Entrepreneur Tips: How to Start Your Own Housekeeping Service

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Oct 25, 2018

Oct 25, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Is your job starting to get you down? Do you need a change of scenery and a new adventure? There are more than 25 million small businesses in the United States: the market for residential cleaning alone is worth more than $60 billion.

So what does it take to start a housekeeping service? How much money do you need to invest? How much should you pay your employees? What's the best way to get new customers.

If you're wondering how to start a maid service, this article is for you. We'll take you through some of the major decisions you'll have to make and give you some good advice about getting started.

Generate a Budget

While it's possible to start a home maid company for as little as $900, entrepreneurs recommend that you have a little bit more in the bank. Licensing could be as much as $500 if you choose to register your company as an LLC.

You should also be prepared to invest about $750 in uniforms and equipment. You will need a working vehicle with insurance and also insurance for your team of workers. That insurance will probably cost you about $3,000 per year, depending upon the size of your team.

Advertising is another up-front cost for new businesses: if you're going to print brochures or business cards, be prepared to spend at least $100.

Online marketing is much cheaper, but you still have to attract followers and convert them to clients. You may want to get a professional writer to create a website and blog: that will be at least $250.

Finally, you'll need to budget money to pay your employees. Check out your state's minimum wage laws and see if you can go a few dollars higher.

Register Your Business

Do you want to register your maid service business as a sole proprietor or as a limited liability corporation? Being registered as a sole proprietor means that you'll be personally responsible for any debt incurred by the company.

An LLC, on the other hand, protects you from financial liability. It is more costly and comes with a lot more paperwork, but it may be worth the investment.

When you register your business, you'll need to pick a name. Try to find a memorable name that fits your personality.

If you're dependable or always an early bird, put that into your business name. If you get stuck, try an online business name generator or just ask a few friends.

Purchase Insurance

Whether you're going to serve residential or commercial clients, you should be bonded and insured. Getting insured only takes about 24 hours and is the most important step you will take in starting your own housekeeping service.

Your clients will also want to know that their possessions are safe, so you should always do background checks on potential employees.

In the long-term view, you will probably have to pay into Workers' Compensation insurance. As your business evolves and grows, you should look for a reputable accounting firm that will handle taxes and insurance payments. You don't have to have a full-time accounting staff member, just a firm that will handle the basics.

Buy Supplies

Since you're starting a formal home maid company, you should invest in lightweight, durable uniforms for your employees. Typical uniforms consist of a shirt with pockets and plain, stretchy pants.

If you are going to let your employees work in scrubs, decide on a color scheme before you start going to clients' homes.

Another investment that you'll need to make is cleaning equipment. You can save a lot of money and time by making your own cleaning liquids. Healtop has some highly effective recipes for organic cleaning options.

Making your own cleaning solutions can also help you market your business to new clients. Everyone wants a clean, fresh house that doesn't have any toxic chemical residue.

Also, check to make sure that your car is in tip-top shape before you start going to appointments. Your car represents your business, so keep it vacuumed and smelling fresh. You can also put your logo on the side of your vehicle to attract even more business.

Hire Employees

What should you look for in an employee? You're looking for people who already know the basics of how to be a maid. You shouldn't have to spend too long training them.

Employees should be able to clean without being supervised and they should be able to clean quickly and thoroughly.

As a trial, ask a potential employee to clean a bathroom while you watch. Are they looking for hair on the sink and shower curtain? Are they getting into the corners with the mop?

You can coach an employee to success, but they need to have some cleaning skills to begin with. In general, hire people with clean background checks whom you can trust with your business name and reputation.

Pro Tips to Build a Successful Housekeeping Service

After you've got all the steps taken care of, you still have to set rates and attract clients. Word-of-mouth advertising is still powerful, but you might have to clean a few kitchens for free to get there. Offer a free introductory room cleaning so that potential clients can see how well you clean.

Once you're more established, you won't have to give out free samples, but doing free cleans can jump-start your business. You can also run contests online that entitles the winner to a free bathroom or living room cleaning.

When you offer free cleanings, you're building your customer base and creating an email mailing list at the same time. Any housekeeping service will take time to build, so be patient.

If you're going to do any email marketing campaigns, hire a social media pro. They can put together effective "drip marketing" campaigns that will encourage customers to contact your maid service business. Outreach is key to long-term success.

Cleaning is great exercise, and it's also rewarding. You can see the results of your efforts and it's easy to tell when your customers are happy. We have a wide range of articles on everything from residential cleaning to interior design. Come check us out!