Starting a janitorial cleaning service business does not have to be as difficult as you may think. The biggest question to ask yourself is, “what do I want?”. Once you’ve done that, make a plan and work the plan.
Look around your city or the area you want to work. Search for the types of office buildings you want to clean. Small business offices like real estate firms and insurance companies are plentiful in most large cities and make a great start!
Medical facilities, day care centers, and day spas are excellent for start-up cleaning service businesses and office cleaning side hustlers as well. But, these offices may require special certifications and guidelines. Most of them, however, are really good for practice.
Are you looking to start off big with a 10,000 sq ft or more office building? Are you planning to get help to clean or work solo? It’s all your choice. Just give it some thought before you start your professional janitorial cleaning service business.
Do these things before starting your janitorial cleaning service
- Basic start up costs. Which can vary between $500 – $1,000.
- What types of licensing, permits, certifications, insurance, bonds, worker’s comp, etc. will you need? Contact your local governing authorities. For the United States, contact sba.gov.
- Decide if you want to buy into a franchise or start the cleaning business yourself from scratch. Take a look at franchisedirect.com to see if there are opportunities for you to franchise. Research the pros and cons for whichever decision you make.
- Decide if you want to use traditional cleaning products or if all natural is more your jam. Knowing the chemicals you want to use will also help determine your janitorial cleaning service prices.
- Figure out your prices. Check out this online source, homeadvisor.com . You can find out what other professional janitorial contractors are charging to clean offices in your service area. Scale from there.
Here, I share my story of how I started my office cleaning side hustle with VERY little money to give you inspiration and let you know that it’s not as hard as you may think.
I was just a kid, and that was over 27 years ago. It didn’t cost me much, maybe just about $300 for products and equipment. Over time, I got my business license, insurance, bonding, and worker’s compensation. I even learned how to write office building cleaning contracts.
I started cleaning in small physician offices, insurance companies, child care facilities, and a small warehouse using a simple BUT effective strategy that I talked about in that article. Plus, I learned the value of collecting the right information from the initial walk through. I used Customer Profile Worksheets.
If you’d like to get a FREE copy for yourself, just complete the form below. You’ll be able to collect the square footage for each interior office space as well as the entire office building. You can to write out important information like trash removal procedures, alarm codes, and a daily/ weekly/ monthly cleaning program.
Grab your copy here >>>
A few years after I started my janitorial service, I started providing post construction cleaning. Here’s a list of some of those post construction customers right here. I of course had a staff by then.
A short time later, I met and married my husband. We soon purchased a small maid service with 75 customers, and 4 staff members. And, as of this post, we are still in business.
This is just our story, and as you continue your journey in professional cleaning, you’ll create your own.
As you search online, ‘how to start a janitorial service’, you may get swamped with lots of information. My advice for you is to stick with your gut – listen to your heart and let that be your guide. I would also advise you to start small and build from there, especially if you’re new to the industry.
The very first thing to consider are your goals. Think, “what do I want?” , or, “what do I need?”. Then keep this top of mind when moving forward.
Here are 5 steps to starting a janitorial service
- Be creative with your business name and brand. Establishing how you want to conduct business will come over time. But, making a clear statement of who you are will always come shining through.
- Get a simple website and lock down the social media accounts that you feel will benefit your company best. It is best to do it now rather than later. You don’t want to chance someone else getting that name before you. Facebook is good for advertising. Twitter is great for reaching out and connecting with brands. Instagram is a fantastic way to engage and showcase your work. And, all platforms are FREE.
- Take your time and develop workable business systems. Create a method of operation for everything. If you don’t have experience, try this website score.org for free small business advice.
Honestly, sign up for these websites, they are a great modern day business resource for janitorial business contracts. Groupon, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. They’re FANTASTIC! We have used them both as professionals and as consumers. Remember, it is just for marketing, so devise a follow-up plan to retain the customers you gain from these sites. That is how you make your money!
A new and popular approach is signing up with Amazon Home Services to gain customers. Once you click the link, read about the program, scroll down a bit and select APPLY. You’ll have to be approved, licensed, and meet their insurance requirements. BUT, still, they’re an excellent way to get your feet in the door.
- Set a budget for everything. You will need your basic set up costs, plus marketing and sales. “Seed” money for additional labor if you hire staff.
- GET STARTED!!!
Well, I’m hoping that I didn’t overwhelm you with too many things to do to start your professional office cleaning service business.
One more thing… YOU create your business as you move along. You will encounter so many different ways of doing this or doing that. But honestly, it will all be up to you!
Take the information that you encounter here and there online and form your own opinions of how you want to operate your professional commercial cleaning business. You will get a few hits, a few home runs, and a couple of strikes, but it’s all good. Just do go with it. Remember, “the end of the thing is better than the beginning”.
You got this!
Do your due diligence and research all things regarding the janitorial industry. Create a name/brand and establish a web presence and sign up with the best social platforms that suit your cleaning business. Consult with industry experts and gather information to help you design a doable marketing and sales strategy for your business. Don’t forget, work within your set budget… for everything. Lastly, JUST GET STARTED with your cleaning service. You Got This!!!
“You don’t need to be a genius or a visionary, or even a college graduate for that matter, to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.”-
Michael Dell, Founder of Dell
Until next time,
Creator of A Janitor’s Story®. I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams! Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams. I’d like to help you do the same.
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