1. First, define your target market. Are you looking at commercial or residential customers? Or both? If you stick to residential cleaning, you can probably get your business off the ground more quickly with less start-up capital. Commercial cleaning (offices and business) usually requires more staff and may also require extra insurance, heavy duty equipment, and other added costs. If you focus on one market and build your business to service that niche, you can also grow your business at a sustainable rate.
2. Run the numbers. Talk to other businesses and find out what their monthly costs are, and determine how many contracts you will need each month to meet those costs.
3. Get information about business licensing, liability insurance, employee expense (worker's compensation, bonding, licensing, payroll taxes, etc).
4. Cost out everything you will need to buy at the outset (cleaning equipment, vehicles, uniforms for staff, business cards, etc.).
5. Once you have pulled together all the figures on what it will cost to set up your business, do up a 3-5 business plan. This will help keep you focused on your goals and provide you with a real and concrete set of numbers to work from.