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Starting a cleaning business

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Tubs

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I'm a chronic over-thinker. I first started thinking about starting a business in summer 2018 after reading the millionaire fastlane , it's now fall 2021 and I haven't made any real progress.
I've read books, attended the fastlane summit, come up with various ideas and generally have done a lot of thinking without much doing.
I am at the moment a hardcore wantrepreneur.

So I'm starting a cleaning business as it has a low barrier to entry. I want to get into a business where I can start seeing results fast.
I decided to do this on September 21st.

Since then I've
-Filed a dba(I already have an LLC and business account I never used for anything, so I'm repurposing it for the cleaning biz)
-Bought a web domain
-Started building a website
-Made a logo
-Got an online payment solution
-Got some backend software to manage operations


Today I'm going to:
-Finish the basic website design
-Buy some supplies and clean my apartment, and my parents house to test a few techniques
-Start on website copy

To-do's for the next few days:
-Set up the online booking form for the website
-Set up online chat
-Set up business email
-Launch some craigslist ads


I'm planning to have everything up and running by Monday the 27th, and to get a client that week.
 
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Stargazer

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Some cheap and effective things for you to do. Technology not required.

1) If you get 1000 A5 flyers printed, which won't cost much at all, and spend a week putting them through peoples letterboxes you will have your phone ringing even if it is a basic template flyer with not much thought put into it.

2) Once you get going with some customers, contact some other service companies of equal size who have also started up eg Gardeners, Gutter Cleaning companies that sort of thing and cross promote each other.

3) When you finish cleaning someones house, leave a small plant or some flowers every now and again. A cleaner cleaned my mothers house and when my mother came home and saw a bunch of daffodils she told practically everyone she knew. The cleaner now does half the village. (Funnily enough the daffs probably came from the vilage green anyway so literally cost the cleaner nothing)

There are lots of little things like this you could do that cost almost nothing.

Take cash if that is easiest for the customer which in all likelihoood it will be to start with. And use a simple page to day diary.

All this online booking and payments and website is great, but do you really need it all set up from day one? No you don't is the answer.

Get one customer, then another etc. When you getto 50 customers you might worry about these things more.

Dan
 

FitRay

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Great that you take action :)
On top of the tips from Stargazer I'd suggest the following: Before I set up a website, I test my potential market (also stated within TMF ).

How?
- I set up an Google adwords campaign,
- make the keyword research,
- create some basic ads and run traffic to the website of an existing business (not mine, because basically there is non yet).
- When I see the traffic, I analyze the audience I reached and if it looks good,
- then I set up a one-pager website with a contact form.
- Now I switch the traffic from the other business to my one-pager and test the conversion.
- If this runs out of control, because of too much requests, then I'd set up the background technology you described

As you run a local business, in this approach make sure you target the ads on your postal code ;)

This approach works for everything: offline business, online business with analog products, online business with digital products, online services and so on.

Let s know about your results!
 

Andy Black

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Have you checked if anyone you know needs a cleaner?

All the cleaners we’ve had didn’t have a website. We just found them by asking around.
 
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Itizn

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Part of me wishes I started with something similar.
Simply because my jobs provided a lot more experience with customer facing roles, so it'd be a lot more practical for me to pursue than the b2b business I chose.

If I were you, I'd literally go door-to-door, and pitch.
Both to residential and commercial.
Aim for fifty door-knocks a day.
Bring a flyer or nicely laminated graphic to leave behind with a phone number, website, and maybe a few interesting facts pertaining to cleaning and hygiene.
 

Tubs

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Some cheap and effective things for you to do. Technology not required.

1) If you get 1000 A5 flyers printed, which won't cost much at all, and spend a week putting them through peoples letterboxes you will have your phone ringing even if it is a basic template flyer with not much thought put into it.

2) Once you get going with some customers, contact some other service companies of equal size who have also started up eg Gardeners, Gutter Cleaning companies that sort of thing and cross promote each other.

3) When you finish cleaning someones house, leave a small plant or some flowers every now and again. A cleaner cleaned my mothers house and when my mother came home and saw a bunch of daffodils she told practically everyone she knew. The cleaner now does half the village. (Funnily enough the daffs probably came from the vilage green anyway so literally cost the cleaner nothing)

There are lots of little things like this you could do that cost almost nothing.

Take cash if that is easiest for the customer which in all likelihoood it will be to start with. And use a simple page to day diary.

All this online booking and payments and website is great, but do you really need it all set up from day one? No you don't is the answer.

Get one customer, then another etc. When you getto 50 customers you might worry about these things more.

Dan
All great advice, I especially like #3. Gives the business something that differentiates it in the mind of the consumer. Also just a nice thing to do. Thanks!

Great that you take action :)
On top of the tips from Stargazer I'd suggest the following: Before I set up a website, I test my potential market (also stated within TMF ).

How?
- I set up an Google adwords campaign,
- make the keyword research,
- create some basic ads and run traffic to the website of an existing business (not mine, because basically there is non yet).
- When I see the traffic, I analyze the audience I reached and if it looks good,
- then I set up a one-pager website with a contact form.
- Now I switch the traffic from the other business to my one-pager and test the conversion.
- If this runs out of control, because of too much requests, then I'd set up the background technology you described

As you run a local business, in this approach make sure you target the ads on your postal code ;)

This approach works for everything: offline business, online business with analog products, online business with digital products, online services and so on.

Let s know about your results!

I think the market is good here. I'm in one of the richest counties in the country, and we've got over a million people here. But this is generally very good advice, thanks.

Have you checked if anyone you know needs a cleaner?

All the cleaners we’ve had didn’t have a website. We just found them by asking around.

I'm fairly new to the area and haven't really met anyone here yet. Thanks for the advice though.

Part of me wishes I started with something similar.
Simply because my jobs provided a lot more experience with customer facing roles, so it'd be a lot more practical for me to pursue than the b2b business I chose.

If I were you, I'd literally go door-to-door, and pitch.
Both to residential and commercial.
Aim for fifty door-knocks a day.
Bring a flyer or nicely laminated graphic to leave behind with a phone number, website, and maybe a few interesting facts pertaining to cleaning and hygiene.

Probably useful, but I'm a very bad salesman in person. If I make fliers I'll probably end up mailing them through EDDM.

The biggest challenge to a cleaning business when I looked into it is the cleaners . Getting cleaners, make sure they are doing a good job and not stealing. What is your plan for this?

No clue, I figure I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now I just want to get my site up and running, and get some jobs I can do myself.
 
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Stargazer

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Gives the business something that differentiates it in the mind of the consumer. Also just a nice thing to do. Thanks!

Yes. And whilst we are on the subject of differentiation you are a 23 year old Male (from your profile)

Categorically not what people expect when phoning up for a cleaner.

So you need to 1) deal with this and 2) turn it around into an advantage before they call you.

In your shoes I would adapt the Avis adverts from the 70s (I think) The 'We try harder' and the 'We can't afford' ones.

I think these two members, if they are active, can give you a good insight into your proposed market. @Primeperiwinkle and @Bekit Reading their posts is effortless from start to end and this is what you want, and they are both American like you.

Dan
 
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B.Cotter

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I think the market is good here. I'm in one of the richest counties in the country, and we've got over a million people here.
Fairfax County? ... or Loudoun?

I live here as well. Shoot me a message sometime if you want to talk. I’ve lived here my whole life and know the area and people well.

I’ve actually tried to get my wife to start her own cleaning business here but she has no interest. I’d be glad to help you out though.
 

BizyDad

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First off, congrats on taking the plunge.

As an internet marketer who has helped launch 2 cleaning companies, may I suggest your biggest obstacles are getting good at sales, making sure you price jobs well, and hiring and keeping good employees.

Start by developing your sales skills. Create the flyer. Talk to people. Get yourself some jobs. If you can't sell, this won't work. No website or AdWords will cover up a deficiency in talking to people.

Even my guy that runs a half dozen crews is still handling the sales himself. He wants to see the space, he wants to set the right expectations with clients, and he wants to price the jobs right.

Do a good job, get some referrals.

By doing the jobs yourself you will learn to talk the talk and walk the walk. Your employees will respect that. And this is where you will begin to develop your own processes.

Doing it yourself will teach you things like, no you shouldn't do other people's laundry as part of your cleaning service. It is too time consuming. (Or, maybe in your neighborhoods, this is an essential service, and people will pay for it.) The message here is to learn your market by doing it.

Lastly, once you've got your feet under you, begin to specialize. Commercial or residential? Apartments or mansions? Do you do windows? Maybe you only do windows? Do you do pressure washing?

You get the idea...

I'm rooting for you.
 

OMJ

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Lastly, once you've got your feet under you, begin to specialize. Commercial or residential? Apartments or mansions? Do you do windows? Maybe you only do windows? Do you do pressure washing?

You get the idea...

I'm rooting for you.


With a name like that, he's gonna clean up.
Literally and figuratively.

The naming and catchphrase possibilities are endless.

I'll start.

Tubs Cleaning
Baths Beds & Beyond
(Blocked drains by Bizy Dad Rooting)
 

Primeperiwinkle

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Get off of the forum and just solve the next problem. We’ll be your fans when you accomplish something.
 

ElleMg

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Antoaneta Tsocheva moved to London from Bulgaria with £500 to her name and became a cleaner. Soon after she started acquiring her own clients and eventually hired another cleaner to begin her journey to making millions.

I think it's always good to be inspired who've been on the journey you're beginning so you can read her story in her words here.
 
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Mister

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I'm fairly new to the area and haven't really met anyone here yet. Thanks for the advice though.
Try to look up on local facebook groups or on ebay kleinanzeigen (is a website to sell stuff locally or promote services) or something equal.

I'm sure you can get your first client there.

Also check this dude out, he build a local business cleaning business and killed it.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/5lfy6n View: https://www.reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/comments/5lfy6n/4_years_ago_i_wrote_a_case_study_on_reddit_on_my/
 
Last edited:

OMJ

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With a name like that, he's gonna clean up.
Literally and figuratively.

The naming and catchphrase possibilities are endless.

I'll start.

Tubs Cleaning
Baths Beds & Beyond
(Blocked drains by Bizy Dad Rooting)
Miami Vice Cleaning

Have you cleaned anything yet @Tubs
 
Last edited:

B.Cotter

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@Tubs how‘s it going with the business?

I saw a post on NextDoor in our area today with a lady asking if anyone is interested in hiring their cleaning service/maid after giving her a shout out on the app. 5 people immediately replied askIng for the contact info.

Hope you’re getting some clients.
 
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Tubs

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Well it was somewhat later than expected. But I got my first cleaning job which I completed today.
I've got two more jobs lined up for tomorrow as well. Finally starting to get somewhere.
 

Martin Z

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I'm a chronic over-thinker. I first started thinking about starting a business in summer 2018 after reading the millionaire fastlane , it's now fall 2021 and I haven't made any real progress.
I've read books, attended the fastlane summit, come up with various ideas and generally have done a lot of thinking without much doing.
I am at the moment a hardcore wantrepreneur.

So I'm starting a cleaning business as it has a low barrier to entry. I want to get into a business where I can start seeing results fast.
I decided to do this on September 21st.

Since then I've
-Filed a dba(I already have an LLC and business account I never used for anything, so I'm repurposing it for the cleaning biz)
-Bought a web domain
-Started building a website
-Made a logo
-Got an online payment solution
-Got some backend software to manage operations


Today I'm going to:
-Finish the basic website design
-Buy some supplies and clean my apartment, and my parents house to test a few techniques
-Start on website copy

To-do's for the next few days:
-Set up the online booking form for the website
-Set up online chat
-Set up business email
-Launch some craigslist ads


I'm planning to have everything up and running by Monday the 27th, and to get a client that week.
How's it going for you man? Got the business going now?
 
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Tubs

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Tubs

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Are you charging per hour or by project?
Doing hourly right now as I get into the flow of things. I'm getting all of my clients so far through an app called taskrabbit which bills hourly.
 
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Tubs

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One week update:

I've made $809 in my first week, things are going very well. I made $210 today which is an amazing amount of money to me at this point in time.

I've kind of expanded from doing just cleaning. I've been cleaning, doing yardwork, moving couches, and hanging christmas lights. Just trying various things while stacking cash. I plan to keep at it for now, and then eventually specialize in a smaller number of services that have the best margins.
 

Tubs

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Update:
I've been slowly raising my hourly rate(now $27/hr) and mainly focusing on doing yard work at the moment as it's been far more lucrative than home cleaning.

It's mostly been leaf removal, and I would use whatever tools the homeowner had.
Now I've finally bought my first tool, a rake.

I bought the rake for $13 and in the last 4 days I've used it to make $500. That's a 3,800% return in just 4 days! try getting that with an index fund ;)
 

biophase

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My cleaner costs a lot. She charges $180 for my house every two weeks. She sends 3-4 cleaners and they are done in an hour.

On one deep clean they sent 6 people to my house! It was hectic but they cleaned everything in 2 hours.

She also cleans my 12000 sf warehouse every 2 weeks for $300.

I guess I’m paying promptness, speed and reliability. I know I’m overpaying for my house but she never cancels. Also I can get a one person cleaner for $100, but she’s at my house 4 hours and it’s incovenient.
 

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