Start a Cleaning Business – Overview of the Industry

While the cleaning industry may not be a glamorous line of work to be in, it can however be very rewarding for those who are prepared to work hard, manage employees and to scale up into a decent sized operation.

Many segments of the cleaning business appear to be recession proof, particularly commercial cleaning, making it an attractive business to enter no matter what the economic climate is like.

The cleaning industry in the United States is huge. Approximately 10% of American households use a cleaner or maid service at least once or twice a week. Window cleaning, carpet cleaning and other niche cleaning areas make the residential market the largest segment of the overall industry. The cleaning of commercial buildings and office space is the other huge segment of the market, making up around one third of the total market size. Like other service industries, the cleaning industry has had amazing growth over the past few decades, and this growth should continue well into the future.

As cleaning is a service-orientated business, market participants put a strong emphasis on good customer services. For many small cleaning companies, particularly in the residential sector, the main method of attracting new clients is through referrals or word of mouth marketing. Even the smallest cleaning businesses usually also do some kind of advertising and medium and large sized operations usually have advanced marketing strategies.

Entry barriers to the business are minimal as start-up costs are low and most cleaning related tasks can be performed with little or no qualifications or experience. Experience, however does go a long way towards ensuring that cleaning is done properly and efficiently.

While cleaning business operators are required to have a business license, many small businesses and sole operators in the residential sector of the market operate without them.

Some entrepreneurs take the franchising route into the business and there are many different franchise opportunities in the industry. Franchising in the cleaning business is not as strong as it is in its other industries though and as new players can get started cleaning relatively easily without requiring turnkey solutions and expert advice.

Mastering cleaning is the easiest part of the cleaning business but entrepreneurs wanting to start their own cleaning businesses also have to do their market research and learn about insurance, pricing and agreements, marketing and sales, small business management and hiring staff.

Due to the sheer size of the cleaning industry in the US it is almost certain that you can achieve some level of success if you put your mind to it and work hard to grow your business.