Do you want to start a business cleaning foreclosed homes? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a foreclosed home cleaning business with NO money and no experience plus a sample foreclosed home cleaning business plan template.

If you are looking to start a business that will give you high returns in these tough economic times, one venture you may want to consider is the business of cleaning foreclosed homes. House cleaning has to do with cleaning and tidying houses.

It also encompasses waste disposal, cleaning of dirty surfaces and dusting of the house for it to look neat and healthy for human habitation.

If you are a good housekeeper, you will be well suited to run a house cleaning business because with these qualities, you would have an edge when it comes to cleaning foreclosed homes. This article will give you all the necessary information you need to start a business cleaning foreclosed homes in the united states of America.

Steps to Starting a Foreclosure Cleaning Business

1. Understand the Industry

According to estimates from various sources, the overall size of the cleaning industry in the United States of America is about 0 million.

The state of Illinois is a major hub of the cleaning industry in the United States mainly due to the city of Chicago which is a highly commercialized and industrialized city where cleaning services are necessary for nearly every neighbourhood because of the high density of commercial complexes and residential buildings.

As at 2010, we have about 50,000 cleaning services operating in the United States of America and about 9,000 upholstery and carpet companies, which brought in an annual revenue of about 40 billion dollars. About 90% of the cleaning revenue is accounted for by cleaning companies, while the remaining 10% by carpet and upholstery.

About 30,000 laundry and dry cleaning businesses brought in 10 billion dollars in revenue last year, with 70% of it coming from retail laundry and dry cleaning operations, while the remaining 30% were from coin-operated laundry locations.

The economic depression that hit the country in the last few years also hit the cleaning industry, but the health care industry played a huge role in keeping the cleaning industry profitable. This is because the number of elderly Americans increased, hence the greater need for cleaning services.

The cleaning industry is regarded as one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States of America. The industry is expected to experience a 5% growth rate between 2008 and 2018, and this growth comes largely from the positive contribution from the healthcare industry, where there will be an increase in elderly care needs over that period.

In addition to this, personal needs for cleaning and laundering is predicted to increase at a compound annual rate of 3% from 2015 to 2019. Due to the distinct nature of the two kinds of services being offered by the cleaning companies, the cleaning industry will be analysed in two categories.

The first category is the commercial cleaning service while the second is the residential cleaning service. You must do their market analysis separately because the intensity and nature of the demand in both of them are very different.

Commercial clients usually demand cleaning companies provide them with janitorial services, garbage removal, and disposal services, while residential clients look for cleaning companies to provide them with relatively less heavy duty services such as upholstery, carpet cleaning, 6-hour maid services, vacuuming etc.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The cleaning industry is a fast growing industry in the United States of America; this is due to the fact that their activities are needed in our daily activities. Your clients comprise of small businesses–everything from offices to insurance agencies to big companies and parks, as well as retail shops.

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

Most cleaning companies do not provide services that are all-encompassing. The cleaning service is divided into a broad segment of the commercial and residential market. The demand for cleaning services in the commercial or residential market is quite different from one another.

To thrive in this business you need to diversify in your service to make it cut across various segments. Here are some niche areas of specialization in the cleaning of foreclosed homes in the United States of America;

  • Janitorial services
  • Maid services
  • Window cleaning services
  • Carpet cleaning services
  • Dry cleaning
  • Vacuuming
  • Furniture polishing
  • Washroom cleaning
  • Waste removal and disposal
  • Air duct and vent cleaning
  • Cleaning foreclosure homes
  • Dryer vent cleaning
  • House cleaning
  • Green cleaning
  • Mattress cleaning for health
  • Parking lot cleaning for Employee safety
  • Crime scene clean-up
  • Steam cleaning
The Level of Competition in the Industry

Whichever industry you decide to pitch your tent, you are bound to face competition, the cleaning service industry inclusive.

Due to the consistently increasing demand for contract cleaning service from companies due to the inability of their own personal cleaners to maintain the high standard set by management, there is a high competition from cleaning companies to secure cleaning contracts.

The level of competition you will experience also depends on the kind of companies you bid to hire your service. This is because the bigger the company that needs a cleaning service, the more it would attract top brands in the industry. That means you need to step up your service to be able to compete with them to secure the best paying contracts.

There has been a steady demand for cleaning services over the past five years. This is due to the outsourcing trends and growth in the number of businesses. Most organizations outsource cleaning services in a bid to concentrate on core activities and seek out cost efficiency.

The sharp and consistent increase in the number of people venturing into this business clearly shows how highly competitive this industry is, making all cleaning business owners to look for ways to get and retain their customers.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

In every industry, there are brands that are better regarded by customers and the general public than the others. Some of these brands always perform better than others while some have been in the industry for a long time and are known for their quality service.

Here are some of the leading foreclosed home cleaning franchise/brands in the United States of America and also in the globe;

  • Vanguard Cleaning Systems
  • Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc.
  • Stratus Building Solutions
  • CleanNet USA Inc.
  • Bonus Building Care
  • System4
  • ServiceMaster Clean
  • Anago Cleaning Systems
  • BuildingStars Inc.
  • Steamatic Inc.
Economic Analysis

The cleaning service is a $100 billion dollar industry projected to experience more than 5% growth over the next 3 years. It is a business that has a consistent market. It is not a seasonal market like some other industries because everyone needs cleaning services on a daily basis.

When starting your foreclosed home cleaning business, you have to get your economic analysis right if you have the sole aim of generating profit.

When making the economic analysis for your foreclosed homes cleaning business, you would need to take note of some key factors such as; hiring the services of capable hands, getting a fair price to keep you profitable, check cost of supplies, check out your competitors to know what they are doing that you are not doing or what you are doing better.

At regular intervals, you would need to review these key factors while running your foreclosed home cleaning business. As a cleaning service, you need to perfectly understand your competitive landscape to maximize profits and be a leading cleaning service brand the industry.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

The choice of model to use when starting your foreclosed homes cleaning business is not cast in stone. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement. You can either start your foreclosed homes cleaning business from the scratch or invest in buying a successful franchise. Both options have their pros and cons.

You just have to decide which to choose from. For this business, buying a franchise will give you a lot of benefits. This is because franchise will provide you a degree of marketing support especially nationally due to the name recognition of the franchise. This would be difficult to build easily if you are starting from the scratch.

Most of the franchise available will also offer you training and technical support as you launch your career in the cleaning business. So one of the notable reasons why you should choose a franchise for your cleaning service is because of brand recognition and trust.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

Just like any other business venture, you will always face one challenge or the other. The cleaning business has challenges of its own too, so you should be prepared for these challenges as they come.

The first challenge that would arise would be how to penetrate the current market especially if you are starting from the scratch. It may take quite a while before your first customer approaches you. The best way to overcome this challenge is by marketing aggressively and remodeling your services.

Another challenge that would pop up is that of service delivery. Your customers expect you to be effective and efficient. If customers have to pay money for your cleaning services, they will also expect you to do an impeccable cleaning job within a short time.

However, if you are offering per hour services to your customers, this can be a major concern. It is advisable to have fixed rates for your services which you can execute at a good speed.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

Generally, there are several options you could choose from when choosing a legal entity for your business. You have the option of choosing a general partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a sole proprietorship.

While you can choose a sole proprietorship or partnership option for your foreclosed homes cleaning business, you should also realize that most of your services are been carried out in other people’s homes and offices as such most of your employees will be engaged in a significant amount of physical activities.

These activities can lead to risk of injury or your employee causing damage to properties of the company or house they are working at. In such cases, you would want the business and not you personally to take care of any liability.

Such is not possible if you operate a sole proprietorship or partnership legal entity. This is why you need to consider choosing a limited liability Company (LLC) for your foreclosed homes cleaning business. This will protect you from personal liability.

As a matter of fact, if you intend is to grow your business across the United States and beyond, then the Limited Liability Company, LLC will be the ideal choice. Limited liability Company has simpler and more flexible operating structure as you don’t need to appoint a board of directors, organize shareholders meetings or other managerial formalities to successfully run your cleaning service.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

Generally, when it has to do with choosing a name for your cleaning service business, it is expected that you should be very creative with it because whatever name you choose will go a long way to create a perception of what your business represents.

If you are planning to start a foreclosed homes cleaning business in the United States of America, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;

  • Reflections Cleaners
  • Wall-2-Wall Cleaners
  • Any mess cleaning service
  • Washed up cleaning service
  • Filth fighters cleaning service
  • The glass house cleaners
  • Magic rags cleaning service

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

You can’t operate any business in the United States without having the required insurance policy covers for the industry you want to operate from. So, you need to include the cost of insurance in your budget for your business. There are some risks involved with running a foreclosed homes cleaning service.

Some of the risks include an employee slipping and falling while at work, destruction of customers’ property etc. You need to consult an insurance broker to guide you to choose the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your foreclosed homes cleaning business.

Here are some of the basic insurance policy covers that you would need if you want to start your foreclosed homes cleaning business in the United States of America;

  • Liability insurance
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Business liability insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Building coverage
  • Business income and extra expense coverage
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Crime and Fidelity insurance
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Payment protection insurance
  • Employee dishonesty coverage
  • Employee Benefits Liability Coverage
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

To run your cleaning business, you don’t really need intellectual property protection unlike other industries, but you might still need to protect some of your personal properties such as your business logos, corporate identities and the services and processes that help to differentiate your business from your competitors.

Almost all businesses have an internet presence where their services are marketed and communicated to reach vast audiences at low costs.

Unfortunately, this has also increased the chances of intellectual property theft. To register your trademark, you are expected to file an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark will be determined based on the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

Certification helps your customers to immediately identify your cleaning service as skilled and dedicated business capable of handling their cleaning needs. These are some of the certifications you can work towards getting to run your cleaning businesses:

  • Cleaning business owner certificate – CBO
  • British Institute of cleaning services – BICSc
  • House cleaning technician certification – HCT
  • International janitorial cleaning services certification – IJVSC
  • Institute of inspection cleaning and restoration certification – IICRC

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

The importance of you having the necessary legal documents before starting a business in the United States cannot be overemphasized. This is because you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper legal documents in place.

If you do, it won’t be long before the law catches up with you. Here are some legal documents you are required to have in order to run your foreclosed homes cleaning business in the United States of America;

  • Business license
  • Business Plan
  • Insurance policies
  • Tax
  • Surety bonds
  • Clients’ contracts
  • Janitorial Bond/Housekeeper Surety Bond
  • Heavy machine licenses

13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

Every business owner knows that finance is one of the major factors which influence the success of any business. The needed resources to start a foreclosed homes cleaning business is little compared to other businesses because you can virtually start this business with all the cleaning equipment you have at home.

You would only need to get finance for your office facility and some other expenses. Here are some channels you could explore to get funds for your foreclosed homes cleaning business:

  • Raising money from business partners
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Applying for Loan from your Bank
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends

14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

The location of your foreclosed homes cleaning business does not necessarily determine the overall success of the business as you are mostly going to offer home services to your clients. Hence, you only need the location for people to notice you and consult with you about your services.

So, you need to ensure that your business location is visible and accessible for your potential customers. You should also realize that to get an office facility in a visible and accessible location does not come easy, it would be more expensive than getting an office facility in a hidden location.

Therefore you should budget enough resources to cater for the cost. If you eventually get an office facility in a hidden location, you have to brace yourself to spend more on advertising and giving clear directions to your potential customers.

15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

One of the interesting things about starting a foreclosed homes cleaning business is that you don’t have to purchase a lot of supplies and equipment to start this business. In most cases, you can fit all your equipment in any vehicle.

This is due to the fact that the majority of jobs you will start with will be of the smaller variety; this means only a minimal amount of supplies will be needed. The manpower you will need for your foreclosed homes cleaning business depends on the size and scale of operation. Here are some of the equipment you would need to start your foreclosed homes cleaning business:

  • Broom
  • Dust pan & brush
  • Disinfectant cleaner
  • Bathroom cleaner
  • Dry mop
  • Wet mop & bucket
  • Toilet brush
  • Feather duster
  • High duster
  • Extension cord
  • Latex gloves
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Wet floor signs
  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • White cloth rags
  • SOS pads
  • Window cleaner
  • Furniture polish
  • Soft Scrub product for sinks
The Services Delivery Process of the Business

Cleaning services generally comprise of services such as trash pickup and floor polishing. It also includes a more specialized service such as window washing. If you specialize in carpet cleaning services, you would not only clean carpets as you can also clean tiles, leather, or offer water damage restoration services.

16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

In a foreclosed homes cleaning business, you would need to prove your capability to manage a cleaning company and consistently offer cleaning services to your esteemed clients. So, if you have the plans to start your foreclosed homes cleaning business, you will first need to hire capable hands as people will hire your service if they are sure you offer excellent service.

So, when drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your foreclosed homes cleaning business, make sure that you create an interesting personal and company profile. Aside from your personal qualifications and experience, it is also important to state in practical terms the organizations you have been able to offer cleaning services to in time past.

This will help to boost your chances of getting more cleaning services contracts with big companies. These are some platforms you can utilize to market your foreclosed homes cleaning business;

  • Introduce your business by sending your brochure which contains all your services and introductory letters to private companies, residential homes, public organizations, religious institutions and other places that might need your cleaning services
  • Promptly bid for cleaning contracts
  • Advertise your cleaning services on community-based newspapers, radio stations, and local TV
  • List your business in local directories
  • Promote your foreclosed homes cleaning business via the internet
  • Engage in sales and direct marketing
  • Find the Best Pricing Strategy your business
  • Encourage the use referrals and word of mouth marketing from satisfied customers (the best way to get new customers)
  • Engage the services of marketing executives to carry out direct marketing for you

17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

With many cleaning companies springing up every day, you need to devise unique ways to stay on top of your competitors. One of the strategies you can utilize to win your competitors in the market is to broaden the scope of your cleaning services.

You can offer your customers extra cleaning services at the same price. You should also ensure that your price is relatively cheap with good quality of service. Here are some of the ways to stay on top of your competitors in the cleaning business:

  • Never stop learning
  • Tap all your resources
  • Clean it like it’s your own
  • Find a niche
  • Invest in customer service
  • Develop systems
  • Be careful
  • Develop your computer skills
  • Don’t undersell yourself
  • Take care of your employees
  • Keep your eye on the economy
  • Track labor costs
  • Don’t take every job

18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

Your ability to retain your customers will go a long way to determine the success of the business. A client retention strategy relies heavily on your understanding of customers’ psychology while you tap into their inner thoughts and cravings. Here are some of the few ways to increase customer retention in your foreclosed homes cleaning business.

  • Never bruise your Client’s Ego
  • Be Unique, Stand Out from the Crowd, Stand Up for Something
  • You MUST Reward your Clients’ Loyalty
  • Develop a Personal Relationship with your Clients

19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

For you to be in this business, you need to make deliberate moves to boost your brand awareness and communicate your corporate identity in the right way. This is one of the success secrets of well-established companies. They always spend a lot on boosting their brand awareness and communicating their corporate identity in the way they want people to perceive them.

If you intend to make your cleaning business a global brand, then you must be ready to spend money on advertisement and promotion of your brand.

In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should make use of print, electronic and social media (the internet). Using the internet and social media platforms to promote your brand is cost effective and wide reaching. Below are some of the platforms you can use to boost your brand, promote and advertise your business;

  • Place adverts in related magazines, radio and TV stations
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from your loyal customers
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, and other platforms to promote your business
  • Ensure that you place your banners and billboards in strategic positions around your city
  • Choose some target areas to distribute your fliers and handbills
  • Contact small businesses, corporate organizations, and international organizations informing them of your organization and the type of cleaning  services you offer
  • Advertise your business in your official website while you look for ways to pull traffic to the site
  • Ensure that all your management staff and staff members wear your branded shirt or cap at regular intervals