First thing you want to do is pick an area of specialisation. Cleaning services is quite broad as a niche.
You can decide to focus on industrial cleaning, regular house cleaning, drainage cleaning, specialised roof cleaning, real estate cleaning, post-building/construction cleaning (cleaning newly built houses), there are quite many. So pick one and stick with it.
You can also combine all the niches under one umbrella but as a beginner, this might not be the best. You need the focus and specialisation before you can gather the ability and confidence to launch out into other areas.
Get the skills
Cleaning your home and professional home cleaning services are quite different things.
When you start a cleaning services business, people expect a degree of professionalism from you. When people hire you, they expect to come back and meet the place spotless. This takes more skill than just being able to sweep your house. So take some time and get the skills. A good way to get the skill is to intern for an existing cleaning services company. If none exists, then you can use your network and offer to work for your family/friends for free or at a substantial discount. They already know you and they know you are just starting out. They will be more willing to review your work and even serve as references for future work.
Cleaning services is a physically demanding job. You will bend this way and that way; you will twist and turn and climb. More importantly, you will be working in dirty, mostly dusty, areas. Ensure you are physically fit for this. If you have health conditions such as allergies, asthma or respiratory disease, this is probably not the best area of work for you.
You will be putting yourself in harm’s way if you start this business without adequate considerations for your health.
Unless you want to focus on your neighbourhood, family and friends, you need to have a registered name or company.
Registering will not cost you so much money, but having a registered business name increases your credibility and allows you to employ other people when you need to.
Cleaning business carries its own risks, especially home cleaning services. You don’t want to have a legal suit against you for missing property.
If you will be working in an already inhabited home, take inventory. Make sure there’s record of everything before and after your work in that home. If possible, get a police clearance. Also get some insurance to cover for damages and such.
Since different jobs will need different equipment, it would be difficult to expect and buy everything you will need. But you need some basic home cleaning equipment to start with. You can purchase other things when the needs arise. Some basic equipment you will need includes, mops, water, brooms (long, short, hard and soft), buckets of various sizes, brushes, window trigger spray mop, sponges, liquid soap and detergent, feather duster, air freshener, cover all, safety boots, nose mask, hand gloves, helmet (if you need to climb) and a vacuum cleaner among others.
As much as possible, unless where they are not available, use natural cleaning products instead of chemicals. You will get more jobs if people know you use organic products instead of chemicals. Again, do not use chemicals on your client’s furniture. Only use chemicals for the floor tiles.
Your first client is always the most difficult. This is because people will want to know your experience and references (to make sure you are not a thief). This makes it harder to land your first job.