Question

I want to go self employed as a cleaner, and hopefully build up a business but im scared !?

I have a cleaning job, which is more like an organising/cleaning.I have OCD and so I want to put the condition to good use.The people I clean for say I have totally transformed their lives and home as its so clean,tidy and homely:they agreed I should start up a biz, but apart from trying to think up a company name I also need to somehow put across that I dont just scrub toilets;I make the home feel special.
I want to stay as local to the area I live in to keep costs down,and be able to pick clients.Im not a very confident person and am worried I will be seen as "just the cleaner".Should I charge by the hour (I asked for £7.50 and they happily pay this) or should I charge per job?Also I guess Im scared of making a hash of it even though I really want to do this. Advice?
just want to add that I'm just thorough in cleaning with OCD not repeating and unable to move on,Also Im in mid suffolk area if anyone wants a cleaner!!! cheeky

6 years ago - 12 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

Firstly, trade in your own name - it's much less complicated for tax purposes. I would advertise in local magazines and when you go to see a prospective client discuss their needs and then tell them how much your services will be for each visit. You have already made a success of your cleaning job and I am sure you will make a success of your venture. The tax office is very helpful and will explain what accounts you need to keep. You can apply for an exemption for NI contributions at first and then see how your earnings go. If you are in the UK you can also apply for Tax Credit. Good Luck!

6 years ago

Other Answers

Good on you Emma, go for it!
I used to have a cleaning company ... people really seemed to appreciate the fact I was reliable and honest. I charged by the hour and advertised by posting cards thru letterboxes (I was still receiving enquiries from these 2 years later!), and customers recommended me to others. Having OCD might make it hard for you to give the overall clean that most people want, especially if you get fixated on small areas. I took insurance to cover myself for breakages, but think this was a waste of money! Be aware of those people that just want to use you for that once over before visitors, Christmas etc rather than being interested in a regular clean house. They'll waste your time and prevent you from taking on more regular, more profitable customers.

by Paulo - 6 years ago

If you show people confidence, that is what they will perceive. Even if you aren't confident about it, if that is what they see, that is what they will believe. As far as what to charge, I would charge by hour, because you can get in over your head if you charge by the job. Some jobs might be bigger, some might be smaller, but it's better to charge more per hour, and know that you will be compensated for all your work, than to work for hours really hard on a job, and not get as much. Have the people that you have cleaned and organized for write up a testimonial telling about how you have helped them, not only by cleaning, but also organizing. That would be great to put on fliers, and also your website if you put one up. Have your friends think of names, and have a little party to decide which one is the best.

Good luck!!

by Princess - 6 years ago

Spit n Polish. New Broom. Clean Sweep. Squeaky Clean. Miss Mop. Mop n Bucket. Maid for You.

by Crazy Diamond - 6 years ago

£7.50 an hour sounds ok as a wage but when self employed you will have to pay your own tax and NI out of it.

I suspect it is a bit too cheap to make a living out of.

Try more like £12 + per hour and describe your services in a leaflet. "Make your home ---livable" etc.

by Ron S - 6 years ago

Go for it! I started a business when I was 29, and it worked out great. I made a good living, and eventually hired other people to work for me. I trained them to do things exactly how I do them (my clients liked my work a lot--and I did not want them to feel that my employees were second rate).

There are people who "organize"--they usually charge a lot more, but they also often organize paper work, filing systems, etc. I think one service that is kind of a step up from cleaning would be to offer a "Kitchen reorganization" service. I know lots of people who, over years, find their kitchen cabinets cluttered and poorly organized. I bet they would pay $100 to have someone come in, empty everything out, clean the cabinets inside, and then put everything back more neatly than before! Heck, if you lived here in Boston I would pay you $150 to do it!!!

by KathrynCK - 6 years ago

The fear will go away once you have a gameplan in place start with a business plan. Plenty of ideas an free business plans at the website below.

Source(s)

by Major Score - 6 years ago

Hi
Of course you are scared - show me one person who started their own business without being scared & I will show you a person who is not human.

Go for it

you can trade as your self or a name - there are no tax complications if you say as a sole trader.
I would talk to your local business link or enterprise agency. They will give you free training on setting up on your own.

If you cant think of a name not, not a problem you can do that later.
The first thing you will need is a business bank account - one of the cheapest is abby or the co-op. better to keep things separate from the begining.
Charge a higher rate - if it looks like a premium service people will pay more. as for charging by the hour be careful - in your case it is about being 'clean enough' all over not rubbing through the tiles in the bathroom and not doing anywhere else.

As for pricing strategy - I would charge a lot more for the first clean (stops the one offs) and helps you start to build a relationship.

If you have kids - meet with other parents at the school gates with some business cards and start spreading the word. some of the big superstors allow people like you to place cards advertising local services.

Good luck
Mike

Source(s)

by Mike M - 6 years ago

Charge by the hour at first and then charge by the job as you get better at quoting jobs. Go to www.globalcleaning association.com The forums there will give you ALL the information you need to start, run and grow your cleaning business. That site gave me the confidence to start an office commercial business and without that site I would never have had the confidence to do it. Go for it! Michelle

by michelleembs - 6 years ago

there are a couple of ebooks for starting a house cleaning business that give you a bid formula for bidding jobs and also tell you what you need legally and marketing materials. One is at housecleaning.cleanuptheprofit.com and one is at theonlineanswers.com/housecleaningb...
By the way, I think that 7.50 is highly underpaid (that would be a wage for an employee, but when you are the owner, you should charge what other business owners charge)

by Erika J - 6 years ago

You don't say where you are based. If you were near me in the UK, I would employ you, and would prefer to pay by the hour.

by steffi - 6 years ago

Couple of things. Firstly GO FOR IT! There is no need to wait, just bust out and do it. I started a cleaning business, within two years I had many cleaners and the business was run day to day by my managers which freed me up to do other ventures.

I now teach people www.cleaningevolution.com.au how to start there own domestic cleaning business, however I currently only teach in Australia.

Secondly, I'd charge more than that. First rule, don't charge per hour, the more you clean the quicker you get, so you don't want to be doing twice as much work for half the pay down the track. Other reason is you can charge more if you do a 'per job' rate, as you get quicker and they don't realise that it's only going to take you 2 hours when they take 3-4 hours.

When you charge per job, just figure out what hourly rate you want to charge, walk around the house and figure out how long it will take and then charge it by that hourly rate, but NEVER mention that rate to the client, they will flip out. I use $40-$45 per hour as my rate, gives me enough left for staff.

by jdk77777 - 6 years ago