Planning to start a cleaning business in the UK can expose you to a larger market full of opportunities. In fact, the UK contract cleaning industry is worth more than £5.6 billion and there are over half a million-people working in it.
The UK’s cleaning industry dominates many small businesses and sole traders. More than 86 per cent of cleaning businesses across the country have less than 10 employees.
So, if you are planning to become the owner of a cleaning company yourself, here are five steps that can help you establish a successful business in the cleaning industry.
How to Start a Cleaning Business – The Five Step Process
1: Identify Your Market
It is important to first figure out what kind of cleaner you want to become and what market are you planning to serve. For the matter of fact, there are three main cleaning markets in the UK:
- Commercial and
The type of market you decide to do business in dependent on your experience and expertise. However, basic research is essential which tells you more about the relative sizes of the markets in your local areas.
2: Check Qualifications
Domestic cleaners usually do not require specific qualifications. However, you might require one if you planning to do business in commercial or specialist cleaning sector. The British Institute of Cleaning Science has all the information on cleaning qualifications required.
3: Write Down Your Plan
Before you go any further in your business, it is safe to write down a business plan. A business plan will help you build a strong foundation of your new venture and you start it and grow it.
This plan with include your market research strategy, financial planning and marketing strategy. It will have all the tricks you will be implementing to run your venture.
For instance, your financial planning section would include whether you plan to invest entirely your own money as seed capital or plan to borrow the amount. If you plan to borrow the amount, what options will you be considering (whether it is traditional bank loans or alternate source)?
We recommend you to opt for property finance which is a type of secured business loan that uses your property as collaterals and lets your business borrow money when it requires.
4: Look For Clients
Once your business plan is written, it is time to pitch in some clients. Since you have already written your marketing strategy in the business plan in the previous step, it is time to implement it.
For instance, if you have chosen to become a domestic cleaner, you can start gaining clients by simply knocking on doors in your local area. However, if you have chosen commercial or specialist cleaners, then you need to have an advanced marketing strategy with will help you gain clients.
5: Plan for Growth
Although you started small as a one-man-band, cleaning businesses have the ability to grow from single person company into a small company employing several people.
As your business flourishes, it is time to start taking more people on-board who help you share the workload. Now that you will be officially hiring people, you need to be aware of the National Wage legislation. You are also responsible to take out employers’ liability insurance.
Self-employed Cleaner Legal Obligations
Just like any other self-employed business, self-employed cleaners too have a certain legal obligations, especially in context to tax. First, self-employed cleaners are supposed to register themselves as ‘self-employed’ with HMRC and then are needed to complete an annual Self-Assessment tax return.
Additionally, you are also obligated to pay your tax bills by January 31 each year and are required to make a payment on account every July 31.
Self-employed cleaners also need to take out a public liability insurance policy that help them protect themselves against claims arising from injury or loss suffered by any citizen as a result of their work. If you hire anyone in your cleaning business, then as we mentioned above, you will also be legally obliged to take out employers’ liability insurance.
Pro Tips for Starting a Cleaning Business
1: Be Prepared For New Challenge
We understand that starting a business from scratch is a tough job, but it is also hugely rewarding. Until your business start earning profits, think for ways to manage fluctuations in your income. As it grows, be prepared to take full responsibility of managing the staff. But remember not to give up when things get difficult.
2: Take Advice
Talk to as many people as you can. By seeking opinions from other professionals in the same field it will help you make sure that you are on the right path. Most importantly, seek advice from various financial advisors.
3: Get Ready For Unusual Requests
Cleaning business is an extremely personal business. Be ready to deal with every kind of requests to satisfy your customers’ needs.
4: Do Not Forget Insurance
Your potential customers need to be confident that you are covered if anything were to go wrong while you work on their property. And like we keep mentioning, do not forget to take employers’ liability insurance if you are hiring people in your business.