We’re recycling more, reducing our use of plastic, and thinking more about the chemicals we use for things like cleaning as we become more aware of the environment’s fragility. If you know how to become a green certified cleaning company, you can make your business more successful while also being better for the environment.
Green certification isn’t as complicated as it seems. In most circumstances, you’ll need to apply green cleaning practices and then have a third party review those practices to see if they’re environmentally sound. This can significantly increase your customer base because the businesses you clean are becoming increasingly interested in green cleaning practices. It’s better for the health of their employees, as well as the health of the earth.
Being an eco-friendly cleaning company necessitates replacing potentially harmful cleaning chemicals with newer, more advanced products manufactured from natural resources such as plants and even common household items such as lemon and vinegar. You may also assist your company go green by reducing the use of gasoline-powered equipment and opting for hybrid automobiles instead of gas-powered vehicles.
However, certification is required to be considered green. There are programs that will certify your cleaning company as environmentally friendly. Some of them require online training, while others will assess your cleaning practices and supplies and make a recommendation based on that. Green Seal is one of the more popular green-cleaning certificates, however ISSA and other organizations can also certify you.
Going green can help you win job bids more easily, especially with so much emphasis on the environment and personal wellness. Show your qualifications when bidding on work, and employers will appreciate that you’ve taken the time and effort to develop a sustainable, cost-effective approach that protects people and the environment.
Indeed, some bids demand you to be green certified. Government organizations, for example, require green certification from third-party cleaners. Some private companies will only hire eco-friendly cleaning companies because it is beneficial for their employees and may save insurance expenses.
As time passes, more and more businesses are expected to follow suit, making it more important than ever to understand how to become a green certified cleaning company and to complete the certification process.
Customers aren’t the only ones who profit from environmentally friendly cleaning services. Sustainable practices may also assist in reducing the number of employee illnesses caused by harsh cleaning chemicals, resulting in fewer sick days and more engaged staff. Not only that, but your employees will value you more since you care about their health and well-being.
This is the same reason that customers appreciate a green company. It gives people some comfort to know that the residue from cleaning chemicals isn’t going to be left behind on their job sites. And if you have one happy customer, you’re likely to have more, especially since happy customers are more likely to give referrals that will turn into new business for you.
How to Start a Green Cleaning Business
Although you may disagree, most individuals find housework stressful and even painful. Starting a cleaning business, such as a house cleaning service, allows you to tap into a massive industry with a large number of customers. There will always be a demand for home cleaning services, which will keep you in business and your clients’ homes spotless.
The following is a comprehensive guide to starting a cleaning business from the ground up.
Do the Initial Cleaning Jobs Yourself
When you consider how to start a house cleaning business or how to start a maid service, you might feel tempted to begin with staffing, but one of the best ways to start is actually by doing most of the work yourself. After all, you need to learn the business before you can successfully run it from afar. One way to land your first few clients is by asking friends and family either for references or to clean their houses.
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Committing to sourcing and working for your first few clients on your own will ensure you keep your costs low as well. Instead of investing money in hiring workers, you can pay yourself a reasonable wage while you work out any kinks in your business model and determine best practices for your company.
By taking care of clients yourself, you also earn a positive reputation and maintain control of your house cleaning services business image. Once the business begins to pick up, you can start contracting help with bigger cleaning jobs. You might decide to outsource employees to service regular clients while you work on other aspects of the business or you may hire employees in-house.
Set a Reasonable Cleaning Company Budget
Some questions that many potential cleaning business owners ask are – Can I start a cleaning company with no money? Will I need a business loan? How can I keep my costs down? What is the proper business structure for this industry? Is starting this type of business expensive? The answer is it will take some money, but it can be a lot less expensive than you might think!
Performing most of your cleaning jobs solo will help keep more money in your pocket, but budgeting is about more than how many hours you work. After all, you will need to invest in some supplies for your business to succeed, as well as track and cover vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.
Determine a reasonable budget for your business, including the replacement of products and equipment as necessary. Factor hiring and payroll costs into the equation if you outsource labor, but also keep in mind you need to set aside money for taxes and insurance as a business owner.
Aim to pay yourself an hourly wage, set aside money for cleaning equipment, and calculate estimated taxes so you can prepare for successful business ownership. If you neglect to set money aside for taxes, your business budget will quickly disappear.
Decide What Cleaning Equipment to Purchase
Think about the types of materials and cleaning products you need for cleaning clients’ homes and businesses. As part of your startup costs, you will need cleaning solutions and spray bottles, sponges and scrubbers, protective gloves, disposable or reusable towels (or both), and housekeeping tools such as mops and brooms.
Consider what type of cleaning products to buy: will you use bleach and other traditional cleaners in clients’ homes, or are you planning to use environmentally friendly or other “green” products? Determine how you will prevent cross-contamination between client homes—whether through using disposable materials or adopting stringent sanitation practices—and plan accordingly when it comes to purchasing equipment.
Choose a Brand Name for Your New Cleaning Company
Any startup cleaning business needs to establish a brand. Choosing a brand name might just be the most enjoyable part of owning a cleaning business. You can use a play on words, part or all of your name, a quirky or fun nickname, or something based on your geographical location or the specific type of cleaning services you offer, whether it’s residential cleaning service or commercial cleaning.
– You should aim to choose a title for your business which:
– Accurately describes the company
– Is easy to spell and remember
– Is not already in use
– Sounds good and reads well
– Can grow with the business
While deciding on a name for your business cleaning services, you should search online for the names you like. If another company already has the same name as you, you should find out sooner rather than later. Legal issues with using another business’ name—even if you do it unintentionally—can cost you.
Setup Proper Licensing for Your Cleaning Business
Once you choose a business name, you need to register the name to prevent others from using it. The requirements vary based on your state and local legislation, so check to make sure you follow your local ordinances for businesses.
You will need a license and possibly permits for your business, especially if you opt for a name other than your own to operate under. Depending on your state law and other local requirements, you may need to apply for a business license and pay a fee.
Two popular options for business licensing are limited liability corporation (LLC) and sole proprietorships. An LLC reduces the amount of liability you have as an individual and instead puts the company assets on the line. A sole proprietorship is typically cheaper to establish, and you have total control over your business. However, a sole proprietorship can put your assets at risk if the business is not profitable.
If you are choosing a brand name for your cleaning company, you will also need to file a DBA—Doing Business As—license. The license establishes your fictitious business name and ensures your company operates legitimately.
You will also need to determine whether local law requires you to have business insurance, liability insurance, or other protections. Working in clients’ homes is not always free of risks, so business insurance can help protect both you and your clients in case something goes wrong.
Start Marketing Your New Cleaning Company
Marketing is the next step in learning how to start your own cleaning business. After you decide on a name for your cleaning business, file the proper permits and licensing documents, and purchase all your cleaning supplies, it’s time to find clients. Marketing for a cleaning company can be as simple as word of mouth or as complex as running advertisements in your local paper or online.
You might print fliers to advertise your services, start a website or email campaign to get the word out, invest in digital marketing, or post signage on your property or other locations (with permission). If you have one or two clients already, you can ask for referrals from satisfied customers. You can even offer referral coupons or discounts to encourage existing clients to direct more work your way.
Make Customer Service a Top Priority
Cleaning is a straightforward occupation: you remove dirt and make surfaces shine. But in customer service roles, you need to put client needs first, and that means being available to potential customers and existing customers, responding promptly to service and quote requests, and following up with clients to ensure repeat business.
To effectively manage the technical side of your cleaning business, you need a means of communication with your clients. Tools such as voice mail and phone service, an email account, a website, social media pages, or all of those combined can help enhance your company’s outreach and customer satisfaction, especially at the beginning stages of starting your business.
Get Organized with Cleaning Software to Run Operations Smoothly
Doing the house cleaning work, filing permits and paperwork, and replenishing cleaning supplies can take up much of your time as a cleaning company owner. But in addition to catering to clients’ needs and stocking up on supplies, you need to track your budget, oversee employee scheduling, process client invoices and record pertinent account information, and plan for taxes and other business fees.
When learning how to start a cleaning service business, cleaning software can help you organize and oversee your business with less stress than a pen-and-paper method. Imagine even trying to keep your employee or contractor schedules, customer lists, account notes, and payment info in a spreadsheet. It gets cumbersome and confusing really fast, even with systematized sheets. An all-in-one software removes all of that confusion.
Below we have provided some cleaning business ideas to help you earn a living.
1. Residential cleaning
If you decide to start a residential cleaning business, you can offer basic house cleaning services and deep cleaning for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and living spaces. The average single-person cleaning business brings in around $56,000 USD per year, but you could make much more with added services and a larger cleaning crew.
2. Commercial cleaning
Commercial cleaning service usually includes cleaning offices, retail stores, schools, industrial facilities, and other commercial spaces. It can even include unique spaces like airports. This type of cleaning takes time but can be profitable. In fact, just one commercial client could earn you upwards of $28,000 a year with the right cleaning contract.
3. Carpet cleaning
Carpets get dirty fast when people are walking on them all day—and they need a professional to get them clean again. You can also offer same day emergency carpet cleaning for clients who need a quick fix.
If you decide to start a carpet cleaning business, you can expect to make $21,000–46,000 per year on average (although some business owners’ salaries are much higher).
4. Window cleaning
You can clean window interiors and exteriors for both homes and commercial buildings. Starting a window cleaning business is easy and can be highly profitable, earning you $25,000–54,000 per year.
5. Pressure washing
You can make money by pressure washing siding, fences, houses, roofs, sidewalks, driveways, and other exterior surfaces that build up grime over time.