The best advice I can give to someone new to this business is this: be open to suggestions and trying different products. Learn as much as you can about the most quick and thorough cleaning methods. Most of all, please LOVE what you do! And always put customer service first, because that is what will grow your reputation and business the most.
Seems everyone has a favorite vacuum system. A lot of people seem to like backpack models. I do not, because they are bulky and leave your back open to injury. I prefer wand type vacuums, and ones that have LED headlights. They are lightweight and depending on the brand, can be just excellent. I like Sharks, but others have their own favorites.
Cleaning products - well, I think that is somewhat of a personal choice. A lot of people stick to vinegar, water and baking soda. Which all work fine and are safe. However, for me, I do not use these at all. My current customers LOVE the fact that my cleaning products smell so nice plus clean so well. I hear this over and over and over. Watkins and Meyers is what I use, and they are NOT cheap. But a little goes a long way, as they are quite concentrated. I think its worth the extra money if its something my customers really like.
I also do not use bleach anymore, unless there is mold present. I switched to a peroxide cleaner and it works as well and isnt obnoxious smelling and it is quite safe to use.
I learned something here that I had not thought of before. Many people provide new customers with a checklist of exactly what chores will be done, and what wont be. For instance, cleaning a fridge, taking out trash, washing dishes, are NOT a normal part of standard cleaning. They are considered extras, because all take time. I ran into that issue last year in a huge way. I arrived at a new clients home, only to find the kitchen filthy and a what looked like 2 weeks of dirty dishes everywhere. I was distressed and upset, and the owner wasnt home for me to talk to. Just her elderly mother and a teenager. UGH. Well, I dug in and washed the darn dishes, and then went on to do what I could in the 4 hours the owner wanted. And I explained all this to her later. I have not yet made a checklist, but I DO explain to new customers what is and what isnt standard cleaning.
I am sure others will have more suggestions for you.
Annie, in Florida