Green Business Ideas

Published on January 13th, 2014 | by Derek Markham

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Green Business Ideas: Eco-Friendly House Cleaning Service

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Interest in green and eco-friendly cleaning options, whether from chemical sensitivities or allergies or just wanting to live a more sustainable life, has more people looking for eco-friendly house cleaning services, so if you’ve got a knack for cleaning and tidying, and you want to make a difference, one house at a time, then this green business idea might be for you.

1. What is an eco-friendly house cleaning (maid) service?

A green house cleaning service cleans homes using healthy, environmentally friendly cleaning products, usually on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  It is not glorious, glamorous, or high tech, but provides one of the great opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs with a solid service ethic to really “clean up” in a business with low startup costs and high potential returns. One of the major benefits to this kind of business is that conventional cleaning solutions can produce noxious fumes, especially when combined with fumes from other chemical-based cleansers.  This leads to chronic health conditions for workers in conventional cleaning services and potentially for the occupants of the home.  Thus, it is healthier for you and your workers, and a major selling point for your business.

The house cleaning industry seems to be enjoying a recession-proof growth phase, with market research firm The Fredonia Group forecasting ongoing 5.3% growth through 2011.  Overall, combined with commercial cleaning businesses (which you can also tap into, but expect to focus on residential in order to solidify your service offerings, reputation, and brand), the cleaning industry represents roughly a $50 billion dollar industry.

The efficacy of modern green cleaning materials, is now unquestioned for all but the most heinous cleaning jobs, and many cleaning companies have been using products like these successfully for many years.

2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?

There are no formal educational or training requirements for starting an eco-friendly house cleaning service.  However, the work is strenuous and requires that the worker be able to be on their feet for extended periods of time, be capable of pushing a vacuum cleaner or broom, and be able to lift up to 25 pounds.

3. How much money is required to start?

$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) You’ll need to purchase a basic set of cleaning tools, such as a vacuum and buckets and rags, as well as some green cleaning products, and probably invest in a simple business card and some flyers to help get the word out about your eco-friendly house cleaning services.

4. What is the income potential?

$$$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) This business has good growth potential, especially in areas with a large number of people looking for eco alternatives. Partnering up with a sustainable property management company can bring in a steady stream of leads and contracts, and putting your flyers up at holistic health practitioners can help spread the word about your services to those that want only green cleaning products used in their homes.

5. What is the best location for a eco-friendly residential cleaning (maid) service?

It doesn’t really matter where you start this business, as long as you can get yourself and your tools to your customers’ houses. Areas with a more dense housing situation can be more lucrative, as the jobs will be closer to each other and cut down on your travel time and expenses.

6.  Three best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):

  • Do you get a certain satisfaction rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty in order to organize and make a space clean?
  • Are you comfortable with and reliable for working inside clients’ homes on a very regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule?
  • Is it OK with you that the job doesn’t change much and isn’t very glamorous?

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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