Starting a Cleaning Business: Choosing a Niche Market

The cleaning industry has many different niches or market segments. When starting your cleaning business, you must first decide which market segments you would like to target. Focusing on a specific niche and specializing in only that market segment is a common approach, although it’s quite easy to cater to more than one cleaning niche market.

You should at least decide if you want to specialize in residential cleaning jobs or commercial cleaning, as these two markets are quite different.

Let’s take a look at some of the niches within the cleaning business to give you some ideas about the variety of work that is possible in this industry.

The big market is for consumer cleaning, janitorial service, or residential home cleaning. This is a large part of the general cleaning market and many players focus their activities entirely in this area. It is an easily accessible section of the market and customer agreements are often less formal and easier to obtain than those in the commercial sector.

The commercial market is also huge. Janitorial cleaning services clean all kinds of businesses and public buildings like offices, schools, and hospitals. Commercial cleaning jobs are often on a much larger scale compared to residential ones, and a coordinated team effort may be required to clean such large spaces within a cost-effective time frame.

Carpet and upholstery cleaning is another large and potentially profitable cleaning niche market. As this area requires the right equipment and knowledge, regular cleaning companies often leave this area in the hands of specific companies that specialize in this area. However, customers generally only require these services occasionally, so carpet and upholstery cleaners typically target a broader market and charge a healthy premium for their services. Carpet and upholstery cleaners often also offer other specialized services that regular cleaners are not able to provide.

That covers the big three, but there’s an endless variety of smaller niches you can look into as well. Some areas that cleaners target include power washing, cleaning building exteriors and windows, post-construction cleanup of new buildings, or even crime scene cleanup services.

One of the keys to success with your cleaning business is clearly defining the market segments you want to be in. Except perhaps in the largest cities, success in cleaning ultimately requires taking on a large niche and then also specializing in one or two smaller niches and becoming well known to clients in those market areas.

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