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How to Start a Cleaning

Start a Janitorial Service Company

Are You Starting a Cleaning or Janitorial Service Company?

Factoring companies offer same-day funding to give start-up Janitorial service businesses access to needed working capital at no credit risk. Factors offer you Non-Recourse factoring at a nominal fee of 1.25% -2.25%/30 days including credit protection based on your monthly sales volume.

Outsourcing is growing in the US. A recent Wall Street Journal article notes that 5 of the top 20 employers in the world regarding headcount were outsourcing companies. Every size company outsources needed services, including their cleaning and janitorial needs.

If you want to mitigate risk, generate quick revenue, and build a profitable business, a Janitorial or Cleaning Service Company is a great entrepreneurial choice. Another attraction to this business venture is the ‘flexibility’ it offers concerning how many hours you want to invest, and if you wish to operate from home or a commercial location.

People have different goals. For those who do not want to commit too much time and invest a considerable start-up cost, starting a Cleaning or Janitorial Service Company is an excellent choice. Moreover, the industry allows you to operate with your preferred and unique style. It is a business option which will never go out of fashion, and you can comfortably get into a stable venture. However, be realistic in accepting that this is not a high tech glamorous job. Work would include cleaning, trash pickup, floor polishing, cleaning carpet and ducts, washing windows, and water damage remediation. You need determination and perseverance to accept and overcome challenges.

What questions should you ask before starting your janitorial business?

Who are your cleaning company clients?

A Cleaning or Janitorial business caters to two groups, namely Consumer and Commercial. The consumer domain consists of primarily residential maid services or various cleaning services needed by households on a less frequent basis like window cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc. On the other hand, the commercial market offers a broader range of Janitorial services targeting businesses rather than individual consumers. Due to personal choice and to specialize in one arena, you may want to concentrate on just one group. However, nothing stops you from targetting both residential and commercial. You can specialize in a particular cleaning job and decide to only operate at an individual level, or you can grow big and build a team and decide to venture out into a variety of cleaning jobs.

What qualifications or prerequisites are needed?

Depending on the type of cleaning service you want to start, you need to gain qualifications in the field. But one of the basic requirement is your dedication to provide “thorough cleaning.” An interesting point to consider while starting up a cleaning business is to ask yourself if you are a person who is passionate about clean surroundings and detail-oriented. If you are lazy and not so particular, then the business may not be the right choice for you. To survive in this business, you need the skill, desire, and determination to be thorough in your job. Another important requirement is “Honesty.” If clients can trust you, then you will have regular customers. Time management, customer service relationship, and necessary business skills are all needed for a smooth, successful, and sustained run of your business.

Insurance and Bonding is a critical component as you will need (at a minimum) bonded, a general liability policy and workman’s comp on your employees. Rules differ by city and state on whether you need employees or 1099 sub-contractors. Find a reasonable labor/employee attorney in your area to reduce litigation and taxing authority risk. Also, do you need to charge sales tax? Again, the laws differ from state to state. City, county, and state business licenses are required, too.

What investment is required?

For Janitorial services, including carpet, blinds, fan, window, and hard surface cleaning, you will need special equipment and tools. You’ll get lower labor cost for better tools and cleaning supplies. Labor is THE critical variable cost in your cleaning business. You would also need a right and suitable vehicle that can serve as an advertising platform too. Vinyl wrapping is inexpensive to promote your mobile brand via your car(s). You would also need some help and consider hiring an employee either on a part-time or full-time basis.

As much as you like, you cannot manage everything on our own. If you have customers lined up, then you may need to hire more employees. Initially, you may be able to handle the administrative part on your own if you are starting on a small scale. However, as you grow, you need administrative staff to answer phone calls and maintain records, a few cleaning personnel, and marketing and sales personnel.

Owning a commercial space for your office is another high cost. Consider all the pros and cons before deciding if you need to operate from a commercial office. Many agencies prefer to start the business from their home. Your customers or clients are doubtful to visit your premises. The nature of this service is that you make a great first impression on your customer’s premises.

Challenges you should be prepared for.

When you work with commercial clients, the biggest challenge you would face is the waiting period to receive a payment. As per market norms, large companies pay types of invoices on certain days of the month. Most of them would clear the payments in 30 to 60 days. This creates a real problem because, for Janitorial services, you need quick cash to meet daily expenditure.

A commercial cleaning company would need cash each week to pay off salaries of cleaning personnel and to buy supplies of cleaning solutions. Most of the time, you would need to hire personnel temporarily, and you cannot withhold their payment. Even if they are permanent employees, they need payment every week. You cannot avoid hiring staff either on a temporary contract or permanent basis if you want to expand your business and make a name for yourself in the industry. Also, is the fact that you at one point in time, you may need to cater to different clients and need more resources as and when needed. If you do not take up the job offered, someone else will. You will need to arrange for additional working capital.

Choose from the following Solutions.

Initially, you may use your resources and savings. However, regularly, this may not be possible. Similarly looking for help from friends and family is not a long-lasting solution. Another possibility is to offer “early payments discounts.”

A discount of 2% is offered to clients to pay in less than ten days. However, the drawback is that it may not be a feasible option in this competitive market, and you cannot always trust clients to pay on time even after applying a discount. Large companies may prefer to pay in their due course (30-60 days) instead of taking benefit of the early payment discount.

A better approach to this problem is to use the benefit of a factoring program. You can finance your slow-paying invoices for immediate cash flow. Financing invoices are called “Factoring.”  Under this arrangement, you as a business sell your invoices to a factor at a discounted rate. With this arrangement, you can avail up to 90% of the invoice value within one day at the cost of 1-2.5% per 30-days. Many factoring companies have a  has a history of funding the needs of a Janitorial or commercial cleaning service. These factors may offer two types of factoring services: Recourse factoring and Non-Recourse factoring.

Recourse Factoring VS Non-Recourse Factoring

Recourse factoring is an agreement where a business sells its current invoices to a factoring company on a condition that if the clients fail to make a payment, the business will buy back the invoices. In other words, the company does generate cash flow by financing the invoice but agrees to absorb the risk in case of non-payment from the client. This is dangerous as credit scoring and collections are probably not part of your skillset.

A stress-free choice is Non-Recourse factoring. Under this arrangement, the factor accepts the risk of non-payment. Once you have factored your invoices, the factors take the ownership describe yourself essay of collecting invoices. You can choose to minimize your risk and get easy cash flow at a slightly higher transaction fee. offers you the credit guarantee that they will be responsible for collecting the invoices. Generally, this guarantee is also valid in case the client files for bankruptcy. This is the high point of Non-Recourse factoring. It is not unusual for the biggest names in the industry to file for bankruptcy. By just paying a transaction fee, you can relieve yourself from the uncertainty of receiving the payment in time and get quick, smooth cash flow.

Moreover, invoice factoring is an easy option.  Factors offer same day funding to give you access to needed working capital at no credit risk. You can be credit liability-free and concentrate on providing quality Janitorial services and be prepared to take up new clients. Factors may offer you Non-Recourse factoring at a nominal fee of 1.25% -2.25% including credit protection per 30 days based on your monthly sales volume.

Facts which may influence your decision to start a Janitorial Service

  • Research conducted by Marketdata Enterprises Inc. showed in 2012, Commercial and residential cleaning is a $78 billion industry. Furthermore, during a down economy, commercial cleaning did better than other sectors.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in Janitorial and building cleaning service is projected to grow by 11% from 2010 to 2020.
  • The 50 largest companies generate about 30 percent of revenue. In the US carpet cleaning industry, the 50 largest companies account for about 20 percent of income.
  • Janitorial services account for about 90 percent of industry revenue.
  • After you build your business, there exists a ready Exit Strategy to Fund your retirement as janitorial company buyers are always out there.

Deciding on the right factoring company for your cash flow needs

One of the significant benefits of non-recourse factoring for cleaning companies is that a factoring company like shields and protects you from bad debts. When deciding on a factor, ensure that they offer customer credit (bankruptcy) protection.

Understand the terms and conditions carefully. Choose a factoring company that has been in business for a long time. Also, those that have funded start-up janitorial companies for 20+ years. A Janitorial Factoring company’s experience and industry expertise can help your company grow and avoid unnecessary risk.

Ready to get funding for your start-up janitorial company? Call (888) 400-5930 or use the fast, safe & secure online funding application.

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