation do you want to have? etc.

Where:  Will you be serving your neighborhood or extending beyond? This is important because it will play a huge part in your marketing strategy. Decide how far you are willing to travel or send employees for home cleaning services before you start telling people about your service.

Why: Answering the ‘why’ question is often the toughest, but it’s one of the most important. Why are you starting your cleaning service business? Go beyond ‘to make money’ here. What is your mission statement? Why did you choose a home cleaning business instead of another service-based business?

Establishing your finances

This is the not-so-fun part of launching any business. To get started, you will need to spend a bit of money. However, you also need to figure out how your pricing system will work so that you can seamlessly make your money back and turn your business into a thriving empire.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to spend to start a house cleaning service business:

  • Equipment: Don’t be cheap here. You want to provide a great cleaning service? You need good equipment and products. However, you may already own some of the equipment you need, but generally, you’ll need higher quality items that can take the wear and tear.
  • Licensing: Depending on where you live, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 for a sole proprietor license to $500 for a limited liability or incorporated company. Check out your local laws for the specifics of business licensing.
  • Labour: If you’re starting out on your own, you need to cover your minimum living expenses. If you’re planning on hiring employees at the start, look into common hourly salaries for home cleaning professionals in your area. Don’t forget to account for other fees of having an employee, like taxes and benefits, unless you’re hiring contractors to start.
  • Business software: We suggest using a CRM (client relationship management) tool with pricing and booking software, together this will definitely help you streamline your management.
  • Advertising and marketing: Pricing for this can vary drastically depending on how much you want to spend to start, but expect to pay at least $100 to $200 for flyers, brochures, and website hosting.

Another important factor is to separate recurring fees from single-time fees. For instance, some equipment will only need to be purchased once every few years, but labor, advertising, and cleaning supplies are recurring expenses.

Once you know how much you need to spend, you can figure out how much you’ll price your home cleaning services.

Pricing your cleaning services can be a challenge in and of itself, but here’s a quick rule of thumb:

  • Research the market in your area to figure out the usual pricing structures and numbers
  • On top of your expenses, add the profit margin you’d like to make 
  • Using these 2 numbers, come up with a ballpark figure

Just make sure not to undersell yourself or go too high above the market price!

Choosing your cleaning service

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What type of house cleaning service will you be providing for your clients? Get specific here.

If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest doing some market research in your area to find out what’s in demand. Are there any services missing or not at the quality level people need? 

This will help you establish your unique selling proposition. What makes your home cleaning business special compared to your competitors?  What unique touches can you add to make your business the obvious decision for homeowners who are looking for a new cleaning solution?

Even if your area of operation doesn’t have any missing needs for home cleaning at the moment, there are other ways you can stand out from your competitors.

Marketing your home cleaning services

You can provide the best home cleaning service and have a solid unique selling proposition, but if no one knows your business exists, you won’t make any sales. 

Marketing and advertising are all about answering the question: how will people hear about your company and learn about the ways you can help them?

Download – 14 ways to generate more leads for your home cleaning business

The first obvious step is to tell your friends and family and let them spread the word. But that will only get you so far – remember that friends and family have their own priorities. You shouldn’t dump the responsibility of marketing your business on them, and putting your eggs in one basket is a surefire way to crash and burn.

There are cheap ways to spread the word, such as hanging flyers and going door-to-door, but ultimately, you’re going to need an online presence for your home cleaning business. 

Why? People are now turning to Google for their service-based business needs. That’s not just speculation – 46% of all searches done on Google are for local information, and 97% of customers learn more about their local companies online than any other source.

The bottom line: if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of business. If you’re looking for ways to establish and scale your online presence, check out our marketing guide for home cleaning businesses!

How to manage your home cleaning business

You decided to go into the home cleaning business probably because you know the ins and outs of home cleaning. But managing a business can be an entirely different beast to tackle.

You can bootstrap everything and handle appointments, bookings, and payments the old-fashioned way – via phone, paper notebooks, and spreadsheets – but you’ll be more likely to spend more time than you should on busywork. This can lead to many issues, like appointment mixups, and even burnout if you’re not careful. We cover this more in detail in our post about time management for home cleaning businesses.

To manage your home cleaning business the smart way and cut down on operating costs, here are a few tools you should consider implementing:

  • Online quoting, booking, and payment systems so that your customers can book and pay you without having to call
  • Notification tools to remind clients and your staff about cleaning appointments
  • An online calendar that updates in real-time 
  • A dispatching system if you have employees
  • A CRM to keep your customer profiles neatly organized

You can opt to sign up for several software solutions to gather all of these tools together, which gets relatively expensive. Alternatively, we can help you with all of these features and more within a single tool.

If you’re not using our platform yet, you can start your free trial today – perfect if you’re on a budget!

You’re established – Now become a master

Once you’re up and running with every component of your business – management, pricing, marketing basics – it’s time to grow your business!

Make sure you stay up to date on the top cleaning trends to keep up with your competitors and ensure you’re providing the best home cleaning service out there.

Become an authority on home cleaning

If you want to scale effectively and become more than just ‘another home cleaning company’, we suggest taking steps to become an authority on home cleaning. 

You can share your pro cleaning knowledge to your existing client base as well as your prospective clients in a variety of ways:

  • Start a blog and share regular tips and tricks on home cleaning
  • Send a recurring email newsletter with insider tips
  • Write about quick and fun cleaning hacks on your social media accounts

Quick tip – make it fun! You want readers to engage with your content and enjoy coming back to you over and over again.

Expand your reach online

As mentioned above, people are now shopping for services online. This should go beyond your marketing efforts, however – can people book your home cleaning services quickly and effectively without having to call you directly?

For this to work, you need a solid online business platform that supports online booking pages and a mobile-responsive website. We’ve broken this down in more detail in our post on how to sell cleaning services online.

Wrapping it up

Equipped with the proper tools and the right business plan, you can run a home cleaning services business with less effort and more results. That’s how you can ensure success – and personal freedom – in the long run!

Check out some of our other articles:

  1. How to Build a Consistent and Competitive Pricing Model for Your Home Cleaning Services
  2. How to Clean Like a Professional Cleaner and Succeed in Your Home Cleaning Services Business
  3. How to Market Your Home Cleaning Services Business and Get Consistently Booked
  4. How to Position Your Home Cleaning Services Business and Stand Out from Competitors
  5. How to Save Time While Running a Home Cleaning Services Business in 2021
  6. How to Sell Your Home Cleaning Services Online
  7. Top Home Cleaning Services Business Trends in 2021
  8. 6 ways to improve your Cleaning Service Business