How to Start a Cleaning Business in 2024 (10 Simple Steps)

keyKey Takeaways:
  • Consistency is key – have a regular cleaning schedule for your clientele.
  • Employ top-notch cleaning products to get optimal results.
  • To deliver outstanding customer service, properly train your personnel.
  • Use technology to boost productivity and optimize your business processes.

The cleaning business is hotter than ever, fueled by a collective desire for sparkling sanitization. Thanks to COVID, hygiene is no longer a suggestion; it’s a battle cry. And that translates to serious opportunity – the global cleaning market is projected to be a powerhouse by 2030, growing by a whopping 6.5%!

The cleaning business is your gateway to entrepreneurship without breaking the bank. Startup costs are manageable, and you get to call the shots on your schedule. Every grime-fighting victory, every dust bunny banished, becomes a stepping stone to your business empire.

So, if your vision involves transforming grimy office spaces into productivity paradises, this guide is your roadmap to cleaning business mastery. We’ll cover everything from wielding your first weapon of mass disinfection (the trusty mop) to polishing your brand until it shines brighter than a freshly squeezed window. Let’s get this germ-busting business off the ground!

10 Essential Steps to Start a Cleaning Business

Here are 10 important steps to kickstart your cleaning business journey. Make sure you follow each of them for desired results and projected revenue:

1. Know your competitors

Before you start a cleaning business, it is crucial to understand the cleaning industry’s landscape in your area. You must learn about the industry leaders and study their services and business models. It is also important to find out your target market’s problems and recognize their expectations from a professional cleaning service business. This will help you identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

Detailed competitive research will help you position your services more effectively, pinpoint your niche, and deliver the best to your potential customers.

2. Decide what cleaning services to offer

Once you study your competitors and recognize the needs of your customers, it will now be easy for you to decide what cleaning services you are going to offer. 

Aligning what your competitors are lacking with what your targeted customers still want can set you apart from others. 

Clearly define what types of cleaning services you will offer. Decide whether you’ll specialize in certain areas, like green cleaning or deep cleaning, or provide a broad range of services.

3. Choose your business structure

Once you decide what services you will offer, you should choose a business structure that best suits your needs, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC. Each has different implications for liability, taxes, and ongoing compliance requirements.

A. Sole Proprietorship: 

Among all the business structures, sole proprietorship is ideal for those who plan to work independently. It allows for direct control over all decisions but does not provide a legal separation between personal and business liabilities. This directly means your assets could be at risk if your business incurs debt or legal issues.

B. Partnership: 

When one or more individuals are likely to operate together, the partnership can be ideal for you. This structure allows you to share responsibility and resources. Partnerships require agreements on the distribution of profits, shared liability, and the roles of each partner. This is done to avoid future disputes between individuals.

C. Limited Liability Company (LLC): 

An LLC combines the benefits of a corporation and a partnership. It protects against personal liability, similar to a corporation while offering the operational flexibility and tax advantages of a partnership. This structure is beneficial if you want to protect your assets without the formalities of a corporation.

4. Create a business plan & secure funds 

Prepare a comprehensive business plan that outlines your business goals, operational procedures, pricing strategy, marketing plan, and financial projections. A solid plan will guide your business decisions and can be crucial for securing financing.

Moving ahead, based on your plan and the budget estimated, consider different funding options, such as small business loans, personal savings, or investments from partners. Ensure you have sufficient capital on hand to cover startup costs and initial operations.

5. Set up your cleaning business: Get registration, business license, insurance, and accounting

Check with your local city or county about required licenses and permits to operate a cleaning business. This will help to protect your new business from any legal complications. 

Next, securing general liability insurance is crucial. This insurance will protect you against unfortunate financial events resulting from accidents, such as damage to client property or injuries to third parties that occur during cleaning. 

Once you fulfill legal formalities, shift your focus to streamlining accounting operations. Consider using automated software that can track your business expenses and income, automate bookkeeping operations, and simplify the complexities of financial management.

6. Equip your cleaning business with the required supplies and equipment

To offer quality cleaning services, you must be clear about the niche and services you want to provide. You can choose one niche from the below options: 

Based on your niche, you should focus on purchasing the best-class equipment and resources for your business.

7. Fix your rates

Setting competitive and fair pricing is critical to the success of your cleaning business. Start by researching the local market to understand what competitors are charging and what services they offer at those rates. 

Analyzing competitors’ pricing structures will help you set service prices and ensure that you offer higher value to your clients. Before finalizing your service price, you must include the profit margins, labor hours, other fees, and taxes. 

You can set prices based on flat rate, room rate, square foot rate, hourly rate, and specialty services rate.

Additionally, consider offering discounts for recurring services to encourage long-term contracts. Communicate your rates and any conditions on your website and marketing materials to maintain transparency with potential clients.

8. Market your cleaning business

Marketing helps to promote the professional cleaning business among your target audience. Both organic and inorganic marketing strategies boost your reach and visibility. Additionally, you can use digital marketing strategies to scale your residential and commercial cleaning services. 

Communication is also the key to maintaining your customer base. So, increase communication with existing and new clients and give them different incentives, discounts, and multiple special offers to retain current customers. 

Moreover, you can also develop referral programs to bring on new customers when you have high customer satisfaction.

9. Hire the right employees 

Creating a team of employees based on your business structure can assist you in achieving your desired business goals. It would be best if you analyzed the applicants based on your residential and commercial cleaning business requirements.

This will help you to understand their thinking and skill levels to handle operations in real-world scenarios.

Below are some of the useful tips that will help you ensure the smooth entry of the right personnel into your cleaning business:

  • Start by defining the roles and responsibilities clearly in your job postings. 
  • Look for candidates with a good work ethic and a history of reliability. 
  • Conduct thorough interviews and consider background checks to ensure trustworthiness, especially since employees will be working in clients’ private spaces. 
  • Provide comprehensive training to all new hires to familiarize them with your company’s cleaning standards, customer service expectations, and safety protocols. 
  • Foster a positive work environment to retain your best employees, as consistent staff leads to consistent service.

10. Automate your cleaning business with Upper

In the cleaning industry, just as the right tools and supplies are essential for smooth operations, integrating the right cleaning business software to enhance efficiency is also essential. 

Leave behind manual planning and embrace automation with Upper. 

See how Upper can transform your business operations:

  • Client detail management: Safely store and access client information to personalize and streamline service.
  • Optimized route planning: Plan efficient cleaning routes to ensure timely service and minimize delays.
  • Real-time traffic updates: Receive real-time traffic data and road closure updates to save fuel, energy, and time.
  • Business analytics: Gain insights from detailed reports and analytics to make data-driven decisions and improve operations.
  • GPS tracking: Track your teams in real-time, ensuring timely and efficient service delivery.
  • Live updates: Provide live service updates to customers, enhancing communication and satisfaction.

Maximize Cleaning Business Potential

Prompt planning, optimized routes, single-click dispatch to drivers, live traffic updates, and on-time deliveries—Upper assures you of leveling up your operational efficiency.

Pros and Cons of Starting a Cleaning Business

There are always two sides to a business: advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will shed more light on both sides.

First, let’s take a look at the pros of starting a cleaning business.

  • The cleaning service startup needs minimal capital as it does not require a lot of specialized equipment. Just a microfiber cloth, a vacuum cleaner, and a mop can be sufficient.
  • A flexible schedule is another benefit, as you can control everything yourself. You can work a few hours or clean several times a week.
  • If you have a good understanding of what your ideal customers want, you can easily complete this task. A general understanding of cleaning and online self-training is enough to start profitable cleaning services.
  • With the rapid growth of the cleaning industry, the potential for generating revenue also increases. Cleaners are adopting advanced technologies for more efficient cleaning.

Following the pros, it’s time to talk about the cons of a cleaning company.

  • Cleaning services require a lot of manual labor, such as wiping surfaces, cleaning toilets, and mopping floors. The operation of a heavy vacuum cleaner is also tiring. Other cleaning chores like washing windows on a hot sunny day can also take a toll on you.
  • Due to the growing demand for cleaning services, you will always be competing with your competitors at lower prices. Many cleaners would start offering the service for half the price you charge to retain a contract.
  • If you work as a professional cleaner, you will maintain specific cleaning equipment. This equipment can get damaged or break down and may need repairs over time, which can be costly. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for these additional costs and avoid damage. 
  • The cleaning industry often has high employee turnover, which can be very costly and time-consuming for your business. It is important to avoid this as much as possible by offering competitive salaries, benefits, and a positive work environment.

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To start with, research the market, choose your niche, and decide what you will offer. Then, register your business, obtain the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance, and invest in quality cleaning supplies and equipment.

Cleaning businesses can be highly profitable, especially with low startup costs and the continuous demand for cleaning services in residential and commercial spaces.

The residential cleaning business is often the easiest to start. Followed by the business structure, an LLC is popular for providing liability protection and tax flexibility.

Yes, you’ll likely need a general business license from your local city or county.

Typically, you need a business license, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance when hiring employees to run your cleaning business.

Because of a few reasons like low entry barriers, minimal operational costs, flexible working hours, and potential for steady income, it is worth starting a cleaning business.

Leverage personal networks, create attractive promotional offers, and use local advertising and social media to attract clients.

Use online advertising (Google Ads, social media), local flyers, business cards, and promotional events.


Cleaning has always been an on-demand industry with high-income potential. Therefore, starting your own house cleaning business is a smart move that goes beyond just registering your business. All you need to do is strengthen your foundation, overcome challenges, and implement result-oriented tips to stand out from your existing competition.

Also, timely advancements are essential to level up your existing business potential. Embrace innovation and continuously seek ways to improve your services and operations.

One way to start is trying Upper, an efficient cleaning business software that is completely . You can even book a demo with us to get detailed insights.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.