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Cleaning Services

 

Domestic cleaning and/or Office cleaning is a huge industry and an extremely sought after service, which is very much on the up. Busy people are always on the lookout for a reliable home cleaner.

Setting up as a freelance cleaner is simple and once you become established you could be earning a good income.

Your customers might be working professional people who don't have the time to do the housework themselves, people who are wealthy enough to employ a cleaner, those who are unable to do their own housework due to illness/disability or people who rent out properties.

 

Getting Started

You don't need any qualifications to set up as a domestic cleaner. However, you do need to be reasonably fit as household tasks can be quite strenuous. As a cleaner you'd be required to complete housework such as dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms and kitchens and cleaning floors. You may be asked to do additional jobs such as cleaning interior windows, ironing, washing and carpet cleaning but this should be agreed at an additional fee.

You will be expected to carry out your work during the day if cleaning domestic houses. However, if you take on office work you may need to start before office hours or after office hours.

Spring-cleaning services could earn you extra cash and you might also consider offering cleaning services to people or companies (such as Estate and Letting agenents) who have just bought a new property.

As well as cleaning houses you could provide your cleaning services to B&Bs and small guest houses.

If you are asked to clean an entire property that has just been vacated by tenants or previoius house owners then you should charge more for this service. Properties like these may need a 'blitz' clean as some people leave properties in quite a mess before leaving. Remember, not all people are house proud and you don't want to undercharge for a job. In such cases ask to view the property first so that you can get an idea of what's involved and how long it will take you to get the place sparkling! Give your customer a costing based on this. You could offer a 'per job' fee for this service rather than 'per hour' to ensure you are not out of pocket.

 

Cleaning Supplies

Most jobs require you to take your own cleaning products to complete jobs unless otherwise specified. Most households own a vacuum cleaner but some, such as properties that are rented, may not. So you may need to take your own Vaccum Cleaner on certain jobs, which means you will need access to a car. Other essential cleaning supplies you will need are Microfibre Cloths, a Mop and Bucket, furniture polish, dusters, cleaning spray, toilet cleaner, sanitisers and disinfectants for cleaning bathrooms, toilets and kitchens - this will get rid of all bactiria and keep the areas shiny and bright too. A decent Dustpan & Brush Set and an Indoor Broom will also be a great asset. You might also want to buy a Magic Static Feather Type Duster with Extendable Handle for hard reaching areas such as ceilings, walls, top of cupboards, blinds etc., And don't forget to get yourself some disposable gloves to keep your hands protected.

You can buy most of these products from your local supermarket or bargain store. If you decide to give an interior window cleaning service a go you might want to invest in the Kärcher WV 50 Window Cleaning Vacuum, which is said to give excellent results. However, if your on a budget you can do a great job simply buy using warm soapy water and a dry cloth or Chamois.

Tip: Think about buying environmentally friendly cleaning products to use in your business to suit all clients' requirements.

 

How much should you charge?

Now the important part - how much should you charge? The pay varies and it really does depend on the amount of work involved and the area you are working in. If you need to travel a fair distance to carry out a job this should be reflected in the price. Cleaners charge between £6.00 and £15.00 per hour. But on average domestic cleaners charge in the region of £8.00 per hour, which is considered a reasonable rate.

Domestic Cleaners gain their customers through referrals. People want to know that you are reliable, honest and hardworking. However, initially you will have to advertise your services until you become established enough for referrals.

 

Getting work

Placing an ad in a local paper, newsagent or supermarket store is a good start and you might consider getting some cards printed to post in your local area and hand out to local Estate and Letting Agents . VistaPrint offer a great range of marketing products including FREE business cards (you only pay for postage and package) as well as notecards, postcards, flyers and posters. They constantly have special offers and deliver a quick and efficient service too!

Try placing cleaning services ad on a free online classified such as:

Vivastreet

UK Classifieds

Be careful when receiving replies from your ads as some callers may be unscrupulous. Get as much information as possible from them including their full name, address, landline number and mobile telephone. If for any reason you don't feel comfortable with the call or you have any doubts then don't accept that job - there will be other jobs. You might consider taking a friend along with you to an initial meeting that hasn't been arranged through a referral.

Once you've completed your fist job satisfactorily your client will refer you to family, friends and acquaintances who need a reliable cleaner. It would be a good idea to ask for a 'testimonial' from satisfied customers to keep as a reference for future jobs. If you give a top class service you might end up with a waiting list!

 

Find Cleaning Jobs via a Trade Service Company

If you'd like to get in touch with people who are looking for a cleaner you could try registering with a trades service company such as RatedPeople. RatedPeople put clients in touch with tradesmen, including domestic and commercial cleaners. There is a fee imposed by the agency which works out to around 50p per day.

For just £20 +VAT for the first 3 months you'll get:

- Unlimited job alerts by email
- £20 worth of free leads every month
- 100 free SMS job alerts
- Your own website

After the trial period:

After the first 3 months the service is charged monthly at £20+VAT with £10 worth of free leads every month on a 12 month contract. Leads vary in price, starting at £4 +VAT. The price of a lead is based on the job's size, scope, location and the skills required to carry it out.

Job alerts by text are the best way to ensure you don't miss out on the jobs you want. When you join, they'll give you 100 text alerts so you get immediate access to jobs via your mobile.

Do bear in mind that in order to make sure the service runs smoothly for you, they'll automatically top up your text alerts (at £10 +VAT for 100) when they run out, but you can choose to opt out of this part of the service at any time. So please do look into this before registering.

 

It might be worth signing up to their trial period to see how you go, and then cancelling if it doesn't suit you. If you decide to register do familiarise yourself with their costs and terms first. Interested? You can find out more here...

 

Fiind Cleaning Jobs via an Intermediary Service Company

Servicestart is a major online service intermediary, connecting buyers and sellers of all common household, building and business services. They have over 18,000 registered companies responding to requests and is growing rapidly. This is how it works:

1. Visit Servicestart and create a work profile

2. Receive requests from potential clients via email or text - free of charge.

3. If you find a job that you'd like to take on then you will have the option to purchase the buyers contact information.

4. Contact the buyer to agree on details. If the contact details are wrong or the job is no longer current when you made contact, you will be compensated.

As always please read Servicestart's terms and conditions, and ensure that you are familiar and happy with their policies before registering for their services.

For anyone who has used 'Servicestart' we'd be grateful for any feedback to add to our pages. Please with positive or negative feedback. Thanks.

 

Cleaning

You may also want to think about getting some public liability in case anything goes wrong.

 

Get some FREE business cards printed

A proven marketing strategy in this line of business. Telling people about your cleaning services is great but if you support this with a business card or a leaflet it'll give them something to keep with your name and details. You could always post flyers through the letterboxes of households in your area or ask local business to keep a few on their counter or post one on their wall. VistaPrint offer 250 free business cards to help you get started, you only pay for the postage and package. There are lots of designs to choose from or you can upload your own image. They also offer affordable flyers and lots of other promotional items such as keyrings, t-shirts, pens and more. Find out more about thier services here....

 

Get your own FREE website

Consider getting your own FREE website to promote your cleaning service. This will make you look more professional, plus give you the extra advertising that you need. You can do this at Moonfruit.

 

Keeping Clients and building your business

So, someone has hired you to clean their house or office, how do you keep that customer? The answer is simple - don't cut corners and do a good job. This will ensure a call back service and subsequently more clients via customer recommendation. Customer service is paramount in any business. Remember most people (and this is a fact) don't complain about a substandard service - they just won't use you again! So don't just be adequate, make sure that your work is outstanding and you will never be short of work.

 

What's it really like being a self-employed domestic cleaner?

Want to find out? Our Case Study might help.

 

Becoming self-employed

And don't forget to register as self-employed once you set up. You may not be required to pay any tax at all if you don't earn more than the threshold but you still need to register. More details can be found on our Tax page.

When you've gained sufficient clients you may want to consider building up your business and hiring other people to help you. You could invest in a franchise or simply start up your own company. Good luck.

 

SUMMARY:

 

Advantages:

You'll be your own boss

You'll reap all the rewards

Work around your schedule

Scope to develop your own business

Regular work once established

 

Disadvantages:

Can be tiring

Hard work

 

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