If you think that cleaning is cleaning is cleaning, then you don’t know about the business of cleaning! It is very common to think that commercial is interchangeable with residential. Actually, there are big differences between the business model of a commercial or janitorial business vs a residential home cleaning business. 

1. Different Clients

When running a commercial cleaning business, your clients tend to be business owner, or the managers of a business. You are dealing with restaurants, malls, hotels, warehouses, retail stores. Hiring your company is part of their job duties. When running a home cleaning business, your clients are homeowners. You are dealing directly with people who want to improve their quality of life and have more time with their family and for hobbies.

2. Different training and equipment

Janitorial companies are contracted to clean large spaces, like a warehouse floor. There may be floor buffing or polishing - all of this needs a bigger capital investment in equipment and specialized machines. Subsequently, the training for your employees is also more involved. By comparison, the toolkit for staff at a residential home cleaning business is less money. The training is more focused on procedure and detail, rather than operating machinery.

3. Different schedules

Commercial cleaning contracts may be for the day, the evening, on weekends, or overnights. This means hiring and training a larger management team to keep everything on schedule and in motion 7 days a week, almost every hour of the day. This is so different from a house cleaning business, whose clients expect the work to be done on weekdays. Operating a residential business means more of a 9-5 lifestyle.

4. Different health standards

Commercial cleaning has a different set of requirements regarding health and safety than residential cleaning. For example, restaurants and health care facilities have specific hygiene  standards they must adhere to. This means additional training for your staff to ensure your clients remain compliant. 

5. Different pricing and payment

The math is quite simple when it comes to commercial janitorial – the larger the account, the lower the profit margin. The focus is on building up a large volume of contracts. Billing cycles are longer, and if a business goes under there may be a long way to get paid on a large invoice. Cash flow can be a challenge. However, clients of residential house cleaning tend to pay the same day they get the service, meaning a steady cash flow with few outstanding receivables.

6. Different Marketing 

At this point, it is clear that a janitorial company is very different from a residential cleaning company. The target client, pricing structure, operations, and staffing have little in common. As a result, the marketing and promotion are very different. Commercial cleaning companies  are business to business, bidding on contracts and involved in contract renewal negotiations . A residential cleaning business connects directly with private individuals and families to form an ongoing relationship. 

Bottom Line: Commercial cleaning generally means a bigger investment, bigger revenue, bigger risks, and  longer hours. Residential has lower overhead, less fluctuation, and better cash flow. Consider your goals and what sort of client relationships you want to have. Investing in a business is a big decision, and It’s important to choose one which fits into your life. To learn more about our home-based system and the lifestyle of being a franchise partner with CHS, contact us today!