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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Cleaning Business?

So, you’re ready to scratch that itch, eh? Credit to you. Few people get around to actualizing their ideas. But let’s face it, starting a business isn’t for everyone, or the faint-hearted, for that matter. But if you want to take the plunge, you can find out Image One’s cleaning franchise cost by exploring their site – if that’s the route you plan to take.

All the same, the startup cost of a cleaning business is typically around $3500. But it could be more, depending on the scale of your intended operations. For instance, do you plan on starting a solo or with a team? If you prefer to take baby steps and grow organically, you can get by with just a few thousand dollars. But if you’re dead-set on building a large company from the ground up, it’ll cost more – in time and money.

Well then, what does the price tag usually factor in? Here are some line items you’ll expect to pay for before your grand opening:

1. Permits and Licenses

Licenses are a pre-requisite for any business, including a cleaning business. The fee for a business license is usually between $100 and $500, depending on the regulations in your state. You may also need a special permit to operate as a commercial cleaning business.

2. Cleaning Supplies or Equipment

Consider all the standard cleaning supplies like mops, buckets, rags, dusting solutions, and vacuum cleaners. These will set you back a few hundred dollars. You can always opt for used equipment to help keep costs down.

But be wary of going too cheap – you don’t want to sacrifice quality as you attempt to save a few bucks. Plus, used equipment can let you down on a big day and may require regular repairs – essentially defeating the purpose, right?

3. Bonding and Insurance

You’ll need to insure your business – for general liability purposes if nothing else. Depending on your janitorial insurance, you could pay between $400 and $8,000 annually. And if you plan to have a crew to assist you, factor in an extra $2,000 as worker’s compensation – to cater for any on-the-job injuries they may suffer.

You may also need to get bonded. This protects your clients if you (or your team) damage their property. The cost of getting bonded varies depending on the state you live in and the amount of coverage you need.

4. Advertising and Marketing

Your prospective customers will need to know you exist and that you’re in the business of cleaning up messes – big or small. That said, traditional forms of marketing like print, radio, and TV advertising can be expensive.

But, with a little creativity, you can save some cash. For instance, why not hand out flyers in local supermarkets and promote special deals on social media? You could also partner with other local businesses to offer discounts to their customers. Expect to spend $200 or more on advertising.

5. Website design

In today’s world, no business is complete without a website. It helps you:

You don’t need to spend a fortune on website design – consider using the DIY solutions available online if you’re on a shoestring budget. As you do, go for a professional design and ensure your site is easy to navigate. But if web design isn’t your strong suit, find a pro to help you. 

6. Labor

If you’re starting solo, this cost won’t apply to you. But, if you plan on hiring a team, you’ll have to factor in wage costs. How much you pay your employees will vary by state, including the going rate for cleaning services. While at it, set aside some money for employee training – to ensure they meet your company’s standards and deliver quality results to your clients.

7. Utilities

Water, electricity, and gas are some of the basics you’ll need to keep the lights on. For instance, the amount you spend on utilities will typically depend on how much power you use, among other aspects.

8. Office Space

Unless you plan on working from home, factor in the cost of renting or leasing an office. This will serve as your base of operations and should be centrally located to make it easier for customers to find you. Office costs vary based on the size and location of the property. And since rental rates can be expensive, you may want to consider sharing space with another business.

Most importantly, by understanding the basics, you can start putting together a more accurate estimate of how much it’ll cost to get your cleaning business off the ground. But remember, this is nothing but a guide. The actual amount you spend can vary widely – depending on your circumstances.

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