The UK’s cleaning industry is thriving. According to the British Cleaning Council, the sector is worth around £12bn a year and employs more than 800,000 people, mostly working in small companies.
Cleaning businesses do brisk business and are increasingly popular choices for buyers looking for a potentially lucrative investment opportunity. Some franchise opportunities exist for people who want to operate as a sole trader – perhaps supplying oven cleaning services, for instance – but there are also bigger domestic, commercial and specialised opportunities. The first thing to consider is whether you are interested in offering residential cleaning services or would prefer to run a commercial operation – and then start to search for cleaning businesses for sale in your preferred geographical area.
You don’t need a licence to run a cleaning company but it’s good practice to organise a disclosure and barring service check (DBS) for your staff and will offer reassurance to clients. Staff will need to receive the minimum wage and you’ll be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and ensuring that health and safety regulations are followed. You don’t need a big budget to start or buy a cleaning business and can keep overheads low by working from home and storing equipment in your garage. You’ll also benefit from being your own boss and setting a flexible working schedule to suit.
If you’re buying a cleaning business, make sure you understand exactly what’s for sale – customer accounts, vehicles, equipment, for example – and how the seller is pricing their services. Do some research in the local market to help gauge demand and satisfaction levels – does the seller have lots of repeat business? Ask for evidence of forward-going contracts with clients and consider requiring the seller to agree to a non-competition clause.