International Janitorial Cleaning Services Association   


The Cold Facts On Starting A Cleaning Or Janitorial Service

This Information on this page is provided because there are so many bogus "Starting A Cleaning Or Janitorial Service Websites" out there promoting how easy it is to start a cleaning or janitorial business. The information is not designed to discourage you from starting a cleaning or janitorial business, but TO INFORM YOU OF THE TRUTH. Please review the facts below before you decide to start your own cleaning business.  

1.Are you a self-starter?
You must have the self-discipline to plan, set goals, not procrastinate and stay focused.

2.What are your expectations of being a cleaning service owner?
Do you think you'll work less and have less stress and more money? Think again.

3.What are your financial goals?
Be prepared to work more for less money, at least in the beginning. Set up your retirement plan in the beginning and stick to it. Forget vacations and be sure to keep your health insurance going....now there is no one but you to take care of these things.

4.Can you plan and organize?
You'll be making countless decisions each day for your cleaning business. Can you make a workplace for yourself that is free from distractions, where you can think, plan and communicate? To be a success, you must combine your fantastic ideas and business tools with solid planning and organization. Success is never guaranteed in the cleaning industry and the variables and factors can sometimes be out of your control. But if you ask yourself honestly, before taking the plunge: Do I have what it takes to run a cleaning business? The answer should tell you if this is right for you.

95% of cleaning & janitorial businesses fail within the first five years? Why?


Here are a few reasons why:

1.Mistaking a business for a hobby.
Just because you "love" to and know how to clean doesn't mean you should/could start a cleaning business.

2.Poor planning.
Have you researched all aspects of start-up costs and on-going expenses? Do you know what your monthly expenses are going to be and do you have enough capital to carry you through for a few years? Do you realize the sheer number of hours you'll be working? Do you have the management skills to wear all the hats necessary? 


3.Only one product, one service or one big client.
Markets change and needs change...will you have the foresight, flexibility, resources and ingenuity to change with the times? Diversification will cushion you against the ebb and flow of business tides. What type of cleaning service are you going to start? Why are you deciding on that service?

4.Poor record-keeping and financial controls.
If you don't know how to keep records and do accounting and file taxes and other business filings, find an expert to do it for you! Learn how to review your revenue and expense reports each month so you always have your finger on the pulse of your cleaning business.

5.Poor money management.
Be prepared to plow all revenues back into your business for the first few years. No frills, no thrills, stick to a budget and a plan and forget vacations. Don't use any of the business income on personal spending and watch your business and personal debt, it can kill your new cleaning business faster than a speeding bullet. Avoid credit cards and business loans. If you are financing your cleaning business on a loan what interest are you paying on the borrowed money and how much higher will your estimates for cleaning services be compared to your competitors prices who are debt free? 

6.Competition.
Check out your competition. Know who they are, what they offer and what makes your products or services better (or worse). The cleaning and janitorial market is becoming more well trained each day and companies and franchises are now certified and have proper training for specific cleaning tasks. Every single one of your national franchise competitors (Jani-King, Coverall, Molly Maid, Jan-Pro, Vanguard, Clean-Net, Anago, ServiceMaster.. etc.) are certified cleaning or janitorial services, if your company is not certified the chances of you winning any large proposal against these companies is slim to none. Why?  You are competing with million dollar companies with unlimited amount of resources & staff. Though, lots of smaller companies that purchase cleaning do not want to deal with large million dollar franchise companies and prefer to purchase cleaning services from a smaller independent service owner, BUT.. they do want their service provider company to have proper training and be able to provide excellent cleaning services.  Get Certified Here! 

8.Poor time management.
Wearing many hats is a reality of an cleaning business owner. Learning how to manage your time means the difference between success and failure. A daily "To Do" list is essential, with the top priority items at the top of the list. Hire help for those things you don't know how to do or hate to do.

9.Lack of Marketing and Sales Skills
Keep track of what marketing/sales ideas work and don't work and quickly drop those that don't work. Hire a pro if you need to. Stay up to date on current trends and make sure you do not fall behind in new cleaning procedures & techniques.

10.Poor Customer Service.
Once you have cleaning & janitorial clients, you need to keep them. This means you have to pay attention to the customer, fulfill their needs in a timely manner, return their phone calls and emails promptly, bill them properly, utilize a win-win problem-solving attitude and BE NICE! Is your cleaning company certified in customer service? If not, it should be. 

11.Entrepreneurial burnout.
Owning your own cleaning or janitorial business requires a huge investment of time, money, energy and emotion. Take time off for yourself, you are your greatest asset!

A lot of people do not realize that cleaning service owners play a big role in our society. 

When you put the total number of cleaning and janitorial service owners together, they count as one of the biggest financial contributors to the world`s wealth. 

Knowing the obvious financial rewards and the important role to society of business owners, many individuals aspire to be entrepreneurs. The fact remains, however, that several cleaning business start-ups fail and never take-off from the ground because of one thing: the lack of adequate and sufficient knowledge on how to start and run a profitable cleaning business and improper training.  

With proper planning and research and the necessary professionals to help you in the areas that you are lacking in, accompanied by adequate capital and resources, and fed by imagination, energy, excitement and self-discipline, you could be one of the many successes here at IJCSA who will retire from their own company on a profitable pension plan. 

Matthew Carson | IJCSA 

Related: 50 Steps For Improving Your Cleaning Or Janitorial Business

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