General Cleaning Issues - Floorcare, car valeting, buying and selling businesses, pricing, staffing, market research, etc.

How do i start a new cleaning business on my own f
Posted by annette.1 (annette.1), 26 August 2003
Can anyone advise me on how to start up a new cleaning business, on my own with little money,wanting to do final cleans? Undecided
Posted by Clean_Waterless (Clean_Waterless), 27 August 2003
We are the Waterless Car Cleaning Company and we are looking for people like yourselves to start their own business or expand their existing business with us.
We are the UK master distributors of Waterless valet products.

If you are interested in a low start-up cost business with high returns potential, and instant income in your area, contact us at  or visit our web site  
This is not a “Get rich quick” scheme but a serious opportunity.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Gary Mansfield
The Waterless Car Cleaning company Ltd.

Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 4 September 2003
Hi Annette

I am just starting also, today in fact 04/09/03 and so far it has cost me £15 and about 3 hours of my time!!!

How is this possible? well when you are £40,000 in the hole you find ways to 'make it so'

What i have done is go to WH Smith and got an Avery biz card kit and designed my own cards and printed them myself. Cost £12.99+paper+ink

Then went round town and let people know i am now offering my services, time spent ... about 2 hours.

have had a response already, they want my prices and a copy of my public liability, this seems to cost about £100, but done monthly thats about £8 p/m.

I asked them what they are being quoted and for say a 5 bed house they pay about £400-500, not a bad days pay.

Hope that is of help


Posted by Derek (Derek), 4 September 2003
Hi Guys and Gals

With regard to Insurance.... you are required by law to have Public Liability Insurance cover but this cover does not include the item you are working on. You made need to have additional cover for this.

I clean carpets and upholstery, if I am cleaning a suite and damage the carpet then I am covered but if I damage the furniture I am working on ..that's when my 'All Risks' additional cover kicks in... check it out


Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 5 September 2003
Hi Annette

just priced some public liability which came in at £90 for the year. Deposit of 20%, then monthly. This covers 1 person but excludes anything outside or cars plus excludes upholstery and damage of carpets using specialist equipment.

Sounds like a lot of buts, but

a. it will get you in business
b. it will cover you for the basics
c. you can always up it as your circumstances and finances change.

We are in the same boat here, need to get started a.s.a.p cheaply as possible.

Sincerely hope my posts are helping you and anyone else working from a tight budget.



Posted by Derek (Derek), 6 September 2003

Please don't rule out the 'all risks' insurance, its not that expensive and if something goes wrong you will be pleased to had it.

Manufacturers do not seem to consider cleaners or cleaning processes at all and their prime consideration is to produce goods which 'look good' to the punter.

Some wood laminate flooring buckle when wet or just dampened... they can also buckle if subject to heat (Placing a carpet extraction machine on it )
Fabrics and carpets which change colour, shrink etc if incorrect chemical or system of cleaning is used.

As has already been said insurance payments can be spread over a twelve month period and work out, normally, (depending on the business) to around a pound a day... not a great figure to pay for peace of mind

Posted by catrodney (catrodney), 6 September 2003
Its always good to see people being enthusiastic and willing to spend their time researching how to start a cleaning company with little out lay and such huge returns Quote "£400/£500 a day not bad" if life was so easy? Please be aware not only is ther public liability insurance you will also need to go on a carpet cleaning course £100 a H+S course £100 protective clothing £100 if you carry any equipment in your vehicle you will need commercial insurance anything between £300/£1000 the list is endless dont forget you will have to NI contributions then theres inland revenue and dont forget to tax your vehicle and did i mention the tools you will need carpet cleaner/steamcleaner/vacuum/cloths/blades/buckets/commercial rating ladders and steps(by law)also your cleaning chemicals.ok the out lay is not as high as some trades but remember anyone can clean !!!! so good luck in your new ventures.
Posted by Mike_Boxall (Mike_Boxall), 6 September 2003
Hi Derek
Good point about the laminate flooring - some of it is extremely sensitive to damp. I know someone that had to replace an entire laminate floor because when he stripped the wallpaper with a steam cleaner he left the paper lying on the floor until he'd finished doing the whole room. By then, of course, the moisture had seeped through the joints in the boards and the floor was ruined.
Some laminates contains no wood whatsoever and are simply a photographic sheet glued to hardboard!
As you've said, adequate insurance is a must!
Mike Boxall
Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 7 September 2003
Hi guys

Hope my post was not misleading. Yes, it seems that depending what you want to do your insurance will vary. I am only starting out so at the mo it's just me and my materials, if i want to employ people then it will go up by about £70 per year, per person. carpet cleaning is specialist so again training course, more insurance etc, etc.

i only meant to say that for your absolute bog standard, basic insurance to legally operate as cheaply as possible then £90 will do it as business grows then your insurance has to grow with it as do you costs.

Yes £400/500 for a 5 bed house would be nice but 1st you got to get such a job and the work has to be done to a high standard if your business is to grow.

' the only free lunch is in a mouse trap'


Martin  Lips Sealed
Posted by woodman (woodman), 8 September 2003
Cry My insurance costs me £900 a year for all risks goods in transport, customers items on the van (rugs etc) for cleaning and storage etc.

A lot I know, but piece of mind comes at a price.
Posted by Derek (Derek), 8 September 2003
My insurance costs are along similar lines to Woodmans.

Laminate flooring   .. the most frightening story I have heard from a customer regarding this type of flooring is as follows....

Picture if you can, large hallway with a very large lounge off to the side (30 feet long)... on the end of the long lounge is a conservatory.
Customer has to keep doors shut to the conservatory  'AND' lounge as the heat generated within the conservatory is sufficient to buckle the hall floor... how about that.
The flooring must have been laid without any room for expansion / contraction.

With regard to cleaning businesses...
Yes, many years ago I started out with very little training and struggled. I soon found out that knowledge is the key and puts you way ahead of your competitors... look upon training as an investment NOT an expense.

Posted by Derek (Derek), 9 September 2003
Hi Again

I am not trying to monopolise this section but I have thought of something that may be useful.

Advertising.....decide on a budget and stick to it.

Newspapers/magazines will try to sell you advertising space...special deals...if you place your advert today you can have it half price... we are selecting a quality cleaner, guess what,  you are the chosen one etc.

Its all a ploy to sell advertising space..the telesales staff have quotas to meet ...that's where there interest in you stops.
Place an advert this week and you will soon realise they have you dangling on the hook and they will call each and every week from then on.

Answer to these people.... Sorry. but my budget for this year has already been allocated!

Posted by martin_606 (martin_606), 9 September 2003
I concur with derek on this one.

If they call you alarm bells should be ringing!

They can be persistant so watch out.

I've said no thanks to one  and they put the phone down on me only to call me back 10 seconds later and try to give me the same speil. when i pointed out what she had done she hung up again!!



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