I did it - 3 times!
It depends on what you mean by "start" and what cleaning niche you are talking about. Scale is important too. Retail window cleaning on the ground floor only? - yes, you can do it. Cleaning a factory over night - no! Cleaning small residential houses twice a month - yes! A full service carpet cleaning company - no!
I have started 3 cleaning businesses over the years and every time I had less than $300. I started out small going door to door and built from there. I am about to do it again and I have $500 this time.
The thing is, you can phase in much of the start up supplies and systems so as "the start up" actually is happening over a period of 3 - 6 months. If you want to have everything in place before you start your first job, then I would say you need more like $500 - $700. But you do not need to do that. You are a sole proprietor by default regardless. You can phase much of it in over time ans scale it up.
It is what you choose to do with that $300 (in the first month) that will make or break your start up! For example, do not buy a vacuum, everybody has one! Buy that much later on - if at all. I never did buy a vacuum! I did not own a car either, I rode my bike and used the bus. I had all my supplies in my backpack. My clients thought that was cool. I made 50k a year!
"Experts" on forums will tell you that is impossible, they are wrong! You can do it, you need a system and a plan. Otherwise you are gambling.
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