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How To Start a Residential Cleaning Service on a Shoestring Budget

by Brett Krkosska

Life is more hurried and full of distractions than ever before. Many people feel they just don't have enough time in a day for housekeeping. Oddly enough, many of us rank a clean home as very important, yet it's one of the last things on our "to do" list. Numerous surveys verify that people give cleaning a low priority in the use of their free time.

On top of that, cleaning seems to be one of those tasks that gets half done. You know...

"I'll do the dishes and vacuum, oh but that dusting and those cobwebs in the corner will just have to wait till the weekend."

Ah, but then the weekend comes, and who wants to ruin a perfectly good weekend cleaning?

So the household dilemma is: We want a clean home. We don't have time to clean. We don't like to clean.

That's where you come in. Cleaning takes on a whole new meaning when you're getting paid for it.

Residential Cleaning Is In Demand
American Demographics magazine reports that of all homes with two adults, over half of them are 2-wage-earner households. For couples with an education above the high school level the numbers run as high as 76%. In recent years, a rising divorce rate has produced an unprecedented number of working single parent homes, and roughly 15% of the American workforce holds two or more jobs.

These facts along with our general dislike for keeping house has made the cleaning industry one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. economy. Residential and commercial cleaning is a multi- million dollar business with no signs of slowing down.

You Can Start On A Shoestring Budget
This is one of those rare businesses you can start with very little start-up costs. With just a bucket of cleaning supplies and some rags you have an instant business.

As for equipment, you don't need much more than vacuum, a broom, and a long handled duster. You'll find that many people prefer you use their vacuum (If you've ever seen the carpet at my Uncle Jim's house, then you know why). If your services include carpet or blind cleaning, this equipment can be rented to save on costs.

How Much Can You Make?
Depending on the going rates in your area, you can expect to average anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour. You can clean small retail operations and charge an additional $5 to $15 per hour.

For bigger profits you may want to specialize. For instance, you could clean rental homes and apartments after tenants move out. Working as a husband-wife team will also make your operation more profitable.

How To Get Business

  1. Classified ads work exceptionally well. Advertise in your local newspaper or weekly shopper. Run test ads in various newspapers in your area and advertise frequently in the one that gives you the best results. Look at the ads currently running and make your ad stand out from the crowd. Offer an additional benefit such as a 20% discount on the first cleaning to entice potential customers.
    2. Distribute half-page or full-page flyers to homes and businesses. In one afternoon you can canvas a neighborhood with several hundred flyers. This method will capture the customer that is not actively seeking cleaning services, but is nevertheless frustrated with cleaning chores. You can produce an attractive flyer right from home with your computer and color printer.
  2. Print some business cards. This can also be done on your computer. Leave a card with everyone you meet and everywhere you go. Hand it to grocery store clerk, give it to the mail carrier, leave one at the restaurant...
  3. Get listed in the yellow pages.
  4. Advertise on the radio. You may be surprised how affordable this can be. Granted, the best rates are likely later time slots, but guess who's listening? That's right... the workaholic that doesn't have time to keep house.

Tips To Get Started

  1. Visit your local janitorial supply store. You'll find lots of free advice from experts who are more than happy to win you over as a new customer.
  2. Establish relationships with other cleaning services. Offer to help them out on your slow days. You may need their help on a busy day if you get sick or have an emergency.
  3. While not absolutely necessary for residential cleaning, you'll need to have a bond for commercial cleaning. Insurance is also a good protective measure. Some customers will insist on this. Call a few insurance companies for the best rate.
  4. A cell phone or pager can keep you from missing calls.
  5. Put together a professional looking quote sheet to give potential customers (along with your business card) when bidding on a cleaning job.

In conclusion, starting your own cleaning business is a great way to earn a solid income and still have control over your schedule. You decide for yourself how much you want to work and how much you want to make. The demand for your services is very high, and you can grow your business as large as you want and still be home based.

And most importantly, you'll have the satisfaction that comes from creating a lifestyle of your choosing.

Article by Brett Krkosska of B-K Publications. Brett's site has helped 1000's find home-based work options. Visit http://www.homebiztools.com for FREE home business assistance, telecommuting resources, software, Internet services, and more.


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