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Are you a student or a stay-at-home mom or dad? Do you need some extra cash or would you like to replace your existing job? Starting up a small cleaning business may be just the thing for you. It takes relatively little effort, time, and money to get one going, simply because of the type of service it is. In this busy world there is always someone out there who just doesn’t have the time to keep their home or office ship-shape and will pay to have reliable, dependable, quality service. You don’t have to have a huge marketing scheme to get the word out. And if your mother taught you anything, she probably taught you how to clean!


These are all easy ideas that you probably already thought about. One thing you need to do is get some business cards with your name, phone number, and type of service. You can call your service anything or nothing at all, as long as it is stated what type of service you provide. You can find business cards for as little as fifteen dollars per five hundred.

Another way to advertise is with flyers. You could say something like the following:

Too Busy to Keep it That Way?
Looking for Quality and Dependability?
Call Michael @ 000-0000
For Reliable Housecleaning

You can use 8 X 10 sheets of paper with pulltabs at the bottom (pulltabs are the phone numbers you see on the bottom of some flyers that are easily pulled off by potential customers). What I have done is to get two flyers out of one sheet of paper. Stores like Office Depot will photocopy large quantities of paper for as little as two cents per page. Then you simply use their paper cutter to cut them in two. Take some time to attach tape to them ahead of time and that makes the distribution time go fast.

You can distribute business cards and flyers just about anywhere. Think of neighborhoods where you would like to work, and set out on foot, leaving your flyers on their front doors or windshield wipers of cars. (Never leave anything on mail boxes as it is illegal for anyone but the postal deliverer to do so.) Parking lots in areas you are interested in are great. Just taking them around with you, you can put them on bulletin boards in coffee shops and convenience stores.

Taking out a small ad in the newspaper works well. You can get enough business off of one ad to get you started. You can get an ad for twenty dollars or less.

Once you have a couple of happy customers under your belt you can use them as references for more business!


My favorite cleaning agents haven’t changed and are things in my own kitchen. There are chemicals available that may clean faster but the following things are extremely cheap. Dishwashing liquid makes a great all-purpose cleaner and goes a long way. For mirrors and glass, use a little vinegar and ammonia mixed with water in a used spray bottle. Baking soda is good for scrubbing. I like to use green scouring pads and stainless steel scrubbers. A paint scraper is essential works great all over the house - in the oven, on windows and for soap scum for tub and tile. I cut old towels and T-shirts. T-shirts work great for glass and polishing; terry cloth picks up a lot and scrubs well. It’s helpful to have a bucket or two to carry your things, as well as a broom, dustpan, mop and plastic grocery bags for garbage.

You can buy an invoice book at any office supply store. Get one that has duplicates. Every time you perform your service or get paid, write up an invoice or a receipt. Whether or not the customer wants a copy, you’ll have yours. That way you’ll have good record when tax time rolls around. Being self-employed, you’ll pay your own taxes. You will find the forms you need on your 1040 (like the self-employment Tax form and the Profit or Loss form). There is not much more to it than that!

These are a few easy and helpful things to get you on your way. With a little work you can have some reliable income; how much you want to work and when you choose are all up to you!