cleaning biz startup

Getting Started in the Cleaning Biz 7


Getting started in the cleaning biz

It may seem like a daunting challenge to insert yourself into an industry and carve out your own little slice of “profit pie”. The cleaning industry, however, has plenty of pie to share! Want to test this theory before jumping in? Here’s a simple test: grab a phone book, or check yp.com for cleaning companies in your area. Chances are there will be a couple. But just a couple. Now, how many companies and residential homes are in your area? Many. I assure you there are far more than a few cleaning companies can handle.

cleaning biz startupThe larger franchises command far more of the market than you may think. The cleaning industry in total is a $50 billion a year industry. And over 30% of this market share is owned by as little as 50 companies. Franchises mostly. Now, when you are just starting out it can take as little as a few contracts to be making a full-time income. Do you really think as large as this growing market is (over 4% growth a year), that anyone is going to miss a few offices out of their portfolio? Doubtful.

Speaking from my own experience, it was very easy to offer potential customers a level of service that the large franchises couldn’t. Their account would be cleaned by me, cared for by me and any problems would be taken care of immediately by… you guessed it, me. Within my first few months of starting my own cleaning business I had taken a couple contracts from these larger cleaning companies and my new customers were not only grateful, but my new cheerleaders. Offering a top-notch level of service to your first customers will guarantee a strong future reference, not to mention future referrals.

 I’ve never had a potential customer ask for references, but I’m confident if they ever did, these first contracts would happily give a glowing recommendation. If you present yourself as a professional and give the impression that handling a new office is right in your wheelhouse, there will be little hesitation in handing over the keys to their building. On the other hand, if you give potential customers reason to believe that you have never taken care of an office’s cleaning needs before, they may be leery when it comes time to ask for their business. I will cover this in great detail in later posts. Asking the right questions can make you seem qualified and legitimate right off the bat.

So, to make a short story even shorter, there are PLENTY of opportunities for someone to get into the cleaning industry and PLENTY of money to go around. I promise you that when you first start off you are not going to be making waves that are going to upset the “franchise ship”. Offer customers the service and attention that the larger companies just won’t/can’t compete with. I know from my own experience, and the experience of friends and family that have started businesses with my help, that this principle is tried and true!

 Important Resources:

How to Start a House Cleaning Service


Leave a Reply

7 thoughts on “Getting Started in the Cleaning Biz

    • Steven D Post author

      Hi Annah, I’m so happy this article motivated you! Starting a business is an exciting expedition and can very rewarding. Staying inspired will help you move through obstacles that will come along during your journey. You obviously have the right mindset, I know you’ll succeed!

  • Ricky

    I’m looking to create an all-encompassing organization company which will have a cleaning unit, both interior (maid service) and exterior (landscaping service). I just don’t know how to create it, plus I have no money to create it 🙁

    • Steven D Post author

      Hey Ricky! My suggestion would be to start with the maid service. It takes less money to start and from there you could up sell your customers with landscape services. Check out my post on Targeting Property Managers. This is a good low-cost route to begin your commercial undertaking. Best of luck!

      • Kevin

        Hello Steven! I sooooo want to get started but truth is I can’t do it myself due to health reasons. With medical expenses going up, what is the best way to get started in the business? Should I try to employ someone or sub contact? I was going to start at end of tenancy?

        • Steven D Post author

          Hi Kevin,
          I’m sorry to hear about your poor health and I can certainly relate to growing health insurance costs. The downside of being self employed is that we don’t benefit from reduced costs of group policies. The marketplace is expensive any way you look at it.
          To your question regarding which niche to start in, I myself started with end of tenancy cleaning and found it to be the lowest cost solution (aside from window cleaning.) It may be difficult to start off hiring others to do the work for you without building a business first, though. I can’t imagine covering payroll for an employee when I myself was just learning the business. And I would stay away from sub contracting all together.
          Hope this helps Kevin, maybe I need more information on your situation, but I just can’t fathom hiring a crew before knowing the business. If possible, get started with end of tenancy cleaning to the point where you can invest your profits into payroll 🙂