How to Create Your Cleaning Business Operations Manual?

A cleaning business operations manual helps you to define the structure of operations for your cleaning business. Having a structured way of operating your business will take some stress off you and will make sure that things go smoothly even when you are not around. It also helps to ensure proper time management and better results.

To create your cleaning business operations manual, make sure that you have a good knowledge of the core activities involved in running your cleaning business. This article discusses a number of steps towards creating your operations manual.

  • Identify the core activities of your cleaning business.
  • Make a list of materials and the employee roles involved in carrying out core activities.
  • Write out the procedures for each activity.
  • Organize your operations manual.
  • Test your operations manual.
  • Documentation.

Identify the core activities of your cleaning business

The first step to creating your cleaning business operations manual is to identify all the major activities involved in running your cleaning business. This is not limited to cleaning activities only. It should also include supporting activities like product and equipment inventory, issuing invoices, creating an estimate, and taking customer feedback. Human resource activities such as recruitment procedure, interview guide, induction process for new employees should also be outlined.

You do not have to include every single procedure in your operations manual. The most important thing is to ensure that every activity that is fundamental to operating your cleaning business is outlined.

Make a list of materials and the employee roles involved in carrying out core activities

After deciding on which activities to outline in your operations manual, including the materials used for each activity. This is mostly applicable to cleaning tasks. Include equipment, chemicals, and other materials necessary to carry out each task. This can serve as a checklist of things to go along with a cleaning job.

It is also important to include the employee role responsible for each task. This helps to avoid confusion of responsibilities in your cleaning business which can be a source of conflict among employees. Also, it makes it easy for you to assess the level of division of labor within your business. With this in place, hitch-free operations without too many questions asked are easily achieved.

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Write out the procedures for each activity

Outlining the procedures for each core activity is easily the crux of creating your cleaning business operations manual. This requires a good knowledge of the steps involved in carrying out each of the tasks.

Make sure to write the procedures in a step-by-step format. While creating your outline, do not leave any steps out with the assumption that your employees already have them memorized. It is important to include every possible detail when creating your operations manual.

You do not have to have every step of a procedure memorized to include it in your operations manual. You can document each step while you perform that particular activity. If it is an activity that is carried out by an employee, simply ask them to write the steps down as they perform the task. You can then collate this and input it in your operations manual. This means that creating a cleaning business operations manual does not have to be a day’s job. You can update it gradually.

Other things to include in your operations manual are the contact information of your cleaning business, emergency procedures, safety precautions during certain cleaning tasks, and company policy.

Organize your operations manual

Divide your operations manual into sections. You can do this by grouping activities together based on their basic functions. For example, activities like recruitment procedure, interview guide, induction process can be grouped under human resource functions. In the same way, activities such as taking customer feedback and attending to customer complaints can be in the customer service section.

For easy use of the manual, including a table of contents. The table of contents should outline each section with the corresponding activities listed under it. You can also include tabs to make it easy for team members to locate procedures for their activities. This is advisable if you have many employees.

Test your operations manual

To be sure that your operations manual is functional, get your employees to perform the core activities using the directions in the manual. Use the feedback you get from them to either update or correct the manual where necessary.


You can now organize your cleaning business operations manual into a binder and make it accessible to your employees. Make sure you also have a copy saved on a computer. Place it in a secure folder, so that it is not updated without authorization. Have at least one other person know the password to update your cleaning business operations manual in case you forget or in the event that you are absent and cannot be reached. As your operation methods change, ensure you make appropriate changes to the manual. You can delegate this duty to an employee.

Use checklists and forms

Using your cleaning business operations manual, create corresponding checklists for each procedure. Employees can use this to make sure that they follow all the steps involved in carrying out their tasks. Also, create forms that can be filled by employees to document clients’ specific needs. Using checklists and forms makes up for lapses that may happen due to an employee forgetting any procedure in the operations manual. Incorporate these checklists and forms into your operations manual in their corresponding sections.

The importance of a cleaning business manual

Training purposes

Using your operations manual as training material for new employees increases training efficiency. It also gives the opportunity for new employees to ask relevant questions. Existing employees can also use it as a reference for tasks that are not regular parts of daily business activities.

Improved compliance

A detailed operations manual helps employees to align easily with health standards and safety laws that apply to the cleaning industry.

Quality control

An operations manual can also be used as the standard for evaluating cleaning activities, outcomes, and other supporting activities to ensure customer satisfaction.

Time management

When new employees have questions or are in doubt, they can refer to the operations manual. This saves existing employees from answering questions and thereby saves time. Experienced employees can also refer to the manual when there is a change in procedure for any task.

Lower risks of liability

There may be events where an employee commits an error as a result of a breach of procedure or safety precautions that can lead to potential liability for your business. In a legal situation, having an operation manual shows that you had standards put in place to avoid such errors. This can reduce such liabilities.

Increased market value

Having an operations manual can significantly increase the value of your cleaning business in the event that you want to sell it. This is mostly because it will be an asset to the new owner and will help them to run the business based on proven procedures.

Preservation of your business legacy

In the event that your cleaning business becomes owned by someone else, either through sale or by inheritance, an operations manual preserves the legacy of your business. It ensures that the business can still be operated using your methods. A good cleaning business manual should contain information about your cleaning company, a detailed procedure for the outlined core activities, checklists and forms, emergency procedures, and safety precautions. It is a good way to give a systematic approach to your daily business activities. Overall, you can manage your employees better and your cleaning business performance automatically improves.

Check out this another article about getting a license for your cleaning business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a cleaning business operations manual if I run my business alone?

Regardless of the scale of your cleaning business, an operations manual is good to have. Having an operations manual for your business gives you a systematic way of carrying out your tasks. This helps you to make sure that you do not leave out any steps as you carry out your cleaning tasks.

Having a checklist also helps you make sure that you have all the supplies you need before setting out to your clients’. This saves you time as you will not have to make wasteful trips back to your base because you forgot an important cleaning item, for instance.

Also, it helps you to be accountable. This is usually an important part of running a business that most one-man-businesses do not pay attention to. By using an operations manual, you hold yourself to certain work standards. Ultimately, you are able to satisfy your clients better.

How do I decide on core activities to include in my cleaning business operations manual?

The core activities of your business are activities that are necessary for the smooth running of your business operations. List out all the activities carried out at your cleaning business that you can think of. Classify these activities into essential and non-essential activities. All essential activities should be included in your operations manual. You can also include some non-essential activities with complicated or long procedures.

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Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.

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