How To Start A Contract Cleaning Business

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Let’s be honest. Few people would say they want to set up this business because of a love of the work itself. But if you’re handy with a hoover or dapper with a duster, you could have a budding business at your fingertips. Potential customers for commercial premises include shops, offices and banks. Customers for home valeting might include single parents; busy executives; people who have just moved house, held a party or had builders in; and landlords with property to let.

You may only want to offer a vacuum and dusting service, but you could offer washing-up, bathroom cleaning, window washing and floor mopping. Special services could include things like spring cleaning or patio brush-ups.
Find customers through leaflet drops and advertising in local papers or newsagents’ windows. Contact landlords (through accommodation agencies) and builders – who could improve the quality of their own services by using yours. For commercial customers approach businesses direct.

You may intend to keep the business small but you should still do some market research. Find out what people expect from their cleaning service. Are they getting it at present? If not, could you provide what they want? Use your market research to find out about the local going rate to help you work out your costs. Remember you can compete on things other than price: quality of service and reliability are excellent selling points. Think also about image. A smart, simple uniform gets you away from the Mrs Mop idea and reinforces the quality aspect of the very valuable service your business provides.

This will appeal if

– You’re reasonably fit.
– You’re reliable.
– You enjoy routine.


– Steady workflow and income once customer base is established.
– It’s a job with few work pressures.
– Can be a very low cost start-up.

– It isn’t exactly glamorous work.
– Initially, earnings are limited by the number of hours you can work.
– Not much variety.
– Relatively low pay.

Future possibilities

– Recruit additional staff to respond to increased workload.
– Expand into other maintenance work: window cleaning , curtain making, upholstery service, security work.
– Tender for larger cleaning contracts.
– Expand into other geographical areas.
– Franchise the operation.
– Market your own brand of cleaning materials.


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