No Money – How to Start a Cleaning Business When You’re Broke

No money? Lots of house cleaners start a cleaning business with no money. They have student loans, are in debt and need a job.

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at business growth and development that starts with no money plus action. Relying on business strategy, business marketing and paying your dues you can build an empire.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Can I Start a Cleaning Business With No Money?

Okay, so today’s question comes from a student whose just graduated from school and she’s hundreds and thousands of dollars in debt. And she cannot find a job.
So she’s decided to start a house cleaning company but because she’s so in debt she doesn’t have the money to dump into building a business.
Or to buy a franchise.

So, she wants to start her own cleaning company on the cheap. How do you do that?

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Answer: No Money is Fine, But You Need to Invest Time

Start Your Own House Cleaning Company Book by Angela BrownOkay, so I actually wrote a book on that exact topic for this reason. There are ten or fifteen people that ask me that question every single day.
Now, in a perfect world you would be able to start a business with no money and no research, and no experience, and all those things.
Right? Yay! That would be perfect.

But what kind of business would you end up with?
It would be like trying to cook a meal with no ingredients, and no recipe, and no history of how to cook. You would make something, and it might turn out, but probably won’t.
And the same goes for your business.

So, I wrote this book called How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company.  And you can buy it as a book it’s actually a paperback book with pages. And you can either buy it on Amazon or you can download a free copy of it on Amazon as a Kindle copy.
Okay, so in that book, I’ll show you how to set up your home office, how to go buy your cleaning supplies. What kind of uniform to create.
How to choose a company name. How to choose a company logo. All of the things that you need to start your business.
So that’s a really good resource for you. Like I said you can download a free version of it on Kindle.

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Business Growth Costs Money & Time

But what I really need to let you know is this.
No business is going to be 100% free.
You’re going to have to make some investments. And you want to. Right?
You don’t want to be the cheapest business on the block because you have no advertising, and you have no branding. And you have no company image.
Because then you’re not really a business are you?

You’re a hobbyist.
Hobbies cost money and businesses make money.

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Invest Time Now To Grow Your Money

But in order for you to make money, you have to invest a little bit.
Now, in the beginning, you have student debt and you don’t have a lot of cash to dump into your business. You have time. Time is also a resource.

It is a limited resource and most people will argue with you that time is actually more valuable than cash.
Because once that time is gone, you’re never going to get it back. Right?

One of the things you want to focus on, right now as you’re starting your business. You’re going to invest back into your business, not cash because you don’t have the cash. But you’re going to invest time.
And so with that time, you’re going to spend a little bit of time every single day building your business.

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Use Your Time Wisely When You Have No Money

No Money, use time to create employee handbook, coffee, glassesSo, until your business is full of clients and you’re just working full time, right now the very early stages as you’re building your business. This is the time when you want to get all of your rules and regulations in place.

You want to answer all of your frequently asked questions that customers will ask you.
These are things like do you work by the hour or the job?
Do you work on the weekends?
Do you charge more if you work on the weekends?
Do you work around pets or do I need to crate my pet when you come?
Do you water house plants?
What are the rules and parameters by which you work?
You don’t want to show up at a customer’s house and wing it. Right?
You want to know what all of those questions are.

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Free Download – 63 Most Popular Questions Customers Ask When Hiring You

And I do have a list of 63 of the most popular questions that customers ask when you get that very first phone call. And they say; “Hey, can you come over and bid my house, or give me a free estimate?”
So if you want that list of 63 questions, you can download it here. 

How Much Money Do You Need To Pay Your Bills & Debt?

Hands collecting money as service provider not familyOkay, so having said that, you want to figure out all of the things that your business is going to need.
Now one of those things that you need is number one: How much money do you need?
There are a lot of house cleaners that start businesses and they just fly by the seat of their pants.

They have no idea how their bills actually cost month by month. Or they don’t know how much money they need to bring in.
So they settle with however many customers they have.
Before realizing, “Hey wait a second, I need five more customers to make my note at the end of the month.”
Once you know how much money you need to make, then you can start breaking down your time into small segments.
You may need three houses a day in order to pay your bills.
Two of these houses you’re going to live off of. The third goes to paying your student debt. 

Budget Your Time So You Can Maximize Your Schedule

So, what you do is you’ve got to figure out how many houses you need in the course of a day and that will tell you how early you need to start in the morning.
And how late you need to work at night.
So, that when a customer calls and says “Can you come over at ten o’clock in the morning?”
“I can’t. That’s right in the middle of one of my cleanings.”

And so it’s going to prevent you from booking appointments randomly to suit the customer because you’re on a really tight time schedule.
Remember, time is a limited resource, and right now it’s your most valuable asset.
So, once you figure out how much money you need to make, and you figure out your scheduling there are a couple of other things you need to figure out.

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No Money Forces Your Creativity – And That’s A Good Thing

Like, how much money are you going to spend in cleaning supplies? Are you going to have professional uniforms? Or are you just going to buy some inexpensive uniforms but make them consistent every day?
Are you going to put logos on your company car?
And if you are, why?

Are you going to be marketing all over town because you’re going to hire a whole bunch of people?
Or are you going to be marketing small in the beginning?
Because if you start out really small in the beginning, as your business grows, and as you get more money coming in, that gives you the money to expand.

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Start Small – Pay As You Grow

Now, sadly, I’ve got a buddy who just spent $30,000 dollars. I’m not kidding.
He did not buy a franchise, he started his own business.
But he spent $30,000 dollars setting up his company with a fleet of vehicles, wrapped cars,  billboards, and signs, and PayPer Click Advertising. But he skipped a whole bunch of steps in between.
So now he has this amazing marketing plan and no customers, and no employees.

And he hasn’t generated any business to justify the expensive advertising costs. I’m crossing my fingers that the paying customers catch up with the marketing efforts he’s put in. 

Start small, because you don’t have the resources to go out and spend a lot of money.
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As You Earn Money – Reinvest It In Your Business Growth

And as your business grows, as you have new experiences as you have new money coming in, that’s going to allow you to still pay your bills, to pay off your debts and to reinvest in your business.
So, it’s a whole entire process.
But my encouragement to you would be to block out some time right now and create some great business development habits.

The habits that you create right now will continue on and serve you for the remainder of your business life.
Take an hour or two hours a day to learn about business.
Now I know that sounds like crazy, “I’m just going to go clean houses.”
No, you’re going to start an empire.

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Learn Something New & Implement It In Your Business Every Day

And if you start an empire it doesn’t happen on zero information.
You just went to college, you just spent four years or six years or eight years learning a specific trade.
And so, it would be foolish to think that you’re going to go in and build an empire with zero or no research behind you.

You need to study about finances, business, management, hiring employees.
You’ll want to know what motivates those employees.
Learn about customer satisfaction.

There is so much to learn about business then once you start earning money, how do you do your marketing?
How do you do your advertising?
Do you know about search engine optimization?
There’s a whole bunch of stuff that you can learn in one or two hours a day if you really focus your time and energy. But that is business time.

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You’ve Got This (Even With No Money)

If there are house cleaners out there and they are flying by the seat of their pants. And you are spending one or two hours a day learning the business and implementing what you’ve learned. Suddenly you are going to be so far ahead of all the other house cleaners that are in your market.
That you will ace everybody. You will pass them and leave them in the dust.
And you will be the one that builds the empire.
So, it is entirely up to you.

But right now you have the studying skills, and you have the time.
So create those slight progressive moves right now in your business that will propel you into the future to a really successful company.
That would be my suggestion right now for starting out a business with no money.

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 Ask, Share, Like, Learn

Okay, that’s my tip for today. And if you found this tip helpful, give us a thumbs up. Let us know how you liked it.

If you have a question regarding cleaning or your cleaning business, you can ask it by clicking on the blue microphone in the corner.  

And until I meet you again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it. 

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company