How To Start a Janitorial Business From Scratch? [9 Easy Steps]

The janitorial cleaning business can be an extremely profitable business and you can even start it part-time as a home-based business or start at your own pace. The decision is yours.

But you need to take care of essential points and must be ready to answer the following questions before starting your new business:

  • What are your expectations with this business?
  • How will you initiate your business?
  • Which equipment are you going to use?
  • How will you get more customers in your business?

In this article, you’ll get the answer as we have highlighted the essential steps on how to start a janitorial business from scratch.

What is a Janitorial Business?

The janitorial business offers a range of commercial cleaning services that include creating and managing everyday cleaning tasks.

For example restroom cleaning, kitchen cleaning, hard surface floors sweeping and mopping, carpet vacuuming, dusting, and even emptying trash are some of the janitorial services.

Custodians, janitors or cleaners are expert professionals that offer janitorial services to the customers, and some of them even possess a certificate from training industries.

The main aim of these experts is to reduce the risk of cross-contamination and maintain clean and sanitary conditions.

What is the Difference Between the Janitorial and Commercial Cleaning Business?

Janitorial or housekeeping is one type of residential maid service and is not involved in cleaning commercial properties. On the other hand, commercial cleaning provides janitorial services to business or service contractors in various industries.

Janitorial BusinessCommercial Cleaning Business
Include small, everyday cleaning tasks.
For example: regular vacuuming of the carpeting.
Involves bigger jobs that are done a few times per year.
For example: deep carpet cleaning
Staff take care of

  • minor repairs; or
  • building maintenance;
  • facilities maintenance;
  • employed in-house as facility
Staff take care of:

  • larger scale premises;
  • additional health;
  • safety regulations;
  • Step-By-Step Guide on How To Start a Janitorial Business?

    Now, it’s time to see the steps that will help you to start your own janitorial cleaning business from scratch.

    9 Steps on How to Start a Janitorial Business

    Step 1: Develop a Business Plan

    Perfect planning is a must for any business owner who is planning to start a cleaning business. A plan is nothing but a roadmap that defines you to work as per the different stages.

    A business planning mentions critical information like business goals, cleaning equipment and supplies used, and even financial information like expected expenses and potential profits.

    Also, you need to list the cleaning equipment that are essential for your cleaning business. Your plan becomes perfect if you include the following metrics:

    • Executive summary of Business
    • Management and Operating Plan
    • Competitive Analysis
    • Market Analysis and Marketing Plan
    • Financial Plan
    • Services you offer
    • Employee titles

    Download Free Templates For Creating Business Plan

    One of the essential benefits of having a plan for a business is that you can easily find potential customers for your commercial cleaning business.

    So, if you do not have appropriate planning, there are more chances of your business falling, affecting a lot in this competitive world.

    Step 2: Decide For a Perfect Business Model

    The next step is to define the business structure. The perfect and responsive business model helps you to deal with branding strategy and enhance your business profitability to a great extent.

    You’ll come across many business models that you can include in your business:

    • Advertising business model: In this model, you can create interactive content that people want to consume and use display ads to monetize your business.
    • Affiliate marketing business model: This business model will help you to know the recommended products or services in exchange for a commission.
    • Franchising business model: It’s an offline model which allows you to sell your products or services for a royalty.
    • Freemium business model: Here, you give away an aspect of your product or service for free, then you charge for the premium version or for add-on features.
    • Razor blade business model: This business model is selling a particular aspect of your product at below cost to sell high volumes of another component of that product.
    • Reverse razor blade business model: Unlike razor blade model, it allows you to sell a low-margin product at the outset, you sell a high-margin product upfront and offer sales of low-margin products down the line.
    • Subscription business model: Your customers pay a monthly fee to continue using your product or service. This is incredibly common for SaaS and content-driven small businesses.
    • Agency business model: The agency model involves generating quality leads and selling them on services and marketing campaigns.
    • Along with the business model, you, as a business owner, need to define the flat fee or set an hourly rate for your cleaning service as per the industry standards. The reason behind it is that your budget plays a significant role in defining the business structure.

      You need to consult an expert for determining budget-related information like revenue requirements. For example, how much money is required to start your own cleaning business from scratch?

      Generally, you need to start with a lesser amount and expand your services as time and business progress. Moreover, you need to set an hourly rate for checking account overhead, labour charges, cleaning supply, and equipment costs.

      You can effectively decide to charge a flat rate to your customers if you are familiar with the cleaning procedures and time management to clean homes in the local area. In addition, customers are showing more interest in flat rates rather than hourly rates.

      The customers quickly get a complete idea of your cleaning service cost before the services are rendered. Therefore, you need to do detailed research to analyze the perfect pricing strategy to select for your business.

      Finally, the aspect that you need to consider in determining how the customers will pay you. There are many smartphone apps, web pages, and other interactive tools available for generating invoicing and bills for customers.

      Step 3: Select Your Suitable Business Legal Entity

      Below, we’ve explained each of these popular business entity types based on your business structure.

      • Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is the simplest business entity, with one person (or a married couple) as the sole owner and operator of the business.
      • Partnership: Partnerships have two or more business owners. There are two kinds of partnerships: general partnerships, or GPs, and limited partnerships, or LPs.
      • Limited partnership: A limited partnership, or LP, is a registered business entity. To form a limited partnership, therefore, you must file paperwork with the state.
      • C corporation: It is an independent legal entity that exists separately from the company’s owners. For example, shareholders (the owners), a board of directors, and officers have control over the corporation.
      • S corporation: It preserves the limited liability that comes with a C corporation but is a pass-through entity for tax purposes.
      • Limited liability company: It takes positive features from each of the other business entity types. Like corporations, LLCs offer limited liability protections.

      Step 4: Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start From Scratch

      The next essential step to consider is to decide whether you need to start your business from scratch or need someone who can help you in partnership to start the business.

      If you start your commercial cleaning business from scratch, it will be a below-investment and low-overhead business type. It is a business that can be recommended to anyone who possesses strong skills to decide.

      A janitorial cleaning business is one type of small business to start, and it has fewer startup costs on the initial stage with high-profit margins. Also, it’s easy to operate and can adopt today’s standard of living.

      On the other hand, a cleaning franchise is an option that allows you to start the company smoothly and start offering effective cleaning solutions to the customers.

      Step 5: Choose a Business Name and Register Your Business

      Giving a name to your valuable business is one of the essential things that you need to perform. Generally, it helps you to perform legal operations to enhance your business strength and productivity.

      The business name must be unique and quickly indicate that you are offering cleaning services considerably.

      Once your business name is ready, you need to register the business locally and federally mandatorily. For opening a business name account in a bank, you need to file an Assumed Name Certificate.

      So, file the certificate to the local County Clerk’s Office if you will operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

      Step 6: Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

      Now, it’s time to decide which professional cleaning services you need to include in your business. Such essential services may require additional skills and training to use high-quality service or equipment and office cleaning supplies.
      In addition to it, you need to perform advanced research on job areas like:

      • Window washing cleaning
      • Disaster cleaning and restoration
      • Blind cleaning
      • Floor coverings area
      • Pressure washing
      • Restroom cleaning
      • Chimney sweeping
      • Ceiling and wall cleaning
      • Post-death and trauma cleaning

      Janitorial businesses can do commercial and residential cleaning. Therefore, the jobs associated with the maid service or janitorial service have a stable income

      In addition to it, you need to consider the following things for your cleaning service.

      • Vacuum cleaner
      • Good-working broom
      • One or more bucket
      • Cloth rags
      • White rags for dusting
      • Rubber gloves, aprons, coveralls
      • Quality glass cleaner
      • A cleanser for bathtub and washbasin
      • Hard water stain remover
      • Bags to put clean rags and dirty rags
      • Mr. Clean or Spic and Span for floor cleaning
      • Phone calls for janitorial service repairing
      • Business cards
      • Good fliers

      To enhance business income, you need to make sure of the essential services and supplies available in your business to get more satisfaction from customers.

      Step 7: Purchase the Necessary Equipment and Supplies

      Your janitorial business is incomplete without having the necessary equipment and supplies. To enhance the customer service and business skills, you need to involve essential supplies like:

      • Cleaning uniforms or aprons
      • Disinfectants
      • House cleaning chemicals such as window cleaner, paper towels, sponges and cloths, and scrubbing brushes; latex or nitrile gloves;
      • Equipment such as dusters and a vacuum cleaner

      However, you will come across multiple customers who are not favouring using harsh chemicals in their homes. So, you need to consider eco-friendly cleaning agents like organic and green products that are less harsh on the human body – especially for people with asthma and allergies.

      You can purchase the equipment or cleaning products at retailers like Walmart or grocery stores in the initial stage. And once your company grows, you can navigate to buy large bulk orders from a janitorial supply center.

      Renting equipment is a perfect choice for cleaning business startups until you get used to or secondhand equipment with proper functionality very cheaply for your business.

      Step 8: Include Cleaning Software To Run Your Operations Smoothly

      It becomes quite a time-consuming activity for you to manage multiple jobs manually. Some of the activities include house cleaning work, taking permits, managing cleaning supplies, and many others.

      Also, you need to take care of essential supplies and customer needs. It becomes mandatory to track your budget, view employee status, generate invoices and billing, and most importantly, plan for business fees.

      You can automate such essential tasks using cleaning software. In addition, the software plays a vital role in organizing and overseeing your business with minimal stress and getting rid of pen-and-paper methodology.

      By including cleaning software in your business like FieldCamp, you can easily manage your employees and their related schedule with a single click. In addition to it, you can easily make customer lists, additional notes and even perform payment processing with ease.

      To earn more reputation in your business, cleaning business management software plays a vital role in creating a marketing strategy. Additionally, you can grab the features like reviews, marketing automation, customer surveys, & more.

      FieldCamp allows you to easily create job schedules for your employees and manage your business operations with ease.

      Once your business branding is fulfilled to streamline business operation, you can effectively use scheduling software and uniforms that your employees wear to enhance your company’s image to a great extent.

      Try FieldCamp Free Now. Pick a Pricing Plan Later.

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      Step 9: Market Your Business

      For marketing your cleaning business, having an online social media presence is an essential factor. Nowadays, Facebook and Instagram are hitting the market.

      You can easily reach out to customers by providing all the cleaning services you offer through a website or sharing discount coupons. So, the potential customers who value your company will eventually share the posts on their accounts, and their connections will know about your business. So, it will enhance your business performance and productivity.

      You can even use ads of the janitorial services in your local newspapers, websites, telephone directories, and any similar types of marketing materials you may have received or seen.

      You need to make sure that everyone is aware of starting a new business. It is made possible by using word of mouth or sending postcards, letters, emails, or flyers. Also, you can announce your new company to friends, family and business acquaintances.

      One of the best recommendations is to create a professional flier just similar to the business card. Once your fliers are ready, you can eventually place them on bulletin boards or display them.

      These are the leading steps that you can keep in mind when starting your janitorial cleaning business as one of your primary goals.

      Common Mistakes To Avoid Before Starting a Janitorial Business

      Many times, it happens that many business owners make mistakes before starting a new business. We’ve compiled some of the common mistakes that you need to avoid.

      • Failure to plan: In your business plan, never make a mistake to incorporate information that may lead to big confusion. Your planning must be accurate and help to achieve your goals effectively.
      • Not creating a professional website: Having a business website is essential for any business. You must create a website that makes it easy for your customers to know your service offerings.
      • Providing services to the wrong customers: Identifying your target market is an essential factor that you need to consider before starting your business.
      • Not having a marketing plan: To bring more customers to the business is the primary motto of any business. Therefore, you must build a robust marketing strategy that helps you do proper marketing for your business.

      Still, do you have any questions related to the janitorial cleaning business? Don’t worry; we have come up with frequently asked questions in the next section.

      Run Your Janitorial Business Smoothly

      FieldCamp is an FSM software that makes it easy for you to assign jobs to your cleaners and enhance your business profits


      To start a janitorial cleaning business, there are common costs associated like:

      • Licensing and insurance;
      • Equipment and products;
      • Number of employees;
      • Marketing investment.

      Yes, it is profitable because it includes relatively low start-up costs and a virtually unending list of potential customers (offices, hospitals, schools and restaurants) for building a reputation among the cleaning industry.

      Typically, it is based on the customer needs and business demand of cleaning or janitorial service. If we talk about average earnings, it can easily earn up to $100,000 every month.

      On the bottom line, if you plan to start a cleaning business, then it’s a good idea and a profitable business.

      Just look at each of the detailed steps mentioned in the article and take your valuable time to plan on it. First, you need to analyze your competitors and determine the customer demands to be on top of the market.

      Once your janitorial business is ready, you can enhance business performance and employee productivity using FieldCamp. FieldCamp is a FSM software that helps to enhance your business profits and streamline your business operations quickly. In addition, you can easily keep track of your field service technicians by sending job details. By adopting FieldCamp in your business, you can easily manage your whole janitorial business with your hands.