If you’re looking for a small business that is easy to start and could make a decent sideline income from home then how about starting your own home cleaning agency? It’s very easy to run, you need no special skills, and you’re unlikely to ever be short of business.

Here are a few pointers on how to set up and run your own successful domestic cleaning agency:

What you need to get started as a cleaning agency:

You actually need very little to start a home cleaning agency. You don’t need any equipment at all, because your customer will normally provide this. You might need transport if you live outside a town. But invest a little cash in a smart uniform – it will help give a good impression.

What if I don’t like cleaning?

No problem! You don’t have to do all or any of the work yourself because this is a perfect agency operation. Just hire cleaners on an hourly rate, arrange the work for them, and add a commission on top for yourself. Tip – asking for and checking references for cleaners is a good idea, and will also help you look more professional.

What sort of services will you offer?

There are a variety of different services that will appeal to your customer. Regular weekly (or even daily) cleaning is one of the most popular. That will cover things like vacuuming, dusting, making beds and washing up. Or you can offer occasional ‘spring cleans’ – several times a year – for customers who don’t want a regular service. Special cleans, for customers who are moving in/out of a new home are another service to offer – this is also a good service to offer to builders who are selling new houses and flats.

If you want something even simpler, consider offering just a laundry and ironing service.

How to promote your services:

This is a really easy business to promote. Although once you get started you should get loads of word of mouth business try window cards, door-to-door leaflets, and a few ads in your local papers, free sheets and advertising magazines. If you fancy having a go at a bit of Internet marketing register your business on Google Places.

Tip. Promote your service in the more prosperous parts of town – you’ll find people will pay more, for exactly the same thing!

What should I charge?

You’ll find that what you can charge will depend on your local area, with rates being higher in London and other cities, and also on the competition you have in your area. Ring round other cleaning services in your area, pose as a customer, and see what they charge. Try to charge about the same or perhaps just a little less.

More tips for success in a home cleaning agency

When you get an enquiry, listen carefully to exactly what your customer requires and then work out a price that allows you to do everything they need within a reasonable timescale. Draw up a written schedule of every task you’re expected to do and give them a copy. This will help avoid customers expecting you to do a lot more than you’ve agreed for no extra payment – a common problem in this kind of business!

Home cleaners shouldn’t, for example, be expected to do any cooking, look after the kids or take the dog for a walk… if you’re willing to offer additional services these would be at extra cost.

Here are two articles you might find interesting if you want to offer customers these additional services:

How to make money from dogs and other small animals

Childminding – the perfect mumpreneur business

Finally, when you’re doing the job keep a copy of the schedule to hand (or give it to your cleaner). Tick off each task as it is completed. This will help make sure every task is completely and help keep your customers happy.