Office Cleaning vs House Cleaning

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by Tom Watson on March 27, 2010

Office cleaning versus house cleaning. Sounds like a prize fight on pay per view to me. In one corner we have office cleaning. In the other we have house cleaning. Both combatants have strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited.

To see who comes out on top we need to dive a little deeper into each.

To keep the discussion on topic I will touch on just three questions. To be fair, the list below could be one hundred questions, maybe more. I picked these three questions because when I was a beginner in the business they were tops on my list. The three questions are:

  1. What makes office cleaning a great choice?
  2. What make house cleaning a great choice?
  3. Where do you make more money?

Now you have to keep in mind that my answers my differ from another expert. You could line up twenty cleaning company owners and get twenty different answers. With that in mind, here I go.

What Makes Office Cleaning A Great Choice?

Reason # 1 – I love office cleaning because once you have an account, you tend to keep it for a long time. As long as you do a good job you will get paid month after month. This in turns provides financial stability which gives you peace of mind. This also allows you to make down payments on equipment that will allow you to earn even greater money in the future. Over in the house cleaning side turnover is much higher. Family budgets can change quickly leaving the cleaner the odd person out.

Reason # 2 – Offices need cleaning services performed, it is not an option for them. Virtually every office needs to be cleaned making it easy to acquire cleaning accounts. House cleaning is elective and not a priority for many.

Reason # 3 – Once you clean their office you are in-line to perform other work for them. This may include carpet cleaning, floor care services such as stripping and waxing and window cleaning services. One paying customer gets super sized when they need other services performed. The best part is the cost to acquire the added business is zero! On the house cleaning side you can add on other services but the dollar amount per sale is much lower.

What Makes House Cleaning A Great Choice?

Reason # 1 – Quick start-up process. People who want to get their home cleaned tend to be more impulsive. They hire you on the spot in some cases if you make a good impression. This means you can add accounts quickly. On the office cleaning side things can move at a crawl. The other cleaning service needs to be fired first and the customer may require many bids before a decision is made.

Reason # 2 – You get paid instantly. What better motivation is there than a check sitting on the kitchen table? This keeps the billing issues to a minimum in most cases. On the office cleaning side you wait to get paid. Collection is not as clean cut as companies want to pay at the last possible moment, sometimes 15 to 30 days after the bill is due.

Reason # 3 – Make one homeowner happy and she will be a raging cheerleader for your business. One customer may refer two or three friends, then they may do the same. This makes adding accounts quite easy. Referrals do not come as easily on the commercial side. It is not impossible to get them, you just don’t get as many in general.

Where Do You Make More Money?

To be fair you can make a substantial amount in either specialty. When you perform a service well the money will find you. With that said I do believe it’s easier to make more in a office cleaning business because the monthly income levels for each customer are higher in commercial. In my experience most homes get cleaned every other week. You will have a few that are every week and few that are once per month as well.

To provide an example let’s say you clean a home every other week for $100.00. That brings in about $200.00 a month on average. On the flip side a commercial account may only pay $35.00 per visit but you might clean it 22 times per month (for a five night per week account). This would bring in $770.00 in revenue.

Your margins (amount you earn after expenses on a per visit basis) may be less but it is more than made up by the volume (visits per month). This means you need less accounts to earn more. Which is not a bad problem to have.

At the end of the day only you can decide which is better for reaching your goals. My company has performed both over the years. I prefer office cleaning because it provides greater potential for income and growth. Many people will go the other way in their decision because their key factors may differ from mine.

Not everyone wants a larger company and everything that comes with it. Only you know what’s important to you and only you can decide what is best for you. I hope I helped you along in the process.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dawn Hackett February 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

This is where I struggle. I wanted to do commercial accounts but residential is easier to get so I have about 17 residential accounts. I just picked up two more commercial accounts which gives me 7 commercial accounts now. I do most by myself but do have my mom helping with about 9 of my residential ones. I love the hours of the residential but they do have their issues and if mom couldn’t help on certain days then I would be slammed. I do pay her but she is 72 and helping my 94 year old grandmother that lives with her. The day will come that she no longer wants to work and I will have major decisions to make. It’s a little scary.

2 Tom Watson February 14, 2017 at 10:20 am

I would bring in a part timer to help, and provide back up too!

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