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Should You Start a Cleaning Business? Statistical Outlook for Cleaning Businesses and the Janitorial Industry

The cleaning industry is a multi-billion billion dollar industry. If you are pondering whether or not to start or grow a cleaning business, these statistics will give you some insight.

High Demand and Recession Resistant

The Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts "as more companies outsource their cleaning services, janitorial contractors are likely to benefit and experience demand." According to a Marketdata Enterprises, Inc. report (compiled for the U.S. Commercial and Residential Cleaning Services Industry), the cleaning field is a multi-billion dollar, recession-proof industry.

John LaRosa, Research Director of the U.S. Commercial and Residential Cleaning Services Industry, points out the field is recession resistant because "demand" is ongoing. Many analysts conclude demand is now in excess of $160 billion annually and is expected to grow to $175 billion over the next three years.

Fast Growing Industry

Statistical reports by the U.S. Department of Labor reveal growth outlook for janitorial and cleaning jobs falls in the double digits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs in this category will grow by 11% (2010-2020). The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states the occupation of "professional cleaning specialist" will be one of the fastest growing occupations over the next decade.

Smaller Businesses Dominate Market

Most cleaning companies are smaller enterprises; mom and pop type businesses. According to IBIS, the world's largest independent publisher of United States industry research, typically companies will employ between 2 and 3 employees. John LaRosa states no one company truly dominates the field. Rather, it is populated by more than 56,000 cleaning contractor firms, mostly small "mom & pop" operations.

Low-cost Start-up

The IBISWorld Janitorial Services Market Research Report highlights "capital investment tends to be low" for janitorial and cleaning companies.

Overall Outlook

In a nutshell, the statistical outlook for starting a cleaning business or janitorial service is favorable because of the following:

  • the industry is recession resistant;
  • the job outlook for those seeking industry work is high;
  • demand for industry services from cleaning businesses will continue to increase towards the hundreds of billions;
  • a fast-growing industry;
  • cleaning business startup costs are low for new entrepreneurs; and
  • small, 1-3 person operations are the norm for cleaning businesses.

Setting Your Cleaning Business Apart

If you are considering starting a cleaning business, consider becoming a niche operation so you set your company apart from the masses.

For example, with foreclosures filling every state in the nation, positioning your company to handle foreclosure cleanup and trash-outs for banks and mortgage companies will make your company stand out from other cleaning services.

Adding Like Services to Your Cleaning Business

Cleaning companies can also capitalize heavily by adding exterior cleaning services, such as lawn maintenance. The related service of "grounds maintenance" is expecting an explosion of growth over the next decade. Overall, employment of grounds maintenance workers will increase twenty percent from 2010 to 2020. This is faster than the average for all occupations. (Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, United States Bureau of Labor Statistics)


The statistical outlook cleaning businesses, janitorial companies and related real estate services such as lawn maintenance is promising with high growth potential over the next decade for new entrepreneurs.

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Article by Cassandra Black, Author of How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup Business and several foreclosure cleanup industry Guides, Reports and Forms. Sign up as a Premium Newsletter Subscriber. You will periodically receive foreclosure clean-up job leads and consultative advice to help you grow your foreclosure cleanup business!

For more industry information, visit the foreclosure cleanup blog and the foreclosure cleaning newsletter archive.

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