How To Start a Commercial Cleaning Business in 2021 – Everything You Need To Know

As per the recent survey by the Bureau of Labour Statistic, United States, the commercial cleaning business has reached $46 billion in the year 2020 and will grow by 10% by 2026.

By looking at this number, if you have decided to start your new commercial cleaning business, that’s great. It’s the right decision and you have landed at the right place.

We have come up with a complete guide on how to start a commercial cleaning business from scratch. This article covers all the essentials steps that mention the basic information about the business and also the reasons for starting a commercial cleaning business. Let’s get started.

Basics About a Commercial Cleaning Business

A commercial cleaning business provides cleaning services to office buildings, hotels & restaurants, banks, shopping malls, medical offices, and other commercial buildings. The business is solely responsible to offer services in emergency situations like a fire or flood clean-up.

The best part of this business is that they use industrial equipment to clean things that have succumbed to severe water, or other types of damage.

Some of the best examples include cleaning up commercial waste, hazardous items, office building waste, and even some heavy cleaning.

How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business From Scratch?

Let us now move further to understand the basic steps that will help you to start your commercial cleaning business.

Basic Steps to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business

Step 1: Write Your Business Plan

To start a new commercial cleaning business, the first step is to write a business plan. A business plan is simply a roadmap for your business to define a path to success. In your business plan, you should include the following information:

  • Company information like business name, contact information, and goals
  • The target market for your business (whether commercial buildings or larger buildings)
  • Regular expenses that are mandatory for your business to run
  • List of service offering
  • Rates for your services

The list does not end here. You can include other information related to your business and make ready a robust business plan.

Step 2: Register Your Business and Get Insurance

Business registration is mandatory for any business, whether small or large.

It is a must to define the business structure of your commercial cleaning business to register the company. You need to select whether you need to go for a sole proprietorship or opt for a commercial cleaning franchise.

If you plan to start a new business with more than two people or a partner, you may want to have a strong partnership.

Your company becomes a limited liability company (LLC) with a legal business license and that can efficiently deal with medium or higher-risk business factors.

For your commercial cleaning company, insurance is a must that helps you to deal to overcome the risk factors. You can opt for general liability insurance that covers the accidental damages caused to employees or property.

Moreover, to get rid of high-risk operations before and after working hours, a cleaning business insurance policy plays a vital role. Such insurance will take over the responsibility to cover the bill, on-the-job injuries, and even damaged business vehicles in an accident case.

Step 3: Build Your Service List and Pricing

Making a selection of the services is a time-consuming, but most important task while starting a new cleaning business.

The services that you could include in your business should be approachable and problem-solving to attract more customers. For that, you need first to identify the list of services that your competitors already possess and identify the difference to know which services are lacking.

For example, a ceiling cleaning service is one such service that you can include in your business as many business owners do not include it in their business.

Apart from these, there are many ordinary things that you can offer to your future customers:

  • Carpet cleaning services
  • Window cleaning services
  • High dusting services
  • Power washing services
  • Floor waxing and restoration
  • Flood cleanup
  • Fire restoration
  • Disinfecting Services

As a cleaning business owner, it depends on you which services you want to add or remove as per the running market scenario, customer demand, and skills and specialization you possess.

Along with the services list, you must be ready with the pricing structure of each of the services you offer. The price typically impacts your business growth, so you should set your reasonable rate so that there exists customer enhancement to a great extent.

Labour costs, overhead, and markup are also the metrics you can include in your commercial cleaning services’ pricing structure.

Step 4: Identify the List of Cleaning Equipment to Purchase

Cleaning equipment plays a significant role in the commercial business, especially for cleaning professionals. Without the equipment, your commercial cleaning business has no value.

To succeed in your cleaning industry, you must have the right tools, better supplies, and running equipment. Even the startup costs to start a new business are relatively low initially, but the charges increase as the business grows.

You need to divide the cleaning equipment into two main categories:

  • Items that you’ll use regularly: Rags, cloths, mops, gloves, and other all-purpose cleaners
  • Items that will last for years: truck, cart, trolleys, vacuum cleaners, and others

Once all your equipment list is ready, you can start purchasing the equipment as the need arises, which helps manage the supplies easier.

Step 5: Find Clients and Get Contracts

Finding the customers for your cleaning business is one of the most challenging tasks. But, if applied with the right methods, you can make it easier. Usually, companies use either of the following methods for getting more customers.

1 – Cold-calling

Cold-calling is a method where you or your small business administration team search for the clients on their own and make a call to them to offer various cleaning solutions.

The commercial cleaners can effectively make use of property managers or cold-calling realtors for finding clients.

A cold-calling method is a practical approach through which the first call you dial might close your deal to find contracts.

2 – Marketing

Unlike cold-calling, a marketing method is an approach where your clients find you and call you.

Marketing helps you get more and more customers by applying various tactics like social media ads, referrals, networking, flyers, and many more.

Below are some of the best tips that help you market your business in a well-defined way:

  • Making an official home service website including services list you offer
  • Highlight yourself in business directories either locally or globally
  • Create a Google My Business listing
  • Create Facebook and Instagram business accounts
  • Make a strong connection with realtors and property management industries
  • Start a referral program and ask your customers for referrals
  • Invest in T-shirt or uniform campaigns
  • Branding your vehicle with the business name and contact information
  • Make use of Local Service Ads (LSAs) and digital ads

Step 6: Brand Your Business

When we talk about branding, the first thing that comes in our mind is the business logo. The logo is an essential component in your business plan when someone is planning to start a cleaning business.

Apart from its design structure, the logo helps you enhance your business branding to a great extent.

As a business owner, you need to consider which features or services to include that are different from your competitors. Some of the factors you can consider are:

  • Effective pricing structure
  • Vetted and certified staff
  • Online appointment booking
  • Automated invoice/billing system
  • Cleaning supplies used
  • Environmentally friendly

For business branding, the value proposition is another essential aspect that helps you opt for the services to solve your customers’ problems or pain points.

So, you can easily use such value propositions in the form of short sentences, which will help you enhance your business’s marketing strategies. You can even post it on social media accounts and websites to improve business productivity and customer satisfaction.

You may also like to read:
Which is the Best Online Booking System For Cleaning Service?

Step 7: Get to Work

The final step where all you and your employees start working after an appropriate business plan is ready.

Starting a commercial cleaning business is a time-consuming process, but getting the contracts also takes more time. So, whatever the above steps we have seen are not just that you quickly set and forget.

The commercial cleaning companies can continue dealing with growing networks, market your business, applying cold-calling, view the reviews, and finally make changes in your pricing.

On receiving the first contract from your clients, you need to keep in mind the services customers have shown interest in.

Consider the scenario that the customer’s request is not available in your business, but you are willing to offer that service. You need to think and analyze the service that your customer needs.

You need to decide whether you are ready to optimize your business’s value proposition and fulfill the promise you have to your clients.

One of the best recommendations is that you can even take a photo before and after every cleaning job your employee performs. Such images help you to provide a demonstration of cleaning jobs to new clients.

Step 8: Make a Master Plan for Future

For starting a commercial cleaning business, the essential aspect to include in your business plan is to consider the future.

The business owners should ask themselves the essential questions mentioned below before creating a master plan.

  • To what extent do you need to expand your business?
  • What will be the timing limit for my business to run?
  • What is the total number of contracts that I can handle daily?
  • Do I need any business partners for my business in the future?

One of the best recommendations is to set up a robust long-term business goal that will help you work in a more precise way. Moreover, it becomes a boon for an entrepreneur to deal with inevitable challenges as they come by.

So, we have seen the steps that will help your cleaning company start from scratch. You just need to make sure that all the steps are as per your business needs and gain customer experience on a large scale.

Now, let us focus on the key reasons that will enable you to start a cleaning business in the next section.

5 Reasons to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business in 2021

What are the Reasons to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business?

1 – You’ll Require Minimum Start-up Costs

For starting a commercial cleaning business, a business owner doesn’t need to rent office space on the initial level. You can easily do all the sales and marketing platforms like leading social media platforms like Facebook and craigslist.

You can quickly initiate with fewer cleaning products and high-quality services that cost under $100 on average. Eventually, you can start working by sending your workers to customers near you and make them your permanent clients.

2 – Start Your Business Even With One Person

The next reason to start a commercial cleaning business is that you can even start with one person.

The commercial cleaning business is a one-person business, and it can quickly scale up as you build or enhance your customer base. In addition to it, the business owners can easily set their hours.

The business owners can easily find the perfect schedule and efficiently manage the company growth and investment as the customer increases.

So, once you have complete control over your service’s responsibilities, you can easily enhance the company’s success.

3 – Simple Product Offering

Usually, every office building or commercial building is in deep demand of janitorial service, and you can quickly provide the benefits to the clients.

As an entrepreneur, whatever decision you make for the business (franchise or startup), there are some shared and straightforward services like:

  • Emptying wastebaskets
  • Cleaning bathrooms
  • Typical sweeping and mopping

By having simple and small products initially, you can easily make them enhance your business productivity.

4 – Repeat Business

Commercial cleaning is a type of business that involves service that continues for a long time.

In simple words, commercial cleaning involves services that you can use multiple times with different clients. It brings a strong consistency to your business and regular income to a great extent.

5 – Entry-Level Workforce

The owners of commercial cleaning businesses can usually do all the work on their own. But by hiring people, you can efficiently concentrate more on other work, and eventually, there will be an increase in your income.

The most exciting part of this business is that your employees do not require any specific education, degree, or training type. So, you do not need to invest more in high-costing training.

In commercial cleaning, once your office is closed, most of the work is completed. You can efficiently recruit the people who require an evening schedule or are interested in working with an additional job.

So, these are the common and best reasons to start your business with ease. In case, if you have any questions related to the commercial cleaning business, we have highlighted some frequently asked questions in the next section.


For starting a commercial cleaning business, the cost is relatively minimal. Initially, it can cost less than $500, and it can extend up to $100000 for large-scale industry.

Yes, it’s a profitable business because it includes cleaning services that are in high demand. In addition to it, cleaning businesses have many business growth opportunities.

Following are the ways that you can use to market your commercial cleaning company:

  • Know your target audience
  • Brand creation
  • Building a conversion-focused website
  • Invest in pay per click advertising
  • Utilizing social media platforms
  • Expanding your network
  • Get an appropriate certification

At an initial stage, the cost for the business can range from $30,000 to $50,000 a year. If you have hired other cleaners, then the values range from $50,000 to $70,000. However, cleaning businesses that offer commercial aspects can easily generate more revenues and can make over $100,000 a year.


Starting a cleaning business for commercial purposes is a challenging job. But by applying accurate and responsive methods can help you get rid of such complex issues.

Someone can quickly start the business on its own and make the company gain more profit margins without spending a lot of time and money. But it’s mandatory to have a business license and liability insurance. It is possible only if you follow the steps that we have mentioned in this article.

Additionally, we have also specified the top reasons that will make your mindset start your cleaning business with minimal business expenses. So, take your valuable time reading this article and start your business as per your requirements.

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