How To Start a Janitorial Business in 2021? – A Step-By-Step Guide

The number of businesses in the Janitorial Services industry in the US has grown 5.3% per year on average over the five years between 2016 – 2021 – IBIS World.

By looking at these numbers, you might have set your mind to start your own janitorial business. But confused about where to start and how to proceed ahead? Don’t worry! This article is for you.

The cleaning businesses involve jobs for multiple industries like admin & support services, educational services, and even healthcare.

Detailed information with a step-by-step guide on how to start a janitorial business is introduced in this blog post. Just take your valuable time to view each of the essential steps and make your business great. So, let’s get started.

Overview of Janitorial Business

The janitorial business offers a range of commercial cleaning services that include small, everyday cleaning tasks. The firm provides its essential services to office buildings, hospitals, universities, and even corporate cleaning companies.

First, you need to understand the difference between the janitorial and commercial cleaning business. 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 for business or service contractors in a variety of industries.

You can easily enhance the beauty of your office or provide an inspiring facility that is always ready for clients, customers, and even business associates.

The cleaners are expert professionals that offer janitorial services to the clients by having 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.

These services typically include the following:

  • Restroom cleaning
  • Cleaning of worker break rooms or kitchens
  • Sweeping and mopping of hard surface floors
  • Vacuuming of the carpet
  • Dusting
  • Trash removal

Custodians, janitors, or cleaners are the shared names of the workers working in the janitorial business.

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 business from scratch.

9 Steps to Start a Janitorial Business

1 – Develop a Business Plan

For starting a cleaning business, perfect planning is a must. 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 make a list of those items that are important to deal with the maid services in your cleaning industry. 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
  • Job description

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 falling down your business, affecting a lot in this competitive world.

2 – Develop a Business Model and Set Cleaning Rates

Now, it’s high time to define and build a brand for your business. Applying an accurate branding strategy helps you enhance your business profitability and business growth to a great extent.

Along with the business model, you 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.

Entrepreneurs, nowadays, need to consult an expert for determining budget-related information like revenue requirements. For example, how much money is required for starting a new business from scratch?

Generally, you need to start with a lesser amount and expand your services as time and business progress. Alternatively, you can include unique and high-quality cleaning service or janitorial service in such a way that it is not available in your local market or competitors.

Apart from this, you need to set an hourly rate for checking account overhead, labor charges, cleaning supply, and equipment costs. Additional charges like gas usage need to be considered for driving to the client’s home or business.

You can effectively charge a flat rate to your customers if familiar with the cleaning procedures and time management to clean homes or small businesses in the local area. Customers are showing more interest in flat rates rather than hourly rates.

The clients can quickly get a complete idea of your cleaning service cost before the services are rendered. The owners need to do detailed research to analyze the perfect pricing strategy to select for their 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 clients.

3 – Define a Business Name and Register Your Business

Giving a name to your valuable business is the first and foremost thing that a business owner needs 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 the type of cleaning services to a great extent.

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.

4 – Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start From Scratch

The next essential step to consider in deciding 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 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 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 your business, and that can adopt today’s standard of living.

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

5 – 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 clients who are not in favor of 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.

In the initial stage, the owners can purchase the equipment or cleaning products at retailers like Walmart or grocery. 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 developing cleaning startups until you get used to or secondhand equipment with useful functionality very cheaply for your business.

6 – Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

For starting a cleaning business, a legal entity plays a mandatory role. It depicts whether your business is either a sole proprietor, going to form a corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

A cleaning business owner can easily opt for multiple taxes and legal protections as per the company’s needs. He/she can consult with a tax or legal expert to know the benefits of different entities and decide to select a commodity for the business.

Moreover, the owners need to have a janitorial bond and purchase general liability insurance or business insurance from a government authorities’ website.

Consider the scenario that your employee has stolen or broken the asset while working on the job site; then the bond plays a vital role to save you by replacing the property.

Likewise, for adding credibility to your business, liability insurance comes into action. It protects your company if you or your employees destroy or damage customers’ valuable property while cleaning.

7 – 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 clients 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 and enhance your business performance and productivity.

The cleaning business owners or service contractors 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 or a cleaning service contractor 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 to announce a 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 business cards are ready, you can eventually place them on bulletin boards or display them.

8 – 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 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 or residential cleaning. The jobs associated with the maid service or janitorial service have a stable income, and for that reason, you need to enhance your customer on a large scale.

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 cleaner 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 clients.

9 – Include Cleaning Software To Run Your Operations Smoothly

As a cleaning company owner, it becomes quite time-consuming activity to manage multiple jobs manually. Some of them are house cleaning work, taking permits, managing cleaning supplies, and many others.

Also, business owners 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. 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, 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.

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

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


There are some expected startup costs for janitorial businesses that need to be considered. They are business license, permit & business registration fees, insurance, cleaning supplies, equipment required, marketing costs, and labor costs.

As per the recent survey and expert suggestion, it costs up to $2000 of initial cost, and net profit is included in the general budget constraints.

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

Typically, it is based on the customer needs and business demand of cleaning or janitorial service to include in your business. If we talk about average earnings, it can easily earn up to $100,000 every month. You can earn money daily as you start receiving the payment from the customers as per the work.


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.

Even after reading this blog post, you can quickly get the first customers for your janitorial business and make your business great.