Spread the word. Let your friends and family know that you have started your own home cleaning business. Ask them to spread the word at work and wherever they go. Personal references can help at this level to get the first clients. Serve the first customers as best you can. These clients can be the basis of make or break. If you treat them like royalty, they may recommend you to their friends. Word of mouth is the most successful form of advertising for small businesses of this type. Word of mouth can take your business further and also help reduce marketing costs.

Business referral program: I already mentioned “word of mouth” advertising. Taking this one step further can really help your business take off. Implement a referral program. Pay customers if they refer new customers to you. This can be in the form of cash or free house cleaning services.

Start advertising in local newspapers: Focus on smaller local community newspapers and less on newspapers in large metropolitan areas. Prices will be much more affordable. A local newspaper in the area where I live is distributed to about 75,000 residential customers (not households). A business card sized ad in a reasonable location costs about $95.00 per week. You can also work only with classified ads. These ads range from $10.00 per week to around $45.00 per week. If you can, don’t go for the weekly run, look for a monthly or quarterly offer. Don’t try to put too much information in a classified ad. Be brief, but easy to understand. Example: “Affordable house cleaning services. No job is too small. Free estimates. (123)-555-1234”

Magnetic signs or decals for your vehicle: If you drive a decent looking vehicle, use it for advertising. If you’re driving a rusty old piece from the ’80s, skip to the next section. Car advertising can be very effective if you follow a few basic rules. It has to look professional. The message has to be short and easy to understand. Don’t drive like a maniac when you have your business advertised on your car. Magnetic signs can be purchased for around $75.00. Decals are available starting at around $25.00. Look at other cars that carry an advertising message to get ideas of what to do.

Flyers: You can print pretty flyers on your home computer, but I recommend spending a little money on professional printing. First design a flyer. Then talk to local print shops for prices. You can also check out printers on the internet like 1,000 flyers (color printing) at will set you back about $125.00 + shipping. Try to overcome that with your home computer. Paper, ink, time and wear and tear will cost you 2-3 times more. How to distribute the flyers? Start by hanging flyers on bulletin boards in supermarkets and coin-operated laundromats. Ask store owners in your area if they are willing to display the brochure somewhere in their store (if applicable).

Do not put flyers on car windows at grocery stores and local businesses. It could violate local laws or owner permissions. Rather spend a morning in large residential areas and walk from door to door and post the flyers on the front door (bring plenty of tape). You can even go one step further and ring the doorbell and drop off flyers in person and mention that you are expanding your services to that area to see if people are interested. DO NOT put flyers in mailboxes, that is against federal law.

Have you ever seen those advertising hangers? Pre-printed door hangers are more or less an extension of hanging flyers on front doors. They are already shaped as a doorknob opening so they can be easily put on a doorknob when passing by. Look online for the best prices or talk to local printers. We don’t endorse a specific store, but we’ve seen prices of around 5,000 door hangers for $189.00.

Business Cards – Business cards can be a very effective marketing tool. Take a look at different websites on the Internet. Often these websites (such as or have online tools for designing your business cards on their website. Always carry business cards with you and use them often to market your business. Keep in mind that it’s a bit more cumbersome to reach a large group of people with business cards compared to using flyers.

Internet – Get a good domain name and build a website for yourself. More and more people are looking for service providers online. It starts when you need handyman and it doesn’t end with finding a reliable house cleaning service. A website and email address also make a good impression on your business cards. Statistics show that many working women buy services at home online while they are at work. Buy a listing online at your local yellow pages. Yellow Pages are still a great way to advertise your business. The online version on the internet is gaining more popularity as compared to the print version and an online listing will help you get more customers.