Small Business Brief

Cleaning Business

The Complete Guide to Starting a Janitorial Business

Are you planning on starting a janitorial business?

The commercial cleaning industry is a tough one to break into. There’s a lot of janitorial services out there and you’ve got to find ways to set yourself apart from the crowd. 

Getting to know your way around the heavy-duty cleaning equipment that you’ll be using is only one part of it. What’s really going to give you an advantage is some business acumen.

Understanding how to grow a small company from the ground up is arguably as important as anything you might know about commercial cleaning. In this post, we’re going to help you do that. 

We’ll give you some help with learning what you need to get started and then tell you how you can use modern business tactics to gradually bring your company to the next level. Let’s get started.

Starting a Janitorial Business From the Ground Up

Before you start buying up equipment and launching your web pages, you need to formulate a plan. If you don’t put a healthy amount of work in prior to launching, it’s going to make things that much more difficult. 

Formulating a Business Plan

One of the best parts of starting a janitorial business is the low startup cost. If you’re immediately going into big-time commercial cleaning, it’s going to be a little bit higher with larger-scale equipment and a bigger vehicle.

You need to figure out what you want to be, though, so sit down and formulate a business plan. One easy way to do this is to start with a problem and how your company will solve that problem. 

For instance, maybe commercial cleaning is particularly expensive in your area and you want to offer a more affordable cleaning solution to other companies. From there, you can begin to formulate how you’ll provide this solution.

Finding Your Niche

The broader your overall focus, the harder it’ll be to break through the clutter in the commercial cleaning industry. There are lots of other janitorial companies out there, so you should instead find a little corner of your own and start there.

You might have already done this when you were formulating your business plan, but in any industry, it’s better to start small unless you have a lot of startup capital. Your niche could be providing a specific type of cleaning or it could be something else that you do that no one else does. 

If you begin here, you’ll give yourself lots of room to grow while you learn how to run a business.

Start Budgeting and Stocking Up Equipment

Once you’ve nailed down what you’re going to do and where you’re going to operate, you can start budgeting.

For commercial cleaning, you’ll need lots of supplies and depending on if you’ve got a specialty or not, some bigger equipment. Check online to view janitorial supplies and build up a solid inventory.

You’ll also need a vehicle to travel around in. One of the great things about commercial cleaning is that you can operate out of your home or apartment in the beginning, but you’ll need a van to keep your equipment in and travel to clients.

Your Website and Social Media

As a small business, you’re going to rely heavily on both your website and your social media accounts. This is especially true for a local commercial cleaning service. You need to use these things to get noticed and build a list of contacts and eventually clients.

Your brand and online presence are always linked nowadays, so come up with a great business name, a good logo, and maybe a fun catchphrase that people can latch on to. Then, find a web host and get yourself on all of the major social media platforms.

It’s not enough to just possess these things, you’ve got to be active on them. You should always be trying to build up your contact list, that’s how you’re going to grow the business as a whole. Start a blog, post regularly on social media, and use SEO and geo-targeting to find interested customers.

While digital marketing is the primary form of advertising for small businesses, it’s still a good plan to use old-school marketing methods too. Direct mail marketing, radio spots, and billboards still do the trick today. Utilizing both to create a multi-tiered marketing plan can get your business off the ground fast.

Build Contacts

Building your list of potential clients is going to be a testament to how you market yourself. If you’re able to appeal to businesses around town with your pricing, branding, attitude, and online presence, you won’t have a problem finding initial contacts. 

A lot of young businesses utilize email and Messenger marketing to mine contact info from their followers and build a large contact list, but that’s not necessarily the way you’ll want to go about it. You don’t just want a big contact list, you want an interested contact list.

This is why things like SEO and local SEO are so important. You need to learn about these concepts because your competitors surely do. Basically, when someone types “commercial cleaning” and your city into Google, local SEO will help your business be the one that shows up.

Word of Mouth

Reviews are everything for a small business. As you start working, you should always encourage them to leave you a review on a listings site like Google or Yelp. 97% of consumers read reviews before contacting a company and almost all of those people are influenced by both positive and negative reviews.

The more good reviews you have, the more people are going to contact you for your services. Always promote them and go as far as having a testimonial landing page on your website. Potential customers look at this stuff, so you should make it easy for them to find.

Now You’re Ready

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about what you need to do before starting a janitorial business, you’re going to be ready to hit the ground running. Start formulating your business plan today and get the ball rolling on your new cleaning enterprise.

If you found this article helpful, please come back and visit us for more on how to own and operate a small business.