Janitorial Cleaning Service: Getting Started


A janitorial cleaning service is one of the best businesses for a hardworking, blue collar person to start from scratch. Every business and every building needs to be cleaned once in a while - in some cases, many times each day. With the overhead involved with hiring employees to provide janitorial services, it is convenient for a company to outsource to a commercial janitorial service provider.

This is where you step in!

If you are reading this article, you are probably looking for advice on how to start a janitorial service. Hopefully the following information and advice will get you moving in the right direction.

Start Up Costs and Financing Sources:

$500 and up

It is possible to get started with almost no investment, but you will be in a much better position if you have a few hundred dollars of basic equipment available. Equipment for a full-scale commercial janitorial service may run many thousands of dollars.

Writing a sound business plan describing how to start a janitorial service in your area - including detailed market research and plans for future growth - may help you to secure some of your initial funding from venture capitalists or angel investors.

Pricing Guidelines for Service:

Base your time at $20 to $50 per hour (before taxes and expenses) and price your services according to the time you expect to spend on each task.

Itemize the exact services you intend to provide. Charging by the hour tends to make clients comfortable asking you to do more and more work for the same money. Be clear that you provide certain services for a certain price. By charging a flat fee, you will continually earn a better hourly rate as you improve and become more efficient.

Advertising and Marketing:

Get listed in the yellow pages under all of the main services you provide. This is more expensive than one general listing, but you can't expect all of your potential clients to look under "Janitorial Services" when they are really looking for "Window Cleaners".

Face-to-face selling can go either way. Some managers and store owners like the fortitude of this very direct way of marketing, but others find it very annoying - especially if they get a lot of people coming in and asking to wash the windows. Always obey "No Soliciting" signs.

Walk around town and identify businesses which look like they really need your help. Send a professional-looking brochure to the general manager.

Essential Equipment:

A janitorial cleaning service can start very small and build up as it grows more popular. It is sometimes possible to start out by using the equipment of the client companies, buying your own equipment with that revenue.

Get a unique uniform - and unique does not mean outrageous! A uniform looks much more professional than jeans, and it can provide a marketing service for you, as well. When people recognize your janitorial cleaning service working at the company down the street, it lends credibility to you when you approach them for a contract.

Much of the following equipment will become useful as your business expands:

Safety Equipment:

  • dust mask
  • safety goggles
  • heat resistant gloves
  • heat resistant apron
  • slip resistant, steel toe shoes
  • hard hat

    General Supplies:

  • dust mop, brooms, and dust pans
  • vacuum cleaner
  • window squeegee and buckets
  • wet mop and bucket
  • scrub brushes
  • towels, lots of towels
  • window cleaning solution
  • degreaser solution
  • carpet cleaning solution
  • plunger
  • drain "snake"
  • basic tool set: hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, etc.
  • tape measure
  • utility knife and plenty of blades
  • tool belt
  • ladder
  • 50-foot water hose
  • pressure washer
  • chainsaw
  • weed whip
  • a cargo van to carry it all

    Income Potential:

    $15,000 to $60,000 per year, going solo.

    There is a limit to the amount you can earn working alone. As you become more successful at negotiating with clients, you can eventually start hiring other people to do the work. The ultimate earning potential is unlimited.

    Target Market:

    One of the nicest parts about janitorial services is that you don't have to look for new customers week after week. After you secure a few accounts, you will have a fairly steady source of income that only changes infrequently.

    Convenience stores, restaurants, grocery stores, strip malls, and office complexes are all great places to start looking.

    Tips for Success:

  • Always be professional and courteous. Everyone encounters stressful and undesirable working conditions once in a while. It will carry you a long way if you can remain respectful and calm when dealing with these situations. Don't let your clients walk all over you, but don't let them walk out on you!
  • Janitorial services are very repetitive from day to day. Keep a mindset toward using your time more and more efficiently.
  • Go the extra mile. Do what you can to go above and beyond your clients' expectations. This translates to job security and a better reputation in the industry.
  • You should get your janitorial cleaning service bonded and insured. If you are not bonded and insured, your prospects for business are very limited.

    Training, Skills or Experience Needed:

    The best training is to have worked as a janitor for some time so you know what you're getting into. It is not easy work. Read a few books on how to start a janitorial service. No matter how much you already know, you are sure to find new information that will help you to be more successful.

    Schooling is not usually necessary, but you can earn better money and find more contracts if you learn to maintain HVAC or other common equipment. There are independent classes available for this type of training.

    Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

    Randy Wilson has dozens of home based business articles such as Ebay Money Making Tips, Nutrition Home Business and Small Business Web Design.

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