How Can I Start My Own Cleaning Business – Can I start my own business as an IC party? What is the role of independent contractors in home cleaning?
Hi, I’m Angela Brown and I’m an Ask Steward. In this show you can ask questions about home cleaning and I can help you find the answers. You can find the answers to this series and 400 others in this series on our YouTube channel.
How Can I Start My Own Cleaning Business
Can you start your own business as an IC? This means independent contractors. this is a big problem. Now a cleaning lady called into the show and she asked this question.
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“If I’m an independent cleaning contractor, can I open a cleaning business in the same state?”
Now I’m a bit confused how to ask this question. That stopped me. I don’t know since I’m reading something if that’s the problem, but I’ll share it with you.
If you are already an independent contractor, it is assumed that you already have a home cleaning business. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be an independent contractor. Being an independent contractor means you already own a business, you have existing clients, you have your own uniform, you have your own company car, you have your own cleaning supplies.
You paid for your own training and certification. You already own an existing cleaning business. So you’re not protected at all by the company that hired you, right?
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They outsource the work to you. Therefore, you are not covered by their insurance or workers’ compensation. You are not on their payroll. You don’t wear their uniform. And you don’t use their cleaning products.
They don’t pay your tuition, they don’t pay you the company car. They shouldn’t let you drive to work. You are not on their watch. If you’re late, they don’t write you a letter or anything like that.
So you need to be very clear, are you currently an employee or an independent contractor? Because the rules are very, very different.
There are now many home cleaning companies that hire independent contractors when they go into growth mode, such as when they are doing more business than they can actually handle. So they might have multiple users and have two tasks too many or five tasks too many.
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And it doesn’t really allow for hiring a whole new person because you might need an extra freelancer a day or two a week. So instead of hiring new people, they hired independent contractors.
And then the owner of the cleaning company makes a little bit of money from the independent contractors, 10%, 15%, 20%, right? So they don’t hire new people, they outsource the work. So it’s a very different set of rules.
The funny thing then is that as an independent contractor, you are the one billing the client. So your client is not a homeowner. Your client is a cleaning company.
So a cleaning company comes to you and says, “Hey, I have an extra job for you. Do you like them? This client is waiting for you on Tuesday morning at eight o’clock, and then I have another client at one o’clock on Thursday afternoon. I need you. Can you do both jobs?”
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You say, “Yes, I can.” Now, in theory, you have the right to change the time and call the customer and say, “Hey, I can’t do it at 1 o’clock. Can I do it in the afternoon?” If you change the time, that’s entirely up to you since you’re an independent contractor.
I wouldn’t recommend it because if a company like a cleaning company has a job booked and it has been cleaned with the client, if you can spare the time, of course spare the time, but don’t tell the company they hired to say you have coverage or whatever, right?
You follow your own schedule. They give you work and say, “Take care of this.” Finally, you send them an invoice and say, “Okay, I’ve done the work,” and they pay you. You don’t take money from customers because it’s not your customer, it’s their customer, right?
Now, a lot of house cleaning companies are kind of confused and say, “Well, if I hire independent contractors, they’re going to take away my business.” Well, no, not at all. It’s a lot like parents hiring a nanny to come and “parent” when they’re on a date or going to the doctor or something, right?
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So they hire someone to replace them for a while. And the rules are very strict and in place, everyone knows who the real parents are. Then, when the sitter leaves, they get paid for the work done. Parents resume following normal parenting rules and orders.
But while the babysitter is taking care of them, they have to obey the babysitter’s rules because she’s just acting as a temporary parent, right?
So the nannies don’t move in, they don’t start living in the home, etc. They just come and engage in a set of behaviors during the time the parents are away. That’s all they get paid. Child care has been outsourced for some time. The same rule applies to cleaning the home.
So when a cleaning company hires you as an independent contractor, they assume responsibility for that client for a period of time. The business does not belong to you.
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My advice is, don’t try to start this business, okay? Because now, if a company wants to give you a job and you are willing to help them with those jobs, you can regularly bring in income for their overwork.
It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to poach those customers and try to undercut their existing offer, or if you’re trying to persuade the customer or do something else, even if the customer likes you better. But this is not your client. It’s like a baby or a baby saying to a nanny, “Oh, we like you more than our parents.”
This does not mean that the nanny comes and starts raising the children. That doesn’t work, does it? So even if the customer likes you better, you say, “Hey, listen, thanks a lot. I’m proud, but when you’re part of another company now and they hire or you hire them to provide services, I’m going to include you as a customer, you’re immoral.”
I will not break these restrictions because if you are starting a business and your business is somehow growing right now, it can be a good source of income for you.
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But if you are currently an independent contractor, it is assumed that you already have an existing cleaning business in the same state where you work for another company. So I hope that makes sense. It’s a gray area.
If you and the cleaning company you work with disagree, do so now so there are no surprises or problems.
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