Owning a Profitable Home Cleaning Service
House cleaning services are very profitable
I've owned a number of businesses throughout my life, and one of the most profitable businesses you could start or own is a home cleaning business.
For the context of this article, I'm going to keep the focus on a house cleaning service that would include only one or two people. Why? You can make a really good living by yourself, or if you're a husband/wife cleaning team, or a couple of colleagues running and operating the business.
When I ran my home cleaning company about 30 years ago, I grossed over $50,000 a year. Do you want to know how much of that was expenses? About 3 percent. Also think of what that would be in today's dollars.
You might have trouble believing that, but it's true. Now the secret in that was to define and limit the parameters of what types of jobs I was willing to take.
Once they were defined, I simply turned down whatever cleaning jobs were available staying within those parameters safely.
Home Cleaning Services
Why set up parameters?
Why did I do that? The income generated and expenses incurred were very easily understood and managed. Once you go outside what you know and your expertise, things get a lot more complex and complicated, and other than ego, why get huge jobs that you have to hire people for, pay wages and maybe benefits, have to fill in for no-show employees, and the high cost of worksman's comp that comes with each worker.
A home cleaning business lends itself to not having to do all that, and still make an extraordinary amount of money, even if you're the only worker in the business.
Why house cleaning services are so profitable
So why is house cleaning services so profitable? If you stay within your predefined parameters, you have very little expenses other than the cleaning supplies themselves, which last a long time when used correctly. Of course you price all that into the job itself.
But in cleaning a home, if you start off with only doing rooms and nothing else, that's the secret. What I mean by that is you don't worry too much about carpet cleaning and extra things like that which would require buying the equipment and being able to transport it; assuming you have a vehicle that can do it.
Carpet cleaning can come later, but start off with just cleaning rooms at first. When I say carpet cleaning, I'm talking about going beyond vacuuming a floor. Obviously there would be vacuuming involved.
Do you lose jobs that way? Not if you're a house cleaning service and not a carpet cleaning company. Don't confuse the two. They're definitely separate.
House cleaning services
How do you start a home cleaning service?
Now how do you start a home cleaning service? You do it one job at a time. People are rightly fussy about who they let in their homes. Once you earn someones trust, word of mouth completely takes over and it won't be long before you'll have to turn down jobs.
The key to it is going overboard to please you clients, and go beyond even what you promised to make them happy. It's the ultimate customer service job to go into someones home and clean it, but once you're in and you please the customer, you pretty much have them for life.
Think of why that is. How many times would you want to go through the hiring process of having someone come into your home? You would have to build trust all over again, and there's stress involved, especially if the person is cleaning while you're gone.
So if you do a great job and win someone's trust. Other than personal tragedy, you have a customer for as long as you want to.
House cleaning company
Put everything on paper
One thing thing about cleaning someone's house, if you're not willing to bend over backwards to reasonably satisfy them, don't bother doing it. Remember, these are people's homes, and they can afford to pay you to do it, so rightly expect a great job to be done.
With that in mind though, the other thing you must do to manage that reality, is to put everything the client wants you to do in writing. There's no reason they wouldn't do that unless they purposely want to take advantage of you.
Assuming they're people of integrity and honesty, it still needs to be done because the human mind can very easily forget the terms of a deal, as there are so many details to consider.
Good clients can be lost if you don't spell out the terms of the deal specifically. In other words, you must live and act like a professional, and should consider yourself as such.
Amateurs just throw things out there without any safety measures in place. You could either forget the terms of the deal or your client could. If that happens, either or both could think someone is trying to screw the other, when in fact it was just miscommunication and poor handling of the deal upfront. Get everything in writing! Period!
Another benefit of that is when a client asks for something different to be done, you can confidently say to them you'll do it at no extra cost for one time, or renegotiate the contract if it's something significant.
Don't underestimate what it'll take to do something extra, and make sure if you offer it as good will and a sweetener, that they understand it's a one time deal.
Customer satisfaction key house cleaning services growth
Once you get your house cleaning service off the ground - even if it's one client - you make sure they're completely satisfied with you work, and from there ask them if they would feel comfortable if you used them as a reference. Almost always the answer is yes.
The next step will be the key to a house cleaning services business' growth and success: you ask the existing client for leads to friends or others that may like to use your very good services.
People that can afford a cleaning service move in certain circles, and these circles are somewhat closed. Once you get your foot in the door to clean someones house, you can just about relax for life, if that's what you want to do for the rest of it, as there's constant communication about the various services used by people, and word quickly gets around.
These types of references are worth their weight in gold, and will open up enormous doors for you.
Should you grow?
Should you expand? It only depends on you and your goals. Like I said, a house cleaning service is difficult to get into, in the sense of getting your first client (that's mostly dependent upon your connections though), but once you're in, the sky's the limit.
While all successful business built primarily by word of mouth, house cleaning services are more so than most others, because of the element of trust in trusting someone to come into your home, and usually clean it when they're not there. That is the great impetus behind a successful house cleaning company, and as long as the house cleaning prices are done correctly, you've got a great thing going for life if you choose to.
Things to consider before expanding house cleaning services business
One other thing to decide before you start hunting up house cleaning clients, is to determine if you want a lot of jobs or just a few. You may have to start off with smaller jobs and build up, but you can keep the strategy in mind as you go forward.
For example, house cleaning prices by the hour would be higher for someone that wanted you to come by once a week, than someone that had you come for an entire day a week. It's like buying something from a wholesale. The more you buy the better discount you get. So it should be with your home cleaning service also.
An expense to take into account is the time and travel you'll need to go to jobs if they're scattered around your area. That would determine your prices, and is part of the reason you need to decide if you would rather land several larger jobs than numerous smaller ones.
Of course there's the strength of having a lot of clients because if a couple of clients decide to stop using you or move out of town, etc., you wouldn't absorb too much pain and could easily get a couple of more.
If you have larger clients, you could lose one and maybe lose 20 percent of your income if you were cleaning their homes for an entire day.
So those are the factors you need to weigh before getting your feet wet.
House Cleaning Service
Can you grow your house cleaning business?
Can you grow your house cleaning services business? Absolutely. Again, it depends on your personal and professional goals.
When I say grow you house cleaning company, I mean by that that you get into other things beyond home cleaning itself. You can stay in home cleaning within what I mentioned above, and have a solid income for as long as you want.
Sometimes people like to go beyond that and try a few different things because of wanting getting out of a routine, or maybe landing some lucrative contracts.
One way I did this was to get into some carpet cleaning. If you have a vehicle that could carry the machine, you're in business, as you wouldn't need to take drastic measures or pay high prices for a vehicle to do that.
Probably a better route to take would be to look into office cleaning, which is relatively easy, not much different than a home, and really no learning curve.
The downside there is you'll have to change your hours to early nights usually, and so unless you're inclined to, or need to do that, you may need to think that through.
Lay a solid foundation and you can take it where you want
The point is once you've laid the foundation of a house cleaning service, it's not hard at all to expand into other areas if that's what you want to do. Just realize that while cleaning is cleaning, there are other factors to consider when making a move into other cleaning areas. Make sure you understand what they are before taking the plunge.
So there you have it. One of the most profitable businesses you can start and own, and you never have to go through the pain of hiring an employee if you choose not to, and all the paper work and headaches that come with it.
You can make a great living, have a lot of tax deductions, and guide your life in the direction you want it to go. You can't ask for much more than that.