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Becoming a domestic cleaner is the simplest of the three. And, it requires very little investment. For somebody to hand over their house keys and let a perfect stranger into their homes in their absence, a degree of trust is clearly required. To immediately gain such trust, get a Criminal Register Check (CRB).
In the beginning, ask family and friends if they need a cleaner. This way, you’ll get a feel for the job and the standards people generally expect. Overall, customers will usually have much higher standards of cleanliness, if they are paying for it. You will also get recommendations from friends, which is helpful for advertising to the public.
Before getting started with new clients, you should take out Public Liability insurance to protect yourself against any claim that might be brought against you. You can also get specialist cleaning insurance that will cover you and your staff, should you hire help.
Start advertising. Word of mouth is by far the most effective means of finding work in any job, however this will only go so far. Supermarkets and newsagents are the usual ways to advertise locally. You should also check out CleaningPlace, as this will be a good way to price up your competition and advertise your service.
While domestic households have cleaning products, some cleaners and cleaning agencies provide their own, and it’s essential to have a supply of dusters, clothes and mops – at the bare minimum.
If you are looking for cleaning work but are not not sure where to start you could register with an agency. This will remove the issue of having to find work regularly and negotiating rates of pay. You could also get trained to an industry standard by registering with an agency.
Running a company, even if you are a sole trader, involves a greater outlay than domestic cleaning. In order to secure work, it’s necessary to invest in a training course.
First, it’s a good idea to decide on an area of speciality. Cleaning graffiti, office cleaning, window cleaning and even cleaning police crime scenes are possibilities. By doing specialist training you can offer a bespoke service and premium rates, for instance upholstery cleaning and maintenance.
BICS offers an international accreditation on all of their courses, which covers a range of techniques for cleaning in different environments. Courses also include essential health and safety procedures.
There are a variety of courses that cover upholstery, carpet and hard-floor cleaning techniques. These courses typically run for one day and are approximately £120 + VAT.
As an idea of further costs for equipment you can expect to pay for the following:
Industrial wet and dry vacuum cleaner – £300
Rotary floor machine – £400–£800
Pressure washer – £1,700 +
Ladders – From £70
Cleaning chemicals – £7–12 per litre
You’ll also need a van to transport your equipment, which will incur road costs.
There are also marketing costs for promoting your business. These include printing costs for leaflets, business cards and advertisements in the local press or online.
If your business is doing well, then you’ll need to hire staff. In order to do this, you’ll need to get a standard contract drafted and set up a payroll for them, as well keeping a file for all necessary legal documentation.
If setting up from scratch doesn’t appeal, then a franchise may be more appealing. According to UK Commercial Cleaning, you can set up in business for £10,000 + VAT, which includes a deposit on a van, all the cleaning kit and a three-week induction into the business as well as one month’s franchise fee. The full package will cost £20,000 but includes advice and help with the business launch and marketing.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could earn up to £45 an hour cleaning people’s homes.
There is a catch, however…you need to do the cleaning in the nude.
Yes, it does sound a bit perverse on first hearing, but there is a real naturist market out there. Many are people who just prefer being in the nude and want other people in their company to be naked as well.
If you think this is something you might be interested in, then read our full article on making £45 an hour cleaning in the nude!