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How To Start A Cleaning Business

How To Start A Cleaning Business

Before You Begin

Cleaning offers an accessible, affordable business opportunity suitable for individuals from diverse educational and all backgrounds. While it may seem straightforward, success isn’t guaranteed. Many face failure in the first year. To thrive, follow these steps.

Benefits of Owning a Cleaning Business

Owning a cleaning business offers several advantages:

  • Flexible Work Hours
  • Minimal Weekend Work (unless you want it)
  • Repeat Business
  • Healthy Profit Margins
  • Low Overheads

Step 1. Research

The first step is crucial: research.

Start by checking out your competition and what they offer. Look at how much they charge and what exactly they are offering. There is always going to be someone undercutting everyone else. Quite often they are the first to go out of business. Your goal is to provide the highest VALUE for the amount you charge. Being brand new, we do suggest being on the lower end of pricing (at least at the beginning). But the most important thing is that you offer the largest value. Later you will be able to increase your pricing, because you will know you offer genuine value. Figure out what makes your cleaning business different. Create a brand that shows who you are and what you want to say to your customers. This is the first step to make your cleaning business a success.

Franchise or Start Your Own Business?

Starting a business, whether through franchising or launching your own venture, offers distinct advantages and disadvantages.


  • Established Brand: Benefit from an existing and recognised brand, reducing the time and effort needed to build a reputation. With The Local Guys there’s no need to start from scratch; we’ve already built a reputation for exceptional service.
  • Support System: Franchisors often provide training, marketing support, and operational guidance. With The Local Guys Services, You won’t be on your own. Our national call centre and mentorship ensure you’re never alone on this journey.
  • Proven Model: Franchises typically operate on a tried-and-tested business model.
  • Reduced Risk: Franchises may have a lower failure rate compared to independent startups.
  • Income Guarantee: The Local Guys Cleaning is so confident in our franchise system that we offer an income guarantee of $100,000 in your first year. Your financial security is a priority for us.
  • Work-Life Balance: Take charge of your future and enjoy a better work-life balance. With The Local Guys, you have the freedom to be your own boss while still having the support of a national company.
  • Financing Options: The Local Guys Services offer flexible financing solutions, making it easier for you to access the capital you need to start your franchise, further reducing financial barriers to entry.
  • Initial Costs: Franchise fees and ongoing royalty payments are a cost you wouldn’t have if you went it alone.

Starting Your Own Business:

  • Full Control: You have the freedom to make all decisions and shape your business as you see fit.
  • Creativity: Build your brand from scratch and implement your unique ideas.
  • Lower Entry Cost: Initial investment may be more affordable compared to buying a franchise.
  • Brand Building: Establishing recognition and trust can be time-consuming, expensive & take 10 years+.
  • Higher Risk: Independent startups may face a steeper learning curve and increased risk of failure. 90% of independent business fail. Where 90% of franchises succeed.
  • Resource Challenges: You’re responsible for every aspect of the business, from marketing to operations.
  • No Support: You won’t benefit from the training, marketing, and operational support that franchises typically provide.
  • Finding your own customers: You’re responsible for finding all of the customers, which can be a very expensive exercise & take a lot of time.
  • Need to be the CEO (Chief Everything Officer): You need to do EVERYTHING YOURSELF. You are the sales person, admin person, cleaner, accounts person, trainer, HR, Everything!

Ultimately, the choice between a franchise and starting your own business depends on your preferences, resources, and risk tolerance. Careful consideration of these pros and cons will help you make the right decision for your entrepreneurial journey.

How To Start A Cleaning Business

Types of Work in the Cleaning Business

When venturing into the cleaning business, it’s essential to understand the various types of cleaning services you can offer. This knowledge not only helps you diversify your clientele but also allows you to specialise in areas that align with your strengths and interests. Here are some common types of cleaning work to consider:

End of Lease Cleans

End of lease cleaning is a sought-after service in the cleaning industry. It involves thoroughly cleaning a property after a lease ends, ensuring it’s in pristine condition for the next tenant or owner. This service is essential in the real estate world and comes with specific cleanliness standards that must be met. On the positive side, it can be a significant source of income, as landlords and property managers are willing to pay well for a spotless property. However, it requires close attention to detail and adherence to strict standards, often with tight deadlines.

Builders Cleans

Builders cleaning is a substantial task that follows construction or renovation work. It involves a comprehensive cleanup, including removing debris, dust, and ensuring the property is safe for occupancy. The advantage is that it can offer substantial earnings, especially in areas with ongoing construction. However, it can be physically demanding, and you might need specialised equipment to handle the unique cleaning challenges on construction sites.

Repeat Work – Domestic Cleaning

Building lasting relationships with clients can provide a steady income stream in the cleaning business. Many clients prefer regular cleaning services on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to keep their homes or businesses clean. The advantage is the reliability of this work and the opportunity to build a loyal customer base. However, the income from each job may be smaller compared to one-time projects, requiring efficient time management.

Carpet Cleaning

Carpet cleaning is a specialised service that rejuvenates flooring by removing dirt, stains, and allergens to enhance a space’s appearance. The advantage is that it’s a specialised service that can command higher rates due to its visible impact. However, the challenge may involve the initial investment in equipment and potential training to handle various types of carpets and stains effectively.

Commercial Cleaning

Expanding to offer commercial cleaning for offices, retail spaces, and industrial facilities can be a profitable venture. It often involves cleaning larger spaces and may require different equipment and techniques than residential work. The advantage is the potential for securing larger contracts and increased revenue. However, it may require working during non-standard hours to avoid disrupting business operations and may involve the purchase of specialised equipment, which can be a significant financial commitment.

By diversifying your cleaning services, you can tap into a range of clientele and increase your business’s profitability. It’s important to tailor your offerings to the needs and preferences of your target market while ensuring you have the necessary skills and equipment to provide top-notch cleaning services.

Step 2. Create a Plan

Cleaning can be profitable with low chemical costs. Yet, a solid business plan is crucial. It accounts for fixed and running expenses.

For assistance, here’s a basic template:

Step 3. Learning

Cleaning courses aren’t a must but can be a valuable resource for gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this field. What sets the cleaning industry apart is its low barrier to entry; there are typically no prerequisite knowledge requirements. These courses are designed to provide comprehensive training, equipping you with the expertise needed to succeed in the cleaning business:

There’s also a bunch of online cleaning courses available here.

If you decide to join The Local Guys Cleaning franchises, you’ll benefit from complete training, ensuring you’re well-prepared to thrive in your venture. Whether you’re starting your own cleaning business or partnering with an established franchise, investing in quality training can be the key to your success.

Step 4. Business Registration & Tax Obligations

To get your cleaning business up and running, you’ll need to take care of some essential paperwork:

These steps will ensure that your cleaning business operates smoothly and in compliance with legal requirements.

How To Start A Cleaning Business

Step 5. Insurances & Clearances

For your cleaning business, Public liability insurance is essential. Public liability insurance safeguards you in case accidents or property damage occur due to your cleaning services.

You can expect to pay around $40 – $80 per month for Public liability insurance.

Step 6. Equipment and Supplies

Basic start up equipment package would include:

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Broom
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • All-purpose Cleaners
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant

Step 7. Vehicle

Your choice of vehicle for your cleaning business depends on the nature of your services. For domestic cleaning, any vehicle that accommodates your equipment will do the job. However, if you offer carpet cleaning, you’ll require a larger vehicle to transport your steam cleaner.

Think about car wrapping to promote your business. It typically costs about $2,000-$5,000, but with The Local Guys, it’s included in the package, making it a convenient part of your branding strategy.

Step 8. Choosing Your Pricing

Rates typically range from $30 to $65 per hour, but the actual price can vary. Your appearance and equipment play a role. If you arrive at a job with a $200 vacuum cleaner in casual attire, you’ll likely be limited to the lower end. However, by presenting yourself with a reputable brand, you can charge higher fees. Building a professional image can boost your pricing power and set you apart in the competitive cleaning industry.

Step 9. Marketing and Advertising

Think about how you’re going to get your name out there to generate work for the business:

  • Website and Online Presence
  • Social Media
  • Online Advertising
  • Networking
  • Direct Mail and Flyers
  • Customer Reviews

How To Start A Cleaning Business

Step 10. Managing Your Finances

Budgeting: Develop a comprehensive budget that outlines income, expenses, and cash flow projections.

Accounting Software: Invest in reliable accounting software to track income, expenses, and invoices efficiently.

Invoicing and Payments: Set up a system for issuing invoices promptly and receiving payments, including digital payment options.

Expense Control: Vigilantly oversee and manage expenses, including cleaning supplies, equipment, and labour costs. Prioritise efficient use of chemicals by adhering to the manufacturers’ guidelines, minimising waste, and maximising the value of your resources.

Tax Compliance: Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal tax regulations, and set aside funds for tax payments.

Emergency Fund: Maintain a financial cushion to cover unexpected expenses or periods of low income.

Record Keeping: Maintain organised financial records, including receipts and invoices, for future reference and audits.

Financial Planning: Continuously review and adjust financial strategies to meet short-term and long-term business goals.

Step 11. Providing Exceptional Customer Services

In the cleaning business, giving great service is a must for long-term success. Here’s some practical advice:

  • Keep Customers Coming Back: If you want customers to stick around, make sure your service is pristine. Happy customers are more likely to come back. So, always aim for high-quality work.
  • Keep Learning: Don’t stop improving your skills. Stay updated with new cleaning methods and products. Learning keeps your services in-demand and competitive.
  • Expand Your Offerings: As your business grows, think about offering more services. Having a variety of cleaning options can attract different clients and boost your income.
  • Consider Hiring Help: When you’re stretched too thin, hiring reliable staff can make your life easier and maintain the quality your customers expect.

Final Wrap Up

By following these steps, you’ll build a solid reputation and create happy customers who’ll recommend you to others. Great customer service is the key to success in the cleaning business.

The Local Guys Cleaning is so confident in your success that we offer a $100,000 income guarantee for your first year as a franchise partner. However, if you wish to do this all on your own, we hope you succeed in your entrepreneurial endeavours and hope we’ve been able to help.

To learn more, visit our Franchises Available page or call 13 11 05. Your path to a successful cleaning business begins here.

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