Pros and Cons Of Starting A Cleaning Business
The cleaning industry is worth billions of dollars and is continued to grow exponentially during the foreseeable future. If you ask the majority of the people, cleaning is something we hate to do. We wish if there was someone else who would take care of the cleaning for us. And if we have the money, we would rather pay someone than do it ourselves. Cleaning is a chore we never want to get to until we really have to do it, like when friends or family is visiting, when we are about to sell the house, when there is no option but to clean, etc.
The best thing about the cleaning industry is that it is one of the few industries which have not been greatly affected by the Covid-19. Fortunately, my cleaning business has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic which I am very thankful for. There has been an increase in disinfection cleaning services, fogging, etc due to the Covid-19 which has helped a lot of established cleaning companies.
The cleaning service is more of a necessity meaning that as long as there are commercial premises and houses, cleaners will always have work unless cleaning robots takes over all the cleaning jobs. There are many pros and cons of starting a cleaning business and in this article, we will evaluate whether starting a cleaning business is worth it.
Firstly, we look at the pros of starting a cleaning business:
Very low startup cost: The cleaning business requires minimal capital meaning that you can start the business for a few hundred dollars or so. If you only want to provide general house cleaning and office cleaning, you can provide the service with only microfibre cloths, chemicals, cleaning accessories, vacuum and a mop. These equipment and products can be purchased for a few hundred dollars which makes it a very affordable business that anyone can get into. The main reason that I initially got into cleaning industry myself was the fact that it was so cheap to get into. I wanted to experience running a business for the cheapest possible capital and cleaning was at the top of the list.
Variable costs are very low: the running costs of a cleaning business is very low. You do not need a lot of equipment and products as mentioned previously. If you’d like to provide specialised cleaning services such as carpet steam extraction, abseiling window cleaning, etc then yes, you would need to purchase expensive equipment but if not you can carry out the cleaning service for a very cheap cost. You can use the same products and equipment at various different location and jobs, which makes the variable cost very low even as the number of jobs you service grows.
Quick startup: If you want to, you can start the cleaning business within a matter of days. Once you get the business registration, insurances, equipment, products, social media page, website, etc, you are good to go. You just need to advertise and then you can get on with carrying out the cleaning service within a matter of days.
You can work from home: another great incentive to get into the cleaning industry is that you can work from home. You do not need to lease an office to get started. In order to provide the cleaning service, you would be heading over to your client’s premises. So an office is not really required. My business has grown so much and we still did not lease an office as we can get everything done either online or from a home-office.
You can do all the work by yourself: you can carry out the cleaning, the management, accounts, answering the phones, etc everything by yourself. You do not need a big team to carry out the cleaning service as long as you are able to manage everything. This is another advantage why people decide on starting a cleaning business as they like to be able to control everything by themselves.
Flexible working hours: whenever you’d feel like working, you can pretty much do the work. If you just want to earn a few thousand dollars a month, you can just do a few cleanings per week and then you can earn that much. You do not have to work a lot of long hours if you do not really want to. At the end of the day, it depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to grow big, you would need to work longer hours but if you’d like the freedom of flexible hours, you just can do a few hours of work everyday.
Limited experience required: most people have some sort of experience cleaning by themselves. If you have common sense and a good understanding of what the client requires, you can easily do so without a lot of experience. Unless it is a specialized cleaning service, you really do not need a lot of experience. If you are to provide a specialized service such as flood restoration, carpet steam cleaning and stain removal, etc you definitely need to know and understand before you carry out the work. But if it is a general cleaning service that you provide, then a general understanding of cleaning & an online self-training is more than enough.
Can be profitable quickly: given the low cost to start up and the low variable costs, it makes it very easy to be profitable. You do not have to invest thousands of dollars and get loans which means that with a few cleaning contracts or regular house cleaning work, you can be profitable very quickly.
Online marketing is cheaper: given that the industry has been well established, the online marketing is cheaper comparatively. There are many Lead Generation companies such as Hipages, Gumtree, Oneflare, etc which works to find out jobs for cleaners & cleaning companies. This means that you do not have to spend heavily on marketing your business online unless you want to grow very big.
Customer Relationship Management Softwares: as mentioned above, as the cleaning industry is well established, there are many companies that have developed customer relationship management softwares & all inclusive cleaning softwares to manage everything related to cleaning from legislation, terms of service, quoting, accounting, pricing, cleaning proposal, etc. This makes it very easy as you do not have to buy many different softwares but can stick with one software which is a full solution for whatever you may require when you run the business.
Regular income: if you manage weekly office and house cleaning contracts, you can easily build up a regular income stream. The best thing about these regular contracts is that they require the cleaning service every week or few times a week which means that it would be a regular stream of income for you. And when you manage to get more of the regular cleaning contracts, you can build up a regular income stream which will bring in great cash flow.
Recession proof: cleaning businesses usually survive well even during economic downturns. As mentioned previously, even with the Covid-19 impact and the recession many countries face, they still require cleaning services as it is more of a necessity. There will definitely be some sort of an impact when there is a recession such as cutting down on cleaning service or finding a cheaper cleaning company but usually the impacts are limited which makes it a very favorable industry to be in.
Demand for cleaners increase: every year, the cleaning industry has been growing. This makes it an amazing industry to be in. With the continuous growth in the industry, more companies invest in coming up with technological advancements for cleaners which helps them to do the cleaning much more efficiently. There are machine floor scrubbers which has sensors on them and can operate by themselves which helps to cut down on the time cleaners have to spend walking behind floor scrubbers.
Unlimited income potential: whatever you desire, you can make in the cleaning industry. If you just want $1000 a week and manage only a few cleaning services every week and you can do that easily. If you want to do $100k a month, you can have many cleaners in your team and do so as well. I grew my cleaning business to $100k a month by having a big team working for me. This is what I wanted to achieve, and we will continue to grow in the years to come.
Work close to your home: if you do not want to travel too far and only service cleaning jobs near your home, you can easily do that. Cleaning industry is very favorable for parents with kids as they can carry out few cleaning services a day and be back home to spend quality time with their family. In any given geographic location, there are thousands of homes and businesses that require the cleaning and if you market your service properly and provide a quality cleaning service, you can have a lot of cleaning jobs near your home.
Now that we have gone on and on about the advantages of running a cleaning business, it is time to talk about the cons of cleaning businesses.
Very low start up cost: as you might notice, this point is in both the pros as well as the cons of stating a cleaning business. As the start up cost is so low, there are thousands of cleaners and cleaning companies in a given geographical location. This means that there are many competitors in the industry and you have to really up your game to ensure that your competition is not chosen over you. The barriers to entry is so low that every week there are many cleaning companies who are starting up.
Tough physical work: providing a cleaning service requires you to do a lot of work. You have to wipe down surfaces, clean toilets, clean the floors, etc for each premises you service. If you work too hard, you can easily burn out from over-working. Also, if you do operate big machinery such as carpet cleaning machines, etc, you can get tired very easily as they are quite heavy. Some work such as window cleaning is carried out outdoors, so if it is a very hot day, it can take a big toll on you.
Stressful: if you are running a cleaning business, it is stressful as any other business. You have to manage workers, manage a lot of complaints that could come your way, loss of income from losing contracts, accounting, taxation, creating proposals, etc. It is definitely a stressful business to be in if you do not manage it properly as there are many variables you need to work on.
Competing on pricing: as there are so little barriers to entry & and low start up cost, you are always competing on pricing with a cheaper competitor. Cleaners would start offering the same service for half the price you charge and in order to keep a contract, we would have to provide better rates or we would end up losing the contract. I had a similar experience last month where a client we have been servicing for few years were offered a pricing for half what we charge and we had to reduce the rates considerably in order to keep it. There was no issues with the quality of the cleaning service. However, the fact that there are so many cheaper cleaners operating show that it is a very price dependent industry.
When you look at the list above, you can clearly see the pros outweighs the cons of running a cleaning business. Any industry will definitely have disadvantages but when you compare both, I would highly recommend starting a cleaning business as it provides great income potential. I have grown my cleaning business from a few thousand dollars a month to $100k a month within a matter of years which makes it a very lucrative industry to be in if you understand the business.
I am here to help you with any questions you may have.