Why is the Average Cleaning Business Success Rate so Low?

And how to rise above it with your own cleaning business

George Leon | Updated April 17, 2023

Statistics on the Cleaning Business Success Rate

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average business has a success rate of 33.6% after ten years. This number drops to 25.7% after 15 years.

Causes for this low success rate include owners not having the proper training or knowledge to start and operate a successful cleaning business, and owners not researching the industry before starting a cleaning business, leading to significant mistakes early on.

Many new business owners believe that a good attitude and some elbow grease are all it takes. But experienced business owners know it takes knowledge and continuous learning.

Successful cleaners must have a strong understanding of the industry and stay up to date on the latest methods and products to deliver outstanding service. 

Key-Takeaway: While all business owners make mistakes along the way, some can be hard to recover. Expensive mistakes include not knowing how much to charge for house cleaning, hiring mistakes, and malinvestment in advertising cleaning services. If you plan to start or operate a cleaning business, you must be aware of these common mistakes and avoid them.

How Do You Increase Your Success Rate?

Despite the high failure rate, great opportunities are available to those willing to take the necessary steps to succeed. Here are five tips to help you increase your cleaning profits and succeed with a cleaning business:

Research Your Industry

When you’re starting a cleaning business, do your research. Here are a few tips for researching:

  1. Get a feel for the trends. Are there specific types of cleaning businesses seeing increased demand for their services? Is technology changing the way people hire cleaners? Keep tabs on what’s happening in your field to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.
  2. Check out online resources. Many websites will give you valuable information about the cleaning industry, including trade publications, blogs, and search engines. Use these resources to learn more about specific aspects of the business, such as equipment or cleaning marketing strategies. For example, you can find more resources on our blog here
  3. Talk to experts. If you want to get detailed information about any aspect of the cleaning industry, talk to experts who work in that field every day. Ask them how they started their businesses, what challenges they’ve faced, and what advice they have for beginners like yourself.

Knowing your competitors’ trends and challenges is essential to stay ahead of the curve. Additionally, it is crucial to understand which cleaning products and methods are most popular in your area.

This information will help you set pricing guidelines and select the right cleaning equipment for your business.

Choose a Suitable Business Model

Many different business models are available to entrepreneurs looking to start and grow their cleaning businesses. Some popular models include franchising, subcontracting, and building your own brand. You also have to decide if you want to focus your attention on getting cleaning clients or pricing commercial jobs. Choosing a suitable model for getting cleaning contracts is essential, as this will impact both its success and growth.

When choosing a model, consider your business goals and target audience. For example, a franchise model may be a good choice if you want to focus on hiring and customer service while the franchiser handles most of your marketing and operating procedures.

Subcontracting is a great option to get lots of business quickly, even though you’ll get lower prices. And if you want to take on all of the challenges yourself, from getting clients to customer service, then building your own brand can be a lucrative option. 

Another lucrative cleaning business model is offering post-construction cleaning. These types of jobs are often much larger in size than typical cleaning jobs. This is why many successful cleaning companies focus on getting commercial cleaning leads.

No matter which business model you choose, it is essential to put in the hard work required for success. There are no easy shortcuts to building a successful cleaning business. It’s a slow and steady process, but the rewards are worth it if you persevere.

Plan Your Business Carefully

The cleaning trade is a very competitive one. Write a detailed business plan and marketing strategy to help you stay on track and make sound decisions when launching your company. Create a marketing plan that includes realistic goals and timelines for reaching your goals. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose the right location: Research the neighborhoods you can service. What type of quality are high-end neighborhoods looking for? Where do the renters live vs. the homeowners? 
  2. Get organized: Keep a detailed calendar, client files, and communication channels to make administrative work easy.
  3. Develop marketing strategies: One of the most important aspects of any successful cleaning business is marketing. Research online marketing strategies such as SEO and Facebook Ads and the tried and true offline marketing tactics.
  4. Be flexible: Like any other business, flexibility will be essential. Be willing to change your prices or services based on customer demand, and be open to new ideas and suggestions.

Use a cleaning proposal template to send proposals faster.

Hire The Best

What are the benefits of spending more to hire only the best workers? This is one of the most critical factors in achieving long-term success with a cleaning business. If you can find skilled cleaners who share your vision and values, your business will be easier to manage and run smoothly.

Good workers are motivated and want to complete jobs quickly instead of clocking in hours. 

Good workers function as a team and help each other grow and perform at their best. Having employees who share your cleaning company’s values will create a cohesive work culture and boost morale. 

Price Your Services Accurately and Keep Up With Industry Trends

Know what your competition is charging and how much to charge for house cleaning to be competitive. Ensure you are pricing your services accurately, as overpriced cleaning services can lead to low customer satisfaction and even lost business.

In addition, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with industry trends and adjust your prices accordingly. For example, if the average cost of cleaning has increased over the past year, you may be able to charge more for your services on your new cleaning proposals.

This will ensure that you offer the best possible value to your customers.

Invest in the Right Tools and Equipment

The right tools and equipment can increase your cleaning business’s success rate.

Don’t struggle to complete a job efficiently due to a lack of the right tools. Invest in quality cleaning supplies such as vacuum cleaners, mops & buckets, and other cleaning equipment. Your team will love you for supplying them with the best tools to complete their work efficiently.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Cleaning businesses often overlook the importance of customer service, as customers are always looking for ways to get their money’s worth. There are several ways to provide excellent customer service for your cleaning business, including:

  • Being responsive to clients’ needs.
  • Arriving on time for appointments.
  • Using quality products and materials.
  • Focusing on each customer’s specific needs and goals.

By providing excellent customer service, your business can significantly increase its chances of success. Be available when customers need you, be polite and understanding when they’re upset, and always do what you can to solve their problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do cleaning businesses fail?

Cleaning businesses usually fail due to poor planning, ineffective marketing, or staffing issues.

How can a cleaning business succeed?

Cleaning businesses can succeed by hiring top talent, strategic pricing systems, and investing in customer service training.


A successful cleaning business requires dedication and hard work, but it can be lucrative. Utilize the tips in this article to help your cleaning business achieve success. Remember to provide excellent customer service to keep your clients happy and referrals coming your way! 

Written by George Leon

George Leon

George Leon is a Managing Partner at Scalebloom. He used to be a partner at a painting company in Charlotte NC. George loves to help business owners scale their business with modern marketing strategies and branding.