How to start a house cleaning business: do your research
Compare yourself to other cleaning businesses in your city
The one time I will encourage you to compare yourself to your competitors is when you are doing research for your brand. Google [your city name] house cleaning service and make notes on the top 5. What colours do they use? What phrasing? What do they do and what do they not do? (You may need to email them specific questions). Who is their target customer? How can you communicate the unique approach you take to cleaning? Make a list of everything you do that no one else does. The people you serve. The extras you provide and the special touches.
Be daringly, dazzlingly different from other maid services
You need to show your customers WHY you’re not like every other maid service out there. Be dazzlingly, daringly different! Be bold, be brave, ooze personality and capture the hearts of your people. The challenge of any business is to stand out from the competition while still making it instantly obvious that you are a house cleaning business.
Luckily for you, most of your competitors probably don’t really stand for anything. Their language is vague, their logos, tagline and everything else a carbon copy of every other cleaning website out there. You have a REAL opportunity to outshine everyone!
In the enormous online sea of cleaning companies, what can you do to look and sound completely different? It all starts with your MOVEMENT.
What are you going to offer your cleaning customers that no one else is?
You've decided to start a house cleaning biz because you realize something is missing from your market. What’s missing? Where are they falling short? Have you hired your competitors? Do you know what their weaknesses are?
For me as a customer, I didn’t like the following about house cleaning companies back in 2006/2007 when I tried them:
- they insisted on in-home estimates
- their websites had very little information
- they seemed very old-fashioned (and not in a cool, retro way)
- you had to clean before they came
- no one did dishes (!)
- the products they used were not eco-friendly
So I decided to bring a young, modern cleaning service to my city. I launched my website and offered:
- online estimates
- online appointment booking
- online client profile submission
- online service agreement submission
- eco-friendly products (we were the first 100% eco-friendly service in Canada)
- online payments
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- a willingness to do what other companies wouldn’t: wash dishes, organize cupboards, and not require our clients to tidy up before we came
You don’t have to do what I did, and being eco-friendly is so common these days, it isn’t that unique of a feature. And you can completely disagree with me on some of the ways I did things. That’s okay! If you love 3-person teams, in-home estimates, and NOT washing dishes, I think that’s great. You have your reasons and that's what I love: strong opinions!
Who are your cleaning customers?
You have an incredible opportunity to really serve people. Frazzled, busy, lovely people who really NEED your help.
- The exhausted new mom who barely slept last night who lives for the magical day every two weeks when your cleaners clean the stuck-on gunk off her kitchen floor and have an “adult conversation” with her.
- The busy working woman who is under a ton of pressure, spends long hours commuting, and wishes she spent more time with her kids and less time feeling stressed and out of control.
- The newlywed couple who are adjusting to a new stage of life. She’s annoyed that he can’t load a dishwasher properly, while he is coming to terms with the fact that he’s going to spend the next 50+ years stepping over her discarded Lululemon. (Lucky guy!) You are going to help the first year of their marriage (which can be notoriously stressful) go a lot more smoothy.
Maybe you clean for retired empty nesters? Hoarders? College dorm turnovers? Whatever your niche, MAKE SURE IT’S ABSOLUTELY CLEAR ON YOUR WEBSITE HOW YOU ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
Want more tips? Stay tuned for more lessons, and in the meantime...
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