Experienced Exterior Pro, Thinking of Going Inside - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 02-27-2010, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NE Florida
Posts: 1
Experienced Exterior Pro, Thinking of Going Inside

My first post here and am looking for a little direction. We have been in the pressure washing / window cleaning / roof cleaning business for 27 years and I am thinking about starting a commercial janitorial side too. I am tired of passing on referrals to the only company in our area that I know of and they don't respond, call or are motivated at all to do anything. I think I could use some of my current clients and contacts to get the ball rolling but I have many questions.
1. Where do you get your commercial supplies and what would I need to get started?
2. How much do you charge? Is it by the square foot or what. The way we charge now is by time, how long the job will take X a good hourly rate which I would think would be higher for exterior cleaning vs. interior janitorial or am I wrong?
3. We are fully licensed and insured with liability and workers comp. but are not bonded. What does that normally cost?
4. Is there a good resource for learning the ins and outs of janitorial, equipment, etc.?
5. Do you have to have floor buffers, strippers, etc.?
Thanks for any help.

Sunshine Cleaning Service
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post #2 of Old 04-12-2010, 12:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 11
Going Inside


Not much time here, so just a couple of answers.

Bonding is cheap, just call your insurance agent.

Start a wholesale company to buy your cleaning supplies and tools and then sell those items to your janitorial service. Totally legal, and you'll save 40-50%.

A 44-gallon trashcan with casters, a decent vacuum with a hose attachment such as the CarpetPro, a set of restroom cleaning equipment, a dustmop, a mop bucket and wringer, and the small stuff like rags, feather dusters, spray bottles, sponges, gloves. This should not cost over $500.

You can also try Craigslist for good used equipment, and only buy equipment as you need it.

For floors, you will need a floor machine, a wet vac, and probably a buffer. Other items are 2 mop buckets, 2 wringers, 2 mops and handles, some hand-scrub pads for cleaning tight spots and corners, a wax applicator mop, and a couple of box fans. The good thing is that floor machines can be rented at first, and the other stuff will last pretty much forever. Try Craigslist for floor equipment.

People who have been bidding for a while will use both square footage and time estimates. As you get experience you will come to learn how long a square foot takes to clean, how many square feet you can clean in an hour, how the population of a building affects your productivity & time, and even how to figure out a "per-person" charge (if there are 100 people in one of your buildings and it takes you 4 hours (240 minutes) to clean the building, your per-person time is 2.4 minutes - this is a number you can use in your future bids as a benchmark.).

Sorry, that's all for now, but this should get you started on the process.


Kit Schulte
JanQuest Business Systems

Start Your Own Commercial Janitorial Office-Cleaning Business the Right Way!

Last edited by JanQuest Business Systems; 04-12-2010 at 12:29 AM. Reason: got a number wrong! thanks!
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