Cleaning services can be a lucrative business opportunity for entrepreneurs with a passion for cleanliness and organization. According to IBIS World, the cleaning services industry in the United States is projected to reach upwards of $74 billion by 2026, with a steady growth rate of 1.9% annually over the last five years. With the rise of dual-income households and busy lifestyles, more and more people are outsourcing cleaning tasks to professionals. Starting a cleaning service business may seem daunting, but with the right steps and resources, it can be a successful venture. In this article, we will provide a detailed checklist of 10 steps for opening a cleaning service business. Whether you're a new entrepreneur or an experienced business owner, these steps will help you build and grow a thriving cleaning service business. So, let's get started!

1. Conduct Research

As a pro business consultant, one of the most important steps to starting a successful cleaning service business is conducting thorough research. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Market analysis: Study your local market to determine the demand for cleaning services, including the type of services in high demand and the pricing of existing cleaning service providers.
  • Competition: Research your competitors to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, including the services they offer, their pricing, and their marketing strategies.
  • Target audience: Identify your ideal customers by studying their demographics, purchasing habits, and cleaning needs.
  • Industry regulations: Find out the local and state regulations for starting a cleaning service business, including requirements for licensing, insurance, and bonding.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Don't underestimate the importance of market research. It can help you avoid costly mistakes and make informed decisions.
  • Consider using online tools like Google Trends and survey sites like SurveyMonkey to gather data.
  • Don't forget to research potential suppliers for your cleaning products and equipment.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information, you can use it to develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and the resources you need to start your cleaning service business.

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2. Build A Business Plan

Before launching a cleaning service business, it is essential to develop a comprehensive business plan. A business plan will help you identify the target market, create a marketing strategy, determine startup costs, and set performance milestones. Here are the essential chapters to include in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of your business plan that outlines the company's vision, mission, and goals.
  • Market Analysis: A thorough analysis of the cleaning industry that identifies your target audience, competitors, and market trends.
  • Services: A detailed description of the services you will offer, including pricing and packaging options.
  • Marketing and Sales: A comprehensive marketing strategy that outlines how you will attract customers and generate sales.
  • Financial Plan: A detailed outline of your startup costs, ongoing expenses, projected revenue, and profit margins.
  • Operations: A description of the day-to-day operations of your business, including management and employee responsibilities.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research your target market thoroughly to identify gaps in the industry that your business can fill.
  • Identify your unique selling point (USP) and incorporate it into your marketing strategy to differentiate your business from competitors.
  • Create a realistic financial plan that accounts for unexpected expenses and includes contingency funding.

Developing a comprehensive business plan will help you lay a solid foundation for your cleaning service business. It will also help you secure financing and investment necessary to get your business off the ground.

3. Develop Financial Model

Developing a financial model is one of the most crucial steps for starting a cleaning service business. A financial model helps you to understand the costs associated with starting and running a business, as well as the revenue potential of the business. It's a blueprint that guides the financial decisions of your business.

Before developing a financial model, you need to determine your revenue streams. This means identifying the services you will offer and the price you will charge. You also need to consider your target market and the competition in the area. You will need to determine your overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, insurance, marketing expenses, and equipment costs.

Once you have identified your revenue streams and overhead costs, you can start developing your financial model. A typical financial model includes revenue projections, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These statements should be created for at least the first three years of your business.

It's important to be realistic when creating your financial model. Don't underestimate your expenses or overestimate your revenue. Your financial model should be based on research and data, not on wishful thinking. Also, remember to include contingencies or reserves for unexpected expenses.

Another important element of your financial model is the break-even analysis. This is the point at which your revenue equals your expenses. Knowing your break-even point helps you to determine how much revenue you need to cover your costs and make a profit.

A financial model is an essential tool for securing funding and investors. It demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of the financial aspects of your business and that you have a plan for profitability. It also helps you to stay on track and adjust your plan if necessary.

Financial Model Tips & Tricks:

  • Don't forget to include taxes in your financial model.
  • Be conservative with your revenue projections.
  • Update your financial model regularly.

4. Explore Funding Opportunities

One crucial step in the process of launching a cleaning service business is finding the appropriate funds. From securing capital to investing in equipment and supplies, there are several ways to explore funding opportunities. Here's how:

  • SBA Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans that can be used for a variety of purposes, including starting a new business. These loans come with lower interest rates and longer repayment terms, making them an attractive option for small business owners.
  • Angel Investors: These are individuals who invest in start-ups and provide funding in exchange for a share of the company. While they can be difficult to find, they can be a valuable source of capital, particularly for businesses with high growth potential.
  • Crowdfunding: This is a relatively new way of raising funds by asking a large number of people to contribute small amounts of money towards a project. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are popular crowdfunding websites to consider.
  • Personal Savings: Investing your own money can be a practical way to finance your business if you have the necessary capital. It's important, though, to ensure that you have a contingency plan in place in case the business fails.
  • Friends and Family: You may also want to consider approaching people close to you who believe in your business idea to ask for financial support. Make sure to plan repayment terms and interest rates and put everything down in writing to avoid misunderstandings in the future.

Tip & Tricks

  • Be strategic while seeking funding. Start by identifying how much money you need and where it is most essential.
  • Research various funding options, weigh their pros and cons, and select the one that works best for you.
  • Present your business plan in a clear and concise manner to attract investors and lenders.

By researching all feasible funding options and identifying the appropriate funding source, you can secure the necessary capital to launch your cleaning business.

5. Acquire Necessary Permits & Licenses

Before starting your cleaning service business, it is essential to obtain all the necessary permits and licenses required by your state or local government. Failure to comply with legal requirements can lead to serious repercussions that could negatively impact your business.

To acquire these permits and licenses, you need to first research what is required in your specific location. Some states may require additional permits, while others may have specific regulations that must be followed.

  • Get a Business License: Every state requires businesses to obtain a license to operate. Contact your state's Secretary of State to obtain this license. For instance, the state of California requires businesses to obtain a business license from the California Secretary of State Office.
  • Obtain a Tax ID Number: A Tax ID number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required if you have hired employees or have a registered business name. This number is used for tax purposes and can be obtained through the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Register for Sales Tax License: If you are selling any products or services, you may need to register for a Sales Tax License. This license is required to collect sales tax on your products/services. Once again, this can vary by state, so make sure to check with your local Tax Office.
  • Get Bonded and Insured: It is essential to get bonding and insurance for your cleaning service business. Being bonded helps to protect your customers in case of theft or damage during a cleaning job. Liability insurance is also essential to protect your business in case of any accidents that occur while on the job.

Remember, getting all of the necessary permits and licenses is crucial for your business to operate smoothly and legitimately. Work with a professional business consultant if you need help with this process.


  • Research all the necessary permits and licenses required by your state or local government before starting your business.
  • Consult with a professional business consultant for help with the permit and license acquisition process.
  • Double-check with local authorities to ensure that you have acquired all the necessary permits and licenses to avoid future legal troubles.

6. Hire Staff & Determine Resources

Once you have defined your cleaning service business idea, brand name, niche, and legal structure, it is time to build your team and set up resources needed to run the business. Here are the critical steps to get it done:

  • Define Staffing Requirements: Based on your cleaning service business model, list out the roles and responsibilities you need to fulfill daily operations. Determine the number of employees required for each position, the experience and skills necessary, and any legal requirements.
  • Recruit Candidates: You can find skilled cleaners through job portals or employment agencies. You can also contact local vocational institutions and community centers to connect you with job seekers. Depending on the state, there may be specific legal requirements for background checks and drug tests for your employees.
  • Decide Pay Rates: Based on market trends, location, experience, and job responsibilities, determine the hourly or salary pay rates for each employee. Ensure you offer competitive packages to attract and retain the best talent.
  • Create a Training Program: Develop a comprehensive cleaning service training program to ensure your employees know the best industry cleaning techniques and practices. Make sure to include customer service skills, safety protocols, and quality control processes.
  • Build Resource Inventory: Purchase cleaning equipment, supplies, and tools essential to your business. Identify the best suppliers to get all the resources you need in bulk and at competitive prices.
  • Find an Office or Base: Depending on your business model, location, and budget, you may need a central location to operate from. It can be a leased or purchased commercial unit or a home office.
  • Invest in Technology: Leverage technology to streamline your business operations and make it more efficient. Get business automation software, a customer relationship management system (CRM), and a website to enhance your reach and communication with your target audience.

Tip & Tricks:

  • Offer bonuses and incentives to employees who consistently provide excellent service to customers. This will help to boost morale and create loyal employees.
  • Use social media platforms to advertise your job opportunities. Share job postings on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other platforms to reach a broader audience.
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest cleaning industry trends and regulations by attending industry events, seminars, and workshops. This can help you to stay ahead of the competition and provide better service to your customers.

Once you have all the resources and human capital in place, it is time to launch your cleaning service business. With a well-trained team and the right resources, you can deliver top-notch cleaning service solutions that surpass your clients' expectations.

7. Locate & Equip Premises

After determining the specific type of cleaning service you want to offer and getting all the necessary legal documentation, it's time to locate and equip your premises. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Choose a Location: The location of your business plays a critical role in its success. You want to choose a location that is visible, accessible, and convenient for your target market. Consider rental rates and the size of the space when making this decision.
  • Equip Your Space: Once you've secured your premises, you should equip it with all the necessary cleaning supplies and equipment. This can include mops, brooms, cleaning chemicals, vacuums, and safety equipment. Make sure you have enough supplies to accommodate the size of your business and the number of clients you plan to serve.
  • Create a Storage Space: You should create a dedicated storage space for your supplies and equipment. This helps to keep everything organized, easily accessible, and prevents damage to your equipment. Label all your storage containers and arrange them based on the frequency of use.
  • Set Up an Office: You'll also need an office space where you can handle administrative tasks such as invoicing, scheduling, and customer service. Equip your office with a computer, printer, phone, and other necessary office equipment. Make sure your office space is private and has ample space to store important documents.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Create a checklist to ensure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment before opening your business
  • Invest in high-quality cleaning supplies and equipment to provide top-notch services to your clients
  • Consider renting equipment instead of buying to save on initial startup costs

With these steps, you should now be ready to open your cleaning service business. Remember to constantly review and adjust your operations for optimal results.

8. Set Up Accounting System

The success of your cleaning service business depends on how well you manage your finances. Therefore, set up an accounting system that is reliable, accurate, and compliant with the local laws.

  • Choose an accounting software that suits the size and complexity of your cleaning service business.
  • Hire an accounting professional or bookkeeper to help you set up the accounting system and manage your finances.
  • Create a chart of accounts that suits your business needs, such as tracking income, expenses, and assets.
  • Set up a budget that outlines your projected revenue and expenditures for the year.
  • Set up a payroll system to manage salaries, tax withholdings, and payments to employees.

In addition, maintain accurate records of all financial transactions. Keep receipts, invoices, and bank statements to support your financial statements.

Tips & Tricks

  • Keep personal and business finances separate. Use separate bank accounts and credit cards for business and personal transactions.
  • Use cloud-based accounting software to access your financial information from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Hire an accountant or bookkeeper who is familiar with the cleaning service industry to help you manage your finances.

By setting up a reliable and accurate accounting system, you can make informed decisions about your cleaning service business. You can track your profitability, manage cash flow, and plan for the future. With proper financial management, you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

9. Develop A Marketing Plan

Developing a marketing plan is essential to the success of your cleaning service business. It helps you identify your target market, define your unique selling proposition, and develop strategies to effectively reach your customers. Here are the steps to creating a winning marketing plan.

  • Step 1: Determine your target market
  • One of the first things you need to do when developing a marketing plan is to determine your target market. This includes identifying the demographic, psychographic, and geographic characteristics of your ideal customer.

  • Step 2: Define your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Your USP is what differentiates your cleaning service business from your competitors. It’s the reason why customers should choose you over others. Define your USP and communicate it effectively in your marketing messages.

  • Step 3: Conduct a competitive analysis
  • Research your competitors to determine what they are offering, how they are marketing their services, and what their pricing is. Use this information to position your business and develop strategies to stand out.

  • Step 4: Develop your marketing strategies
  • Based on your target market, USP, and competitive analysis, develop strategies to reach your customers. This may include tactics such as social media marketing, email campaigns, flyers, and referral programs.

  • Step 5: Set your marketing budget
  • Determine how much you are willing to spend on marketing and allocate your budget accordingly. Make sure to track your expenses and adjust your plan as necessary.

  • Step 6: Implement your marketing plan
  • Execute your marketing strategies and monitor their effectiveness. Make adjustments as necessary and be consistent in your messaging across all channels.

  • Step 7: Measure your results
  • Regularly track the effectiveness of your marketing plan by measuring your return on investment (ROI) and other key performance indicators (KPIs).

Tips & Tricks:

  • Tip #1: Don't spread yourself too thin. Focus on a few key marketing channels that align with your target audience and budget.
  • Tip #2: Leverage customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing messages to build trust with prospective clients.
  • Tip #3: Don't forget about offline marketing tactics such as direct mail and local events.

10. Launch & Monitor Business Performance

After completing the previous 9 steps, you are now ready to launch your cleaning service business. Congratulations on reaching this exciting stage of your journey! However, your work is not done yet. Opening a business is just the beginning, you need to continue monitoring and evaluating your business's performance to ensure its success. Here are some important steps you should take for launching and monitoring your business performance:

  • Develop a Launch Plan: Before launching your cleaning service business, you should have a comprehensive plan in place. This launch plan should include marketing strategies, staffing, financial goals, and other important aspects of your business.
  • Market Your Business: One of the most crucial aspects of launching your cleaning service business is marketing it to potential customers. You can use different marketing strategies such as social media, word-of-mouth, and flyers. Make sure that your messaging is tailored to your target market.
  • Train Your Staff: Your staff will be the face of your business, and their performance will determine your customers' satisfaction. To ensure that they perform their duties efficiently, you should train and equip them with the necessary skills.
  • Set Performance Metrics: As you evaluate your business performance, you need to have clear goals and performance metrics. These metrics can include the number of new customers per month, customer satisfaction level, employee performance, and financial metrics such as Profit and Loss statements.
  • Monitor Your Finances: Your financial records are crucial to measure the profitability of your business. Regularly monitor your financial records to keep track of your income, expenses, and cash flow.
  • Adapt to Changes: The business world is dynamic, and you need to adapt to changes to stay ahead of the competition. Monitor your business environment and your target market to identify these changes and adapt accordingly.

Tips & Tricks

  • Develop a digital marketing strategy to target potential customers on different online platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Use modern technology such as cleaning robots and software to increase the efficiency of your services.
  • Offer promotions and discounts to incentivize potential customers to use your services.

Launching and monitoring a business can be a daunting task, but with the right strategies, it can be an easy and exciting endeavor. By following these steps and constantly evaluating your business performance, you can ensure the success of your cleaning service business.

In conclusion, opening a cleaning service business requires careful planning, preparation, and hard work. However, the potential for success and profitability is high. With the industry projected to reach a value of $74 billion by 2026, the opportunities for growth and expansion are immense. By following these 10 steps, you can ensure that you have everything in place to start and launch your cleaning service business successfully. Remember to conduct thorough research, build a robust business plan and financial model, explore funding opportunities, acquire necessary permits and licenses, hire competent staff, locate and equip your premises, set up an accounting system, develop an effective marketing plan and, finally, launch and monitor your business performance. Adopting a professional and customer-centric approach, you can build a reputation as a leading cleaning service provider in your area. So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards your entrepreneurial journey today!

Excel financial model

Cleaning Service Financial Model
  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support