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Old 06-12-2005, 09:40 PM
momofjems's Avatar
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Advice wanted on starting a new cleaning business

I'm thinking of starting up my own cleaning business. I need some input. I have 3 apartments that I am doing now. I have been charging $7.50 an hour. The work I have been doing hasn't been extremely difficult, with the exception of one of the kitchen floors last month, that has a lot of wax buildup or something on it, but this week I am going to be stripping that all off and starting over.
I am charging this amount because of two reasons. So far these have been fairly easy jobs, and these are retired ladies on fixed incomes living in a low income apartment building.
Well after all my rambling on, if you have some advice for me, please feel free.
Do you think I should approach the landlord and let him know that I am available to clean other apartments and he can refer them to me via phone? He knows that I am already cleaning there, because he talked to the first lady that I started cleaning for and told her that I am not charging enough.
Do I need to be bonded and how do I go about doing that?
I love my little hand steamer, I did the blinds for one of the ladies last month, thats how I got a job for the 3rd lady. She was so impressed with her blinds going from tan to white, that she wants me to come do her apartment too.
What about putting a magnetic ad on my car?
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:57 PM
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Cleaning Business

momofjems......Most of the time you do need insurance plus being bonded in case something is missing. You do need to file Self Employment tax on your income. If you intend to do it full time need a business license from the town. Don't give your time away too cheaply. Check out other cleaners in your area see what they charge.
Advertising can be expensive but a small add in the local paper for a couple of months pays off. Word of mouth is your best way of getting customers.
Lots of luck on your new venture.
"The only reason why people hold on to memories is because memories are the only things that don't change when everything else does."

Last edited by Sueanne; 06-12-2005 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 06-13-2005, 05:38 AM
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This thread has been moved from the Women's Health forum for better placement and exposure.
Hook 'Em Horns!!!!
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:06 AM
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My sister has been doing a cleaning business for about 7 years now. Her business has all come from word of mouth. She has 20 homes that she does. A car magnet would be great exposure or even a car decal for your window. That is what I have on my car.
Let the landlord know that you would be willing to take on more apartments. He may know that you already do some but he may not know that you would like to have more.
Best of luck!
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Old 06-18-2005, 08:03 AM
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you might want to get this book called How to start a Home-Based houseclelaning Business. A lot of good information. Also, get you some business cards printed up if you haven't yet. is a good company. when i got them, all you have to do is pay for shipping costs. hope this helps!! God Bless!
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Old 06-18-2005, 08:26 AM
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I did some research for a friend of mine and found it all on the internet.
One thing it suggested was to charge a flat fee becuase some projects wont' take very long and if you charge by the hour you will definitely be short changing yourself.
In my town cleaners are charging anywhere from $50 to $75 to clean a house. This would not include laundry or windows or anything else that might be considered specialty. Those jobs usually charge extra.
I was paying my friend to clean the downstairs of my house $50. It inlcuded three rooms, 1 bathroom, and a kitchen. I think she did pretty well. 5 hours of work would be $10 an hour and I know she didn't clean that long.
check out the net and I would suggest using a flat fee system of pay.
I hope this helps,
Country Bunny Rep#3698
Pamper The Skin Your In!

Last edited by CBBBluver; 06-18-2005 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:25 AM
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My district manager has a lady that cleans for her and charges $40 to clean 4 rooms plus the kitchen & 1 1/2 baths. She doesn't do laundry or dishes and windows are extra.

I would think that $7.50 a hour under priced you should probably charge $10 to cover taxes. If you get additional customers I would definatly check into business insurance and getting bonded to cover yourself against a claim of theft or breakage. You should check with your auto insurance company as well before putting any business logo on the vehicle as that might change the status and insurance claims on your vehicle.

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Old 06-18-2005, 11:14 AM
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I'd suggest you be bonded and insured. This protects you and says that you are trustworthy etc., at the same time.
I also would be selective on the products I used.
Make sure they are versitle and cost effective.
When I have used cleaning people I have had them use what I use.... and those would be Shaklee products. Even sensitive people can usually handle these.
They have a thousand and one uses and a little goes along way.
I actually use some of their Softer than Soft fabric softener and dilute it in a spray bottle and use as a light air frehner. Smells so good!
You should advertise and also advertise if you are "Pet Friendly"
I'd have some business cards made up and possibly some magnets for the car. Be aggresive and get out there and sell yourself...your business I mean....<blushing>
Best of luck!
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Old 06-18-2005, 08:16 PM
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These are all wonderful bits of information and help. I would have never thought to talk to my insurance person before getting a magnet on my car. That won't be hard, she's my cousin :D. I didn't think about getting bonded.
I used water and ammonia to get the wax build up off the kitchen floor and it did a beautiful job. Both the tendent and her son were impressed.
The reason I am charging so little is because these are retired ladies with health problems, living in a retirement home that is not an assisted living type. However with their health issues, some jobs are hard for them to do. I clean their kitchen counters off, then sweep and mop. One lady has her son take out the garbage, but I would do that too. One of my ladies is legally blind, and is afraid of the stove, so she doesn't cook. The apartments are only one bedroom and the rooms are small. I vaccuum and dust. I clean the bathrooms. I clean the blinds (I use my little steamer) if and when they need it. I wash the insides of the windows as needed and one lady has grand and great grand children that are there quite often, so her's are needed each month. Oh, I am only doing their places once a month.
Both ladies told me they hadn't cleaned before I got there. I told them they weren't supposed to do that, I was. They were taking my job away from me.
The one thing I haven't done is clean the bird cages, and they do that themselves, they clean those weekly.
Thank you again for all your words of wisdom.

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Old 06-21-2005, 02:18 AM
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I am not big on this subject but if you wanted to start small....just put a sign up,if you have like a bulliten board or something.....or ask the landlord.....he could use help maybe when someone moves out and he might need help there!! I use to clean houses....but dont remember what I charged more then 10 yrs ago.....and I dont think I got paid enough...these ladies took advantage I think.oh well...
good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
your friend from NJ
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