How to start a cleaning business

How to start a cleaning businessA cleaning business is a great way to start your own business with relatively low startup costs. There are a few things you will need to get started, such as cleaning supplies, equipment, and insurance.

You will also need to develop a marketing plan to attract customers. One of the best ways to market your business is by offering discounts for referrals or first-time customers.

You can also create a website or blog to showcase your work and attract new clients. With some hard work and dedication, you can build a successful cleaning business that provides you with a steady income.

There is a lot of potential for you to tap into a growing market by becoming a cleaner in the UK in 2022. We have seen a significant increase in the demand for cleaning services as we continue to navigate the Coronavirus pandemic.

Are you interested in setting up a cleaning business? Then you have come to the right place as we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you get things started.

What do you need to start a cleaning business

To start a cleaning business, there are several things you will need to consider and prepare. Firstly, you will need to determine the scope of your business and the services you will offer. This will help you to identify the necessary equipment, supplies, and personnel required to run your business effectively.

You will also need to consider the legal requirements for starting a business, such as obtaining any necessary licenses or permits, and possibly registering your business as a legal entity. You will also need to create a business plan, which will outline your target market, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.

Other important considerations may include obtaining insurance coverage, developing a system for scheduling and billing customers, and setting up a website or online presence to attract and communicate with potential clients. Overall, starting a cleaning business requires careful planning and preparation to ensure its success.

What type of cleaning company is right for you?

The first question you need to ask before you set up your cleaning business is what type of cleaning are you going to offer?

Here are the three different types:

Residential cleaning

A residential cleaning business usually invoices daily or weekly cleaning at peoples homes. Domestic cleaning includes all aspects of cleaning thorough and the objective is to make your clients home completely pristine. The clean can take up to 6 hours depending on the size and condition of the premises.

Commercial cleaning

Commercial cleaning businesses offer office and factory cleaning to other commercial business. This type of business is the most profitable but to the higher rate per hour you can charge.

Specialised cleaning

Specialised cleaning businesses focus on things like graffiti removal, builders cleans and facade cleaning. Specialist cleaners will likely require additional training, accreditations, health and safety considerations and even specialised, as well as some type of bespoke small business insurance.

Consider your trading style

Once you have selected what type of cleaning services you are going to offer the next question is, what type of legal entity will you work under?

There are two types you can use:

Self employed

A self employed entity has its advantages and disadvantages, you will be personally liable to settle any debts the company has should the business fail, but on a plus note, the regulation that is required as a sole trader is then that of a limited Company.

Limited Company

A Limited Company is a legal entity of its own, its perfect for cleaning businesses as it shows that you are serious about your business as well as your clients can review your financials online at Companies House.

Building your cleaning business

In order to build your cleaning business you need to ensure the following are followed and ticked off.

  • Identify your market

As a cleaner, you should decide what kind of market you’re going to serve and what kind of cleaner you will be. Commercial, domestic, and specialised cleaning markets exist.

In addition to considering your expertise and experience, you should also make sure to do some research before selecting a market. How big are these markets in your local area? That’s a crucial question to ask.

If you are considering starting your own domestic cleaning company, you should familiarise yourself with the government’s safety guidelines for ensuring the safety of you and your clients.

  • Check qualifications

There are usually no qualifications required for domestic cleaners. Cleaning jobs requiring specialised equipment may require a qualification.

You can find more information about cleaning qualifications at the British Institute of Cleaning Science.

  • Set a budget

Cleaning chemicals, mops, and microfibre cloths are just a few of the essential items that you’ll need if you’re planning to offer a domestic cleaning service.

However, for commercial and professional cleaners, important items such as vacuum cleaners or carpet cleaners can be expensive. Be sure you have enough of what you need to cover all of the basics.

  • Decide how much to charge

What price point are you going to set for your services? Will you charge an hourly rate or a flat rate? Choosing an hourly rate is a good idea if you’re not sure how long you’ll be cleaning, while most clients prefer flat fees since they know exactly how much they’re going to have to pay in advance.

To get a sense of what the going rate is, it’s also a good idea to check prices in your area first.

Additionally, you should consider setting up an online payment system so that your clients can easily pay you or if you carry out commercial cleaning for other businesses it’s worth looking at cleaning finance.

Keeping your personal and business finances separate may also be important for you.

  • Write a plan

A business plan should be written before any further action is taken. As you start and grow your venture, this document will help you build a solid foundation. A marketing plan would include conducting market research, building financial plans, and deciding on your marketing channels.

  • Pick a company name

Naming a cleaning company is no easy task. It’s important to choose a name that is memorable and reflective of the company’s values. At the same time, it’s also important to make sure that the name isn’t already being used by another business. With so much to consider, it’s no wonder that many businesses put a lot of thought into choosing their name.

However, there are a few general tips that can help make the process a little easier. First, try to avoid names that are too specific or narrow in focus. This can make it difficult to expand the business in the future. Second, avoid using made-up words or acronyms. These can be difficult for people to remember and spell. Finally, try to choose a name that is both unique and memorable. A good cleaning company name should be able to stand out from the crowd and be remembered long after someone has heard it. With these tips in mind, choosing a great company name will be easier than ever.

  • Look for clients

You should be ready to pitch now. Depending on the market you choose, you will have different ways to attract clients. You can knock on doors, for example, if you are a household cleaner.

  • Plan for growth

Your company might be a one-man band if you’re a domestic cleaner. Nonetheless, cleaning businesses can grow from one-man operations to small companies with many employees. You may need to hire additional cleaning staff as your business grows.

  • Make customer service a top priority

In today’s competitive marketplace, customer service is more important than ever. By making customer service a top priority, cleaning businesses can ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their customers. There are a few key ways to make sure that customer service is a top priority.

  • First, businesses should train their employees to be friendly and helpful.
  • Second, businesses should make sure that their employees are properly equipped to handle customer inquiries and concerns.
  • Finally, businesses should have systems in place to quickly and efficiently resolve any customer issues.

By following these steps, businesses can ensure that they are providing the best possible experience for their customers. Make sure you follow national minimum wage legislation and obtain employers’ liability insurance if you do this.

  • Source business finance

Sourcing business finance to start a cleaning company, is always a daunting task as you have no credit history. There are a number of types of finance for cleaning company that support startups.

How much money do I need to start a cleaning business?

Before starting any business, it is important to carefully consider all of the associated costs. Cleaning business start-up costs can include things like cleaning supplies, equipment, insurance, and marketing.

Additionally, you will need to factor in the cost of renting or purchasing a space for your business. Of course, the amount of money you will need to start your cleaning business will vary depending on the size and scope of your operation.

However, with careful planning and a bit of research, you can get your business up and running without breaking the bank.

You will need between £2,000 and £10,000 to start a cleaning business, this will include insurances and cost of a vehicle.

Advantages and disadvantages of a startup cleaning business

Starting a cleaning business can be a great way to get your business off the ground with minimal start-up costs. However, there are also some potential advantages and disadvantages to consider. One of the biggest advantages of starting a cleaning business is that you can start with very little money. All you need is some basic equipment and supplies, and you can start advertising your services.

Additionally, a cleaning business is relatively easy to run, and customers are always in need of your services. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to starting a cleaning business.

For example, you may have difficulty finding reliable employees, and you may also have to compete with other businesses in your area. Additionally, customers may not be as consistent as you would like, and you may have to work long hours to build up your clientele. Overall, starting a cleaning business can be a great way to get your business off the ground, but there are some things to consider before taking the plunge.

Buying a cleaning business franchise

If starting a cleaning business from scratch is a daunting task for you, there is another option such as buying a franchise in the cleaning industry. Domestic cleaning franchises such as Molly maid start from around £1,500 up to £17,000 for well-established enterprise. In addition to purchasing the franchise you may need working capital in the region of £5,000 to £10,000.

When you purchase a franchise you are buying the rights to an established brand name and the territory to be able to build the brand. Training and advice in running the business along with access to an exclusive territory, branded uniforms and vehicles with logos. However, sourcing new customers will still be your responsibility.

How to start a cleaning business with no experience UK


Starting your own cleaning business can be a rewarding and challenging endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation. By considering the scope of your business, legal requirements, and marketing and financial strategies, you can set yourself up for success and begin to grow your business.

It is also important to be prepared for any potential challenges or setbacks you may encounter along the way, and to remain flexible and adaptable as you work to build your business. With dedication and hard work, you can turn your passion for cleaning into a successful and fulfilling career.

Lee Jones profile picture
Business Finance specialist at Invoice funding

Seasoned professional with a strong passion for the world of business finance. With over twenty years of dedicated experience in the field, my journey into the world of business finance began with a relentless curiosity for understanding the intricate workings of financial systems.

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