Start Your Own Cleaning/Janitorial Service


Starting a cleaning/janitorial service is very lucrative business. It is also one of the only recession-proof businesses out there.

Before you jump head first into starting, I think that it’s very important to decide on which market you will be trying to target. There are only two – the commercial and consumer market. And you must also decide if it will be franchise or independently owned. The difference between operating a independently owned company and a franchise is that with a franchise, there are certain guidelines to follow. There is always some pre-established formulas for concept, name, services offered can be limited, etc. Also there are fees that have to be paid regularly. Honestly speaking, the only thing that you really don’t have to worry about with owning a franchise is the advertising. They really go out of their way to make your services known. This can be a plus as you wouldn’t have to worry about marketing your business on your own.

Now when you start your own independent company you’ll likely invest far less money and there is no limit to the types of service offered and you can do things your own way.

A residential home cleaning business is one of those rare businesses you can start with very little start-up costs. With just a bucket of cleaning supplies and some rags you have an instant business. No BS. I highly recommend becoming insured/bonded. Getting insured helps you to avoid unexpected costs out of your pcoket for things such as an employee getting hurt on the job, a client reporting something stolen and etc.

As for equipment, you don’t need much more than vacuum, a broom, and a long handled duster. You’ll find that many people prefer you use their vacuum (If you’ve ever seen the carpet at my Uncle Jim’s house, then you know why). If your house cleaning service includes carpet or blind cleaning, this equipment can be rented to save on costs.


Depending on the going rates in your area, you can expect to average anywhere from $10 to $25 per hour. You can clean small retail and office operations and charge an additional $5 to $15 per hour.

For bigger profits you may want to specialize in certain areas. For instance, you could clean rental homes, foreclosures and apartments after tenants move out. You can also do crime scene clean up which is another clean-up business highly slept on.

How Do I Advertise?

*Classified ads work exceptionally well. Advertise in your local newspaper or weekly shopper. Run test ads in various newspapers in your area and advertise frequently in the one that gives you the best results. Look at the ads currently running and make your ad stand out from the crowd. Offer an additional benefit such as a 20% discount on the first cleaning to entice potential customers.

*Distribute half-page or full-page flyers to homes and businesses. In one afternoon you can canvas a neighborhood with several hundred flyers. This method will capture the customer that is not actively seeking cleaning services, but is nevertheless frustrated with cleaning chores. You can produce an attractive flyer right from home with your computer and color printer.

*Print some business cards. This can also be done on your computer. Leave a card with everyone you meet and everywhere you go. Hand it to grocery store clerk, give it to the mail carrier, leave one at the restaurant…

*Get listed in the yellow pages.

*Advertise on the radio. You may be surprised how affordable this can be. Granted, the best rates are likely later time slots, but guess who’s listening? That’s right… the workaholic that doesn’t have time to keep house.

In conclusion, starting your own cleaning business is a great way to earn a solid income and still have control over your schedule. You decide for yourself how much you want to work and how much you want to make. The demand for your services is very high, and you can grow your business as large as you want and still be home based.

And most importantly, you’ll have the satisfaction that comes from creating a lifestyle of your choosing.