A cleaning business-whether residential or office-is a terrific way to have a stable income. You're smart to investigate and be prepared and organized before you try and get clients!
Here's five beginning steps you must do:
1. Check with your city or county clerk's office to see if you need a business license or fictitious name license. These are inexpensive ($25-$50) and usually last 3 or more years;
2. Then, call around to insurance companies and compare prices for liability insurance (sometimes called bond). This protects you if something breaks or gets damaged while you're on the job. And, yes, sometimes you didn't so it, but with this you can keep a client! AND, when you can say to potential clients, “I have liability insurance" it not only makes you professional, but adds confidence. It shouldn't cost more than around $100-$300/yr for $100K coverage (you don't need more than that for now);
3. Call existing cleaning companies, pretend to be a potential customer, to find out the going rates and services provided;
4. NOW, make a nice flyer and/or introductory letter about your service and start knockin’ on doors, so to speak! Dress nice, maybe have a t-shirt made up with your company name and/or logo at one of the online custom tee shirt sites where it isn't too expensive to have two or three shirts made. Consider getting magnetic signs for your vehicle advertising your company or a vinyl wrap. It's like having a mobile billboard;
5. You will need the basic contracts, forms for estimates and book-keeping, intro letters to give a great first and lasting impression that you are professional and trustworthy. Additionally, contracts lock in your business and stabilize your income. It will save you time and money in the long run!
This is a general start. There is lots of information available for you below.
You can get more tips and ideas on how to start and build a cleaning business from Kate at http://www.squidoo.com/startanofficecleaningbusiness No one spells it out for you easier than this or gives you the specific information you must have to succeed.