How to start a commercial cleaning business

Do you crave flexible working hours and the chance to be your own boss? Or are you simply an entrepreneurial spirit, looking for a new opportunity? If you’ve been thinking about starting your own commercial cleaning business, we’ve got some strategies to help!

1. Create a business plan

Before you launch your cleaning business, you need to have a roadmap to guide your business in the right direction. Here are some of the key things you should consider:

  • Financial information: Details about your financial position, how you are getting your funding and capital
  • Goals, mission statements: These can be your business values that will help keep you motivated and on track
  • Market research: Understand your competitors, who your target audience will be and how you offer something different

Recommended reading: How to create a winning business plan?

2. Define your cleaning services

For first-time business owners it can be easy to underestimate the importance of choosing the right business structure for your new commercial cleaning business.

The most commonly used business structures in Australia are:

  • Sole trader: Sole traders are legally responsible for every aspect of the business, including any debts and losses, as well as all day-to-day business decisions.
  • Partnership: In a partnership structure, two or more individuals distribute income or losses between themselves.
  • Company: A company is a legal entity that is separate from the business owner as an individual.

An easy mistake to make for new small business owners can be that they don’t seek professional advice regarding how they should structure their company. When deciding how to structure your business, you may benefit from seeking the help of both an accountant and a lawyer.

Once you’ve committed to your preferred business structure, it’s time to decide what cleaning services your new cleaning business will offer to clients. There are many types of cleaning services you may consider but it comes down to what your ideal clients want and how you want to position your business.

Will you offer a premium cleaning service with a premium price tag? Or will you target clients who just want their commercial premises cleaned fast and at an economical price point?

There are a range of services you could offer:

  • Basic cleaning
  • Deep cleaning
  • Sanitisation
  • End-of-lease cleaning
  • New home or construction cleaning
  • Dishwashing
  • Laundry
  • Regular

3. Register your business

As the owner of your own cleaning operation, do you intend to employ staff or operate under a business name (whether immediately or in the future)? If so, you may be required to register your business through the relevant channels.

The Australian Government’s Business Register website is the place to go to register your business as a company, and also to register for GST and any other tax-related obligations your commercial cleaning business may be required to meet.

4. Cleaning licences

Generally speaking, cleaners and cleaning businesses in Australia are not required to hold any specific licence in order to offer commercial cleaning services. However, if you want to find out more about licences and commercial cleaning, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website.

5. Training for commercial cleaners

There are no mandatory formal training or certification requirements for commercial cleaners in Australia. However, as the hardworking owner and operator of a commercial cleaning business, it goes without saying that your business will benefit if you can cultivate a reputation for delivering great services, every time. To elevate your commercial cleaning business, you may consider completing a Certificate III in Cleaning Operations.

6. Source quality cleaning supplies and equipment

While starting a commercial cleaning business doesn’t require a large upfront investment, there are certain essentials that you will want to have in your cleaning arsenal from day one. You are very likely to require the following:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Face masks
  • Garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Duster
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mop and bucket
  • Bleach or disinfectant
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Glass cleaner.

7. Marketing your cleaning business

You may well be a commercial cleaning rockstar, but marketing is an essential activity for growing and sustaining any business. It’s highly unlikely that you are the only commercial cleaner in your area, so be sure to differentiate your cleaning business and offer your clients something unique.

8. Get your commercial cleaning business insurance* sorted with BizCover

One last thing you need to get sorted before you pick up that mop and bucket is to get your business insurance in place. For a commercial cleaning business, this may include options like your basic Public Liability, Portable Equipment insurance and Personal Accident and Illness*. Having these policies in place will give you peace of mind, should the unexpected happen.

Find out more about how you can reduce the risks to your cleaning business with business insurance with BizCover, and enjoy a drama-free insurance experience.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2024 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved. ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769.

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