image of man with suitOver the past 12 months, I have talked with dozens of cleaning service owners all across the country. Most of them are new to the business or getting ready to start.

Many of the people that are ready to start a commercial cleaning business have never done sales or marketing before. They are apprehensive about spending money on a service like ours since they have never seen it work.

We have been locating commercial cleaning contracts for our immediate group members for years. These are subcontractors that work in the same areas we operate. This business model is easy for us to manage and since we do the billing, there are no issues with us earning our commission.

The question that troubles me is how to do the same thing for cleaning services outside of our area? They would need to do their own billing for the accounts we locate, how do we ensure payment for our services without requiring a large retainer?

The average cleaning franchise charges the equivalent of 3x the monthly contract rate for each building they locate for the franchisee. In most cases, it’s cash up front. I do not like this model for several reasons. 

  • Many business owners cannot afford the large cash amounts up front
  • Locating accounts becomes more of a sales operation than a service operation
  • Accounts are priced too low and the unsuspecting buyer is left with an underbid account.

There must be a better way!

What we are contemplating is a business model that provides marketing for cleaning services that qualify, without a large retainer up front. The cleaning services would have to meet predefined criteria in order to qualify.

We would be taking the upfront cost and risk to do the marketing. The only way to recapture our investment and earn a commission is when a new cleaning contract is signed.

I am looking for feedback on how to make this model attractive to new commercial cleaning businesses or anyone who needs cleaning contracts. My biggest questions:

  • Would this service help your business?
  • Is 3x the monthly fee affordable if paid over six months?
  • How do we ensure that we get paid from the cleaning service we locate the contract for?


Please leave your thoughts below, I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.