How To Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

Posted on December 19, 2023

With plenty of commercial properties in your area, you might see potential income and exponential growth opportunities by creating your own commercial cleaning business. 

Those without experience in the cleaning industry might wonder how to start a commercial cleaning business. As a trusted brand in commercial cleaning solutions, JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting can guide you through the process many have undergone to create a successful venture. Let’s follow the steps needed to start your thriving commercial cleaning business!


Why Start a Commercial Cleaning Business?

Out of all the potential business opportunities, why is commercial cleaning a good option? There are many reasons to consider your own commercial cleaning business:

  • High Demand: Many areas around your location have bustling commercial centers and public offices that need regular cleaning and maintenance. You can tailor your services to accommodate all clients or specialize in cleaning solutions for industries with special cleaning needs.
  • Scalability: Commercial cleaning businesses have unlimited growth potential, depending on how large or small you want your venture to be. As your business grows, you can expand your services, hire additional employees, and take on more clients.
  • Recession Resistance: Some businesses aren’t recession-proof, so their operations are at risk when the economy is down. However, commercial cleaning businesses are more recession-proof as other businesses still need cost-effective solutions to keep their spaces clean.
  • Flexibility: Your operations are much more flexible compared to other business ventures. Determine your own hours as a part-time or full-time cleaner, target all or specific businesses, and offer general cleaning or specialized cleaning services.
  • Low Startup Barrier: Aside from the permits and documents required for all business owners, most locations need no special licenses and certifications to start a cleaning business. You can grow your business’ brand and client base before expanding to specialized cleaning solutions that require certification. 


How To Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

The path for how to start a commercial cleaning business can vary between business owners. However, here’s a general overview of the necessary steps to ensure you’re well-prepared to create a successful venture. 


1. Assess Your Readiness

Anyone can start a business, but it takes some skills to ensure its success. Ensure you or a partner in this venture have the following:

  • Business Management Skills: As a business owner, you make all the final decisions. This means you must be a good leader, be firm in your choices, and be ready to plan, organize, and communicate with your employees and customers. 
  • Communication and Customer Service: This includes marketing, customer support, and delegating tasks to your employees. You need to have a voice and be willing to reach out to potential customers to find business opportunities.
  • Industry Knowledge: Having a working idea of the commercial cleaning industry helps you stay on top of the trends and practices. This allows you to provide more thorough and efficient cleaning solutions that help attract and retain future clients.
  • Basic Cleaning Knowledge: Even if you’re planning to hire cleaners to service your clients, knowing basic cleaning practices ensures you understand your business services.
  • Basic Financial Management: You should know how to account for your business income, expenses, and other finances. Otherwise, hire or outsource your financial operations.

On top of these skills, assess your own motivations and goals. Why are you opening a commercial cleaning business, and why do these benefits matter to you? What does a successful cleaning business look like to you? If you achieve this success, what’s your next move? These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself. 

2. Conduct Market Research

Market research is integral to establishing and running a successful business. It allows you to identify what services your local commercial establishments need, cleaning trends, and potential competitors. 

Creating a business plan sets a roadmap for your venture’s strategic growth. A well-developed business plan outlines the organizational structure, financial projections, and marketing approaches that guide your operations. Additionally, it helps you put a feasible plan on paper, which can attract potential investors and stakeholders. 

Some aspects you can establish in this step include: 

  • Your Target Commercial Clients: Market research helps you determine the different types of clients available in your area. For example, if there are plenty of office buildings in your location, you could specialize in office cleaning. Otherwise, you can provide cleaning services for retail stores, restaurants, and other commercial spaces that need specialized cleaning.
  • Demand: Determining the competition in your area helps you determine if a certain specialization or service is oversaturated in the market. This can help you decide whether to explore other clients or expand your coverage area, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition: Your USP makes you different from other commercial cleaning businesses in the area. Set this based on what you think your competitors lack or what you can do better. 

3. Register Your Business 

Like any legitimate business, you must register it to ensure compliance with your local business and tax laws while protecting your legal rights as a business entity. The process of registering your business can vary depending on your local laws, so it’s best to contact your local government office for more information. 

Additionally, specializing in regulated industries (such as medical or food and beverage businesses), hiring employees, and other aspects of your business operations may require additional permits and licenses,

4. Finance Your Cleaning Business

Open a business bank account in your bank of choice. A separate business bank account for cash flow can separate your business funds from your personal money. Additionally, it makes accounting for your taxes easier. Your bank may ask for your business registration and other documents. 

Once you have that setup, you will have to evaluate what financing options you have for your capital. There are plenty of options to choose from, but keep in mind that each has their own pros and cons:

  • Personal Savings: If you have significant savings, you can use that as your start-up capital. The most important advantage is that you don’t need to worry about loan repayments. 
  • Loans: Banks, lending institutions, or local government offices may provide loans to start a small business. However, how much you can receive depends on your credit score, business plan, and other loan requirements. 
  • Credit Card: Similar to loans, a business credit card’s limit depends on various factors. Keep in mind, though, that credit card interest rates can be higher than business loans. 


5. Invest in Equipment and Supplies

Investing in equipment and supplies can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your services – which in turn can affect customer satisfaction and your chances of getting repeat business. While startups may have limited funds, it’s essential to consider which tools and supplies to invest more in rather than settling for the cheapest on the market. 

Cheap equipment could break easily, and the cost of replacing them can be less practical than investing in durable equipment. Additionally, the right cleaning supplies can save time, enabling crews to complete cleaning tasks swiftly without compromising quality. Investing in environmentally friendly cleaning solutions is also beneficial as it offers better indoor air quality and demonstrates corporate responsibility, often giving the cleaning company an edge over competitors.


6. Marketing and Sales

Effective marketing strategies allow your business to stand out and provide the right message that attracts your target clients to your quality services. You can use different marketing channels, such as digital marketing, print advertising, and networking. These can help your business create awareness, generate leads, and build long-term relationships with potential clients. 

In line with marketing are strong sales strategies that drive consistent growth and enhance the overall reputation of the commercial cleaning enterprise. By adopting a customer-centric approach and delivering on their promises, you can ensure client satisfaction, garner positive reviews, and benefit from word-of-mouth marketing. 

7. Create Your Team

As a commercial cleaning business, you could opt to be a one-person team. However, as your business grows, consider hiring more employees to service the growing demand. Part of growing your team involves the following tasks:

  • Hiring Employees: You can opt to hire those with or without experience. Either way, you’ll want to train them to follow your process and standards to ensure your clients get the same results regardless of who services them from your team.
  • Employee Safety: You’re responsible for providing the necessary uniforms, gloves, masks, and other protective equipment to ensure their safety. You should also provide training for handling certain cleaning supplies.
  • Fostering Work Culture: Even without a physical office location, your work culture drives employees to stay or find better work opportunities. Employees are an investment in your business, ensuring they’re well cared for and aren’t overworked. 


8. Grow Your Business

Once everything is settled, you can start operating your commercial cleaning business. A good foundation and organized plan can lead to a rewarding venture that generates income for you and your employees. 

As competition in the commercial cleaning industry can be fierce, it is essential to establish a strong brand image and reputation for high-quality services. Additionally, strong marketing efforts and commitment to networking can aid in developing strategic partnerships with local businesses and communities to help expand and create sustainable growth. Constant innovation in technology and cleaning solutions is vital for a thriving business.


Start Your Business By Becoming a JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting Certified Franchisee

These steps are needed to start a commercial cleaning business on your own. However, what if we told you there’s an easier way to start a commercial cleaning business in your area? With JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting commercial cleaning franchise opportunities, you don’t need cleaning experience or an existing business to establish a thriving venture. 

Franchises like JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting provide an established brand, a proven business model, and a network of resources to help businesses scale and achieve long-term success. By joining a cleaning franchise, you have the additional support of a well-known brand to start a company where you still have complete control over your operations. 

In addition, commercial cleaning businesses that work under a franchise can reap the following benefits: 

  • Brand Recognition: Customers tend to trust and choose service providers with a recognizable brand, equating it to higher professionalism and quality. JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting is a popular brand for commercial cleaning solutions across the U.S.
  • Additional Support: You and your employees will have access to comprehensive training programs, ongoing support, and marketing materials and strategies. Improve your operations and reduce overhead costs while providing the level of service you’re known for.
  • More Client Opportunities: Working under a franchise provides you with the opportunity for new client contracts. You can reach your business goals on your franchise contracts alone or let it boost your existing marketing efforts. 

Find business growth opportunities as a JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting Certified Franchisee. Learn more about JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting franchising opportunities