Commercial Cleaning Industry
How Big is the Commercial Cleaning Industry?
And how has the economic downturn affected the cleaning sector?
2020 is giving the commercial cleaning industry an epic makeover.
The cleaning industry traditionally has been pretty low-key: janitors diligently emptying waste cans, cleaning restrooms and generally taking care of the tasks that others do not want to mess with. But with the backdrop of a global pandemic, professional commercial cleaners are suddenly front-and-center, keeping things sanitized and disinfected to help the rest of the world stay safe at work.
Commercial cleaning has always been as much about maintaining a healthy work environment as keeping things looking shiny and clean, but now the health and safety aspect have become far more important.
How does the economy affect the industry?
The rise of health and safety during a period of economic uncertainty is one reason that Franchise Business Review recently called out the cleaning sector as one of 13 industries offering strong investment opportunities for would-be franchise owners in its 2020 special report, “The 50 Best Recession-Proof Businesses to Start in 2020.” Office Pride Commercial Cleaning was one of 50 franchises to make Franchise Business Review’s list of the Top 50 brands.
Historically, Office Pride and other commercial cleaning companies have performed well during economic downturns because the need for cleaning does not ebb and flow with the economy. Further, the low start-up costs associated with a cleaning franchise make it stand out during a sluggish economy, as do other factors such as low overhead costs, the ability to start a business out of an owner’s home; flexible hours; and the fact that no experience is required.
Who’s in this industry?
According to a Marketdata study, the $117 billion U.S. cleaning industry is composed of janitorial companies, pest control companies, building maintenance companies and more. This sector is composed largely of small- and medium-sized businesses, 36,000 of which are franchises. Janitorial services own most of the business in this sector, which is worth more than $50 billion annually.
The commercial cleaning industry is massive because of the number of businesses that require their services.
“Office Pride doesn’t have exclusive territories. There’s no need,” says Zach Grimmig, franchise development consultant. “It’s not unusual for us to have several franchises in a given market area. There’s plenty of business to go around, and in those markets they can work together and create a more regional presence. For example, one franchise might get a regionally based account and partner with other franchises in the market to help serve that client.”
The industry’s largest organization is the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), which prides itself on being the Business Resource for Contractors™ for more than 50 years. BSCAI represents a worldwide network of more than 500 member companies that provide cleaning, facility maintenance, security, landscaping and related services to building owners and managers. BSCAI provides educational programs, certifications, industry data and networking opportunities for industry leaders.
Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services Founder and CEO Todd Hopkins, CBSE, is serving as president of BSCAI in 2020.
What are the differentiators of the industry?
Of course, there is more to the commercial cleaning industry than how it performs during economic downturns. Here are some of the factors that differentiate the sector:
- Commercial cleaning is an established, stable industry. Commercial cleaning has been around a long time and shows steady growth. It is typically a service that businesses start and keep because it is recognized as being so important and not a luxury.
- Commercial cleaning is not geographically dependent. Commercial cleaning and janitorial service businesses are viable in any market area, regardless of size, population or demographics.
- Commercial clients tend to be small- to medium-size companies. These customers tend to be more loyal, which aids in customer retention. It is easier to build personal, long-lasting business relationships with smaller organizations.
- Commercial cleaning provides a predictable income. Office Pride franchisees enjoy predictable, recurring monthly income based on their number of accounts. They are able to grow their business by adding new accounts, special services and periodic floor care jobs.
- Commercial cleaning offers scalable growth. Franchise owners can control the pace at which they grow, adding new customers on their own timetable.