How to Start a Home-Based Housecleaning Business

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Have you ever dreamed of starting your own home-based housecleaning business? Have you been hesitant to put your plans into action? This comprehensive guide contains all the necessary tools and strategies you need to successfully launch and grow your business. Authors Melinda Morse and Laura Jorstad combine personal experience with expert advice on every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based housecleaning business. They explain how to get started, develop a service manual, screen clients, serve ...
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Overview

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own home-based housecleaning business? Have you been hesitant to put your plans into action? This comprehensive guide contains all the necessary tools and strategies you need to successfully launch and grow your business. Authors Melinda Morse and Laura Jorstad combine personal experience with expert advice on every aspect of setting up and running a thriving home-based housecleaning business. They explain how to get started, develop a service manual, screen clients, serve customers, learn from the competition, and set up a home office. They even offer tips on how to use the Internet to grow your business.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762722266
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: Home-Based Business Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Melinda Morse started her successful home cleaning business in 1994 to help pay for graduate school. She has since earned a PhD, expanded her business, and launched a successful writing career. Laura Jorstad is a freelance writer and editor whose assignments have ranged from fly fishing and golf to macroeconomics and science fiction. Born and raised on the Minnesota prairie, she now lives at the foot of the Green Mountains with her cat Isabel.
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Read an Excerpt

"I would strongly recommend that you refrain from a Cash Only policy. Requesting payments in cash is highly unprofessional and a bit shady these days. Years ago, housecleaners were not able to maintain bank accounts due to low wages, or they could not afford to have taxes removed from their wages. Today's independent housecleaners can more than afford to maintain a banking account, and as a sole proprietorship, you are responsible for your own taxes. Dealing with cash is tricky; it's too easy to put the cash into your pocket, spend it, and not record it.

You need to create a paper trail for each transaction. Insist on personal checks or credit cards. If someone must pay with cash, never allow them to leave cash sitting unattended, such as on a kitchen counter. It's too easy for strangers to come along and help themselves to your money, and you have absolutely no claim or proof that you did or didn't receive the cash....."
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction: Why a Home-Based Business? ix
Chapter 1 Considering a Home-Based Housecleaning Business 1
Starting a Business: The Reality 1
Is a Home-Based Housecleaning Business Right for You? 6
Chapter 2 Getting Started I: The Legalities 11
What Kind of Business Am I? 11
Choosing and Registering a Name for Your Company 14
Applying for a Business License 19
Setting Up a Business Bank Account 22
Receiving Payments by Credit Card 24
Chapter 3 Getting Started II: Getting Your Business off the Ground 25
Setting Fees 25
Learning from the Competition 27
Getting the First Client or Two 28
How to Get a Business Logo 30
Chapter 4 How to Plan and Develop a Service Manual 35
Presentation 36
Cover Page 36
Mission Statement 36
The Consultation 38
Clientele 38
Services 38
Confidentiality and Security 39
Client Mailing List 39
Safety 40
Rates 40
Scheduling 41
Cancellations 41
Billing and Payments 42
Contract Renewal 42
Community and Charitable Causes 43
General Information 43
Room Plans 43
Sample Service Manual 44
Chapter 5 How to Screen Clients 65
By Telephone 65
In Person 66
Chapter 6 Cleaning 101 69
The Well-Stocked Cleaner 69
A Cleaning Play-by-Play 72
Scheduling 75
Taking Care of Yourself 77
Chapter 7 Understanding and Serving Customers 81
Five Essential Elements of Customer Service 83
Chapter 8 Setting Up the Home Office 85
Basic Equipment 85
Privacy 90
Chapter 9 Record Keeping 93
Cash or Accrual? 94
The Business Checkbook 94
Mileage Records 95
Income Records 95
Expense Records 95
Monthly Net Income Statement 98
Client Records 99
Invoicing 99
Chapter 10 Taxes 103
Deductions for the Home-Based Business 103
Deductions for the Housecleaning Business 106
Chapter 11 Insurance and Bonding 111
Liability Insurance 111
Bonding 117
Chapter 12 Advertising 119
The Web 120
Yellow Pages 121
Newspapers 122
Flyers 123
Business Cards 124
Magnetic Car Signs 125
Networking 126
Word of Mouth 127
Fund-raising and Community Outreach 127
Chapter 13 When Bad Things Happen to Good Housecleaners 129
Chapter 14 The Future 133
Becoming an Employer 133
Becoming a Specialist 134
Appendix I Checklist of Start-Up Requirements 137
Appendix II Resources 138
Where to Get Your Business Questions Answered 138
Where to Get Your Housecleaning Questions Answered 140
Appendix III Blank Room Plans 142
Index 163
About the Author 166
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