Starting a Janitorial Business


A janitorial job lacks glamour and may seem "mundane," but it has proven to be lucrative, for those who start out with the will to work hard.

There is a good market for cleaning services, in both residential and commercial sectors. As the owner, you'll be cleaning offices, stores, schools, hospitals, stores, and more.

More and more companies outsource these services, so the potential client base is quite large. As you grow, you can always add more employees and specialize in certain areas, like carpet, tile, window cleaning, etc.

Image of spray cleanerA janitorial service is a well paying, and steady, that involves mostly night work on a contract basis. You agree to perform certain scheduled tasks and the client pays you on a monthly basis.

Normal services include sweeping, dusting, emptying receptacles, refilling soap and paper dispensers and buffing or vacuuming floors. Waxing might be done every third night; stripping once a month.

A beginner can start with ordinary household tools (and buy more as they are needed), plus some cleaning supplies. To start, find a small store or office building that needs cleaning at night and offer your services. Do all the work yourself for a while. Learn firsthand how long it takes to do each job, which techniques work best, and the type and amount of supplies that are needed.

If you love cleaning and keeping things spic and span, this is an excellent service you can start from home.

Skill Set:

Employee & Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase Or In The Future:

Approximate Daily Hours Needed:

These services are normally performed at night when the everything is closed, which gives the janitorial crew a time span of 12 to 14 hours. If the jobs are relatively small, one crew might do several locations night.

Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future

Monthly Expenses To Consider:


Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:

Bare essential - You can get started for a few hundred dollars, if you already have a vehicle. To get started with heavy-duty equipment may mean that you have to spend upwards of $40,000. If you are on the lower starting end, you can always build as you go.

Tips & Considerations:

Pros and Cons:

The Pros:

The Cons:

Type of Customers:

Banks and schools are great customers. An abundance of customers exist in this industry: apartment buildings, restaurants, corporate buildings, and more.

The cleaning industry consists of approximately 17,000 commercial cleaning franchises but there is plenty of room for your company. Before starting, survey your market.


Image of a dyson vacuum cleaner

See Valuation Resources for current statistics, trends and outlooks.

This industry has shown remarkable growth in the last few years. It has benefited from corporate downsizing and increased reliance of outsourcing cleaning services. Contracting private firms to perform this service has also become the best option for many companies.

According to the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), cleaning and maintaining America's office buildings, retail, commercial, industrial, educational, and healthcare facilities is huge, estimated at $94.5 billion in 2003.

BSCAI provides below other characteristics of this growing industry:


According to the book "101 Best Businesses to Start", first year potential earnings for can be $40,000. Break even time, can be rapid, and you may be able to achieve profitability within three to six months of operations.


Related Sites:


Valuation Services: Janitorial and Cleaning Service Websites



Global Cleaning Association


Franchise Gator

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