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Advice Corner: So You Want to Get Cleaning?

If you are thinking of starting a business and trying to find a fairly low cost business idea, then domestic cleaning could be one to explore.

Domestic cleaners mainly carry out work for individual households, buy to let properties, B&B’s and guesthouses. It seems an easy profession to get into, however, the sector is highly competitive with an estimated 25000 domestic cleaning services in the UK.

Despite competition there is still space in the marketplace, and here are some useful tips when starting your cleaning business to ensure you can take advantage of the opportunity and build a competitive business.

1. Qualifications and Skills 

While there are no formal qualifications required you may consider looking at training opportunities to put you ahead of the competition.

Start-up Courses include:

  • The Practical Cleaning Skills award at levels 1-3. This is an entry level course for those with limited experience covering the principles of cleaning which is accredited by various bodies including Edexcel and City & Guilds, green cleaning practises and teamwork.
  • The Level 2 award in cleaning principles accredited by various bodies including City & Guilds and Edexcel. The course covers waste disposal, health and safety and cleaning of bathrooms and restrooms. 
Business Start-up courses include 
  • Free webinars from HMRC, giving advice such as the ins and outs of becoming an employer. 
  • Contracts of employment, recruitment and selection which is a distance learning course that costs £110 and is beneficial for cleaners wanting to recruit staff.  
  • Consumer rights training which is a 35 minute online course that costs £25 and explains the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and instructs on how to deal with customer complaints, fair wording of T&C’s and handling disputes.  
  • Enterprise Hub offers direct training through a combination of business advice and short courses to help you through the business planning process and understand your responsibilities as a new business owner
You may also wish to keep up to date with developments in the industry on websites such as the Cleaning mag and Cleaning Hygiene today or follow Karcher UK on Twitter. 
2. Trading and Commercial 
There are a few things that you will need to think about on a practical level:
  • Provision of cleaning and protective equipment including safety goggles and waterproof gloves for any staff team 
  • Notifying your landlord/mortgage company should you wish to run your business from home and arranging home and business insurance.
  • Setting up pricing strategy – will you charge at an hourly rate or a look for a monthly retainer? Checking your costs and ensuring you are factoring in a wage on top of those
  • You might consider trade body membership to get access to online directories and discounts from industry suppliers from  www.bics.org.uk and www.fedmc.co.uk.   
3. Legal

The law is vast, but here are some key ones that effect the cleaning industry that it is worth reading up on so you don’t get caught out later.
  • Compliance to The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 in terms of resolving disputes. 
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

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