Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Domestic cleaning Business in the United Kingdom
A domestic cleaning business should never be a challenging business venture to start in the UK. If you’re planning on starting a domestic cleaning business in the United Kingdom, you must do your homework well. This means you must find out about the initial start-up capital and the legal implications regarding UK company registration.
The domestic cleaning market in the UK is worth over 5billion pounds per annum, and it’s on its ascendancy. Although it’s easy to start the cleaning business, the competition is stiff, dominated by several small enterprises.
Here’s a guide on starting a domestic cleaning business in the United Kingdom.
1. Industry Practice
The domestic cleaning business in the UK is expanding every single year, with busy homeowners seeking the services. Research by Churchill Home Insurance found out that 12% of UK homes hire a cleaner because they feel they cannot do the task themselves. Now, for any aspiring business owner, starting a domestic cleaning business has certain benefits. The initial costs are low, and you can start small. You only need to win a few contracts or several hosts of regular domestic customers to kick start your business.
Domestic cleaning is relatively straightforward as all you need are cleaning products you can purchase in a supermarket. Different clients can have their own undertaking when it comes to cleaning routines. Some may require cleaning each week for one (1) to two (2) hours or every two (2) weeks. The pricing for the cleaning services may vary depending on your location. Some of the charges range between 10 to 20 pounds per hour.
Several private cleaning companies in the UK get customers through word of mouth. Should you choose to go franchising, there are several cleaning businesses for sale that you can find. The one thing that you’ll get is the training, but they won’t find you, customers. It is an avenue to explore, especially if you tried setting up a cleaning business and flopped.
2. Business Registration Process
Before starting a domestic cleaning business in the United Kingdom, have a clear vision about where you plan to position your business. In this jam-packed industry, you must carve a niche to ensure you stand out from the crowd.
Let’s look at some of the steps to get your domestic cleaning business up and running.
Select A Business Structure
Once you have made up your mind that you want to start a business, you must decide on the business structure. Therefore, you must determine if you wish to set up a partnership, sole trader, or limited company.
Register For A Business Name
According to the Company’s Act, your business must operate with a name. You can register your business name with the Companies House. Before you register your business name, ensure that the name is unique and reflects the nature of your business. Have several proposed names during the name searching process.
Register Your Cleaning Company
Every entrepreneur must register their businesses in the UK to acquire its legal obligation to operate. Once you have identified the type of business, you then have to register with the Companies Houses. The registration of company incorporation will require you to provide details about directors and the shareholders if it’s a Limited Liability company. You will provide a Memorandum and Articles of Association to expound on the company’s internal matters. If you decide to go for a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), you’ll only provide a written agreement to determine the business control.
Research The Market
It doesn’t get easy when you do not understand the UK domestic cleaning market. Therefore, you must first begin by researching the potential market and the local demographic. This will aid in determining the type of cleaning company to start with. If you plan to run a domestic cleaning, you’ll need to ensure that people within the local areas can afford to pay.
Again, market research will help you determine your pricing to remain competitive. You do not need to have specific skills or training to start a cleaning corporate service provider business. It is advisable to learn some general business skills for running your business. When it comes to specialized cleaning, you’ll have to have some experience in a specific area.
Have a Budget for Your Equipment
When planning on starting a domestic cleaning business in the United Kingdom, you must have a budget for the equipment. In the UK, the costs for the equipment considerably vary from one store to another. Occasionally, the equipment may be offered by the household, but you can always think of having some.
Develop a Marketing Plan
As a beginner, you may want to be known within the local community area. For that reason, you must allocate some budget for marketing to put your business out there. Every entrepreneur will tell you that the difficult element of starting a cleaning company is building up a client list. You can opt for traditional advertising like the use of flyers or business cards. Another option is investing in online advertising through Facebook ads and Google ads. Don’t shy away from going out there and knocking on some doors. You never know where your potential client would come from without trying out.
Create a Strong Brand And Develop a Reputation
The fact that you’re starting means that you have an uphill task of building your brand right from scratch. To create a brand, you must welcome the idea of having a well-designed logo and have your staff uniform bearing your brand logo. Again, going as far as subscribing to trade organizations gives you an edge to having a professional reputation. Clients will have a vote of confidence towards your business and would refer other clients to your business. Strive to create a unique selling proposition (USP) concerning the price that will clearly define your brand.
Remember, if you choose to charge a higher rate, you must offer high-quality service or extra offers. Again, be clear on whether your fee includes cleaning products or if you’ll use the ones provided by the client.
Establish a Payment System
Bearing in mind that sometimes, cash flow can be sporadic in the initial stages, having an excellent payment system is critical. More often than not, people expect to pay their cleaner cash-in-hand per job. However, you can insist on an advance payment system to maintain a systematic cash flow. Remember to create room for accepting mobile card payments as a way of making payments.
Ensure You Check Relevant Regulations and Training
You may not need to have a license to run a cleaning company but acquiring a criminal records check from the CRB is crucial. This will go a long way in improving your image alongside your staff. Again, having some basic training such as NVQ or Cleaning Operatives Proficiency Certificate will boost your business credibility.
Register with HMRC
If you operate a team of staff carrying out activities with the local community, it’s advisable to register with the HMRC. You can register online, and you’ll receive a notification from the department with the employer’s PAYE reference number. In case you are operating a payroll system, you’ll get an Accounts Office reference from HMRC. Employing foreigners requires that you have a valid permit to do so.
Employing Cleaning Staff
Finding the right employee to carry out the cleaning work may be difficult. You must conduct a thorough and elaborate screening and interviews to determine the best-fit employees. Sometimes getting references before allowing these staff into people’s houses is essential.
3. Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
As a beginner planning on starting a domestic cleaning business in the United Kingdom, you must understand the regulations. For you to protect yourself from dissatisfied clients and employees, you must have business insurance. Some of the insurance that you can opt for include the following:
- Professional Indemnity Insurance: this insurance covers your business against claims made by disgruntled clients and employees. The insurance safeguards you from financial interests and aids in minimizing day-to-day interruption to your business. The insurance company can take the initiative to pay invoices when a customer refuses to pay you. Again, the insurance covers you from the dishonesty of employers, directors or partners. In a situation where you encounter defamation or infringement, negligence, or misrepresentation, the policy covers your business.
- Public Liability Insurance: the policy covers you from third parties from personal injury or property damage.
- Employer’s Liability Insurance: This policy covers compensation payable should an employee get injured or fall sick during work.
Several insurance companies can help in securing a policy, but you can always contact us for further assistance.