Cleaning Service Owners


Employment Prospects


Many cleaning services are one-owner operations, but some may employ many people to assist with corporate contracts or disaster restoration. If you're in business for yourself, you may offer both commercial service and residential service, but you're likely to want to choose between the two. If contracted for commercial service (cleaning an office building, a mall, an apartment building, or some other public area), you'll probably sign on for a number of months with a predetermined number of cleanings per week. If you choose to provide services to the residential market, you'll work with different clients every day.

Starting Out

Starting one's own business requires ambition and customer service and organizational skills. It would also be advantageous to have some experience as a cleaning person, though it is not necessary. 

Start-up costs are relatively low. Depending on the kind of work you'll be doing, the initial expense of your equipment is likely to be much less than $4,000 (not including the van or truck needed for transporting the equipment).

Advancement Prospects

Once you've established your business, you'll have to work hard to maintain a customer base and promote your services to expand your clientele. As you gain experience and make connections, you'll be able to expand your business into other areas. Some cleaning services sell cleaning products and vacuums, sell and install new carpet, and offer landscaping and maintenance services. Taking on a number of commercial contracts can mean big money, but it also requires a complete staff. Disaster restoration work for commercial properties can earn millions of dollars for a good, certified restoration service that has the special equipment and a staff of highly skilled technicians.

Tips for Entry

Read publications such as Cleaning & Restoration ( to learn more about the field.

Join the Restoration Industry Association to access training and networking resources and industry publications.

Become certified in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.

Land an entry-level job at a cleaning service firm to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.