Thinking of how to start a cleaning business in TN? According to economic forecasts, Tennessee is a great place to start a business, as its economy is growing much faster than the U.S. average. Top industries in Tennessee that employ residents include manufacturing, healthcare, film production, energy, and automotive manufacturing.

Not only does Tennessee offer a firm residential base, but the average household income is also high, which makes house cleaning a lucrative business undertaking. It is a sure way to become self-employed, provided you don't mind tackling manual jobs most people don't enjoy doing.

As a self-employed house cleaner, you have total freedom to work when you like, where you like, and charge clients what you want; however, you must know how to get and keep clients before your business can really take off.

Types of Business Model

When starting a house cleaning business in Tennessee, there are two options:

  • Creating your own company from scratch.
  • Buying a cleaning franchise.

Advantages of Starting a House Cleaning Business

As a self-employed cleaner or the owner of a cleaning business, you are free to offer any combination of services you want. These services range from cleaning windows and carpets to vacuuming and sweeping.

If you are offering basic cleaning services, you can carry the necessary tools in your car, as you will not need large or expensive equipment. At this point, you will probably not require financing, and you can even start off doing this part-time while keeping your regular job. It is possible then to start your own cleaning business without having to spend a lot of money; however, you will have to do all the work yourself. This includes marketing your business, acquiring clients, discussing favorable rates, and most importantly, doing the actual cleaning yourself.

Franchise or Solo?

On the other hand, franchises require a substantial initial investment — but they may be well worth it. You get to enjoy the benefits of a recognized name, as well as gain access to formulas for marketing that are guaranteed to work.

Although it is nice, as a small business owner, to not have to follow the rules of a franchise and to have the freedom to create your own name, concept, mode of operation, and services offered, there is a lot of risk involved. To mitigate your risks, you must research all the aspects of the business and continually adapt to market changes throughout the lifetime of your business.

To find clients, you need to develop a marketing strategy. This can be as simple as creating flyers and placing them in local stores, mailboxes and apartment buildings in the neighborhood. It is best to concentrate on one area of the city in order to save time and gas money.

Obtain the Required Permits and Licenses

Some regions do require individuals to obtain special licenses for janitorial or housecleaning services. It is important that you check with your county or city to know if they have such a requirement. If your cleaning services involve the use of compressed gas or hazardous chemicals, it is very likely that you will need permits; however, such chemicals are not used in routine house cleaning services.

You may also, as the owner of a business, have to charge sales tax for your services. However, if you're a self-employed house cleaner and your range of services is limited to routine house cleaning, this may not apply to you.

Insure Your Business

When starting a cleaning business, it's a good idea to be insured and bonded. Fidelity bonds protect your customers in the event of you defaulting on a cleaning contract. Doing this helps to assure new clients and encourage those who may want to sign an annual contract with you.

Business insurance, on the other hand, will protect you if you are sued or claims are brought against you for work-related injuries or damaged property. For a house cleaning business, a general liability insurance that provides protection of up to $2 million, may cost anywhere from $350 to $800 a year.

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