Image of sky scraperI love talking with other cleaning service owners and getting their perspective.  Some of the more established companies only want to provide cleaning services to large buildings. Ones that require a minimum of 10 labor hours per night.

They say the small buildings are ‘a pain.’  There are pros and cons to both, today I want to talk about both.  I would also like to hear from you. If you are in the cleaning business please share which types you prefer.  Let’s start with small buildings.

First, we can look at the pros- small buildings are easier to get because there are more of them and often less competition.  They don’t cost as much to start because there is no significant capital required to meet payroll, buy 5 vacuums, etc.

They don’t hurt as much when you lose them either, let’s face it- no cleaning contract is forever.  Now some of the drawbacks-  they can be harder to supervise.  If you send one person alone to clean 2 small buildings in an evening they may be running all over town.

Most small buildings only require cleaning once or twice per week so the billing is lower than a large building.  If the person doing the buildings is out sick or cannot make it, there may not be another person available to cover.

I personally like small buildings and I will tell you why.  Aside from the pros I already mentioned, these provide an opportunity for people in our contracting program.  These accounts are very profitable and are perfect for someone just starting a cleaning business.

I love giving people the opportunity to better themselves. These small buildings can also be a great opportunity for people wanting to clean part time but unable to commit to five nights a week.  I have many stay at home moms, full-time day workers and retired folks that just want a few hours a week. Small buildings are a perfect fit.

Now let’s talk about the larger buildings.  Let’s look at a facility that requires 20 man hours a night, generally, that’s 5 people on a 4 hours shift. These contracts are generally easier to manage because everyone is under one roof.

If someone is out then the crew pulls together to cover their area.  The profit margins per hour can be smaller but you make up for that in volume.  Some of the drawbacks- cash, you will need a solid cash reserve to start an account like this.

It’s not uncommon to spend $5,000+ before you even start the account on cleaning supplies and equipment. There’s also uniforms and background checks as well. If the client takes 30-60 days to pay you may have to meet 5-10 weeks of payroll before you get paid.

Large accounts can hurt when you lose them.  I had to lay off 5 full-time employees when we lost a large contract once.  Most of them received unemployment from our account for several months and our rate went up.

Either way, you look at it both small and large cleaning contracts can be profitable.  I will take both and provide as much opportunity for our cleaning business and group members as possible.  Thanks for reading and share your thoughts.