Starting a Cleaning Business Checklist | Our Ultimate Guide to Your New Small Business Venture

Starting a business requires planning and preparation. It's best to start with the basics, so you don't forget anything important. If you're missing something, it's better to find out early on before investing too much into your new dream job. Starting a cleaning businesses checklist is necessary to avoid getting stuck halfway.

The first thing to do is to have some basic knowledge of the cleaning industry. You need to know what's going on in the industry and how many competitors you have. The more you know, the better you'll be able to stand out from your competition.

A Checklist for Starting a Cleaning Business

Your checklist for starting a cleaning business from scratch should include items like:

  • Save money as an emergency fund
  • Obtaining insurance coverage for your new business
  • Establishing your cleaning business name and " Mission Statement"
  • Selling yourself and your company with promotional materials in local business directories
  • Researching what you can expect to spend on cleaning equipment, advertising, payroll costs, etc.

See the top 10 essential items you can't forget when starting a business:

Business plan

You'll need to figure out how much money you'll need and what expenses will be associated with your startup costs—the more detailed, the better. Make sure you take time to market test and then revise as needed.

Office supplies

Make sure you have enough paper, pens, folders, etc. Make your office space comfortable and inviting so you'll enjoy spending time there.

Insurance Coverage

Many business owners who do not purchase insurance say they cannot afford it or are too expensive - but many find the opposite to be true. Insurance premiums can add up very quickly, and the cost of not having coverage is too great to bear alone.

Marketing & Promotion

Starting a new business requires marketing which you will need to do on your own until you get clients and customers, so start early and continue working every day. An excellent way to start with a minimal amount is to place an ad in your local paper or Craigslist. You can also offer specials like a free bonus gift with every service, etc.

Research & Development

Before you buy any cleaning business software/ equipment, do research and compare prices at different suppliers for what you need - it may end up costing less elsewhere.

Employee Training

Before hiring employees, conduct an interview and fill out forms where they provide specific information. Use this to determine if the employee is a good fit for your business model.


You'll need to start with enough cash to cover all expenses until your services are in demand. Startup capital can be a significant obstacle in starting your own business. You can get some money from different sources, including family, friends, or a home equity line of credit.

Location and Space

You'll need to find the ideal location and space for your cleaning business. Follow up on any calls about commercial buildings that may become available, as well as shops or warehouses. You could also advertise 'commercial space rentals' in local publications.

Cleaning Supplies

Inventory all cleaning supplies you have on hand and order additional supplies so you'll be fully stocked before launching the business. Be careful not to go overboard with prices for brand names; generic goods can often offer the same quality at a lower price.

Registration & Licenses

Depending on the type of business you are forming, you will need to apply for your business's license(s) and registration. The appropriate agencies will then send you a certificate in the mail. Next, go to your local city hall and apply for a business license. To make sure everything goes smoothly, you can use online services like Swyft FilingsBizFilings or Inc Authority to help you with all the legalities of starting your new cleaning business.

Can You Start a Cleaning Business by Yourself?

There are many reasons why people decide to start their own business, especially cleaning companies. However, before diving into your new venture, make sure that starting your own cleaning business is something you want to do.

Starting your own cleaning business by yourself is possible, is not easy - especially if you don't have experience. You may be able to start the cleaning business without having employees under your direct supervision, perhaps by hiring contract workers or sub-contractors.

Is Starting a Cleaning Business Profitable?

When starting a cleaning business, it is essential to consider the profit you want to earn after all expenses are paid. Generally, you will make less on each job performed if you hire employees. However, if you start with no employees and sub-contractors only, there is risk involved because of payment issues like not paying customers on time.

While starting a cleaning business, it is essential to understand your target customer. Find out what services they need and what price point they are willing to pay. This way, you will better know how much you can earn in your new venture.

What Are the Necessary Supplies I Need?

A practical tip is to prepare a list of all the cleaning supplies you need. This way, it will be easier for you to order them and prevent forgetting anything. It is also essential to invest in high-quality equipment that can endure heavy use or frequent breakdowns.

A residential cleaning service, for example, commonly uses:

  • Brooms and buckets
  • A vacuum cleaner with attachments for up to carpet or hardwood floors
  • Mops, sponges, and rags
  • Brushes of different sizes and types
  • Steam cleaners (for tile, grout)
  • Hard surface disinfectant spray

How Do I Find the Right Location to Open My Business?

One of the biggest concerns when starting a cleaning business is finding the right location. Besides ensuring your business is accessible, it is also essential that the site you choose to open your business attracts enough customers. Ideally, it should be in an area with high foot traffic or lots of commercial buildings (see also B&B business).

Before opening your cleaning business, there are several things you need to consider, including:

  • The size and condition of the location
  • The availability of utilities such as electricity and water supply
  • Whether or not you will need a license to operate your business in that location
  • How much rent is being charged per month for the said location

What Cleaning Services Will My Customers Need?

One of the first things you need to do when starting a cleaning business is to identify what your customers need. If you are looking to attract residential clients, set yourself apart from other services by offering them something that no one else has - the ability to choose the time they want for their cleaning session, regardless of day or time. You can also offer additional services such as window cleaning or ironing.

Once you have identified what your customers need, the next step is to prepare a proposal letter. Make sure that it lists all the necessary details like:

  • The types of services they will be receiving
  • The date and time the cleaning service will start
  • What equipment you will use for the cleaning service
  • How to make a payment or prepay for the cleaning services you are offering
  • The different price points depend on the size of the property and the time needed for clean-up.

What Is the Best Way to Find Clients?

If you want to be a cleaning business owner, gaining customers will be your biggest concern. Fortunately, there are many ways to find potential clients for your business.

Conduct a simple Google search for the area you want to target and see what results. It will help if you reach out to the local businesses and discuss ways to work together.

You can also advertise your service on community websites or ask for referrals from people you trust. Many cleaning businesses offer discounts in exchange for referrals, so make sure you provide attractive deals you can mention to your potential customers. Ask them if they know other people who might need the same service.

What Is the Next Step When Starting a Cleaning Business?

An important thing to remember when starting a cleaning business is that you need to update your customers on the progress of their orders. During this phase, most small business owners (see food truck owners) forget to do this and fail to follow through with their client's demands.

Aside from keeping in touch with your clients, another vital thing to do is ensure that all equipment you use for the cleaning service is ready and fully functional. It will also include getting insurance coverage as accidents may happen during a clean-up.

Finally, it's crucial to advertise your business as this will serve as an introduction to your brand. Once you have all these things ready, you are now set to launch your service.

Hire an Accountant

Remember that you will eventually need to hire an accountant to manage your expenses and income. An accountant will help you file your taxes and tell you more about the deductions you can make. A good accountant will also advise you on what type of business structure to use, either as a sole proprietor or an LLC. Commercial cleaning services usually register as sole proprietors, but if the company has employees, it is advisable to use an Limited Liability Company since you will need to file business taxes.

On a related note, if you don't want to do this yourself, you may want to look for a legal advice from some of the best formation services and registered agent services out there. 

Our Final Thoughts on Setting Up a Cleaning Business

Starting a cleaning business takes a lot of planning, research, and knowledge. There are many things to consider before starting your cleaning service (check also laundromat business here). Follow the steps listed to ensure that your cleaning company is a success from its very first day of operation. A limited liability company will have fewer formalities than a corporation.

Leave a Comment