How to start a Cleaning Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Cleaning Business

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How to start a Cleaning Business?
  • How much does it cost to start a Cleaning Business ?
  • How to find the best location to open a Cleaning Business?
  • What different types of services you can offer as a Cleaning business?


In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is the Cleaning Business?

With a global market value of more than $100 billion, the Cleaning industry is one of the biggest industries in the world right now. 


The cleaning business, or the cleaning industry, offers professional cleaning services to residential and commercial clients. The cleaning business is a vital and growing sector with a wide range of services, such as routine cleaning, specialized cleaning, and one-time cleanups. 


Starting a cleaning business requires planning, research, marketing, and proper management to succeed in this competitive industry.


By the end of this article, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to start a Cleaning business and the critical considerations for making it a success.

Market Insight: In the UK, the Cleaning Industry is valued at £54 billion, while in the US, the market is valued at $61 billion.

Cleaning Business

Types of Cleaning Business Models

The cleaning industry offers various business models entrepreneurs can consider when starting their cleaning business. 


Some common types of business models:


  • Residential Cleaning: 
    This business model provides cleaning services to homeowners and residential properties. Services may include routine, deep, move-in/move-out, and special occasion cleaning.
  • Commercial Cleaning: 
    This business model focuses on cleaning services for commercial properties, such as offices, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. Services may include daily or periodic cleaning, carpet cleaning, window cleaning, and floor care.
  • Specialized Cleaning: 
    This business model offers technical cleaning services for specific industries or niches, such as medical facilities, schools, gyms, industrial sites, and construction sites. These services may require specialized equipment, training, and certifications.
  • Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning: 
    This business model specializes in carpet and upholstery cleaning services for residential or commercial clients. It may involve steam cleaning, dry cleaning, stain removal, and other specialized techniques.
  • Window Cleaning: 
    This business model focuses solely on providing window cleaning services for residential or commercial properties, including interior and exterior window cleaning, glass restoration, and high-rise window cleaning.
  • Franchise: 
    Franchising is a business model where entrepreneurs can buy into an established cleaning brand and operate their business using the franchisor’s system, brand, and support. This can offer a proven business model and brand recognition but may involve higher startup costs and ongoing fees.
  • Mobile App-Based Cleaning: 
    This innovative business model utilizes a mobile app or online platform to connect customers with cleaning service providers. Customers can book and pay for cleaning services through the app, while service providers can manage their bookings and schedule.
  • Green Cleaning: 
    This business model offers eco-friendly and sustainable cleaning services, using environmentally friendly cleaning products and practices to cater to the growing demand for environmentally-conscious consumers.


Note: Entrepreneurs can choose a business model that aligns with their skills, interests, and target market and tailor their services accordingly. Proper research, planning, and understanding of the local market and regulations are essential for selecting the suitable business model for a successful cleaning business.

Remember, as a startup, your goal should be to keep your costs low and depend on your skills. If you push the process and try to go full-service from the very beginning, there is a good possibility that you’ll be overburdened and may get lost in the process.

Pros and Cons of a Cleaning Business

Pros of a Cleaning Business:


  • Low startup costs compared to many other businesses.
  • High demand for cleaning services, with steady and recurring revenue potential.
  • Flexibility in setting your schedule and working hours.
  • Ability to start small and scale up the business over time.
  • Opportunity to offer specialized services or cater to specific niches.
  • Potential for repeat customers and referrals with excellent service quality.
  • Option to franchise an established brand for a proven business model and support.


Cons of a Cleaning Business:


  • Intense competition in the cleaning industry, with many players in the market.
  • Physical and demanding work involving repetitive tasks and exposure to cleaning chemicals.
  • Managing the workforce, scheduling, and logistics can be challenging.
  • Difficulty in establishing trust and building a customer base initially.
  • Seasonal fluctuations in demand for cleaning services.
  • Compliance with local regulations, licensing, and insurance requirements.
  • Marketing and customer acquisition efforts need to stand out in a competitive market.

Cleaning Business Investment

The investment required to start a Cleaning business in the UK & the US can vary depending on many factors, such as the size and location of the company, the type of services you will provide, and the labor cost.


The average cost to open a small Cleaning business in the US ranges from $50K – $100K. While in the UK, the average cost to open a small Cleaning business ranges from £20K to £50K.


Some Common Expenses in running a Cleaning Business include:


  • Leasehold improvements
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Furniture and decor
  • Initial inventory
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Insurance
  • Legal and accounting fees
  • Salaries and wages
  • Operating costs
  • Inventory and product cost
Cleaning Business

How much will you earn in the Cleaning Business?

It is easier to estimate earnings in the Cleaning business with more information about the specific company, such as location, target market, and competition. In addition, factors such as overhead costs, sales volume, and pricing will all play a role in determining earnings.

The average US Cleaning Business revenue is around $300K – $600K annuallywhile in the UK, it’s around £200K – £350K per year, with a profit margin of about 15% – 25%. 


Seasonal Business:

The busiest seasons for a cleaning business vary depending on the type of services offered. Residential cleaning tends to be busiest during the spring and fall, while commercial cleaning sees year-round demand with potential peaks during holidays or events. Post-construction cleaning is typically busiest in the spring and summer months, and move-in/move-out cleaning has consistent demand throughout the year, with potential peaks in the summer.

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Cleaning Business

Checklist of Equipment needed for a Cleaning Business

Here’s a checklist of essential equipment that may be required for a cleaning business:


  • Vacuum cleaner: 
    A high-quality vacuum cleaner suitable for various surfaces and cleaning tasks is an essential tool for most cleaning businesses.
  • Cleaning chemicals: 
    Various cleaning agents, detergents, and solutions for different surfaces and purposes, such as glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, carpet cleaner, etc.
  • Microfiber cloths: 
    Soft, reusable, and effective for dusting, wiping, and polishing surfaces.
  • Mops and brooms: 
    Different types of mops and brooms for different surfaces, such as a wet mop for hard floors, a dry mop for dusting, and brooms for sweeping.
  • Cleaning brushes: 
    Brushes of different sizes and types for scrubbing and cleaning tasks.
  • Window cleaning equipment: 
    Squeegees, scrapers, and other tools for cleaning windows and glass surfaces.
  • Protective gear: 
    Gloves, goggles, aprons, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure safety while handling cleaning chemicals or performing risky tasks.
  • Ladder or step stool: 
    Depending on the height of the cleaning tasks, a ladder or step stool may be necessary for reaching high areas.
  • Trash bags and containers: 
    Supplies of different sizes and types of trash bags and containers for collecting and disposing waste.
  • Cleaning carts or caddies: 
    Conveniently organize and transport cleaning supplies and tools.
  • High-pressure washer: 
    Optional equipment for outdoor cleaning tasks, such as pressure washing driveways, sidewalks, or decks.


The specific equipment requirements may vary depending on the type of cleaning services offered and the scope of your business. Therefore, it’s vital to assess your business needs, budget, and local regulations and invest in reliable, quality equipment that meets your cleaning business’s safety and efficiency requirements.

Cleaning Business

Types of Staff needed to start a Cleaning Business

A cleaning business may require various staff types to perform different roles and responsibilities. 

Some of the staff needed for a cleaning business may include:

  • Cleaners/janitors: 
    These are the primary staff members who provide essential cleaning services, such as dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sanitizing.

  • Supervisors/Managers: 
    These staff members manage the cleaning staff, assign tasks, and ensure quality control.

  • Sales and marketing personnel: 
    These staff members are responsible for generating new business leads, promoting the cleaning business, and maintaining client relationships.

  • Customer service representatives: 
    These staff members handle client inquiries and complaints and ensure customer satisfaction.

  • Administrative staff: 
    These staff members are responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the cleaning business, such as accounting, billing, and scheduling.

  • Training and development personnel: 
    These staff members are responsible for training new employees and providing ongoing professional development for existing staff.

  • Technical staff: 
    Depending on the nature of the cleaning business, you may need technical staff members for the installation, repair, and maintenance of specialized cleaning equipment.

Note: The staffing needs of a cleaning business may vary depending on its size, scope, and services offered.

Trends & Challenges in the Cleaning Business

Trends in the Cleaning Business:

1. Increasing demand for green and eco-friendly cleaning practices.
2. Growing adoption of technology, such as mobile apps and online booking systems, for scheduling, payment, and customer management.
3. Focus on specialized and niche cleaning services to cater to specific industries or customer needs.
4. Emphasis on employee training, certifications, and professional development for maintaining service quality and meeting customer expectations.

Challenges in the Cleaning Business:

1. Intense competition with numerous players in the market.
2. Rising labor costs and potential labor shortages.
3. Managing customer expectations and maintaining consistent service quality.
4. Keeping up with changing regulations and licensing requirements.
5. Finding and retaining reliable and skilled cleaning staff.
6. Balancing profitability with pricing pressures from customers.

Cleaning Business

List of services in a Cleaning Business 

In a Cleaning business, the list of services you provide can determine the overall success of your business and will be the main reason your customers come back every time.


  • Residential cleaning: 
    Regular or one-time cleaning services for homes, apartments, or condos.
  • Commercial cleaning: 
    Regular or one-time cleaning services for offices, retail stores, restaurants, and other commercial properties.
  • Carpet and upholstery cleaning: 
    Deep cleaning of carpets, rugs, and upholstery using specialized equipment and techniques.
  • Window cleaning: 
    Cleaning and washing windows, glass doors, and other surfaces.
  • Post-construction cleaning: 
    Thorough cleaning of construction sites or newly constructed/renovated buildings.
  • Deep cleaning: 
    Intensive cleaning services that cover areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and other high-traffic or heavily soiled rooms.
  • Move-in/move-out cleaning: 
    Cleaning services for tenants moving in or out of a property.
  • Specialized cleaning: 
    This includes pressure washing, gutter cleaning, or tile/grout cleaning.
  • Janitorial services: 
    Maintenance and cleaning services for commercial properties, including office buildings, schools, and healthcare facilities.



Carefully consider the business model based on market demand, competition, and available resources and tailor the offerings to meet the needs of your potential customers.

Cleaning Business

Service Rate Card of a Cleaning Business 

Please note that service rates for a Cleaning Business can vary depending on factors such as location, market demand, competition, and additional services offered.


Here is an example service rate card for a cleaning business in the US and UK:




  • Basic Cleaning: $25-$40 per hour
  • Deep Cleaning: $40-$60 per hour
  • Move-in/out Cleaning: $40-$80 per hour
  • Post-construction Cleaning: $40-$80 per hour
  • Carpet Cleaning: $25-$75 per room
  • Window Cleaning: $5-$10 per window
  • Office Cleaning: $25-$50 per hour
  • Janitorial Services: $25-$50 per hour




  • Regular Cleaning: £10-£15 per hour
  • Deep Cleaning: £15-£20 per hour
  • End of Tenancy Cleaning: £15-£25 per hour
  • Carpet Cleaning: £25-£40 per room
  • Window Cleaning: £10-£15 per hour
  • Office Cleaning: £12-£18 per hour
  • Commercial Cleaning: £12-£20 per hour


Note: It’s essential for cleaning firms to research the market and set competitive prices to attract customers while still covering their costs and making a profit.

Steps to consider while pricing your Cleaning services to finalize a profitable pricing strategy:-

1. Calculate your overall budget and running cost per month

2. Calculate your cost per hour

3. Calculate the overall working hours per month

4. Know what others salons are charging

5. Calculate your service cost

Certification and Registration

Licences in a Cleaning Business 

In the US and UK, there may be special licenses or permissions required to operate a cleaning business. 


Here are some examples:


United States:


  • Business License: 
    Many states and local jurisdictions require a general business license to operate a cleaning business.
  • Trade/Professional Licenses: 
    Depending on the specific services offered, such as carpet cleaning, window cleaning, or hazardous material handling, additional trade or professional licenses may be required.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): 
    If you have employees, you may need to obtain an EIN from the IRS for tax purposes.
  • Insurance: 
    Liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and/or bonding may be required, depending on local regulations and client requirements.


United Kingdom:


  • Companies House Registration: 
    If you are operating as a limited company, you need to register with Companies House.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) Registration: 
    If your annual turnover exceeds the threshold set by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), you may need to register for VAT.
  • Insurance: 
    Public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, and/or professional indemnity insurance may be required to protect your business and comply with regulations.


Note: Research and understand the specific licensing and permission requirements in your local area and comply with all applicable regulations to operate your cleaning business legally and avoid any potential penalties or fines.

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Cleaning Business

Health and Safety Measures in the Cleaning Business

Ensuring health and safety measures are in place is essential in a cleaning business to protect the well-being of employees, customers, and the public. 


Here are some important health and safety measures to consider:


  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE): 
    Providing and requiring PPE, such as gloves, goggles, masks, and aprons, to protect employees from chemical exposure, physical hazards, and infectious diseases.
  • Training and education: 
    Providing comprehensive training and education to employees on the safe handling of cleaning chemicals, proper use of equipment, and safe work practices to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Hazard communication: 
    Properly labeling and storing cleaning chemicals, providing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals used, and educating employees on their hazards and safe handling.
  • Ergonomics: 
    Educating employees on proper lifting techniques, ergonomics, and injury prevention measures to minimize the risk of strains, sprains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Proper ventilation: 
    Ensuring adequate ventilation in indoor spaces during cleaning activities to minimize exposure to airborne particles and chemicals.
  • Infection control: 
    Implementing proper infection control measures, such as frequent handwashing, use of sanitizers, and adequate disposal of contaminated materials, to prevent the spread of infections.
  • Equipment safety: 
    Regularly inspecting and maintaining cleaning equipment to ensure safe and proper functioning and training employees on the safe use and handling of equipment.
  • Emergency preparedness: 
    Developing and implementing emergency response plans, including fire safety, first aid, and evacuation procedures, to ensure preparedness in case of emergencies.
  • Compliance with regulations: 
    Ensuring compliance with relevant health and safety regulations, codes, and standards set by local, state, and federal authorities.


Note: It’s essential to regularly review and update health and safety protocols to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness.

Laundry Business

Shall I go for a Cleaning franchise?

Buying an existing Cleaning Franchise of a recognized brand is a good idea; however, it is expensive also.

On the other hand, the franchisor will benefit you will all the existing brand image, customer loyalty, advertising, market research & strategies.

In addition, you will get guidance from the franchisor about training the workforce & ambiance of the premises. 

Some of the top Cleaning Franchises in the UK and USA:


  • Molly Maid
  • Chem-Dry
  • Bright & Beautiful
  • Merry Maids
  • Time For You Domestic Cleaning



  • Jan-Pro
  • MaidPro
  • Molly Maid
  • Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services
  • Anago Cleaning Systems


In conclusion, starting a Cleaning Business in the UK and the US can be rewarding and profitable. However, conducting thorough market research, creating a solid business plan, and securing the necessary funding are crucial. 

It is crucial to find the right location, choose the right equipment and suppliers, and create a unique and inviting atmosphere for customers. 

Following these steps, you can set your Cleaning Business up for success and build a business that customers will love for years.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

Do This to Make $140K/Month in the Cleaning Business – YT Channel ‘UpFlip’

How to Start a 6-Figure Cleaning Business (From Scratch) – YT Channel ‘UpFlip’

A. The cost to start a cleaning business can vary depending on factors such as the size of your operation, location, and equipment needed. On average, the initial setup cost can range from $500 to $5,000 or more, including equipment, supplies, marketing, and initial licensing fees.

A. The timeline for establishing a profitable cleaning business can vary, but typically it takes time to build a customer base, establish a reputation, and develop efficient operations. It may take several months to a year or more to start generating consistent profits.

A. While insurance requirements vary by location, it’s highly recommended to have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance for your cleaning business. General liability insurance protects against property damage or injury to others, and workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage for employee injuries on the job.

A. There are several ways to find clients for your cleaning business, including word-of-mouth referrals, online advertising, local marketing, networking with other businesses, and utilizing social media platforms. Building a positive reputation and delivering quality service can also generate repeat business and referrals.

A. Common challenges in the cleaning business may include intense competition, labor costs and staffing challenges, fluctuating demand, managing schedules and routes, dealing with difficult customers or situations, and adhering to health and safety regulations.

A. To differentiate your cleaning business from competitors, you can focus on providing exceptional customer service, offering specialized services such as green cleaning or specialized cleaning for specific industries, implementing efficient operations and technology, building a strong online presence, and establishing a reputation for reliability, professionalism, and quality service.

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