Becoming a self-employed cleaner is a great way to earn a living. You have the freedom to work whatever hours you want to work. You can choose which clients to work for. And you don’t have to answer to a boss.
However, remember that when you’re self-employed, there are costs and risks. For that, you would need cleaner’s liability insurance. There’s also a lot of administration work that you’ll need to do, and you won’t get paid while you’re doing that.
So, how do you go about becoming a self-employed cleaner?
Setting up your business
First, you need to be genuinely self-employed. You’re not self-employed if you’re working for someone else in exactly the same way you would if you were an employee and simply decide to call yourself self-employed for tax reasons. There are certain criteria that you need to meet to be classed as self-employed.
Assuming you meet those criteria, you’ll need to register your new business with HMRC. You’ll also need a bank account for your business. It’s worth considering paying for an accountant who can advise you on tax and VAT issues and deal with your accounts, leaving you to concentrate on your business rather than the paperwork.
Once that’s all done, you’ll need to make sure that you have the equipment and products you need to perform the cleaning as well as getting business equipment such as a computer and software that you can use to manage your business and communicate with your clients.
Then you need to start marketing your business and wait for the new customers to start flooding in.
Marketing your business
Marketing your business is essential. Don’t forget that it’s an ongoing task; even if you already have clients, it’s important to keep your brand relevant because all businesses lose clients from time to time so you will need replacements when that happens.
There are a number of ways you can market your business including:
- Word of mouth
- Websites and social media
Protecting your business
When you’re setting up a new business, it’s natural to be optimistic and to be thinking positive thoughts rather than thinking about what could go wrong, but it’s also sensible to think about how you protect your business against unexpected losses.
The main type of insurance that you need is public liability insurance cover. This is partly to protect your business against compensation claims as some serious injuries can result in compensation claims that cost in excess of £250,000 to settle.
You should make sure your public liability insurance includes a financial loss extension because otherwise, you would be uninsured in the event of a compensation claim being made against you for purely economic losses.
However, public liability insurance is also important because some of your clients won’t let you on site if you cannot show that you have this type of insurance.
If you’re employing anyone you’ll also need employer’s liability insurance as this is a legal requirement. Like public liability insurance, employer’s liability protects you against compensation claims, but it protects you if the claim is made by one of your employees rather than a member of the public.
Personal accident and sickness insurance is also a good idea because it protects your income if you are unable to work because you are ill or have been injured. It pays a weekly benefit if you are off work temporarily or a lump sum if you will be unable to return to work.
You should consider legal expenses insurance which covers your legal costs if you find yourself involved in various different types of legal action. Your legal expenses insurer will also help you deal with the legal action if you find yourself in that situation.
Property insurance, which covers your business property against accidental damage or losses due to theft, is also worth considering depending on the value of your business property.
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