Cleaning Service/ Janitorial Service Business in Orange County


There are two types of businesses that clean professionally,


Commercial Cleaning.  Typically used to clean large office buildings and retail space during the night.  These types of jobs are bid by the square foot of area to be cleaned.

There is a Chicago based national association of people in this business.  The offer a magazine, access to janitorial suppliers at a discounted rate, an annual convention, and certification of your skills as a manager or executive.  It might be important to have some sort of training certification if you bid on jobs.  They offer internet classes on a range of topics.  Building Service Contractors Association International

Home Cleaning Offering maid service can be lucrative.  The challenge in this business is to reach out to customers and assure them that your employees are trustworthy.  Your other challenge will be finding employees who are willing to do the job and have a clean criminal background.  You can run the business out of your garage, and inventory costs ar low.  Most households already own the equipment you need to get started: vacuum, mops, brooms…

Vacation Home Cleaning.  A growing number of people are renting out their homes in Orange County to as vacation rentals.  They need to have them perfectly clean, stocked with coffee, fresh towels…  They usually add cleaning onto the cost of renting the home.  The most popular home rental service is  and  One way to do some inexpensive marketing would be to go to their community forum, and search for cleaning service and Housekeeping.   You will see some people posting “looking for a cleaning service” and if you sign up for an account, you can post too.  You could also contact the owners directly from their listings, but that would be considered spam.

Cleaning Franchises

One way to gain customers is to buy a well recognized franchise, and they have become the “Hot” franchise lately because of the low overhead costs and franchisors have been advertising so there is now national brand recognition.  In the past few years you have probably noticed a lot of cars with cleaning company logos on their doors, and a lot of advertising in your mail box if you live in certain zip codes.  Customers are more likely to call a number from a company they know while in the past they would ask their neighbors if they know a good cleaning lady.


But be carful.  Recently the FTC has noted that there have been problems with people not getting what they paid for when purchasing a cleaning franchise.  Read this before you proceed any further:


Since it does not take a lot of capital or specialized expertise to get into this business their have been a lot of companies popping up to sell franchise packages.  Remember that it could always be less costly to buy an existing franchise than to start a new franchise with a company.  And there is nothing to stop you from starting your own service.  Your main cost will be marketing in the area you choose.  Franchises offer a regional advertising campaign that dilutes the cost of advertising among all the franchisees, training, proprietary software for running your business, and management advice.  Below are just a few franchise options.


Maid Brigade seems to be a newer franchise to our area so there may still be some territories available.  Start up cost from $60,000-$150,000, and a discount of up to 45% on some costs for military veterans.


Maid Pro This is an up and coming company.  The say they are an inexpensive alternative to the other franchisors with a franchise fee of only $8,000.  They say they can do this because they do not have any sub-franchisees.  They kind-of implied that some of the other companies work like a multi-level marketing scheme where by you pay people up the latter commissions.  Also they keep advertising costs down by focusing on the internet.  They have a 6.5% of gross sales royalty and a 1% of gross sales advertising charge.  They also can wrap your car in Maid Pro advertising and do print advertising.  They also make a point that they do not force you to buy supplies from them.  If you can get them cheaper locally, that’s okay.  They way they explain it it’s more like letting you do your own thing with the benefits of a large company as opposed to buying a manager’s job.


One of the most successful franchisors in our area is a company called Molly Maid. Franchisors pay around $60,000 for a territory and are given exclusive rights to Molly Maid cleaning accounts in that territory.  If a homeowner does not know who to call for cleaning services they will initially call a well known name like this one.


Merry Maids is a franchisor owned by a company that franchises a lot of low capital home service opportunities called Service Master. .  They do not provide start-up cost information on their website.  I think this is the company with the pink cars.


ServPro This is a specialized cleaning company.  This company goes in after disaster strikes.  Perhaps smoke damage from a fire or more likely a broken pipe that floods a home.  The interesting thing about this business is that they work fast and bill insurance companies.  Thus they can charge a bit of a premium over the hourly rate for general cleaning.  [They will not like the way this is explained.]  Home owners don’t really care about the cost because the insurance company is picking up the bill.  And insurance companies want the job done fast before mold issues start to grow.  This is more than just cleaning; there may be some drywall removal and other light construction work.  One thing is for sure, this company has done a great job with marketing.  After a flood, a lot of home owners automatically know they should call ServPro.


Maid to Perfection This company does both commercial and residential cleaning services.  Their franchise fee is only $15,000 and the royalty is 7% of gross sales.  As with the other companies, they have a professional training program.  They have just started expanding into Southern California yet, so there may be open territories available.


Service Master Clean They only charge $9,000 to get started and $5,000 of that goes to your initial marketing.  Their website for franchise opportunities is here:

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