Do you want to start a maid service? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a maid service business with NO money and no experience plus a sample maid service business plan template. The maid service industry has two primary market groups: consumer and commercial. Research has shown that the consumer arena is made up of solely residential maid services, along with carpet cleaners, window cleaners and a variety of other maid services required on a less-frequent basis.
While the commercial arena is chaired by janitorial services which typically provide a wider range of services than maid services, along with other cleaning services such as carpet and window cleaners that target businesses rather than individual consumers.
This business is surely a business that people will always need because as long as there is dirt, we will always need this business. But before you venture into the maid service business, it is important to look at it with long term vision. We agree that technology has certainly had an impact on maid services, but not that this is a high-tech business.
We believe that in this industry you can build an extremely profitable business that will bring in substantial revenue very quickly. Note that a lot of maid service businesses can be managed as part-time or full-time businesses, either from home or from a commercial location. This goes to say that this unique flexibility gives this industry a strong appeal to a wide range of people with a variety of goals.
We believe that another positive factor in this industry is that within each category of maid service businesses are market niches and operating styles that vary tremendously. This simply means you can create a company that suits your individual style, vision and talents. Whether you agree or not, just very few industries can offer this tremendous range of choices and opportunities, and the need for general and niche maid services is expected to increase in the future.
18 Steps to Starting a Maid Service Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The general cleaning industry where maid service falls in can be roughly divided into residential cleaning, commercial janitorial services, specialty cleaning and laundry/dry cleaning services. Analysis in 2015 has it that there were approximately 875,000 businesses employing about 3.5 million people.
We believe that this industry as a whole is very susceptible to economic downturns and suffered through several rough years during the recession period; revenue fell to 5.3% in 2008 and another 6.1% in 2009. Note that the general cleaning services, and particularly residential services, are seen as an expendable luxury when times are tough.
However, reports have stated that the years of economic strength has seen the industry bounce back, and in 2015 it generated $51 billion in revenue. Note that this recent upward momentum can be attributed to both unemployment and office vacancy rates declining as well as a pickup in non-residential construction activity.
This is why people have more money to spend and feel more secure spending it, and there are more offices that need cleaning. Also note that strong economic activity is forecast for the next 5 years as well, and industry experts are predicting job growth of about 6% from 2014 to 2021.
Maid services may be different from what is generally thought to be the historically prevalent services performed by a maid, and these services may be provided by both male and/or female individuals. This being part of an elaborate hierarchy in affluent homes and profitable businesses, today a maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford comfortably.
In this industry, maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning and grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and tending to the household children.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
We all can attest to the fact that be it home, office, shopping malls, theatres or any public place, nobody likes to be in an unclean environment. We all know how important our health and overall wellbeing depends upon the levels of hygiene that we maintain. Dirty and unclean environment are the breeding grounds of various disease causing pathogens.
Most of the illnesses we suffer are caused by unhygienic living conditions. We also know that poor health affects our personal, professional and social life. From absenteeism in offices and schools to missing out on important events, living in unclean surroundings makes us miss out on various important things in life.
We have also noted that demand for maid services is most popular with people of higher than average wealth looking for a little more free time – especially in two-income households. Market research suggests that the ideal target for clients are married couples with college degrees, 45 years old or older.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
When planning to start a maid service business, you would need to carry out a research that would reveal to you the qualities and characteristics of maids that are in high demand. We believe it will help you when recruiting maids. Your research would also enable you to know where to get maids and how to locate those in need of their services. It will also equip you with knowledge of the niche to follow.
There are three main types of cleaning business which can serve as a niche idea even for maid services businesses. Note that under these categories, there are few specific niches you can decide on., but you can decide to offer all these services depending on the size of your business and your start-up capital.
Domestic maid services
This particular category involves cleaning people’s homes (normally while they are at work) and can be undertaken by you as soon as you secure some clients. But later on you decide to take on staff as your client-base builds.
Commercial maid services
For this particular niche, you will need a team of people (the properties will be tend to be large office buildings) and it may be that your role is more managerial than on-the-ground cleaning.
Specialized maid services
Note that in this category, there are lots of niches to explore, from window cleaning to schools to vehicle cleaning.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Reports in this business has it that the average cleaning company loses up to 55% of their customer base every year due to poor service. In this business, good work goes unnoticed for years, but a bad job gets you fired immediately. From our well detailed research, we have been able to ascertain that Competition is fierce in this industry.
Note that there are many small companies competing for both residential and commercial cleaning contracts, but yet barriers to entry in this business are low as there is very little expensive equipment needed and little to no training required for employees – so new competitors spring up all the time from every corner of the world.
For dry cleaning and some specialty cleaning services, however, expensive equipment actually can be a significant hurdle, including needing commercial or industrial real estate to sell and perform services.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- Anago Cleaning Systems
- CleanNet USA
- Molly maids
- The maids
- Merry maids
- The cleaning authority
- Cleaning masters
In some parts of the world especially the western world, few households can afford live-in domestic help employees; in lieu of live-in staff, maid services are used as a periodic cleaner. While in developing nations, differences found within income, social status and socio-economic classes, lesser educated women are believed to provide a labour source for domestic work in homes.
We have been able to note in history that making use of a maid service was thought to be affordable only to the wealthy; these services though, have become increasingly common in many developed cultures, because of the rise in dual-income families and constant work.
There are thousands of residential cleaning businesses throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Indeed maid services are becoming more popular in this modern age, maybe because of a relatively well-off population.
But history has it that cleaning was considered a woman’s role, but as more and more women have joined the workforce, the time pressure on families with children has grown, so paying a service for cleaning makes sense to persons who can afford it. Also a lot of modern homeowners lack the proper knowledge to use the safest and most effective cleaning products, which is why they opt for professionals.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When you buy a franchise, note that the franchisers will work closely with you as you start your business and take it to the point where it is running smoothly and profitability, especially in the beginning. But have it in mind that you may discover that once you become established and financially secure, a franchise agreement is a decided disadvantage.
But for individuals who want to own their own business but would rather choose an opportunity that has proven successful for many others rather than gambling on developing their own system, a franchise is the way to go. We also believe that most franchises provide a degree of marketing support–particularly in the area of national advertising and name recognition—which is very difficult for individuals to match when starting from the scratch.
But at the ability end, you will likely invest far less money operating as an independent service than as part of a franchise. Also if you decide to start from the scratch, you will not be tied to any pre-established formulas, concept, name, services offered etc., which we believe is both an advantage and a drawback.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
We believe that one of the biggest challenges you will be facing when starting your own maid service business is the amount of responsibility that you will have on your own shoulders. Note that it will be your responsibility to find new clients, earn enough money, manage your timetable, and if you are planning to get employees, you will be responsible for them too.
We believe that another thing you should be weary of is the competition in the industry. Indeed there is a low barrier to entry into the general cleaning business, that is why you will see a lot of competitors: from individual cleaners to big cleaning service companies. That is why you should be aware of this fact and make sure you have something special in your services to offer your potential clients.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
A lot of individuals trying to start this business tend to overlook the need to register their business properly. Have it at the back of your mind that ‘what is worth doing is worth doing well. When you plan starting your maid service business, you need to do all things necessary and fulfill all protocols to be able to function without troubles. Indeed the stress and cost of registering businesses around the globe has gone down drastically, which is why you should stick to the law governing the industry.
Starting your maid service business as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company and limited liability partnership can give you and any investors or partners personal liability protection. You can start forming these business entities via your state’s secretary of state’s office.
It is advised that you consult an attorney or accountant to figure out what makes the most sense for you. For the sake of this article, the LLC is the best entity for your maid services business. The benefit of the LLC simply includes;
- Ease of setup
- Inexpensive to start
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
- Dirt Cleaners
- American Cleaning Service
- Fabric Services
- Clean Ribbon Cleaners
- Wet Sky Cleaning
- Alfred Cleaners
- Carpet Dry Clean
- Clean surface Company
- Intercontinental Cleaners
- Home Cleaners
- Crystal Angel Cleaning
- Safe Cleaners
- Red Apple Cleaners
- Natural Cleaners
- Greener Cleaner
- Unique Maid Services
- Pretty Dry Cleaners
- Artillery Cleaners & Laundry
- Maids help
- Maids zone
- New Life Cleaners and Laundry
- Perfect Dry Cleaners
- Everyday Cleaners
- Perfect Touch
- Pro maids
- Home Dry Cleaners
- Revolution Cleaners
- Future Cleaners
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
It is very important to state that unlike commercial janitorial services, maid services are trusted to work in private homes of their clients. But they do encounter many of the same risks as larger commercial cleaning operations and yet still face their own unique set of risks.
There are numerous kinds of business insurances that you can consider for your maid service business. That is why you should consult an attorney and an insurance broker to be able to understand the insurance needs for your business, both presently and for the future. Insurance you will need may include;
- Property and equipment Insurance
- General Liability Insurance
- Crime & Fidelity Insurance
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Product liability insurance
- Auto liability insurance etc.
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
Modernization has made it very necessary for businesses to protect its intellectual properties. Intellectual Property rights which is vastly made up of patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights-even the right URLs-, play an important role in monetizing innovation. When you let others steal your ideas in any of your business endeavours, you are simply letting them take the things that makes your business unique and functional.
A lot can be said about intellectual property protection and it actually does not feed the world, but it does provide the invisible infrastructure that allows innovation and success in any business industry. In this business, you might devise a means to carry out your activities and ideas to leapfrog your competitors.
All these have to be protected if you still want it to maintain the sole reason why it was designed. Intellectual property protection is needed in this unique industry to protect patents and new ideas, registered and unregistered trademarks, copyright and trade secrets.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
In almost all business industries, professionals are often needed to complete and maintain certifications as a bona fide professional in their field of expertise. Note that Certification provides employers, and/or the people they serve, with certain levels of confidence that the individual knows how to provide their particular service at established standards.
In the maid service business, formal training is either not required or it is provided by the employer (or franchise), with no disclosure to the general public as to what was included or if the employee actually passed any formal testing. Maid service has gone beyond a mop, bucket and vacuum.
Nowadays a maid is entrusted with the care of a home, its furnishings and the health of its occupants. Note that with the many new materials and surfaces being used in home décor, a professional maid have a much broader range of knowledge than in the past as many of these newer surfaces require specialized care.
Also apart from caring for the home and its contents, a professional maid helps care for the health of the occupants. This includes hygienic cleaning, effective sanitizing of surfaces, use of appropriate cleaning agents to prevent cross contamination.
- IICRC house cleaning technician certification
- HCT certification
- IJCSA House cleaning certification
- Cleaning Business Owner certification
- Green clean certification etc.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
When starting this business, note that the rules and regulations of business legalization differs from one city to the other in the united states. That is why you need to be aware of these rules in order to get your business registered. You need to do an accurate research on the rules and regulations of the city where you are planning to open up your maid service business. Some of the most common licenses and permits that you need to acquire to initiate your business operations are listed below:
- Business license
- Fire department permit
- Air and water pollution control permit
- Sales permit certificate Etc.
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Note that in this business you will need funds to buy equipment, hire staff and pay your bills. Beyond traditional financing, you have a range of options when it comes to raising money. Some suggestions include:
Your personal resources
First and foremost, you need to do a thorough inventory of your assets. Naturally people have more assets than they immediately notice. This may include savings accounts, equity in real estate, retirement accounts, vehicles, recreation equipment, collections and other investments. At this point, you may decide to sell assets for cash or use them as collateral for a loan.
Looking to your Friends and family
Another aspect you should consider after gathering your own resources is to approach friends and relatives who believe in you and want to help you succeed. We advice that you should be cautious with these arrangements; no matter how close you are, present yourself professionally, put everything in writing, and male sure the individuals you approach can afford to take the risk of investing in your business.
You can also look around for someone who may want to team up with you in your business. You may also choose someone who has financial resources and wants to work side-by-side with you in the business. Another option is to find someone who has money to invest but no interest in doing the actual work. It is strongly advice that you create a written partnership agreement that clearly defines your respective responsibilities and obligations.
Leverage on Government programs
Note that you can take advantage of the abundance of local, state and federal programs designed to support small businesses. You are advised to try the U.S. Small Business Administration; then investigate various other programs. Women, minorities and Veterans should check out niche financing possibilities designed to help these groups get into business.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
Indeed one of the greatest and hottest business trends today is to be home based, and maid services are excellent candidates for this type of setup. After all, your customers will likely never come to your facility since all your work is done in their homes.
Also, a lot of municipalities have ordinances that limit the nature and volume of commercial activities that can occur in residential areas. A lot of them prohibit the establishment of home-based businesses. Even though others may allow such enterprises but place restrictions regarding issues such as signage, traffic, employees, commercially marked vehicles and noise. Here is why we advise that before you apply for your business license; find out what ordinances govern home based businesses in your area.
Also experts believe that in order to achieve authentic business growth, you must get out of the home and into a commercial facility. They believe that doing so will help you create a successful and professional image, but before you begin shopping for an office, think carefully about what you will need.
In this line of business, your office area should be large enough to have a small reception area, work space for yourself and your administrative staff, and a storage area for equipment and supplies. There is also a possibility that you may have to create space for a laundry and possibly even a small work area where you can handle minor equipment repairs. Also depending on the size of your staff, consider allowing for a small break area.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
In this business, note that your initial staffing needs will rest on how much capital you have, how large a business you want to have, and the volume of customers you can reasonably expect to service. A lot of independent maid services start with just the owner, while others start with the owner and an appropriate number of maids.
But we believe that if you handle the administrative chores, chances are you won’t need to hire office help right away. Also just because your work is done at your customers’ sites, vehicles are as important to your business as the location of your office. Have it mind that your vehicles are essentially your company on wheels. That is why you need to be careful when choosing them.
Note that an economy car or station wagon will be the best option. This is because you will need enough room to store equipment and supplies, and to transport your cleaning team, but you typically won’t be hauling around pieces of equipment large enough to need a van or small truck.
It is important to note that you can either provide vehicles or have employees use their own. But if you provide the vehicles, paint your company’s name, logo and telephone numbers on them. It will help advertise your business all over town.
But if your employees use their own cars–which are particularly common with maid services-ask for evidence that they have sufficient insurance to cover them in the event of an accident. We also advice that you check with your insurance agent to know if your own liability policy protects you under those circumstances. Equipment you will need may include;
- Vacuum cleaner with attachments
- White cloth rags
- Paper Towels
- Toilet brush
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Dust pan & brush
- Dry mop
- Wet mop & bucket
- Latex gloves
- Wet floor signs
- Extension cord
- Window cleaner
- Disinfectant cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner
- Furniture polish
- Soft Scrub product for sinks
- SOS pads
- Feather duster
- High duster
- Caddy with handle to keep your supplies
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
This particular service used to be seen only in the home of the wealthy, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle-income households can afford. It is very evident that maids perform typical domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, walking the family dog, and taking care of children. In many places in some poor countries, maids often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities.
Certain legislations in a lot of countries make certain living conditions, working hours, or minimum wages a requirement of domestic service. But the work of a maid has always been hard, involving a full day, and extensive duties. Analysis has shown that a lot of maids suffered from Prepatellar bursitis, an inflammation of the Prepatellar bursa caused by long time spent on the knees when scrubbing and fire-lighting, and it has in turn led to the condition attracting the colloquial name of “Housemaid’s Knee”.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
When starting this business, it may be necessary to allocate some budget for marketing. Note that one of the hardest elements of starting a maid service company (and in fact any service business) is building up a client list. It all depends on the nature of your business, but some traditional advertising such as classified listings and flyers could be the best place to start – although it’s worth considering investing in some online advertising as well, such as pay-per-click.
Also don’t be afraid to go out and knock on some doors – cleaning can be a personal business and prospective clients may be more likely to sign up if they meet you face-to-face. Below are some of the most effective strategies for recruiting clients for a new maid service business:
- Build a unique website
- Reach out and network
- Set yourself apart
- Join local business groups or organizations
- Attend as many tradeshows and events as possible
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
Note that everything in this business, right from opening your doors to becoming a major stakeholder is centered on getting clients and keeping them. To win your competitors in this business, you need to always reach out to your customers. Media to reach them may include;
- Email list
- Postal mail campaign
- Paid advertising
- Phone, postal or email follow up after paid advertising
- Strategic Alliances
- Joint Venture Partners
- Social Media
- Public Speaking
- Writing (blogs, articles, lead magnets, etc.)
- Public Relations & Press
- Social Proof
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Note that immediately your business gets underway and starts to gain momentum, it is important to build a brand that you can be proud of as you will mainly be reliant on gaining customers via word of mouth and personal recommendations.
We believe that to build a brand identity is very necessary. You can start by having a logo designed and to have a uniform for any staff with clear branding on it. It is advised that you subscribe to trade organisations which have compulsory standards for membership. This can also help create a professional reputation, as well as getting satisfied clients to provide testimonials. Other strategies may include;
- Never stop learning
- Use all your resources
- Clean it like it’s your own
- Create systems
- Don’t undersell yourself
- Take care of your maids
- Be careful and focus on your niche
- Let your maids be computer literate
- Track labour cost
- Watch the economy
- Invest in customer service
- Don’t take every job