Tips on Becoming Self-Employed Housekeeper
The job market for maids and housekeepers is expected to remain steady between now and the decade ending in 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, you don't have to pursue this line of work as someone else's employee. A talent for housekeeping activities and a head for business can translate into profits for a self-employed housekeeper. You can take on clients and set your own rates and hours boosting your earning potential.
Gain Housekeeping Experience
Before you decide to strike out on your own as a self-employed housekeeper, get some experience as an employee. Gaining experience this way allows you to build your knowledge of housekeeping tasks, hone your skills and learn how to accomplish housekeeper duties as quickly as possible.
The faster and more effectively you do your job, the more your clients may be willing to pay for your services. Gaining experience as an employee also allows you to build up references that might help you get clients.
Research Business Requirements
When you're ready to start your own self-employed cleaning service, contact your county clerk's office or a similar agency to obtain licensing information. Many cities require licensing even if you have a one-person operation. Usually, you'll have to pay a fee and complete an application detailing what your business does and listing the location from which you will operate. You can use your home as your base of operations for keeping records, storing supplies and contacting clients.
Select a Company Name
Choosing a business name is not required to operate as a sole proprietor, but there are many advantages, according to Care.com. A catchy name on marketing materials can give you a leg up on the competition and lend credibility to your operation. Choose a business name that captures how you want people to think of your company, such as quick and efficient.
You might also consider names that depict your business as trustworthy, reliable or friendly or make people envision a clean and orderly home. Alternatively, you might choose a catchy name that doesn't necessarily describe your business but may help potential clients remember you.
Obtain Licensing and Bonding
Some homeowners will feel more comfortable hiring you if you obtain insurance and bonding. In addition, insurance for self-employed house cleaners covers you if a client or other party files a claim for personal injury or damage to his property. Seek business liability insurance as well as business auto coverage for the vehicle you use to travel back and forth to clients. Consider obtaining a surety bond, which guarantees your clients will not suffer financial losses because of theft or broken agreements.
Acquire Professional Equipment
While some clients might allow you to use their cleaning equipment, others will expect you to have your own. This should include a powerful vacuum, carpet cleaner, mop, broom and bucket. If you will clean windows, you may need a step stool or ladder. In addition, a van with your business name and phone number on it can provide constant advertising and give you the space to carry your equipment.
Buy Supplies in Bulk
Spending too much on cleaning supplies such as rags, sponges, cleaning solutions, cleansers and polishers can cut into your profits. Find an industrial supply company near you and buy in bulk, suggests Just Business. Often, bulk prices offer significant savings. If you cannot buy in the quantities required by your local supply stores, check the prices offered by local warehouse clubs.
Advertise Your Services
Choose a service area, such as your town or your city and the surrounding suburbs, and advertise your business using a combination approach. Pass out your business cards and brochures to everyone you meet, ask to leave fliers in your local home-improvement stores, take out display ads in local newspapers, and reach residents through direct mail. Buying an ad in your local phone book can also help you get more customers. Ask satisfied customers for word-of-mouth referrals so you can attract more business.