What is the best way to find out about starting your own cleaning business?

I need specific information on how to outbid the competition on jobs, what to charge someone for service, is it better to charge by the hour or square footage, etc. If anyone has any ideas, please share them with me. Thanks.

3 Answers

  • Cheese
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I started my own cleaning business 18 years ago.I am a one woman operation.I never branched out into hiring others,because,although there's more money,being responsible for others is not something I wanted to get into.Never charge by the hour unless you are doing a one time clean.That is,going in to do a spring clean ,and not coming back on a regular basis.For one time cleans,I charge $25.00 per hour with a 4 hour mimimum.That way,I know I will leave with at least $100.00 in my pocket.I am going up on my price as of 0/7 to $30.00 per hr.One times are usually alot of work.For jobs that are on a regular basis,like once a week or every other week,I charge by the job.You make more that way.I always say when you charge by the job,its a bargain for the customer at first,and then after you have your routine down,it's a bargin for you.By that I mean.Say you charge $80.00 for a house,and it takes you 4 hours to clean it the first time you will only make $20.00 per hr..It always takes more time to clean the first time.As you keep going to clean,it takes you less and less time to clean once you have your routine down.You can get the time down to 2 1/2 or even 2 hours.That means you will have made $40.00 per hr for that job.If you tell the customer you charge $40.00 per hr,you will not get the job(unless he is Donald Trump)If you say you will charge $80.00 for the job,they will most likely go for that.Try to getjobs where the person is not there while you clean That way they will not know that you are able to get the job done in 2 hours and make $40.00 per hr..When you go to look at a job,take your time,and really look at the condition of the house.Don't let clutter scare you away.If a house is very cluttered,you will have less to clean.I have a customer that is so messy,it takes me 1 1/2 hours to clean her house,and she happily pays me $70.00.If you want to know what others charge,answer some cleaning ads and pose as a customer.I don't know what state you are in,but here in Massachusetts you can charge alot more than you can charge in Alabama or New Hampshire.I apologize for the length of this answer,but after 18 years of cleaning,I have plenty to say,and alot of funny stories to tell.I am happy to answer any and all questions that you have.You can e-mail me at jimjean13@yahoo.com

    Good Luck

    Source(s): In the biz
  • Sam B
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Enterpreneur magazine has several "programs" for sale including opening a cleaning business. Should be very helpful.

    As far as what you are going to charge. The cleaning business is very competitive. Besides price you have to work on your client relationship that makes it difficult for them to get rid of you. I would strongly suggest you work in the field and get an idea of what's involved or at least have someone working for you that has.

    Most companies quote by the job not by square footage or hour and will have various options and levels of service. Full service might be moping, vacuuming, emptying trash, replinishing bathrooms, etc. but not all businesses are going to need all those kinds of services. The square footage is unimportant in that respect.

  • 1 decade ago

    i had a cleaning business years ago, and i started on a nickel and a dime.

    i started with maid service, hired the worker's

    and paid them a fair hourly wage and charged the clients double what i paid the worker's...

    to start up i supplied the worker's with cleaning towels and had the clients supply the cleaning supplies.

    to be legal, i filed a dba and business license

    and hired the worker's as indenpendent contractors, [which means they control the hours they work, and make their own schedule]

    so i did not have to pay employee taxes, and i paid the business taxes for my business.....

    to get the first customers, i placed ads on craigslist, local newspapers, and made flyers up offering the maid service. [to get names and addresses i check out the real estate section, of new home owners that were listed.........i dated them and waited about 30 to 45 days and then mailed them to "new homeowner'"

    and waited, the calls came in slow but steady

    to maintain the indepent contractor, i placed the work orders on a bulletin board for the workers to pick and choose the jobs.

    after i gained some regular customers i switched to hireing employess and paid their taxes. i also sent out letters to local real estate offices to clean their listings to be showable and found quite alot of jobs , i used these jobs for training and checking out the cleaners, to keep busy so they would not leave me....then i mailed letters to management companies to clean apartments, and slowly built up my business that way. then i started cleaning small stores, offices, and then buildings, fast food stores etc......then went to window cleaning, carpet cleaning etc.... hope this helps

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