How to start
a janitorial business

How to start a janitorial cleaning business

So you're interested in learning how to start a janitorial business? First, start by considering the difference between a janitorial business and a house or office cleaning business. Often these terms are conflated. Many people mean the same thing in their minds when they say office cleaning and janitorial service, but which do they mean if they do not make the distinction?

Other terms that are used are commercial cleaning and industrial maintenance. Maintenance and cleaning duties are often co-mingled when employed by in house staff, but would be considered separate services by an independent cleaning service.

A Janitorial service business by our definition refers to cleaning industrial spaces or larger office buildings. Specifics of a janitorial business include

  • Full-time long term cleaning contracts.
  • Responsibilities such as security and privacy procedures.
  • Responsible for adhering to government standards.
  • Operating full-time or part-time crews.



An office cleaning business can focus on just individual office or small complexes and (these days, more frequently) an office in someone's home. House cleaning or home cleaning usually means cleaning one home at a time although some houses can be quite large and may take all day.

It is important that you consider what type of janitorial business you really want. Do you want to clean individual residences? Do you want to clean small offices, such as a dentist or lawyer's office? Or are you actually picturing running crews through a large manufacturing plant overnight?

Obviously it takes a lot more planning, training, money and time to launch a janitorial service business than just a small time office cleaning business.


Planning.
You will be dealing with more legal requirements and industry standards/ regulations and this will take a lot more  planning than cleaning someones home which one can plan and train for fairly quickly. If you need work fast (and many people that come our way do) then you may 
want to start with a house or office cleaning business first and scale up in the future. 


Training.
You will most likely have to get some in-person training and earn a certification to clean large scale spaces. Possibly you have already worked as cleaning professional for a janitorial company and want to start your own. If so, you are good shape. If you have not done so, you may want consider getting experience for six months to a year in order to observe first hand how a commercial cleaning service works. That is the best training you can do.


Start up financing.
You will need to purchase equipment and lease trucks and have office space, so you will probably need business credit. That is why starting a house cleaning business is so much easier, all you need is some cleaning supplies and the vehicle you already own. Most of the tools you will need you probably already have. When I started, I did not even own a car or a vacuum and I was able to get 10 clients right away and start working within weeks. 

To wrap up, make sure you understand which niche of the cleaning business you want to start and learn as much as you can before you commit. Try the job out first, by working for a cleaning company to make sure you want commit to it.


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