How to Start a Janitorial Business: The Complete Guide

Did you know that 60% of new businesses don’t make it past the first 3 years?

Starting a company is hard, but keeping it profitable is harder. One of the most important keys to success is setting a good foundation for your new company to help it thrive in the future.

If you’re thinking of starting a janitorial business, making sure you set it up correctly could be the difference between a flourishing and a floundering business. Start as you mean to go on and never rush into anything.

Take a look at these tips for a startup janitorial business to create a company that’s built to succeed. 

Know the Costs of a Janitorial Business

Whilst a janitor business doesn’t have the biggest start-up costs and ongoing expenses, you’d be mistaken if you thought it’d be cheap! A big reason why new businesses fail is that they underestimate or don’t know the costs of running it.

Before starting, create a detailed account of your start-up costs. Consider the cost of equipment, any staff, licenses, and expenses such as travel. You should also look at on-going expenses on a monthly basis to know the kind of costs you’ll face.

Once you know your expenses, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of work you’ll need to cover them. You’ll also be able to work out how much you can charge to cover your costs and stay competitive.

To Work or Not To Work?

A lot of people wondering how to start a janitorial business look at hiring staff. Whilst this definitely isn’t a bad idea, it’s also expensive.

Unless you have a lot of startup capital, it’s likely you’ll have to do at least some of the work yourself. This will help you cut back on costs and increase profits, allowing you to build that steady foundation for your business to grow on. You’ll learn more about the business and labor involved, too, which is always important for the person in charge.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Doing some of the work yourself could ensure your business’ success in the future. 

Invest in Your Products


Before starting your business, make sure you have all the cleaning equipment you need. Stock up on commercial disinfectant products and make sure your equipment suits your clients. For example, if you’re cleaning public spaces make sure your products are pet-safe and children-friendly.

Invest in quality cleaning equipment. If you go for budget and poorly-made options, the cleaning will be harder, take longer, and won’t give your clients the same results.

If you’re trying to keep costs low long at second-hand or renovated equipment. You’ll be able to buy from high-quality, trusted manufacturers at reduced prices, keeping your startup costs to a minimum.

Find Your USP

When it comes to how to start a janitorial company, you’re going to be faced with a whole lot of competition! From large national companies to small, local businesses, there are plenty of options for your potential clients.

So, to set yourself apart, you need to have a unique selling point (USP) for your custodial business. Start by doing some market research to see how other companies are advertising themselves and what their USP might be. Search for gaps in the market and consider innovative ways that you can stand out from the crowd.

For example, you could offer an eco-friendly cleaning alternative for clients. You could highlight that you use non-toxic cleaning products that are good for people and the planet, such as an eco alternative to bleach that doesn’t pollute our oceans. Plastic use is also a big topic at the moment, so look at ways you can minimize your use and make sure to market that to your audience.

A USP can make your business a little more niche, but that can land you loyal, long-term clients. They’ll usually pay more for your USP and specialized services. 

Hire a Marketing Agency

If you have the budget, always hire a marketing agency. This goes for any business that wants to succeed! A marketing agency will use its expertise to advertise your business to the right audience and make sure you get noticed.

They’ll be able to advise you on the best strategies for your business and have a team of professionals who can bring your campaigns to life. Marketing’s also very time-consuming, and having an agency there to do it for you will save you a lot of hours sitting at the computer!

DIY Marketing

Whilst an agency will always be better for your business, if you don’t have the money there are ways you can market your business yourself. Here are some tips to help you.

Social Media

Set up accounts across various platforms based on where your clients are. For example, professional companies are more likely to be on LinkedIn, whilst small business might be keener on Instagram. Regularly share interesting, valuable content. You can also follow pages that might be interested in your services to get their attention. 


If you have a grasp on writing, set up a blog for your business. It’ll give you plenty to share on social media! Write posts relevant to your industry that’ll interest your clients, such as how to’s on pet-friendly cleaning. You’ll be able to show off your expertise in the industry and generate more of an online presence.

Google My Business

Set up an account on Google My Business. Make sure to provide up to date information! This will help you appear on local searches which are often a big market for janitorial businesses. 

Take the Leap

When you’ve done the research, looked at the numbers, and have your equipment, there’s nothing left to do but get out there! Remember to market yourself to your audience and show the world what your janitorial business can do.

For more articles like this, take a look at other blogs on our website!