Cleaning business start-up checklist

Starting your own cleaning business will require plenty of time, effort and physical endurance. Your clients will want to know that your services are trustworthy and that their spaces will be left clean and tidy.

For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.

  • Business start-up checklist
    When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.

Buy a cleaning business or start your own?

Setting up a business from scratch can be a daunting task. You may want to look at the benefits (and challenges) of buying an existing cleaning business or a franchise.

  • Buying a business
    Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.
  • Franchising
    Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.

Learn about the cleaning business industry

Before you open up your business, you will need to know who your competitors are and the demographics of your area. Are you trying to target seniors, young professionals or busy working families? Each of these factors will be necessary to decide how and where you will target your clients. Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and become an expert.

Setting up your cleaning business

Whether you start your business with 1 employee or 100, you will need to have certain skills for your operations to run smoothly. Managing your time and your finances and protecting your business are necessary to keep things on an even keel. Communication skills will be important for marketing your business and keeping repeat clients.

Will you set up a home-based business or open a commercial location? How will you manage your inventory of supplies? You will need enough storage space to keep your equipment and cleaning supplies.

Because cleaning work is done at your customers' locations, will you have vehicles for employees to drive or will they drive their own? If you purchase the vehicles as part of the business, you can customize them with graphics to advertise.

  • Choosing and setting up a location
    Trying to decide where to locate your business and how to arrange it once you get there? Consider your options.
  • Operations planning
    Take steps to increase productivity, improve quality, and effectively manage the day-to-day operations of your business.
  • Protecting your business
    Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.

Complying with janitorial or cleaning regulations

You will find that the cleaning industry has a number of regulations or safety measures that are mandatory to run your business. Greening your products can help reduce or avoid certain scents that may trigger allergic or asthma-related medical issues. Explore these regulations and guidelines early on in the planning process.

Hiring and training your employees

Your employees will be the soul of your cleaning business. To retain your clients and keep your business running smoothly and efficiently, they will be your most valuable assets. Ensure they have the necessary training tools to make their job easier.

Additional resources

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.

  • Starting a business
    Want to be your own boss? Find out how to start a business.
  • Business support organizations
    Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.
  • Contact the Canada Business Network
    The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a success.
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