Starting an Office Cleaning Business – Part Time or Full Time

What I like so much about starting an office cleaning business is you can start small — even doing it as a side-business — and bring in profits right away without laying a ton of cash out to get going.

It’s a service business — which is the type of business you should be looking at in today’s economy. Just pick up the paper and check out where the economy is heading. You’ll know what I mean about providing a service…

Manufacturing is down or going overseas. And selling your own product takes a heck of a lot of money just to get started.

Starting a cleaning business takes little cash and little energy to start making money right away.

Realistically, it’s going to be at least $500 if you take into account the cost of registering your business, paying for some liability insurance and the other basic startup costs.

Of course marketing is an additional cost and where you should allocate your money — no matter what business you start. (There are studies to show how the businesses who spend the most on advertising are the businesses who typically make the most money.)


Your potential customers are not simply businesses who occupy “office” space. Rather, your customers are on every corner and in locations like hospitals, stores, hotels, and other types of buildings cleaned on a regular basis.

Some cleaning companies only do cleaning, while others offer a full range of other duties and diversify (always a good idea) and include services such as equipment cleaning and even maintenance and janitorial servicing (fix leaky faucets, empty trashcans, fill towel dispensers, etc.).

Most commercial cleaning services work after-business hours when the employees have gone home. Some people find this as a benefit. But if you’re looking for a cleaning business where you work during the day, you may find starting a house cleaning business a better option.

Valuable skills and Requirements

Although you need to be thorough, you’ll find the office cleaning business is not as tedious as cleaning homes. The office manager wants the job done right — where a homeowner may expect it to be 100% perfect.

I’m not suggesting you can be a slacker when you clean the office. I’m just making a comparison you should think about.

However, dealing with business people requires a more polished business approach (although I feel the best sales people are those who can “be regular” and still make the sale.)

Business people want to work with business people. If the person you’re meeting with is dressed full-tilt in business attire, you will be foolish to show up in jeans and a t-shirt.

I don’t mean to state the obvious, but just because you’re in the cleaning business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress sharp — at least when prospecting.

How much you can make?

A commercial office cleaning business can often make very healthy profits, sometimes up and over six figures a year. Typically you won’t see this working alone, where $35-$50,000 a year is more typical working full-time.

The higher profits come from larger accounts and by promoting the “add-on” services.

Startup Costs/What you need to begin:

To get started quickly and without spending a lot of cash, you can start an office cleaning business with the basics: glass cleaner, all-purpose (strong) cleaner, a regular vacuum cleaner, a few buckets, a mop, and a bag of rags and sponges.

Because this is really a service business and start up equipment is minimal (to get going), you can typically get rolling for less than $200.

If you are going to offer larger commercial cleaning services, such as power washing or if you will shampoo rugs, you should rent equipment to get started.

This is more an opinion where you can easily find varying views. It’s something you should research on your own because renting is only beneficial if you use the equipment occasionally.

Most of where your budget should be spent on marketing in the beginning.

Targeted direct mail sales letters will allow you to speak personally to your prospective clients and will help you set-up sales without having to make those cold calls we all hate.

Sales letters are also nice for setting up a “warm” call.

If you mention you’re going to be calling to set up an appointment, it will help you to be more welcomed when you dial the phone.

Pros and Cons of the Office Cleaning Business

Commercial work can be more lucrative than house cleaning and the hours are much different, as I already mentioned.

You may have less clients, but the jobs are larger and you can solidify your business with contracts — which isn’t always as easy with homeowners. (Businesses expect to sign contracts, where homeowners regret them.)