Starting your very own cleaning business in the UK is a great way to dive headfirst in a vast and profitable market. According to the BCC, the cleaning sector in the UK is worth nearly £25 billion!

With over 700,000 people employed in the cleaning sector, growing a business in this niche can both be extremely lucrative and very hard. The oversaturation of the market can be bad, especially if you’re a new business trying to compete on prices of already established companies.

Table of Content
Table of Contents:
  1. Benefits of starting a cleaning business
  2. What documents you need to start a cleaning business in the UK
  3. How to manage a cleaning business
  4. Common expenses for cleaning businesses
  5. How to find and keep clients
  6. Choosing between starting your own cleaning business and buying a franchise

Benefits of starting a cleaning business

A thriving sector, the cleaning industry is healthy and growing by the year. Low-cost entries, a 27% growth increase in the last ten years, and at least a 10% increase since 2011 are all signs of a healthy and growing sector.
It’s also a great place to start a business if you don’t have any qualifications or previous experience in cleaning.

What documents you need to start a cleaning business in the UK

While experience isn’t required to start your own cleaning business in the UK, acquiring the proper documents is mandatory in order to legally operate as a business.

To start a cleaning business in the UK you’ll need three things:

  • Eligibility to work in the United Kingdom
  • Public liability insurance
  • Registered limited company

Eligibility to work in the United Kingdom

According to UK laws, you’re eligible to work here if you’re a British citizen, you’re a European Economic Area citizen, or if you’re born in Switzerland.

If you don’t fit in these three categories you’ll need to obtain the proper visa in order to start and run your cleaning business in the UK.

To find the most suitable visa for you, you can visit the website to learn more.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is a must if you’re going to operate as a cleaner. As a service provider, public liability insurance will cover you if any accidents occur at the time of providing the service.

It’s also a fantastic way to give yourself and your customers’ peace of mind.

Sole trader or a limited company registration

You can’t operate legally as a service provider in the UK if you aren’t a registered business. While most small businesses prefer to register as sole traders because it’s a simpler business structure, registering as a limited company is a much better choice.

Deducting tax is much different for limited companies than it is for sole traders. You’re not personally liable if you’re operating as a limited company, giving you a layer of protection and it also is much more credible in the eyes of the customer.

For more information on limited companies and sole traders in the United Kingdom you can check the Government website:

How to manage a cleaning business

Having a cleaning business will require you to manage money, hire people, communicate with clients, market your company and a lot more.

Managing a cleaning business when you’re just starting out can be overwhelming. Something that Edmund, one of our franchisees, knows from personal experience.

Build a team

One of the things a business owner is responsible about is building and growing the company.

As the cleaning sector in the UK is a fast-paced niche you’ll need to build and grow your team fast in order to be able to keep your competitive edge and acquire new clients.

Job websites might be your best bet when it comes to finding new people to join your team. Facebook groups are also a great way to find people who’re looking for a job and you can easily reach them.

Sort out the budget

Even though it’s fairly cheap to enter into the cleaning industry in the UK, there are still quite a few things that you should consider when you start your business.

Equipment, vehicle, marketing, even some registering costs. Getting the word out there will also cost you at the startup stages of your company. While considered cheap, the sum can easily go north of £10,000.

Another way to have it easier on your budget is to invest in a cleaning franchise. This would allow you to work with an already established brand and give a sort of a push in the beginning.

Charge for services

As a new business, you can’t afford to compete on prices with other cleaning companies. After all, you’ll have to recoup the initial investment made to start the business.

To find the best amount to charge take a look at how much your competitors are charging and base your price on that. Most cleaning companies in the UK charge by the hour, by room or by square meters.

Common expenses for cleaning businesses

The investment of setting up the business and gathering the initial equipment is going to be the biggest expense. Permits, insurance, setting up the business – the cost adds up.

On top of that, you have some other common expenses that you have to worry about so let’s go over them.

Equipment costs

Most cleaning companies will start out with one or two services, but as a new cleaning business, you’ll still have to acquire equipment.

Cleaning equipment, a van, a professional vacuum cleaner will be the minimum to get when you’re starting out. Of course, you’ll have to buy more specialised equipment once you start growing your business into other cleaning niches.

Uniform costs

While it may seem like something small, having uniforms for you and your team is a great way to start branding your company.

If you’re a small team of two or three, we recommend not to skip on uniforms. It will make you look professional and trustworthy.

If you’re really trying to make it work and don’t have a budget for branded uniforms you can invest in the same coloured t-shirts.

Marketing costs

Marketing is a must in such a competitive niche. If you’re trying to get the word out there leaflets are a great low-cost option. You can easily spend some time every weekend giving them away to people.

If you have a bigger budget you can even try online marketing and building a website.

How to find and keep clients

As a newly established business finding your first clients is going to be the hardest thing for you.

Your family members are most likely going to be your first clients, invest in business cards and fliers you can leave to your clients so they can call you back easily or to give to friends.

Aim to make each client a returning one. Having a set amount of recurring jobs per month is the secret to run a successful service company.

Don’t forget that the quality of the service you provide is going to be the deciding factor for your clients. So make sure to always strive for a perfect customer experience

Choosing between starting your own cleaning business and buying a franchise

With the oversaturation of the UK cleaning services market, buying a franchise isn’t a bad option. In fact, it can save you quite a few problems in the long run.

Starting your own company from nothing can be hard and sometimes quite expensive especially if you want to do things properly. Investing in a franchise, however, gets you covered on marketing, customer service, branding, finding your first clients and you even get help when you want to expand your business.

Starting a cleaning franchise with us will get you covered on marketing, customer service, schedule tailored to you, job and sales training, financial support and a sure way to quickly profit from your investment.

For more information on the cleaning franchises that we offer check our main website.

Check this out!: How to Start a Cleaning Business in Australia
  • Last update: September 10, 2019

Posted in Starting a Business