Before you start your very own cleaning business, the first question to ask is "why?" If there is not a demand for the business you are looking to create, then your time and efforts would be wasted in the process. Instead, you want to invest your time and money into a business that is in high demand and can provide you with a sustainable income.
The cleaning service industry is an excellent choice for starting your own business, as these services are in high demand and continually expanding. This evidence and prediction of expansion into the years to come is an important aspect to make note of, because if you choose to invest your money into a cleaning business, then you want to ensure security in your future. Before jumping to these conclusions, however, first take a step back and ask the basic question: does a demand for this service exist in today's society?
Is There a Demand for Cleaning Services?
In a simple answer, yes there is a demand for cleaning services in today's society. In fact, the demand for these services is huge and continues to grow larger still. The cleaning service industry brings in a total of over 46 billion dollars annually, according to the Small Business Development Center Network (SBDCNet). This high number reflects the high demand for cleaning services in today's society, and this demand only continues to grow year after year. People want clean homes, clean office spaces, and they often don't have the time or resources to make it happen themselves. Consequently, whom do they turn to? Your goal is to make your new cleaning business the answer to that question.
Franchise Help, a website focused specifically on franchising businesses, reports that the cleaning service industry is one of the fastest growing service industries in the United States. The good news is that you won't have to worry about the demand for cleaning services declining as you start your business, but instead you can focus on expanding your client-base and growing your business. Competition and tough clients are unavoidable, but with the right strategies and approaches to this business, you can excel and succeed in the thriving market.
Some individuals, such as cleaning service entrepreneur Alex Nyaga, credit this growth in the industry to a rise in commercial real estate. Since commercial properties require consistent cleaning and care, this creates an opportunity for the wide expansion of the cleaning service industry. Other sources, such as Franchise Help, attribute the growth to the health care industry, as there are increasingly more elderly individuals who require care and assistance. As society as a whole continues to age, higher numbers of elderly individuals will require aid in cleaning their homes. SBDCNet also states that the numbers of empty-nest and "middle-aged" households are driving the expansion of the domestic cleaning services, while many companies are looking to save money by outsourcing cleaning, thus driving the industry further.
Although various sources credit the progression of the cleaning service industry to different reasons, all of these factors come together to promote the growth overall. Evidence is clear that the demand is present, but this may bring up a question of what exactly clients are seeking from a cleaning service. This is critical to know before starting your business, so take a look at some of the services potential clients may be seeking.
What Is the Demand Specifically For?
It is important to understand the different types of clients your client-base could consist of, so that you can discern how to shape and develop your marketing plans to fit specific demographics. Learning specific marketing techniques will come later in the planning process, but for now the first step is figuring out what direction you want your company to run. The focus of your company may vary depending on which specific services you decide to focus on.
Since cleaning services have the flexibility to provide many different types of service, there are also many different types of clients you may come across. Take a look at the following areas of focus for a cleaning company, primarily the three most common services in high demand.
- Domestic and Residential - According to Business Franchise, the domestic cleaning market is constantly expanding and is one of the most important franchising sectors. In the UK alone, over 2 million homes are cleaned by domestic cleaning services. With so many individuals working away from their home all day, it is often too much of a hassle to return home and clean the whole house, which is why hiring a cleaning service is the way to go.
These individuals and families consider the cost of hiring a cleaning service worth the quality cleaning and the liberation from having to do the task on their own. It keeps it clean for their own sake, and for any visiting company that they may not have time to prepare for. Clients may also hire a residential cleaning service if they feel that they can't achieve the same level of cleanliness by their own efforts, and they want a professional cleaning job routinely to ensure the upkeep of their home.
Residential clients may require a regular over-all cleaning of their residence, or they may request that you focus on one specific area of cleaning. Each different cleaning experience may require a specific tailoring to the client's preferences in order to meet the needs and satisfaction of that specific client. Many cleaning services choose primarily to focus on residential cleanings, rather than branching out to other areas of focus. It may benefit your business greatly, however, to consider areas outside of simply residential cleanings! It may require a wider array of resources, equipment, or experience, but the benefits are numerous since the market is so big for commercial cleaning services.
- Offices and Commercial Buildings - Office buildings, even vacant ones, require consistent cleaning to maintain quality and upkeep. Since this is not a residence and there is nobody living in this space, who is responsible to maintain the cleanliness? Building owners will outsource the cleaning to services like the one you are interested in starting. Office spaces are a critical factor to keeping up the demand for cleaning services, as it as a continual necessity in such spaces!
According to Inclean Magazine in 2016, the vast majority of cleaning service revenues are, in fact, non-residential markets. In 2014, non-residential markets made up almost 80% of the total revenue for the cleaning service industry. Inclean Magazine credits this demand to the necessity of a clean and safe environment for employees and customers. While homeowners may not always feel the necessity to spend money on routine cleaning, it is essential for companies to uphold a standard of cleanliness in order to carry out their business matters.
If you choose to expand your company to reach business and commercial clients, you can open the doors to a wide network of clients to help your company grow. This could be an important step for getting your business's name out, and the commercial clients you start off with may even refer your business to other similar clients. This creates a network of potential clients and a great way to broadcast your business.
- Specific Focus Areas - While clients in both residential and commercial spaces may require an overall cleaning, there is also a high demand for more specific cleanings. These include, but are not limited to floor cleaning, carpet and upholstery cleaning, window cleaning, and many other areas of focus. These could be specific problem areas for the clients, or simply something they choose not to clean on their own. Each specific focus opens up the opportunity for expanding your client-base, so the more individual services you offer, the more clients you can reach.
Even though these areas of business are extremely focused on a particular service, they still produce quite a profit. According to Franchise Help, in 2010 alone the carpet and upholstery industry brought in 3.1 billion dollars. These specific areas of focus are often difficult for individuals to clean thoroughly on their own, so they may be more willing to spend money on a cleaning service for these areas. It doesn't cost much to train your employees how to clean and care for carpets and upholstery properly, and in exchange, you can earn the profit from those seeking professional cleaning.
Regardless of what type of cleaning service you carry out, whether it be residential or commercial, all of these clients are on the lookout for businesses they can trust. The demand of today's clientele is that the cleaning service they choose be trustworthy and true to their word, because the clients are allowing you and your employees to come into their home or office and make it a better place. They want reliable, quality service, no matter what specific type of service they may be requesting. Building your business off the demand means building a business that people trust, and it can take some time to build such a reputation.
With all of these variations in clientele, you have the opportunity to shape your new business in whichever direction you choose. A cleaning service can provide specialized services in one specific area, or it can offer a variety of services to cover a wider range of needs. As you begin to develop your business, you can determine which services your business will provide, depending on what the greatest demand may be in your local area or what specialties your employees have to offer.
What Are Some of the Driving Forces?
Cleanliness is something that most people acknowledge as a good thing, even if they don't always strive to achieve it themselves. Wouldn't you prefer to live in a clean home and work in a clean office space, rather than a filthy one? This striving for cleanliness in our society is often accompanied, unfortunately, with the inability to find time or energy to actually clean regularly. This lack of time and energy is why many individuals turn to cleaning services for reliable cleanliness in their homes. If you want a clean home but don't have the time to make it happen on your own, you simply find a cleaning service you can trust to do the work for you so that you can focus your energy on life's important matters.
Apart from the idea that it is more enjoyable to spend your time in a clean living space, there are other factors that are also affected by the level of cleanliness in a home or office. A family's health, particularly with allergies from dust or other allergens, can be greatly improved by a routine cleaning to get rid of the dust and dirt in a home. Since allergies are often such a major concern and cause for routine cleaning in residential spaces, a trend of natural cleaning products has been on the rise for the last couple of years. Cleaning products that are full of chemicals are likely to make allergies worse, so the "green" movement has made a large impact on the cleaning service industry.
Everyday Health promotes the usage of "green" cleaning products like baking soda and vinegar in order to help individuals with allergies.7 There are also many products available from companies that strive to produce natural, non-chemical alternatives to cleaning supplies. Cleaning companies that are willing to adapt to the client's personal needs and follow along with the "green" trend are more likely to thrive in the competition of business. Keep up with the new trends and methods, especially in new cleaning technologies, and you are guaranteed a leg up on other companies who refuse to change and update their methods.
Apart from the personal choices of cleanliness and health, there is still the driving factor mentioned previously, and that is the factor of age. Elderly individuals who require assistance with healthcare and certain tasks in their daily life won't be fully capable of cleaning their whole residence, so it is not uncommon for such individuals to have routine professional house cleaning. They may pay for it themselves out of their retirement money they have set aside, or loved ones may provide the service out of care for them. Regardless, this is a large driving factor in the industry of cleaning services and something to keep in mind as you begin to shape your business.
How Can the Demand and Drive Shape Your Own Business?
Once you understand why this industry is growing, or at least many of the factors contributing to the growth, you can then shape your new business to fit the needs of today's clients. While you do have the option to narrow the focus of your company, doing so could also limit the number of clients you have the opportunity to reach. In order to meet the demands of today's clients, flexibility and willingness to adapt are key.
In review, some of the primary driving factors for hiring a cleaning service are as follows:
- Lack of time or energy to clean
- Outsourcing to save money
- Specific trouble spots
- Necessity to maintain standard of cleanliness
- Age hinders full ability to clean
Understanding how the demand and needs have shifted over the years is important to making sure you reach the customers of today. Since allergies are a driving factor for many people, you may consider marketing a specific "green" approach or promoting specific carpet and upholstery cleanings, both of which are carriers of dust and allergens. Another driving factor is the need for cleanliness but lack of time to ensure it, and you can promote your business as a solution to the problem!
By knowing what your client-base needs and may be struggling with, you can step in and help make the situation better with the cleaning service you offer. at the beginning of this whole process, these ideas may be of use to you in the shaping of your business. Consider your local area and what types of clients you are most likely to reach in the area, and this can help you determine whether to focus on residential or commercial cleaning, or a combination of the two.