Hi there, I am Max Shiyaz. I am the owner of Nexus Kleen which is based in Perth, Western Australia and this article looks at how to start a profitable cleaning business that will help you earn over 6 figures. I am sure that you are very sceptic with the headline but trust me, I know how to scale a cleaning business from $0-$500,000 in revenue per year and I want to help you to get there.
You must be wondering why I am doing this as this would increase my competition. The truth is I want to provide as much value as possible upfront to let you know that anyone who is willing to work hard and smart can do this. And if you decide to start a cleaning business or are currently struggling to get clients on a daily basis, you would hopefully decide to work with me as I consult cleaning businesses to grow from $0 – $500,000+ per year in revenue.
The reason I have highlighted the word “smart” is that, you can work your bum off, but if you are not smart at what you are doing, you will never be able to scale a business to where I have been able to take Nexus Kleen today and continue to do so. The reason I am able to advise you and consult you regarding starting a cleaning business is that I am currently running a successful cleaning business and want to help as many people as possible get their cleaning business regular clients. I know the feeling of waking up every morning hoping that a client will call you, because I have been there and nearly quit my business cause I had no hope of getting clients. I will write more about my story on a different article, as I want to focus this article on how to start a cleaning business.
What Type of Cleaning Services Should You Offer?
This answer depends on your budget and how much you are able to invest in the business. It is important to first focus on one core service to offer and expand as you grow. My advise would be to start by offering house cleaning & office cleaning as this requires minimal investment. If you have a professional vacuum cleaner, mop, mop bucket & the cleaning products, you are good to go. If you have a bigger budget and are willing to invest in equipment, you can get into carpet cleaning, tile & grout cleaning, etc but my advise for now would be to stick to house & office cleaning as you start up.
Getting the Business Registered & Insurances
Once you have decided on your cleaning service, it is time to register your business. First you would have to get an ABN in Australia which is an Australian Business Number. Please note that you do not have to pay to register for an ABN which many people I know have done through various different websites. You can register for an ABN for free by clicking here
When you have registered for an ABN, it is important to register a business name which you can do by going to this webpage. Once the business name is registered, it is essential to make sure that you get all the insurances sorted out. I do understand that finances maybe tight during the start of the business, but I would recommend to get the business liability insurance when you start. There are various covers of business liability insurances covering from $5 million – $20 million and more. As you hire staff, it is important to get workers compensation as well which will help with any issues that could arise as the business grows.
It is not required to register for GST ( Goods & Service Tax) until your income exceeds $75,000 but if you do want to register for GST from the start, you can do so using this link. If you do register for GST, you can deduct the GST portion from all business related expenses and at the same time when you invoice, you do have to charge the 10% GST portion. For example: If you charge $100 for a carpet cleaning service provided, you would have to charge an extra $10 as GST. Please note that you would be required to prepare a BAS (Business activity statement) quarterly, half yearly or yearly depending on how you register for the GST and pay back the GST to the Australian Taxation Office collected from the clients. Please consider this information as general information and contact your accountant for further clarification and advise regarding any accounting related matters.
Setting Up A Business Bank Account & Accounting Software
It is important to go to your preferred bank and create a business bank account as it will help you to be on top of your business income and expenses. A very useful software I use to carry out all my accounting related work is Wave. It is a freemium cloud based accounting software where you can carry out almost all your accounting related requirements such as creating estimates, invoices, profit & loss statements, balance sheets, sales tax, etc. Wave makes their money from the payment platform & payroll. If you do invoice to a client and the client pays using the credit card platform provided in the software, they do take a small percentage of the invoice. The software has helped me a lot to keep track of all my accounting related information.
State Licenses & Training Qualifications
Most of the cleaning services provided are not regulated in Australia. However, it is important to refer to the state, federal, council laws & regulations to make sure that you are abiding by any regulations that you maybe required to follow. There are regulations in place for high risk cleaning services such as abseiling window cleaning, cleaning of asbestos, etc which are specialised cleaning services that you will need to keep in mind.
Please consider this information as general information and contact your lawyer for further clarification and advise regarding any legal related matters.
When I started the cleaning service, I did not have any training qualifications but the previous experience of carrying out cleaning services. It is not essential to have any training qualifications before commencing a cleaning service but will come in very handy if you do such a training. There are many institutions and colleges that do offer cleaning related qualifications. Any qualifications obtained could also be used for marketing of your business.
The Equipment & Cleaning Products
When you start a cleaning business, I would recommend not to invest a lot of money in equipment but rather invest the money you have on marketing your business. Having said that, it is important to have the basic equipment and cleaning products that you would need to run a cleaning business. Some of the equipments and chemicals you would require to start a cleaning business include:
Backpack vacuum cleaner – I recommend the backpack vacuum because it allows you to vacuum clean a larger area in a more efficient time compared to other types of vacuums.
– Mop & Mop buckets
– Microfibre clothes – colour coded to make sure that you do not use the same cloth to clean toilets & kitchen or vice versa.
– Disinfectant for surface cleaning & floor mopping
– Scrubbing pads, stainless steel scrubs, etc
– Window cleaning kit including window cleaning chemical
– Brooms, Cobweb removers, dusters, etc
These products will help to provide a basic cleaning service but if you do decide to provide more specialised cleaning services, carpet steam extractor, steam cleaning machine, tile & grout cleaning machine, etc will be required.
Understanding to price for cleaning service is very important. A common mistake we make when we start a cleaning business is that we price too low just to meet the client’s budget. This is a mistake I made when I started as well, as we try to get clients at any cost but at the end we end up doing a mediocre cleaning service because the costs are higher than the pricing we have provided. In order to price properly, it is important to understand your costs and work from there. I will cover the pricing guide further in another article but a good rule of thumb would be to use an hourly rate and calculate the cleaning service based on the number of hours the cleaning service may take. For example: if you go into an office and have a look around and feel the cleaning would take 2 hours, it is important to use the hourly rate and charge accordingly. Experience plays an important role in pricing as this helps to understand how many hours a cleaning service would take. An end of lease cleaning is very time consuming as it is a detailed cleaning service but a regular house cleaning may only take few hours as the requirements would differ.
- Marketing – How To Get Customers
This is the most important topic I can highlight on in this article. You can have the best equipment in the world, but if you do not market yourself, your business will crumble before you even get started. The biggest mistake I have seen many of the cleaning companies make is that they invest heavily on cleaning equipment and do not have any budget for marketing. There are thousands of cleaning companies in Australia and any person who has the proper tools and minimal experience cleaning can start up a cleaning company. If you are going to differentiate your company and stand out, you will have to strategise your marketing and make sure you offer something that the other cleaning companies do not.
Firstly, start off with a website. There are thousands of cleaning websites on the web, so you will need to have a very clean website that is easy for the potential customer who comes in to the website. Please keep in mind that creating a website will not magically bring in visitors to your website. You will have to get the website Search Engine Optimised whether it be organic or paid advertising on Google Ads. This is how I am able to get customers day in day out as we heavily advertise on Google.
Next, make sure you have your social media pages setup. My advice is to focus on two to three platforms aggressively by posting content such as images, videos, articles, etc on a regular basis. Instagram, Facebook & Linkedin are great places to start by creating your pages and profiles.
Word of Mouth is great for marketing. But it is a long term and slow marketing strategy as it takes time. If you do not do your marketing properly, you will never get a steady stream of customers, which is essential to your company’s growth.
Traditional marketing such as leaflets, print ads, etc may work for some, but I have never tried them enough to advise on traditional marketing. I highly recommend digital marketing as you can target the people you want, when done right compared to traditional marketing where you advertise and hope that it reaches to your potential clients. And as you start up your business, you will not have a lot of money to spend so it is important to make sure that every dollar brings in guaranteed return.
I cannot emphasize highly enough the importance of marketing as this is where you will grow your business. Your goal should be to work on the business rather than in the business. I have worked with many other cleaning companies where the owner has been cleaning by himself for over 10-20 years which is not the way it should be. If you are to work by yourself, the business will close down whenever you are sick or if you decide to retire. You should oversee the cleaning operations and have the cleaners carry out the cleaning as you focus on growing the business. This will help to grow your income and have a steady flow of income coming in even if you decide not to work any day. Many cleaning companies are concerned about keeping all the revenue by carrying out all the cleaning tasks by themselves which will burn you out with time.
If you do have any questions regarding anything, feel free to contact me. I am more than happy to help as much as possible as I understand the struggle of getting clients as you start a business.