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Becoming a Self Employed domestic cleaner, would it work?

(10 Posts)
IpsyUpsyDaisyDoo Tue 02-Jan-18 23:54:45

Hi all, I’m looking for some advice on an idea I have of myself and my partner becoming self employed domestic cleaners, just the 2 of us. I currently work part time (11hours) in a supermarket express store and my partner is unemployed. We moved about 6 months ago a long way from his previous employer and he is really struggling to find work locally, my income is just not enough. We have 3 children so trying to come up with something we could work around them. I intend to continue with my current job on top of this idea, that’s assuming I am allowed to do both?

I have previous cleaning and house keeping experience, I enjoy cleaning and find it quite satisfying. My OH has no experience other than cleaning our home but he is very thorough, and tall at 6ft 3 (he would be very handy at cleaning windows and getting cobwebs off of ceilings haha). Although I would be the main cleaner I wouldn’t expect both of us to work every job unless it was a large house or a big job but I would rather involve him as an extra pair of hands where possible.

I have built quite a good rapport with local customers via my current job, and made a few new friends, so I feel quite confident that via word of mouth and advertising that I could find clients.

It seems like a pretty simple idea to execute but would it really be or am I living in lala land? I’ve researched declaring as self employed but that seems a bit of a minefield, so any advice on that would be appreciated please?

We have our own car for transport, and we would be willing to invest in cleaning products, I’m thinking Eco Friendly? I have an idea of what to charge but I would need to research local competitors prices a bit more to determine exactly but I’m thinking along the lines of £8ph for standard cleaning, and charging slightly more for a more thorough clean (if the house is particularly unclean for instance) or if the client would like a specific job done ie. changing beds, cleaning the fridge, a deep clean of the bathroom, windows etc £9.50. Or if it’s a bigger job or the client would like it done quicker and it would take the 2 of us then £18ph. I was also thinking about offering a take away ironing service aswell, I say take away because it seems the easier option, I don’t know what I’d charge for this or if it’s a good idea?

I’m expecting clientele to be elderly or perhaps be cleaning holiday homes as I live in a seaside town or working families.

It seems almost to straight forward in my head. Am I missing anything? If anybody has any ideas or advice or perhaps you have experience in doing this? I would really appreciate some help and advice. TYI xx

Turefu Fri 05-Jan-18 21:05:36

£8/h is way to low. Remember that minimum wage now is £7.5/h and you’ll have to pay yourself for transport, holiday, no work, no income. I suggest £12/h if it’s only you and your partner. I run little cleaning company, just me, one worker and occasional help. I’m fully booked up , people always need good cleaner. Good luck.

LastOneDancing Fri 05-Jan-18 22:11:27

I pay £13 an hour for my cleaner which I think is very reasonable.

Why do you feel being self employed is a minefield? I have a second income & while self assessment is daunting first time, so long as you're organised it's much easier as you get used to it.
There's lots you can claim tax back for e.g. your insurance, travel, even a small amount for doing business administration in your home, so do your research into this.

I would suggest considering getting cleaning chems from a wholesaler e.g. Booker - stuff you dilute yourself is much cheaper than off the shelf and they will supply COSHH sheets etc if you need them for business contracts.

Go for it. If you're keeping your permanent job & feel it's workable, you have nothing to lose and lots to gain.

He11y Mon 22-Jan-18 08:09:57

£8 an hour is definitely too low. Also, I don’t understand why you’d charge more per hour for a deeper clean? Cleaning is cleaning so you just tell customers you’ll need longer for deeper cleans, but the hourly rate stays the same. I’d also consider your response if people prefer you to use their own products - would you have a cheaper rate for that? Not saying you should, just that it’s good to be prepared for questions.

Kazzyhoward Mon 22-Jan-18 10:09:11

It's best practice to use your own cleaning materials and own equipment, i.e. vacuum, mops, etc.

You're risking your own health/safety if you use other peoples' stuff - you've really no idea whether they've mixed chemicals into their stuff or whether they've put a wrong fuse or wired their electric plugs incorrectly. You could also find yourself liable if you break their vacuum cleaner whilst using it.

Using your own stuff also makes it easier to claim self employment, as it's one of the "pointers". If you're "labour only", HMRC could deem you an employee, not self employed, meaning you couldn't claim your expenses.

He11y Mon 22-Jan-18 12:28:09

I work for an agency but friends who are self-employed cleaners use their clients products and equipment. One of them set up her business thinking she would provide them but everyone wanted her to use their own. These are normal household products in their original bottles, nothing special or mixed. My clients are all happy to buy the products I prefer to use - cream cleaner being the staple one as sprays aren’t great when you’re using them all day. It’s not the norm for domestic cleaners to use their own equipment in these parts either - commercial cleaning, yes, but not domestic.

Ifartrainbowsandglitter Mon 22-Jan-18 12:36:48

Five years ago I was charging £12.50 an hour supplying my own cleaning stuff. I was fully booked within 6 weeks of starting. Elderly clients are a nightmare. A) they tend to be in so watch/distract you from actually cleaning and B) don’t want to pay enough. Stick to professionals and insist on a minimum 3 hour job otherwise you eat into your profit driving around!

Kazzyhoward Mon 22-Jan-18 12:40:45

Elderly clients are a nightmare.

I know a couple of gardeners who say the same - they try to avoid if possible.

Hal1233 Thu 18-Jul-19 15:08:07

Hi I have u got any marketing advice as I’m also starting up my own domestic self employed cleaning service, my dad is my first client lol but I need some advice on how to promote it? Thanks

Hal1233 Thu 18-Jul-19 15:08:46

Have u started up? How’s it going xx

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