Working as a Housekeeper

Topics: Insurance, Independent contractor, Want Pages: 4 (1355 words) Published: May 1, 2005
Today's workers and families are overworked and stressed. After working through a 9-to-5 job, feeding and putting the children to bed, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is cleaning the house. Weekends are spent running errands and spending quality time with friends and family members. Therefore, many families are looking for outside assistance with housekeeping. In the past, housekeepers were thought of as the "hired help" and were thus treated like 18th century scullery maids. This is no longer the case. Housekeepers have reached a well-deserved level of respectability for their highly appreciated services. Starting a house cleaning business is an easy job for most people because there is very little start up cost involved. To help you get started, here is a step-by-step set of instructions to send you on your way to engaging in this highly profitable business. The first thing that you need to do before seeking out your clientele is to develop a business plan and policy. For starters, you need a name. Choose a name that denotes an air of sophistication. You don't want a name like, Tim's Cleaning Service or A-1 Cleaners. Those names are much too common and do not reflect any sort of professionalism. Try something original such as, Homestead Helpers. Such a name stands out from the many "fly-by-night" and unreliable services. Once you've chosen a name for your business, the next important step to take is to insure your business. As a house cleaner you are a sole-proprietor. This entitles you to the status of an independent contractor. This means that your profession is no different than that of a plumber, electrician, or a freelance writer. Insurance is a must have. For one thing, it eases the minds of your future clientele. Put yourself in their shoes; would you want an uninsured person coming into your home, handling your personal articles, and perhaps doing so while unattended in your home? Probably not. Having insurance will put you on top of the...

References: can be tough to come by when you are just starting out. A good way to avoid this problem is to volunteer to clean a friend or a neighbor 's home for free in exchange for a reference. Quite often community organizations or churches will welcome a free cleaning, and would be more than happy to provide a reference in exchange for a job well done.
The best way to advertise a cleaning service is not by posting flyers. Posting flyers may appeal to clients who are looking for high school students to help with summer yard work, but certainly not to a person wanting to hire a professional house cleaner. You can choose to have business cards professionally printed, or you could purchase a business card program at an office supply store and print your own cards from your home computer. On your business cards, you should have the name of the business being printed. Keep in mind that the name should make it obvious that you are providing a cleaning service. Your name with the title of "Proprietor", and your telephone number should be shown as well. Don 't put anything gimmicky on the cards, such as "Free Estimates!" or "Cheap!". You want to present yourself as a professional person offering a professional service, not as someone offering a car wash. Business cards can be placed on bulletin boards in supermarkets, libraries, or community centers. Also, you can run a display ad in your local newspaper using your business card. This would save you money on graphics and design. A business card display ad catches people 's attention far quicker than a worded classified ad.
Given the independent contractor status, and depending on the tax laws of your state, you are eligible for various tax deductions. For example if you own your own home, you can set up a small office space and take deductions for the square footage of the space, utilities, a computer, office supplies, phone calls, and cleaning supplies that you might purchase. Also, advertising and insurance costs are tax deductible. Many of the same deductions can be used for people who rent their home or apartment. Check with your local state 's laws of taxation to see which deductions you can use. House cleaning is a highly profitable profession, with some house cleaners making $15-17 an hour, so be sure to report all of your income to the IRS. As an independent contractor, you can open an IRA account and start saving toward your retirement.
In conclusion, I feel housekeeping is a respectable profession. The payment can be benevolent, and you can pick up habits for your own home, to keep a respectable looking residence. Also, no special talents or education is required.
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