How to Start a Successful Cleaning Business Amidst the Pandemic

The pandemic brought entire industries to a halt, but it also brought new opportunities. Working online from home has become the new way to build a career. Yet even in-person services require a strong online presence to succeed amidst the pandemic.

As more and more businesses return to office-based working, the cleaning industry is experiencing a miniature boom. So, how do you start a successful cleaning business?

Reality Check – The Cleaning Business

For all its opportunities, the cleaning business has its downsides. Firstly, 95% of all cleaning businesses fail within the first year. Starting a small business is tough, but the failure rate within the cleaning industry is considerably higher.

With a 3.9% unemployment rate across the U.S., more and more people have gone into business for themselves, which means one thing: competition.

Offering cleaning services alone and building a website is not enough to survive. You need to figure out a way to stand out from the crowd.

Focus on a Niche

After running through the basic steps to start a business, such as creating a business plan and determining a business structure, you need to define what makes your organization different.

Today’s successful cleaning businesses focus on a niche. It could be residential cleaning services, such as window cleaning, pool cleaning, or carpet cleaning. You may also focus on the commercial cleaning industry or even specialized biohazard cleaning.

What makes your brand special? Do you focus on using chemical-free cleaners, or are you focused on green cleaning?

Niches enable you to succeed in an ultra-competitive industry.

Integrate Route Optimization Software

The key to any successful cleaning company is quantity without compromising on quality. Integrating route optimization software enhances your overall efficiency while slashing costs.

The value of route optimization software cannot be underestimated. Innovative businesses use these platforms to manufacture the best route for each employee and the most time-efficient schedule. It takes several metrics into account, including:

  • Traffic
  • Business hours
  • Lunch breaks
  • Job type
  • Average time to completion

The whole point of specialized cleaning platforms is to help you save on gas costs, manual route planning, and administrative tasks. Some of the more technologically advanced platforms utilize live tracking to support you and your customers in keeping their fingers on the pulse of your operations.

Build an Optimized Website

Your website is your storefront. You have seven seconds to make a great first impression within the digital-only economy. Entice them to check out your business and, ultimately, schedule one of your specialized cleaning services.

What does it take to build an optimized website?


Your name, logo, graphics, and tone all play into branding. Tell your company’s story because it’s the one thing that’s unique to you.

Your branding is forever evolving, so this will be something you should reflect on regularly.

User Experience (UX)

The UX is your customer’s experience when browsing your website and booking your services. Fast page loading times, an easy-to-use interface, and a simplified booking system all play into the user experience.

Keep it simple and reach out to the public for feedback on your website.


Your SEO is crucial for getting found on Google. Keyword-rich text is important, but Google’s emphasis on prioritizing local businesses means that you need to dig deeper than general SEO.

Hire a local SEO expert to help you refine your website and rank within the first few results for your chosen keywords.

Create an Optimal Business Environment

The leading complaint within the cleaning industry is employee retention. Treat your employees well to build your brand around a loyal team. Set goals, provide perks, and reward your team for their hard work.

Take care of your workers, and they will take care of you. Next Insurance recommends taking out comprehensive cleaning business insurance, forging an excellent work culture, and providing medical/vacation benefits as part of maximizing your human capital.

Market Your Business Online and Offline

To keep your sales funnel chugging, you must develop a strategy for creating brand awareness and generating leads. Most of your revenue will go back into the business during your initial year for marketing purposes.

Planting your flag and establishing your brand is the core of your survival. With so many ways to market yourself, concentrate on select channels.

The cleaning business relies on customer retention, so focus on quality, not quantity. Social media, local SEO, and offline marketing strategies work best.

Avoid spreading yourself too thin. Succeeding in a small number of channels is better than achieving an average level of traction across lots of channels.

Unfortunately, marketing is a game of trial and error. Only you can discover what works most effectively for your brand.

Focus on Quality

Ultimately, cleaning companies rely on their regularly scheduled clientele. Unlike selling little trinkets or occasional eCommerce sales, quality will ensure your business thrives during peak periods and survives throughout the barren months.

Invest in the highest quality cleaning equipment and supplies. Clean your clients’ facilities like you would your own. With so much competition, cutting corners will only lead to your clients going elsewhere.

It also makes sense to incentivize your existing customers to stick with you. Special discounts for committing to longer-term contracts and seasonal specials are all fantastic ideas for improving customer retention.

Learn and Collaborate

The final step to starting a cleaning business is to always be learning. Collaborate with others in your line of work and connect via trade shows and conventions.

Cleaning may seem simple, but this is always a business that never stands still. New cleaning techniques, better supplies, and new technology all create a better result for your clients.

With the pandemic forcing a new emphasis on hygiene procedures, advancing your business knowledge has never mattered more.


Starting a new business is a challenge. Forming a clear business plan, securing financing, and building the right team around you will prove essential to starting your brand off on the right foot.

With the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to achieve perfection, you can launch a brand that sets you apart from the rest.