Is It Worth Starting a Cleaning Business?

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Blog summary

Should you or should you not start your own cleaning business? If this question is the cause of your worry, then you are at the right place to find your remedy.

📝Key Takeaways:
  • Starting a cleaning business can be relatively low-cost, but it’s important to have a solid business plan.
  • Offering specialized services like green cleaning or post-construction cleaning can help you stand out.
  • Providing exceptional customer service is key to building a loyal customer base and growing cleaning business.

Ok, we get it. This is the classical aspiring entrepreneur’s dilemma of whether you should jump into a business idea or just kick it to find the next one.

Talking about the cleaning market is a fast-growing industry and will reach a monstrous size worth $88.9 billion by 2025, as per reports.

But is it worth starting a cleaning business? The short answer is yes with a but. 

Realize that there are plenty of failed as well as successful cleaning businesses across the world. Thus, what matters more than this business idea is how YOU execute it to make it a success.

However, it will help you a lot in your execution if you know what you are up against. Thus, in this blog post, we will give a clear overview of this industry, various opportunities and threats that lie in your way, and why (some) cleaning businesses fail.

But first, let’s get this elephant of a question out of our way.

Are Cleaning Businesses Profitable?

Yes, a cleaning business can earn you great profits if you are willing to put in the effort and build a loyal customer base. 

In fact, even by just starting as a one-person cleaning company, you may be able to make $50k – $60k a year. It varies depending on 

  • Whether you provide commercial cleaning services or residential cleaning services
  • Your pricing strategy and margin
  • The hours/effort you put in

And this is just the beginning; cleaning business owners can even generate higher revenue if they look to expand their services.

    For example, take some inspiration from cleaning companies like MaidPro (house cleaning and maid service) and 360clean (commercial cleaning services). Both have been around for years and are doing well.

Compared to other types of businesses, cleaning businesses offer several advantages: 

  • Low start-up cost.
  • No specialized education is required to provide a cleaning service.
  • Continuous demand
  • High recurring revenue opportunities

Now that you know about the profitability of this business idea, next will give you a 360-degree view of what lies ahead.

SWOT Analysis of Starting a Cleaning Business

For your information, a SWOT analysis can help you make informed decisions by giving you a full picture of your idea. 

Thus, before starting a cleaning business, it is important to know the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT, in short) that underlie this business.

Strengths: Weaknesses:
1. Low investment required to start 1. High competition
2. High demand 2. Needs physical labor
3. Relatively easier to do
Opportunities: Threats:
1. Expansion to laundry or maid business 1. Economic downturns
2. Easily available technology to streamline your business 2. Rising labor costs
3. Niche markets available such as eco-friendly or luxury cleaning 3. Increasing competition due to low prerequisites
How to take advantage of Strengths and Opportunities? How to mitigate Weaknesses and Threats?
1. Develop a clear value proposition 1. Implement cost-cutting measures
2. Offer excellent customer service 2. Diversify your service offerings
3. Invest in marketing to stand out from the competition. 3. Build relationships for customer loyalty

Give Your Branding a Headstart With Professional Invoicing

Using InvoiceOwl, you can brand your cleaning business as an authority right from the beginning, by sending professional invoices.

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Just like any other business idea, here also, you have a share of both – positives and negatives. And thus, it is up to you how you make your way through them. Next, let’s see what’s going on in the overall cleaning industry.

Cleaning Industry Stats

Emotion is good. But let it be used for your customers. When starting a new venture, it is logic that should take the driver’s seat when making business decisions. Thus, here are some interesting statistics related to the cleaning industry:

✔️ Cleaning-related businesses employ 1.7 million people in the US. (Brandon Gaille)

✔️ The cleaning industry has grown a total of 6.6% on average each year over the last 10 years. (One Desk)

✔️ Almost 10% of all US households have paid a professional to clean their homes. (One Desk)

✔️ On average, a person cleans his home 7 times a month and deep cleans 5 times per month (One Desk)

✔️ Building cleaners and janitors charge $14.31 an hour on a median. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

❌ Too much competition! 1,063,988 janitorial service businesses are there in the US as of 2021.

What is the success rate of a new small business?

Approx. 20% of small businesses give up after 1st year of their operation. Thus, your dream of starting a successful cleaning business won’t be a cakewalk. But keep in mind that it is all about how you execute your business and not the idea itself.

So, for that matter, the success rate of businesses in the cleaning industry won’t matter that much. The better question for you to ask is, how do I start my cleaning business? Follow this step-by-step guide on how to start your cleaning business to find out.

However, for those cleaning businesses that fail, what are the reasons behind it? This is what we will find out next, so you don’t repeat those same mistakes.

Why Do Cleaning Businesses Fail?

Some of the most common reasons why cleaning businesses fail are:

    1. Poor financial management

    Numbers don’t lie. Many cleaning businesses don’t create a profitable pricing strategy and keep track of their operating costs. But reality always kicks in, forcing them to shut their services.

    2. Lack of marketing

    Positioning and branding your business is how you differentiate yourself in the competitive industry. Unfortunately, many have only created a “me too” business and find themselves as standing one among the crowd.

    3. High employee turnover

    Additionally, failure to keep employees working with you brings inconsistency in your services. This can ultimately lead to dissatisfied customers. You can’t afford this – at least initially.

      Pro tip: Start as a one-person business and then expand your manpower to increase your income.

But how do you avoid these pitfalls? Keep these tips in mind:

  • Develop a solid business plan with a detailed budget and marketing strategy. 
  • Invest in employee training to reduce employee turnover.
  • Differentiate your business by positioning it appropriately.
  • Use customer feedback to improve your service quality.
  • Build strong relationships with your customers to encourage repeat business.

Now, finally, to pin the last nail in the coffin of your doubts, we will give you 4 reasons to go ahead with starting a cleaning business.

Why Should You Start a Cleaning Business?

Starting a cleaning business can be a great option for those looking for a flexible, low-cost way to start their own business. Here are some benefits to consider:

    1. Low start-up costs

    Since you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment or inventory, starting a cleaning business can be relatively inexpensive compared to other businesses. This makes it a great option for those on a tight budget.

    2. High-demand

    Cleaning is a never-ending service. There will always be demand for it. This means that you are likely to have a steady stream of customers, especially if you offer a high-quality service.

    3. Flexibility

    With a cleaning business, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule. Work as little or as much as you want. This can be especially beneficial for you if you have other commitments or responsibilities.

    4. Growth opportunities

    Cleaning businesses are not necessarily low-skilled jobs with limited growth potential. In fact, there are many opportunities for you to earn more money by adding additional services or hiring employees to take on more clients.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What skills are required for a profitable cleaning business?

    Even if you don’t need any formal education or training to start a cleaning business, having some experience in cleaning or customer service can go a long way. Some other important skills are:

    • Time management
    • Organization
    • Communication

  2. How much does it cost to start a cleaning business?

    Cleaning businesses can be started for as little as a few hundred dollars. However, it can vary depending on factors such as location, equipment needs, and whether you plan to hire employees.

  3. Can I start a cleaning business on my own, or do I need to hire employees?

    You can start a cleaning business on your own, but hiring employees can allow you to take on more clients and grow your business. But remember that hiring employees also comes with additional responsibilities and expenses, such as paying taxes and workers’ compensation insurance.

  4. What types of cleaning services can I offer?

    There are many types of cleaning services you can offer, depending on your skills and interests. This can include:

    • Residential cleaning
    • Commercial cleaning
    • Post-construction cleaning
    • Carpet cleaning
    • Window washing
    • Green cleaning

  5. Which is better – residential cleaning business or commercial cleaning business?

    Commercial cleaning businesses have a higher earning potential but demand a greater upfront investment than its counterpart.

    Commercial buildings are usually bigger than homes. Thus, it will require you a team of helpers to take up a project. So if you don’t have a lot to invest, start with residential cleaning. Remember, you can always expand.


Starting a new cleaning business can always throw in anxiety about whether you will make it or not. But realize that you have a great opportunity in front of you and nothing much to lose, even if you fail. So give it a go using our guide on starting a cleaning business.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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