One of the biggest fears people have about starting a house cleaning business is the fear of having no real security. But for natural entrepreneurs, security comes from designing your own life. My partner Ev and I discovered that we could create security when we put forth the effort to call our own shots and make key business decisions that made sense for our lives. Starting a house cleaning business has helped us achieve real security.
We started a house cleaning business over nine years ago. Although our schedules are now brimming with other creative commitments, we continue to clean houses and offices because the pay is excellent, it gives us the free time we need to pursue our personal goals, and we like it.
When I first joined Ev as he started a house cleaning business I had no idea what I was getting into, but I loved the idea of working for myself. Two things were bothering me a little. First, I was concerned with job security. Second, I secretly doubted my basic cleaning skills. Cleaning had always seemed like drudgery and I wondered if my skills were up to par with the pros. Ev guaranteed that cleaning would give me time to spend the way I wanted. I was ready to take a leap of faith, so I decided to try it.
I made three discoveries:
Cleaning is not drudgery when you're getting paid well to do it.
Leaving behind neat, clean rooms is quite satisfying.
Not having a boss is fantastic.
I also discovered a new use for my research and investigative skills. Because I was determined to rank up there with the best of the professionals, I began to research cleaning tips and as a result, learned how to clean just about anything. Best of all, our diligence and excellent service has provided genuine job security all along.
Why do we think starting a house cleaning business is a great idea? Here's eleven reasons why:
1. Unlimited income potential
You can grow your house cleaning business as big as you want. Many recent entrepreneurs have built up their house cleaning businesses up to 100k a year within one year. Try that with a JOB (just over broke). Cleaning franchises are booming nationwide, but franchises are a bad deal for the want-to-be professional cleaner. You go massively into debt before you even get started. Franchises are highly appropriate for oil lube shops and Internet cafes because those are expensive and complicated businesses, cleaning is not.
2. Start bringing in money within two weeks
You can discover interested clients within days. You can be giving quotes within a week. You can have jobs by week two. You can have a full-force house cleaning business within a few months.
3. Start on a shoestring budget
You can start a house cleaning business for well under $100. This business is one of the best for inexpensive start-ups. Believe it or not you can even start without a vacuum or a car. We did!
4. Be your own boss
Absolutely my favorite reason for starting a house cleaning business. My inner compass just tells me that being my own boss is taking me in the right direction. I'm sure you can relate. Nothing quite compares to the pride and excitement of calling the shots and being in charge of your own destiny. This is what America is all about, right? What is stopping you? Sure, you'll make mistakes, we all make them. But no one is going to scold you and you'll learn from your mistakes. Besides, as another entrepreneur once said, we have the most sympathetic boss in the world - ourselves!
5. Set your own hours
We love this aspect of starting a house cleaning business even more than being our own boss. We take days off when we want and as often as we can get away with. Try that with a JOB (just over broke). We find that we each work smarter instead of harder because we're able to tap into our natural sense of responsibility. When you're empowered to take charge of your own schedule you take more pride in the work you do.
6. Get paid everyday
This is my second favorite benefit. It's really cool. Every day we get at least one check if not several. You won't stress out about paying your bills on time. No waiting two weeks or a month to get paid. This makes your personal accounting system less stressful and a whole lot more enjoyable and even downright fun.
7. Cleaning is easy work, not technical or complicated
If you prefer to use your brainpower on genuinely creative, significant pursuits, or even if you don't, starting a house cleaning business won't drain your brain.
8. Professional cleaning is not emotionally or mentally exhausting
This is Ev's favorite part of starting a house cleaning business. Ev initially started a house cleaning business because he was frustrated with how emotionally draining his JOB was, making it very difficult for him to pursue his creative endeavors. He was tired a lot of the time and just couldn't get motivated. Within weeks of starting his first house cleaning business he was realizing a lifelong desire to compose music. He now has seven CDs of music published. Ev and I built a house ourselves with the free time and free mental space afforded by our part time house cleaning business.
9. Choose who you work with
Number two favorite on Ev's list. There has always been that one person that made life at work less than enjoyable if not a complete drag. Can you relate? If we discover we don't exactly click with a client, we have a system for replacing them within one week, sometimes sooner. You'll never feel trapped with an unwanted associate again.
10. Work close to home
No long commute, no commute at all if you prefer. There is plenty of work near you, we drive maybe ten miles a day, we do 80% of our work in one neighborhood. When Ev started his first house cleaning business he rode his bike and took public transportation to his clients’ homes and offices. With a little foresight and planning, you can clean with no supplies of your own. We have met several other cleaners who work by bike and on foot as well.
11. Start additional cleaning services
You can add in any of a dozen additional cleaning services to maximize your profits. Carpet cleaning, steam cleaning, house sitting, pet sitting and plantscaping are all natural outgrowths of starting a cleaning business. You can mix house cleaning with office cleaning, or window cleaning with house cleaning, or for variety do all three.
Starting a house cleaning business may not be glamorous, but because we did it, Ev and I have gained free time to do what we want to do, lowered our stress levels, become more productive and happier, and we make a good living. For people with a sense of independence and a creative spirit, starting a house cleaning business is a wonderful way to provide yourself with genuine security.
This article was adapted from the newly revised and improved edition of Suzanne Arthur's ebook, Start Your Own House Cleaning Business. Also check out Suzanne's other cleaning business ebooks, featuring the Suze & Ev Method: Start Your Own Window Cleaning Business, and Start Your Own Office Cleaning Business. These ebooks, as well as an 88 page cleaning tips ebooklet, can be found at