So you’re starting your own cleaning business. Congratulations! It’s a growing field with a low financial barrier to entry. And if you have the right attitude, your opportunities are practically limitless.
But you have to have the right equipment. And if you think that your business’s needs begin and end with basic cleaning supplies like sponges and disinfectants, you’re wrong. A cleaning business is still a business, and you’ll need to supply the office end, too.
So, what are the must-have business and cleaning supplies for a cleaning service business?
Essential Professional House Cleaning Supplies
You can divide your cleaning supplies checklist into the following categories:
- Tools and appliances
- Personal protection
- Common cleaning products
Some of these are pretty common cleaning equipment. Others are things you might not think about until you need them. So be prepared.
Tools and Appliances
Your tools can make or break your business. Make sure you have all your bases covered, and don’t skimp when it comes to quality.
Different types of flooring require different kinds of equipment. For floors, these are the primary tools of your trade:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Small, hand-held vacuum for carpeted stairs and quick cleanup
- Hand broom
- Floor scrubbing brush
You know what we’re talking about: kitchens, showers, baths, toilets, and sinks. Make sure you have:
- Abrasive scrubbers
- Disposable sponges
- Disposable rags
- Paper towels
- Disposable toilet brushes
These are the things that you’ll use everywhere.
- A duster or dust cloth
- Spray bottles
- A caddy to carry your supplies
- Glass cleaning cloths
- Large and small trash bags
- Disinfecting wipes
Common Cleaning Products
You have the tools; now, you need the right cleaning solutions. Make sure you have these handy:
- Glass cleaners
- Abrasive cleaners
- Shower cleaners (for grime, mold, lime, and mildew)
- Toilet cleaning solution
- Floor cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Oven cleaner
- Stainless steel cleaner
- Heavy-duty degreasing solution
- Dishwashing liquid
- Descaling solution
- Air freshener
- Carpet cleaner
- Laundry detergent
- Stain remover
You don’t have to rely on commercial cleaning supplies for all types of cleaning. In fact, you can make your own cleaning solutions for a variety of purposes. It can save you money as well as attract customers who prefer a natural, non-toxic approach to cleaning.
Cleaning products can be hard on your skin, eyes, and lungs. No cleaning product list would be complete without essential protective equipment. This includes:
- Latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves
- Dust mask
- Shoe covers
- Antibacterial handwash
Marketing and Office Supplies
Your basic cleaning supply list is just the beginning. If you’re going to grow your business, you’re going to have to invest in marketing. And, like it or not, marketing will require a bit of office work — and some specialized supplies.
A Computer is a “Must”
Your business computer doesn’t have to be fancy, powerful, or fast. But you will need an internet connection, and you will need more than one way for customers to contact you. The easier you are to reach, the easier it will be to build your client base. Good communication will also make it easier to maintain relationships with your clients.
You will also need a computer to run your business software. But we’ll get to that later.
Build a Web Presence
A business website can help people find you. It can also let people know about the services you offer. Services like WordPress, Wix, Go Daddy, and others can get your website up quickly and cheaply, with no programming knowledge required. Make sure to set up a business email and keep up with it.
Link your business up with directory services such as YellowPages.com, Yelp, and so forth. For a lot of people, these sites are the first place they look when they start searching for local services.
You’d also be surprised how quickly social media can help you build your business. Don’t believe us? Check out #cleaners on Instagram and see some of the fun stuff people are posting. If you love your job, then your enthusiasm — and creativity — will be contagious. Social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also draw clients to your website.
Get a Business Phone and Keep It On
It pays to keep your business and private life separate. A dedicated business phone can help. Answering those late-night calls and last-minute emergency texts can set you apart from the competition.
Always, always have a few of these on you as part of your cleaning equipment list. You never know who might be looking for a cleaner. Business cards should have your name, phone number, email, website, and a shortlist of your services.
Cleaning Business Software
You thought you were done? Not so fast. Your cleaning business supplies should also include cleaning business software.
We’ll tell you. Running a business has a lot of moving parts. If you’re a one-person operation, you’ll need, at minimum, a way to:
- Collect and follow up on leads
- Allow customers to book appointments online
- Keep track of appointments
- Confirm or cancel appointments
- Maintain a database of customers
- Create marketing campaigns using customer information
- Invoice your customers for services rendered
- Accept credit online payment
- Accept credit card payments in the field
- Receive customer signatures
- Create and send out service reminders
- Build and offer different service packages
- Monitor supplies, equipment, and inventory
- Track income and expenditures for taxes
If your business grows enough to hire additional employees, you’ll also be looking at:
- Tracking breaks, paid time off, etc.
- Employee scheduling
- Assigning employees to jobs
- Communicating with employees in the field
- Employee evaluation
- Employee taxes and benefits
- Keeping track of company vehicles
That’s complicated — but it’s also vital to growing your business and keeping it running.
Investing in a high-quality business software package can keep all of your necessary information in one place and streamline your back-office operations. Your business is only as good as its back office. It pays to be organized and on top of things.
While you’re at it, invest in a business tax software solution, as well. It will save you a lot of trouble in the end.
Are You Ready to Start Your Cleaning Business?
Home and commercial cleaning is a rewarding industry with massive potential for growth. It doesn’t cost a lot to get started, and if you provide consistently excellent service, you may find yourself with more work than you can handle. But you have to be prepared.
You also have to have the right equipment. That means the right basic cleaning supplies, but also the right marketing and office supplies, and a robust cleaning business software package.
How far will your ambition take you?