When you make the decision to start a business, you are embarking on a long-term adventure. In addition to low start-up costs, owning a business allows flexible working hours. While it can be fun seeing a company grow, it does require extensive amounts of work and a well-thought strategy. 

Primarily, there are steps you should take when starting a commercial cleaning business from scratch. By remaining proactive and continuously striving to improve, your business can grow and prosper.

Conduct Market Research

One of the major components of a successful cleaning business is conducting market research. For clarification, market research is the gathering of information and data about companies and individuals. Often, businesses will do this to better understand their needs and how they compare to competitors. 

Typically, there are two types of market research, primary and secondary. To start, primary market research is conducted by the company itself through surveys or focus groups. It is the best way to receive direct feedback from clients. In addition, businesses can control their tests and studies. By doing so, they can obtain specialized market data and information. 

Alternatively, there is secondary market research. This is readily-available information from outside sources. Businesses do not have control over how this data is obtained. Although it might not be as accurate, it does provide a good lens of how the public perceives your company. 

Furthermore, market research allows you to see how your company compares with competitors. In turn, you can make smarter business decisions. For example, prices may need to be adjusted. Over time, this can result in stronger profitability. 

It is important to note that subcontracting your commercial cleaning business can make market research easier. By partnering with an established cleaning company as a vendor, you will receive extensive support and research strategy. This can help you start a successful cleaning business.

The most effective types of market research are surveys. When creating them, make sure to ask detailed questions based on commercial cleaning services offered, pricing, and customer satisfaction.

cleaning gloves and detergents

Create a Business Plan For Your Cleaning Business

In order for a company to grow and prosper, a strong business plan must be set in place. Every company has a business plan, and it should be created with immediate urgency. In addition to providing various strategies and timetables to follow, a business plan is necessary for legal requirements. 

To start, we must explain different types of business structures. This is mandatory for tax returns; therefore, it is of paramount importance. Typically, there are five types of business structures. They are: 

  • Corporations
  • S corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Sole proprietorship
  • LLCs (Limited Liability Company)

Each type of business structure will have a unique type of tax return and procedure. More often than not, a cleaning company will fall under sole proprietorship or partnership. However, for individuals who want to separate their personal and business finances, this is a great option for those who want to minimize risk. 

Alternatively, a sole proprietorship or partnership will have greater risks but higher individual profit potentials. 

Once that is completed, you must evaluate what your brand is. This will help you determine and target potential clients and audiences. Afterward, you must calculate accurate financial projections, both short and long-term. 

Secure Funding and Insurance

Now that you have a strong business plan, you must secure funding and business insurance for your business. In order to successfully grow a company, you will need capital. This is essential for renting or building office space, purchasing equipment, hiring employees, and conducting research and marketing.

Primarily, there are two paths to secure funding: loans and personal savings. Each avenue has its own positives and drawbacks. With proper information and understanding, you can make the choice that is best for you and your business.

To start, you can apply for a loan. This can be a rather simple process. You will need to visit a local bank or financial institution with a thorough business plan. In addition, you are required to bring at least one year of personal or business banking statements and two years of tax returns. This will help potential lenders determine whether or not you are a good fit. Furthermore, you should focus on building great credit prior to the meeting. 

Typically, a higher credit score allows greater investment opportunities. Banks will want to know if you are reliable. It is important to note that different states may have various lending regulations and eligibility requirements. Therefore, it will be helpful to research beforehand. 

Alternatively, you can secure funding through personal savings. Of course, this strategy poses the greatest risk, as you are spending your own money. However, you will not need to pay interest or enter into a payment plan. In addition, you have more flexibility. 

You will also need to purchase liability insurance for your business. This will help protect you and your employees. Before making a decision, finalize your budget, as overpaying can have negative outcomes. There are several types of liability insurance to choose from. In general, it is best to have coverage for employee injury, client injury, property damage, and theft. 

Set Up Your Business

After finalizing funding, it is time to set up your business. By doing so, your company will become an official business entity. First, you must register your business name and enroll in a business insurance plan. This will appear on all tax returns and bank statements. Before registering, guarantee that your name of choice is available. 

Once that is complete, you must complete various licenses and documents. Texas does not have a statewide business license. Instead, official documents and licenses are regulated at the county level. Therefore, it is important to fully understand what your local county requires, as each may have different intricacies. 

Typically, there will be two copies of all necessary licenses – one for your business and one for the bank.

With all the paperwork done, you must now purchase materials and cleaning equipment for your company. Every successful cleaning business will have a plethora of cleaning supplies.

Here is a list of all required cleaning supplies.

  • Trash bags
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Mops and buckets
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Scrubbers
  • Dusters
  • Alcohol-based cleaning solutions
  • Chemical-based cleaning solutions
  • Brushes
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Floor polish
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective masks

It is important to note that subcontracting can be quite helpful. With professional help, you will have greater knowledge of how to properly set up your business. Furthermore, the cleaning company may lend you more effective cleaning equipment. 

Hire and Train Employees

Any business will only be as strong as its employees. Therefore, it is essential to hire the right commercial cleaners. This should not be a quick process. Instead, you should take your time vetting potential candidates. By doing so, you can ensure that they will be the best fit for your business.  

Hiring Cleaning Staff

With the prevalence of the internet, the best way to hire potential employees is through online job postings. Due to the exponential amount of career sites and listings, you must make your ad stand out. This can be achieved through detail and clarity. In your job listing, provide a clear title, description, and salary. In addition, you can also include benefits and growth opportunities. Lastly, you can provide contact information, such as a phone number and email.

Great candidates will want to work for high-quality businesses. Therefore, it is your job to promote and present your business effectively. For example, you can explain company beliefs, mission statements, and expectations. Potential employees will appreciate companies that don’t hide things from them.

After finding a number of candidates, you must conduct interviews. Typically, you can begin with a quick phone call. This is done to gauge interest and first impressions. 

If the phone call goes well, you can schedule an in-person interview. If they seem like a good fit, consider running a background check. With their consent, you will be able to learn more about their past. In addition, you can ask for references from past employers. 

Training Employees

The last step of the hiring process is employee training. This should be done with all staff members, even those with past cleaning experience. 

To begin, you must teach all employees proper cleaning techniques. In addition, all commercial cleaners must learn how to use products and equipment. Furthermore, there needs to be an emphasis on safety. Certain products can contain harsh chemicals and should be handled carefully. Therefore, it is your job to concisely explain the usage and handling procedures. In addition, you must explain company policies and expectations. 

Furthermore, there must be practice and exercises in customer service. Clients are a vital component of the cleaning business. So, all staff members need to have strong communication skills. 

Similarly, there should be an emphasis on effective communication between staff members. Cleaning is a team effort, and everyone needs to be on the same page. Understandably, arguments may occur. However, there are ways to diffuse tense situations in a calm manner. These strategies should be taught and explained to all employees.

Lastly, you can implement incentives and positive reinforcements for employee compliance. Instead of harshly criticizing staff members when they make a mistake, praise them for great and efficient work. This will go a long way in employee retention. In addition, they may recommend your business to potential candidates. Over time, this will result in a team of strong and productive employees. Teamwork will also be helpful when cleaning locations with high square footage. 

Market and Scale Your Cleaning Business

As previously stated, clients are an essential component of a successful cleaning business. Therefore, it is important to orchestrate strong marketing campaigns. You can promote your business through social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Furthermore, you can build a website with accurate information and engaging content.

To continue, you must network with potential clients. This can be accomplished through positive feedback and retention. If you consistently provide efficient and thorough commercial cleaning services, clients may recommend you to new customers. 

In addition, you should focus on developing your brand. You must make business cards with contact information. Business cards are easy-to-make and will spread your company name. 

FAQs About Starting a Commercial Cleaning Business From Scratch

What type of cleaning business makes the most money?

Typically, commercial cleaning businesses tend to make the most money. Office spaces are larger than residential areas and require more intensive cleaning procedures. Also, businesses located in high-traffic metropolitan locations tend to be more profitable. In addition, those that clean places with high square footage make great profits.

Is a cleaning company a good investment?

Yes, a cleaning company can be a great investment. They usually have low expenses and high profits. In addition, there is stability with demand. Furthermore, a proven and successful cleaning business can charge a higher hourly rate.

Are cleaning franchises profitable?

In general, cleaning franchises can be profitable. This will depend on the strength of the franchisor. Most franchises require $10,000 – $50,000 in franchise fees, which can cut into your bottom line.  

Is a cleaning business recession-proof?

While no business is fully recession-proof, cleaning businesses are always in a strong position to succeed. Regardless of economic status, there will always be a demand for commercial cleaning services.

Is cleaning a good business to start?

Yes, a commercial cleaning service company can be a great business to start. However, it is not easy and will require thorough work, planning, and preparation.

The Dallas Janitorial Way

At Dallas Janitorial, it is our mission to provide excellent commercial cleaning services with great care and detail. We believe in client-focused communication. To learn more, please call us at 214-778-3689. We can’t wait to hear from you!