Commercial Contract Cleaning

Start a commercial contract cleaning business

Are you interested in starting a commercial contract cleaning service? Don’t put it off any longer. If you want to learn more about a business niche that will always be in demand, you have come to the right place. Start right here and learn all about commercial cleaning.

Commercial cleaning means any cleaning job that takes place in an office or manufacturing space. It can be a small, medium or large job, although most people would refer to cleaning a small office as “office cleaning.”

Any office with fewer than ten employees is more likely to be referred to as office cleaning. It would only require one or two people to do the cleaning.

Commercial contract cleaning usually implies large office, retail or manufacturing spaces. Smaller jobs may not require a contract. The size of the space determines how you proceed.

Examples include:

  • Chain stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Factories
  • Lightweight manufacturing
  • Small retail
  • Hospitals
  • Warehouses

A commercial job will require you or your crews to be available for evening and weekend work.  These jobs typically entail janitorial tasks, such as emptying the trash, changing light bulbs, refilling receptacles, managing the keys and access, reporting damage, security responsibility for the duration of the job as well as general tidying up. Traditional cleaning duties include cleaning kitchen and bathrooms, mopping floors, wiping down walls and floorboards, cleaning all glass windows, mirrors, doors and dusting all work areas.

When starting a commercial contract cleaning business, what must you consider?

Every job will have a contract that details the specifics of the arrangement.

You need to consider: 

  • Start up costs
  • Legalities
  • Marketing costs
  • Materials
  • Equipment
  • Hiring Crews
  • Logistics
  • Accounting
  • Scheduling

In comparison to many start ups, commercial cleaning is fairly straightforward and simple to start. As with any new business, you will have to work hard the first year to land enough jobs to generate word of mouth advertising to keep you busy into the future. When starting out it is imperative that you be aggressive with your street smart marketing to keep the costs low and the returns high.

You can start working as soon as you get the word out to business owners. To get your business off the ground, you will need to take action.

Do all of the following:

  • Promote through your business website
  • Call prospects
  • Go door to door
  • Public flier
  • Issue Press Releases
  • Use social media sites
  • Advertise locally

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What do you charge?
Calculate your fee by the job, or by the square foot or both. My process includes a combination of both.

When I meet a prospective client at the job site for the purpose of calculating my fee and giving an estimate, the first thing I do is take a walkthrough to see the area. I take notes as I observe the space, cross checking my notes with the square footage. Then I give the client a range of quotes based on the job without revealing the square foot pricing. Pricing will also depend on the tasks that the client is requesting and the scale and scope of those requests.

Giving bids is an art-science, not an exact science. It is a skill that you will learn to do well the more you practice. At first, there is a steep learning curve. However, once you get the hang of it, going out on job estimates can be a fun and highly enjoyable part of the job. Nothing quite matches the buzz of increased self-esteem that comes from drumming up your own business, setting your cleaning price, getting out there to meet new clients and securing a new job. Try it! You’ll see.

Growing your cleaning business
At some point you will want to expand so you can run crews and focus primarily on growing your cleaning business. Transitioning from being a solo cleaner to running crews can be very tricky. Having a business expansion plan in place will help assure that your systems evolve in the best possible way, contributing to a successful transition. 

If you are, or have ever been, an office manager or team leader you know that adding more people quickly adds increasing complexity to the team, at every level. A plan is like a blueprint to guide you as the complexity grows. 

Expanding your business will require you to view it from broader perspectives. Among those are intentional, behavioral, cultural and social aspects. To make successful changes in your business, these aspects must be taken into account. During a transition from working alone to hiring and running crews, a healthy business plan will help protect and increase your current assets as you scale up. 

A commercial contract cleaning business is one of the best, most stable businesses you can start. The beauty of it is that the cleaning business will not be going extinct any time soon. People have been cleaning, and hiring others to clean, in the same essential way for hundreds of years.

Learn more about the commercial cleaning business

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