Supplies: You can purchase all
the cleaning supplies you need to start your cleaning business
for about $100.00. Home Depot is a great place to buy cleaning
supplies . A step stool, bath cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, window
cleaner, all purpose cleaner, soft scrub cleanser, furniture
polish, a cleaning carrier and a sack of cleaning towels and
your ready to clean. Remember most customers prefer that you
bring your own cleaning supplies. That way they dont have
to worry about going to the store for cleaning supplies before
you clean. Some customers have special cleaners for certain appliances
or floors in their houses. These customers usually will have
these cleaners on hand for you to use. I almost always use the
customers vacuum cleaner. That way you dont have to carry
a heavy vacuum from house to house. I usually use one mop for
tile and linoleum and another just for wood floors. (The recommended
product to use on wood floors is vinegar and water).
What to Charge: This all depends
on the area you live in. Always charge by the job, not by the
hour. If a client knows they have to pay 65.00, they dont
care if you take 2 hours or 5 hours. Also your clients will know
what they are paying upfront and wont have to worry about
added expenses. Normally, for a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath you can
expect to make 65.00 to 75.00 for each maintenance cleaning.
I charge 25.00 extra for the initial cleaning since I do a real
thorough clean on the first visit. For the larger houses you
can add 5.00 to 10.00 more if they have 4 bedrooms and 4 baths.
For spring/fall cleanings the starting rate is 150.00. For move-in/move-out
cleanings the stating rate is 150.00 and up depending on if the
client wants windows, refrigerator and oven cleaned. You can
add 10.00 to 15.00 each for refrigerators and ovens. Window cleaning
depends on the amount of windows in a house.
New Construction Cleaning: If
you decide to do this type of work you will need more equipment.
You will need ladders, window cleaning kits with long extensions,
a shop vac, etc. These types of jobs are usually 2 to 3 person
jobs. New construction cleaning requires a lot more cleaning.
You may have to remove stickers and labels from windows and bathroom
showers, sinks and toilets. Some require that you clean the vents
to remove dust from construction work. There will be ceiling
fans to clean, scrubbing floors, and cleaning woodwork to remove
dust. New construction cleaning rates depend on the area you
live in. Normally they run from .12 cents per sq.ft. to .18 cents
Most clients are concerned about
having someone new in their house, with good reason. You should
be bonded and fully insured. Liability insurance runs around
350.00 per year. Its well worth the cost. You can purchase
your bond through your local insurance company. You will need
to renew the bond every year.
Credit Cards: The easiest way
to accept credit cards is through your website. PayPal offers
credit card services with no set up and only 2.9 percent per
transaction. Some clients will prefer to pay with a credit card.
They simply sign on to your website and make the payment. The
payment goes into your account immediately.
Gift Certificates: House cleaning
gift certificates make great gifts for any occasion. Birthdays,
Anniversaries, Housewarmings, Weddings, Baby Showers, Christmas
and Valentines Day. I have a lot of requests for gift certificates
around Christmas. If you have a website you can email the gift
certificates to the recipient. Always remember to keep a record
of gift certificate sales. Some clients who receive gift certificates
wait several months to use them.
Remember one of the most important
qualifications for a cleaning service is TRUST. A client has
to know they can trust you alone in their home. After you acquire
a few cleaning positions ask the clients if you can use them
for a reference. Most of the time they are more than willing
to let you use them for a reference. This is how you build your
business and acquire new clients is through referrals. Be dependable.
Most clients will want to be set up on an every week or every
other week schedule on the same day of the week. Try to always
keep this same schedule unless the client asks you to switch
to another day. If you have to cancel a cleaning date, make sure
you try to reschedule at the earliest possible date to make up
Words of Experience. I started
my cleaning business with some business cards and a small ad
in the local paper. After my first few jobs, these clients started
telling family and friends about my service and they hired me
also. Bid by the job and not by the hour. Also you want to be
paid upon completion of each job. Bring your own supplies and
use their vacuum. Keep a book for taxes and always save your
receipts and gas mileage. Dont under price your work. Cleaning
homes is very hard work.
Cleaning Service Directory Resource
Cleaning Center: Articles on how to clean everything
in your home and more.
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professionals. Ask other cleaning professionals any questions
you may have about your cleaning business.
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Article Posted: August 11, 2004