image of words mixed together - failure, dissapointment etcI read an article recently with some sobering statistics. It stated that 95% of new cleaning services will be out of business within five years. Why do so many companies fail? The statistics for other new businesses in the USA are not much better.

In general, 4 out of 5 new businesses will fail within the first 5 years. That statistic has always bothered me. Starting a business is a huge emotional event. Knowing that someone worked hard and gave their all, and still did not make it, is sad to see.

I want to share specifically about cleaning services and why they do not succeed. I am basing this on things that I have personally witnessed over the last 29 years.

Not Enough Money

Undercapitalization is listed as the number one cause of business failure. People simply do not realize how much time and money it will take to get their business up and running. This certainly applies to cleaning businesses but there is another main reason that new cleaning businesses fail.

Not Understanding Sales

There’s a common misconception when someone goes to start a cleaning business. They think clients will appear just because they registered a business, built a website and so on. That’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Your biggest problem when you first get started is obscurity. Potential clients do not know that you exist, it’s your first priority to get the word out to them. It takes massive prospecting efforts to accomplish this. If someone has never been in sales, they do not understand the sales process and how long it can take.

Unrealistic Expectations

This ties in with not understanding the sales process. People expect that things will be easy and clients will sign right away. Without a long-term approach, you will become frustrated and feel ready to quit in the early stages.

Do not expect to sign a new commercial cleaning contract within the first few months. If you do sign one, you are fortunate. A realistic approach is to sign one new client within 90 days – IF you are prospecting every day.

Not Suited for Business Ownership

Business ownership is tough, very tough, brutal in fact and most people are not cut out for it. Especially if their only work experience has been from a steady job with a weekly paycheck. There are no guarantees in business and there are constant battles to fight and obstacle to overcome.

We have created a short business ownership evaluation to see if someone is a good fit to start a business. 


You can take the survey here if you are interested.


I’ve helped hundreds of people start a cleaning business. The ones that follow our program and are coachable succeed. The ones that do not follow our advice usually do not. Most people experience many failures along the way. Failure is not permanent unless you give up. To succeed in business, you must work through each failure and setback you encounter.

Remember, if you are looking to start or grow a commercial cleaning business, we can help.