#9 – Cleaning Business Owners Tell Their Stories

Have you ever wanted to hear how other cleaning business owners got their start in the business? At the recent ISSA / BSCAI Interclean Convention we asked people to share their stories.

We’d like to here YOUR STORY! Please fill out the form below and tell us why you started your cleaning business and anything else you’d like to share (where you are today, your goals for the future, funny stories!)

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  1. Started in 1988 when I was laid off from a factory that went to Mexico, and got out of ivy tech with an associates degree in business. In 1990 I ran an ad bought a vacuum and put everything in a raggety station wagon working to build a business. I worked out of my home and hired a helper 1n 1996. I started hiring and adding apartment complexes. Today I have 7 employees, an office and 4 vans all 1997 dodge seafoam green with Best Klean Cleaning Service wrote on the rear window and finally able to run the business instead of working the business. I incorporated this past year in case one of the kids want to take over and I retire lol like thats going to happen

  2. My wife started in cleaning houses. About 3 weeks later I was laid off, and there was an ad in the paper to by a Franchise. I had one Company to clean for $129.00 a month, after 6 months I had gotten another for 800.00. A year later I now have 6 company’s at 3400.00 a month. Now I am looking to go out on my own. but things are not going will

    Natural Power Cleaning

  3. I retired as a federal worker in 2008. My wife and I signed up with a cleaning franchise to clean commercial buildings. Our first “paycheck” was 89.00 in feburary 2009. Since than we have grown to 5000.00 per month in volume. We are in the process of leaving the franchise, and going out on our own in 2011. If we had known about TheJanitorialStore.com site we would have not gone the franchise route as this site has just about anything and everything anyone needs to know as to starting and operating a cleaning business.

  4. I used to clean for some of the major chain cleaning services for over 7 years but received a better offer to make more money working in a different field. Last year my company laid off, I had been with them over 8 years. I could not live on what unemployment paid so I bought me some equipment and printed up some flyers.It was slow at first so I went thru a company called service magic. You had to be bonded so I bought my bond and nothing panned out from that.I finally went to the more expensive neighborhood and was called by someone who said if I would get some insurance i could clean their house.It was hard with the money not coming in but I did it. Now its been 3 months and im very busy.Its not to the point im ready to hire yet but my customers are so pleased with my work that I get new calls almost every other day. I am now licensed, bonded and insured.So now im excited about what the future holds. Good luck everyone.

  5. Kelly Hiller

    I got started in 1987 when I was working at a nursing home as an Aide….one day while speaking to a friend on the phone about my frustrations with the job…over worked, underpaid, seeing the way the elderly were being treated and how depressing it was, my friend suggested I get into cleaning houses..I thought immediately I couldn’t do that..go into strangers home’s and clean esp. when they are there but I contacted a cleaning service she recommended and I was hired..from there I found my own clients realizing how little I was making while he was profiting off of my work. As of yet, I have never hired anyone..I keep it small and really enjoy what I do and my flexible schedule BUT I do wonder from time to time what it would be like to expand and hire…I’m concerned about the stress, the risks, hiring the right people, etc and don’t know where to start or even if I want to but for now, this is what I’m doing and I have a history of satisfied customers.

    • Kelly,

      Start hiring people to work for you and you will quickly learn that all the profit you thought that mean person was making off you was actual survival money, the same money you will need in order to cover all the expenses associated with operating an employee based business. You will also learn that the small profit your employer made after paying those expenses went to two things or perhaps just one, putting funds aside to pay for expansion and a small salary for themselves unless they have grown so large they have huge overhead due to needing to pay the salaries of managers, trainers, etc. Happy learning and best of wishes!-Angie

  6. I started my business back in March of 05 as a storefront window cleaning service. At that time all I had in the way of capital was a disability check. By 07 I was no longer on disability and doing janitorial work and residential window cleaning as well.

  7. Hey all,

    I started my business in Aug 09 so I am still pretty new. I was fortunate to land a few fairly high paying commercial accounts and have since started spreading into residential work. I am doing this part time and have one lady who cleans for me. I would love to make the leap into doing this fulltime but I like the stability of a check. Maybe soon I will take the Nestea plunge?

  8. I started my cleaning business at the ripe age of 21 years old. I live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina where there is a huge opportunity to get involved with rental property turn overs. I cleaned part time and worked for my father at his bookstore part time until I was 23! At this point I had built enough clients to be able to branch out on my own and be able to pay my bills. Now – I just turned 25 years old we clean commercial – residential – post construction – and rental properties servicing about 30 clients a week in the “off season / winter” and 40+ in the “on season / summer” and have 4 people that work for me and I LOVE what I do. I have also found that with my rental homes I can add linen change over service and double my profit per house which has been a very exciting venture! look forward to the future and soaking in as much advice as I can get :)

  9. June Cooper

    How expensive is the sanitizing wand and where can they be purchased?

  10. I started my business in March of 2007. With experience in marketing/advertising and account management, help from Debbie Sardone, Renee O’brien, Myhousecleaningbiz and many other great resources, I will not be where I am at. Oh and most importantly with the help of God. The company has grown each year, however, it has not been easy. Everyday it’s a learning process. I learn from my mistakes and push forward. Today, I have 10 employees and a big vision for my company. I have alot of work ahead of me for sure. But I am up for the challenge.

    My best advise is learn, learn, learn and don’t give up.

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