How To Start a Cleaning Business in Kenya

Business ideas in Kenya

If you are out there, wondering which type of business to venture into, may be its high time you consider starting a cleaning and organizing company. You can start out comfortably with a minimum budget of Ksh150,000 – although you would need to keep ploughing back the profit as your company grows in order to purchase additional equipment.

What is a cleaning and organizing company?

This is a company that cleans and organizes homes and offices for its clients at a fee. You use high-grade cleaning agents and the latest cleaning techniques to keep your clients’ environment spotless clean.

Business ideas in Kenya

A professional cleaner at work

Some people might see this like a low caliber business – but we tend to think otherwise since without professional cleaners the entire nation would become dirty and chaotic.

How to start one?

As usual, we recommend carrying out of adequate research before venturing into any business. Ideally, you should spend at least 30 days researching prior to investing.

If you are in Nairobi, it would be ideal to tour some of the upcoming estates either along Thika Road (e.g Kahawa Estates), Kang’undo Road (e.g Ruai), areas around the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (e.g Utawala) and so forth to research further on the pros and cons of starting a cleaning business.

Those in other towns or countries can follow suit by visiting upcoming estates to carry out first-hand research. Note: It is not good to rely on hearsay when starting a business.

What is needed

Professional cleaning services in Kenya

Courtesy: HappyTradie

Vacuum cleaner – Ksh10,000

Carpet cleaner – Ksh20,000

Cleaning agents – Ksh10,000

Spray bottles – Ksh3,000

Buckets – Ksh3,000

Toilet brushes – Ksh2,000

Squeegees – Ksh5,000

Mops – Ksh2,000

Licensing & Insurance – Ksh20,000

Office & Marketing – Ksh50,000

Miscellaneous – Ksh20,000

(N/B: These prices are simply estimates. You can check in a nearby market for actual prices and availability of these supplies).

Getting licenses, permits and insurance

You need the right licenses and insurance to operate smoothly and earn your customers’ trust. Make sure you apply for a business permit from your county government. Look for a good insurer to provide you with liability cover… (Most clients like to work with insured companies so that they are assured of receiving compensation if anything goes wrong during the cleaning exercise).

Aside from that, you should consult the Kenya Revenue Authority to get an employer identification number (EIN) which will enable you to hire employees.

If you’re yet to register your company, you can do so by consulting your local office of the Attorney General or a Huduma Center in a town near you. If in Nairobi you can visit Sheria House or Nairobi General Post Office to register your business. It normally takes about 24 hours to fully register a company.

How to get customers

The Kenyan (and entire African) market is relatively slow to embrace new services. Therefore, if you are planning to start a cleaning company, it would be wise to take a non-intrusive marketing approach. Patience and honesty are the two important virtues that can help you thrive in this line of business.

You can spend part of your budget on marketing your business. You can even pay-up for newspaper adverts (classified ads), Facebook ads or even Google ads. Apart from that, you can consult your friends and family for referrals.

Tip: Give all your customers the best of your services so that they can keep referring their friends to you (that is the key secret to succeeding in this business). You can even offer discounts during the first few months of operation to lure in more customers to your company.

Is there ready demand for cleaning services?

Yes, you can never go wrong when investing in basic services since there will always be demand in the market. Provided you market your business and quote good prices, you will definitely be making some profit in a couple of months.

Business Ideas In Kenya

A cleaner at work. Most clients will require that you have a liability insurance cover before letting you into their homes or offices. Photo Courtesy: Creative Consolidated Systems Ltd

How much can I charge for my services?

Well, this depends with the existing market conditions. If you are located in a high-end estate you might want to charge more for your services so that you can comfortably pay your bills and still earn something.

The nature of work at hand also matters – for example while you can charge Ksh250 for cleaning a saloon car, you might need to charge around Ksh5,000 to clean an office. It all depends with the nature of work before you and the competition of course.

Pay-back time may vary depending on how fast (or slow) your business peaks.

Do you still have some more questions that you would like answered? Or may be you have some more ideas and suggestions that you would like to contribute under this topic…feel free to share your comment via the comment box. Don’t forget to SHARE this article, we’re counting on you.

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