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How do you start a cleaning business

how do you start a cleaning business

Becoming a housekeeper sounds simple. You apply to cleaning jobs on sites like and slowly start to build a group of clients who pay you to clean their houses. But if you want to make a good living in this career, you need to stop thinking like a housekeeper and start thinking like a small business owner.

Setting up a small business can be a daunting challenge and most people don't know where to start. There are start-up costs, business licenses, advertising, etc. -- all before doing any actual cleaning.

Delores Garcia*, a housekeeper in Las Vegas, and Tammy Wright*, a small-business owner in Denver, have been through it all. Garcia started out working in various casinos as a housekeeper before deciding to open her own business. After two years, she almost has more clients than she can handle. Wright runs a small housekeeping business in Denver, Colo. She went into the field fresh out of high school because, as she puts it, she is "just a bit OCD," and can appreciate her client's cleaning needs. After seven years of working for others, she decided to branch out with a couple of friends to start her own business and "has never looked back."

Here are their eleven tried-and-true

steps for setting up a successful housekeeping business:

Ask Questions

If you have a family, your small business will likely begin by discussing with family members the impact starting a business will have on your family. Other questions you'll have to answer include:

  • Will you do it all yourself or hire employees?
  • Is this a part-time or full-time business?
  • Do you want to hire strangers or work with family and friends?
  • How many staff/employees will you need?
  • What will your role be: worker or manager?
  • Do you have business skills, or does anyone involved have experience or training to run a business?
  • How will payroll work?
  • How much do you think you will be able to pay your workers and yourself?

Garcia and her family work jointly to make her business a success, while Wright and two friends took the leap together.

Go to School

There are tons of details and specifics involved with running your own business -- and they change depending on where you live. Take classes at local community centers, small business organizations or even a community. Both Garcia and Wright signed up for classes and it made them business owners.

Category: Personal Finance

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