Start your own Covid-19 cleaning business [5 Steps]

Start your own Covid-19 cleaning business [5 Steps]

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Have you been thinking about starting your own sanitation business? With the onset of COVID-19 and with no end in sight, there has never been a better time to do so.

Now more than ever, people all across the world are hyper-sensitive to the cleanliness and sanitary conditions of not only their homes, but the places they work, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, and more. As the CDC and other health leaders continue to update their guidelines for fighting the virus, more and more people are turning to the professionals for help.

As you embark on your journey to start your business, there are a few essential steps you should take. In order to provide you with the best information possible—we have sourced insider information from a successful sanitization company, Rhino Environmental, that provides a range of environmental services nationwide, including weekly COVID-19 disinfection services for businesses of all sizes.

Keep reading below for 5 critical steps you need to take in order to start a sanitization business in today’s environment.

Although some concrete evidence surrounding the virus has been released, businesses are still adjusting to the dramatic changes in our everyday lives. According to the CDC, COVID-19 primarily spreads through the air, but can also persist on surfaces for a prolonged period of time, which is generally where sanitization businesses like yours come into play.

Thankfully, surfaces are easily disinfected, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge to do it properly. Listed below are the 5 steps you can take in stride to ensure meeting standards and expectations.

1.   Research the Virus (From Credible Sources)

As we all know, COVID-19 is a never before seen virus and many of us are still learning how best to respond.

The first step into taming COVID-19 is to educate your business and employees on the virus itself. It’s important to know how it spreads and grows, what precautions you need to take to prevent its spread, and how to safely clean, to disinfect, and to sanitize an infected space.

Prior to agreeing to provide service for a business, consider the risks that it will impose on your future company. You can find more information about how to control and prevent the virus from guides provided by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You can also find multiple outbreak-related training sessions from The World Health Organization (WHO) that were created to ensure a proper understanding of current and future emerging respiratory viruses.

2.   Check State & Local Training Requirements

Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t require a license for cleaning companies to disinfect other businesses, there are some best practices one should follow regarding certifications and training which vary from state to state.

For example, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA, offers education, training, and business resources to help you manage the COVID-19 outbreak. If you want to open your business with confidence, GBAC also has an accreditation program you can take in order to ensure best practices and right protocols.

The Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) also offers a disinfection and safety course/certificate you can take individually, or as a team to practice proper protocols.

Just because a license isn’t required to provide a cleaning service, doesn’t mean you don’t have to acquire any licenses. Follow the Small Business Administration’s guidelines for obtaining proper licenses and permits to ensure legal compliance. On top of this, you will need to obtain a fire code permit and hazardous materials disclosure certificate.

3.   Find the Right Equipment

Investing in the right equipment from the start seems like a no brainer, but many businesses often buy incorrect or pre-used equipment thinking they can save a quick buck and end up paying more down the road to either switch out or fix the equipment.

Considering 70% of your overhead comes from labor, buying the best equipment will make for peak efficiency and money saved down the road. Rhino recommends backpack sprayers with handheld foamers, electrostatic sprayers, pressurized foam tanks (15-30 gallons), carts to mobilize your crew and tanks, and encapsulated bodysuits for your team members.

After you have selected your equipment, the next step is deciding what sanitizer product you will use. If you’re creating your own personal sanitizer, that’s great, but just make sure to follow the EPA’s Pesticide Registration Manual in order to get your product legalized for public/commercial use. If you’re going to use another sanitizer product, the EPA has a list of approved disinfectants for the Coronavirus listed on their website.

4.   Advertise & Align Contracts With Companies

Starting a business is a daunting task. However, the best and most effective way to get your company off the ground is by creating a strong brand, with an even stronger marketing strategy. Doing so will get your company in front of the right audience and make a strong impression. It will also clearly show your potential clients why you are the best choice for them.

It’s important to distinctly set yourself apart from the competiton, and strong branding and marketing will get you started on the right foot immediately. Think of all the possible methods of advertising, from billboards to digital advertising, to local publications, everything you tackle here will benefit you in the long run.

If you’re not confident in your ability to build a strong brand, and then market that brand to the right audience, consider outsourcing this to a strategic branding agency. They will be more than happy to discuss your business with you, and help you make waves in the marketplace from day one.

With a strong brand and marketing plan, you’ll be empowered to secure long-term contracts while demand for sanitization services increases in the wake of COVID-19. If you start to implement best practices now and land solid contracts with clients, you could be set up for a very long time!

5.   Identify Your Target Market

Consider what industries you’re trying to target with your business plan. Are you going to focus on healthcare, retail, food service, hospitality?

Then consider the steps you will have to take to ensure that you can properly and effectively service your clients. What items/surfaces will you be disinfecting inside of the building? What will you need to change to prepare for each individual client? Will you need to take more precautions if you’re going to be around frequent touch surfaces or food service?

Depending on the type of business you service, how often you need to clean, where, and with what equipment will vary from job to job. So before you commit to cleaning a business, make sure that they are a good fit for you, and you for them.

Understandably, clients will want to be reassured and confident that your company is doing a thorough job and following protocol. This can be achieved through step number four.


In short, the best thing you can do to ensure that your company starts out on the right foot is to follow EPA- and CDC-recommended methods and materials. Now that you have a decent understanding of the procedure, construction, and implementation of your Coronavirus disinfection business, you have the information and tools that you need to get your business started. it’s time to start taking action. For more information about how to get your business started, look to companies like Rhino Environmental, who give their clients the peace of mind to safely restore their operations after being impacted by COVID-19.

We hope that you found this information useful! Bookmark this post for later, and have it right at your fingertips when you go to start building your business.

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