Startup Costs: $2,000 - $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No
In today's two-income and single-parent families, we don't have the time or the energy to clean our houses for ourselves. But if you get a charge out of making things sparkle, you love the unmistakable scent of a freshly cleaned house and the glow of accomplishment from a good day's work, then you can shine with a maid or housecleaning service. The advantages to this business are that you can start on a shoestring--part time if you like--with no formal skills or experience, and build up a lucrative business. You'll clean homes, apartments and condominiums, either with the usual supplies or with environmentally healthy products, working alone or with a partner. As you grow, you can take on employees, your 'maids,' and take the catbird seat as a supervisor instead of a scrubber. You'll treat your clients to routine weekly cleaning services, in which you'll perform pre-arranged tasks like dusting, bathroom cleaning and floor mopping. And you can earn lots of extra income by offering add-on services like oiling kitchen cabinets, stripping and waxing floors, and cleaning and contact-papering pantries and linen closets. You'll need the physical stamina to scrub homes 'til they sparkle and the skills to make surfaces shine.
Your clients will be home and apartment owners who don't have the time or the inclination to keep their residences gleaming. The best way to attract their business is by advertising in local newspapers or throwaways like the Pennysaver or Thrifty Nickel and by word-of-mouth among satisfied customers.
It's best if you come armed with your own cleaning supplies (and a must if you're going environmentally green), but if you want to start on an absolute shoestring you can have your clients provide their own. If you arrive prepared, you'll need a caddy of cleaning products, rubber gloves, a mop, a bucket, a squeegee, sponges, rags and paper towels, a broom and dustpan, and a vacuum cleaner. Again, for minimal start-ups, you can use what you've got at home and buy replacements as you bring in revenues. You'll also need a reliable vehicle to take you and your tools on your rounds, and since you'll be home alone in homes while clients are at work, you'll want to be bonded and insured.
Maintenance Related Ideas
Don't worry about heavy flooring supplies--refinish the hardwood floor that's already there.