Owners of Residential House Cleaning Businesses are

House Cleaning Biz 101



When many people think of some running a house cleaning business, it often conjures an image of individuals who maybe unable to find a "real job". This may have been true not all that long ago but not so anymore.

 As an example, in an interview in August of 2012 with the CEO of Molly Maids on CNBC, Craig Donaldson reported that 30% of it's franchisees generate over $1 million in annual sales (see  http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000105962 for the entire interview).  Their 450 franchise owners employ about 7,000 people in the United States.

While seven figure annual sales may have been the domain of maid service franchises at one time, this is not the case anymore.   Today more and more independent home cleaning service companies are enjoying sales ranging from $1-$2 million a year -- and some even more.  For a good example, visit http://www.castle-keepers.com .



The owner of Professional House Cleaning Services, Inc in Ohio was a mortgage broker before starting his business in 2003.


The backgrounds of today's home cleaning entrepreneurs are as wide and varied as the population itself.  It includes professionals from the fields of insurance, real estate, Computer and technology, engineering, accounting and finance, education, travel and leisure, marketing and advertising, healthcare and the list goes on. 

Amanda Collucci was an executive with a major technology company  before starting Cleam4Me in Ontario, Canada in 2006.  Her husband  Chris subsequently quit his job at the  same company to work fulltime in the business.


You are as likely to encounter a former executive with a major corporation as you are someone with little or no prior business or management experience.  And the industry is not gender-specific; cleaning companies are owned as often by men as by women.  In many instances, a business will be started by one spouse and later joined by that spouse's mate.  This, in fact, is very common today.

Another clue pointing to the viability of the residential  cleaning industry is the circumstances under which the business is generally started.  Many new businesses in virtually every industry are born out of necessity due to the loss of employment.  The same holds true here.  However, in most instances cleaning companies are started by choice, wherein the entrepreneur quits his or her job to launch their business and take control of their own destiny.



  1. Modest Investment:  Even if you choose to invest in a franchise rather than going the independent route, the cost of launching your new venture is likely to be tens of thousands of dollars less than it would cost to start almost any other type of small business.  Of course, you can save thousands more initially by starting on your own, but there can be a high price to pay for trial and error, not to mention a much longer learning curve.  The good news is that today there are very low cost alternatives to experience and mentoring other than investing in a franchise.

  2. No Expensive Real Estate Required:  Depending on the industry, you might spend months finding an appropriate location for the new business.  In most cases, in addition to signing a costly long term lease, you will generally have  to renovate or "build out" the space at your expense.  And this is before you generate one dollar in revenue.  While you will eventually need commercial office space, most new owners start from their home and then relocate once the business is up an running.  Since the public will not be coming to your place of business, there is no need for leasing an expensive location when you do relocate.

  3. No Big Investment in Equipment and Supplies:  Each  team will need 2 vacuum cleaners  and an array of cleaning materials and miscellaneous tools. Figure on spending about $1,000 - $1,200 to equip each team.  While more and more owners are providing company vehicles these days  vehicles to their employees, most start out by reimbursing their workers for using their own transportation.  There are 2 major benefits for buying company cars:  (1)  It opens up a much larger pool of potential employees; and, (2) each well-decked out vehicle serves as a moving billboard in your community every day.

  4. No Retail Hours:  Most home cleaning service businesses operate from about 8 AM - 4 PM, Monday through Friday with no nights or weekends (other than  when you --  or someone you appoint -- conduct the  initial visit to a prospective client which may take place in the evening).  However, your cleaning staff will seldom, if ever, work evenings or weekends and this is an attractive job benefit to many job applicants.

  5. C.O.D.  Payment on the Spot:  Unlike the commercial cleaning sector where you can wait for weeks to receive payment, in the residential cleaning business it is customary for the client to leave payment for the team to pick up on each visit.  This practice certainly helps with cash flow and makes it painless to meet your weekly payroll.  In many other types of business owners must draw from a line of bank credit in order to fund payroll.

  6. You Build Clients Not Just Customers:  A customer is generally someone you may serve once or only once-in-a-while.  A client is someone you serve over and over and over again.  How many industries can you think of where you sell to the same person every week or every other week, month after month and year after year?  Long-time owners have reported they have clients who have been with them for 10, 15, 20 years and longer.  At an average revenue of $3,000/client/year, you do the math.

  7. A Recession-Resistant Business: About the only businesses whose revenue will remain guaranteed in economic downturns as in good economic times are those related to seeing people into the world and those  seeing folks exit this world.  No matter how bad things are, we don't pile bodies of the deceased in the street!  Like Molly Maids' CEO Craig Donaldson said in his CNBC interview, the cleaning industry hiccupped in 2008 concurrent with the financial crisis, but has seen a double-digit growth every year since.  One owner put it this way, "People don't stop taking showers during a recession, they still  get dirty.  And they don't stop cleaning their house  either; the home still gets dirty." .    The industry has proven to be recession-resistant, if not recession-proof.   (For the results of a 2010 survey on this topic, and for feedback from survey participants click http://www.housecleaningbiz101.com/The-Economy.htm)



Running a house cleaning business is not brain surgery.  However, it takes more than a mop and a bucket and the distribution of  a few business cards to build a substantial, successful and highly profitable venture in this industry.  It's important to "know what you don't know." 

Investing in a franchise is one way to give you a solid footing and framework upon which to jump-start your new venture.  But it is not the only way.  There are other resources available which don't cost you the price of a new car.  However, be wary of "tips" that are prevalent in various internet forums and $49 e-books.  Free or cheap advice is usually worth what you pay for it.  Bad advise can spell disaster for the unwary.

In short, in addition to the know-how, it requires three primary ingredients to build a highly profitable  home cleaning business:

  • The financial capital to launch the endeavor and the resources to market to effectively and efficiently build your client base.

  • The willingness to learn how to recruit the best employment candidates and the people skills to manage and retain them long term.

  • A burning desire to succeed and the tenacity to overcome challenges sure to arise during your journey.

For the most detailed information on starting and successfully building your own residential house cleaning company, please click the image below or click http://www.housecleaningbiz101.com  The acclaimed program offered at this site will give you all the know-how you need in order to achieve your goals in this industry.


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