Cleaning Business Residential vs. Office Accounts

A cleaning business has several ways to succeed, and while developing your business plan, there are a few things that should be taken into consideration. The most difficult and tedious part of starting your cleaning business has already taken place, now it’s time to consider how you want to run your business. When coming up with your business plan there is something that you will have to ask yourself: should you clean homes or commercial spaces?

Residential cleaning and office cleaning are not very different, but there are some components in each that can make an impact on your decision on what type of space you wish to clean. The deciding factors will be weighed out through three key items: supplies, cashflow, and staff management. There are several pros and cons that need to be weighed before deciding if you would like to have a residential cleaning service or a commercial cleaning service. The pros and cons for each of the items listed will be crucial in your decision-making in terms of residential or office accounts.

Proper Supplies

The biggest investment you will need to make when starting your cleaning business is buying cleaning supplies. The number of supplies that you will need to purchase will depend on what kind of clients you will work with. The following are a few things to consider when making this decision.

If you decide to do residential cleaning, you will not need to buy a large number of supplies in the beginning because the spaces that you clean will not be in size. However, it is your responsibility to take into account the client’s personal needs and make a note of any allergies they may have. You may also want to consider buying cleaning supplies that cater to people who have pets in their homes. A home with a pet will require more cleaning and attention to detail. Also, if there are children in the home, you should steer away from products that have harsh chemicals.

Commercial cleaning supplies are quite different. To begin with, you will need to buy your supplies in bulk because your clients will be occupying large spaces. In addition, you will need to purchase environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies, as many businesses will request that you clean with safe supplies. Purchasing environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies will be pricier, however, you can consider adding this cost to your invoice when billing the client at the end of the month.


As a business owner, cash flow is extremely important, especially if you have a staff that you need to pay. This is something that you will need to take into consideration when you decide which type of cleaning business you want to have. There are several ways that residential and office cleaning accounts can affect the cash flow for your business.

Cleaning homes has an array of benefits for you to consider. The biggest benefit of cleaning a home is that the client will pay at the end of the cleaning session, and in addition to being paid at the end of the session, they are likely to leave the cleaner a tip that can help boost morale for your staff. Another big factor is that you will be paid by the hour, which is great for larger homes. However, it is important to consider that — although being paid by the hour is great — the client will want the work completed in less time to avoid paying too much for the cleaning session. In addition, it is important to take into account your hourly rate, it is recommended that you check out your competitor’s rates before coming up with some figures. Another downside to cleaning homes is that cleaners may need to clean multiple homes a day, so it is important for them to stay on top of their schedule so that your company does not lose money. In many instances, a staff member will need to clean more than one home per day, and he or she will need to accommodate enough time to travel between appointments.

Commercial cleaning has a different approach when it comes to cash flow. There are multiple ways for cashflow to impact your business when having commercial owners as your clients. In many cases, when your client is a commercial space owner the billing will be on a monthly basis instead of an hourly basis. Therefore, if you have a fear of not having instant cash flow then you may want to reconsider the kind of clients you wish to have. An upside to commercial clients is that you will be paid a flat fee. This means that the client will have an idea of the charges to come, and they will not be surprised when they get their bill at the end of the month. Also, since this client has a contract you can indicate on the contract that any invoice that is not paid by the due date is subject to a late fee.

Check out this article to learn some steps in starting a cleaning business in Georgia.

Staff Management

A large focus on your business plan and how you run your business is your staff. Many business owners like to target specific markets to better their revenue. When considering the kind of clients that you would like it is best to consider what kind of work style you are looking for. Will you want your team to be micromanaged by the client or completely self-managed, on their own?

Workers who do not wish to be micromanaged by a client may prefer to not work in residential cleaning.  If an employee is working in someone’s home the client is likely to be at home when your staff is cleaning. Although most clients will stay out of the way, there is still a small percentage that will micromanage. Additionally, residential cleaning is done as a month-to-month job, therefore the client might release you if your cleaning skills do not meet their expectations. Therefore, it is imperative that the staff is properly trained to avoid being fired by a client.

Commercial cleaning is great for those workers that can self-manage and can meet company expectations when their employer is not around. The majority of cleaning takes place at the end of the day when the office staff has already gone home. The cleaners will be left alone, which is great because there is no one there to micromanage them and they can focus on the task at hand.  Since this is a flat fee job your staff can take all the time, they need to properly clean the office if that is the only office they are cleaning that evening.

What do they have in common?

The truth is, there is not much difference in residential and office cleaning. It is all a matter of preference that will determine your decision making. Although there are pros and cons that need to be weighed before choosing whether you want to clean homes or office spaces, they both have the following things in common:

Deep Cleaning

You should always offer your clients a deep cleaning as part of your package whether you are cleaning homes or an office. Offering a deep cleaning to your office will boost the quality of your cleaning business and allow you to offer more than one pricing package.


Your company will be held accountable for any lost, stolen, or damaged items that belong to the client. Whether it’s a vase in a home or a printer at an office, you and your team will be held accountable for damaged property.

Staff Training

Whether your company is cleaning homes or office buildings, it is important that your staff is well trained so that they can meet the company and the client’s expectations. A well-trained staff will help guarantee that your cleaning business is successful.

It’s time to make a decision.

So, what will it be? Will you clean homes or office buildings? The factors that have been listed in this article will help you come to terms with which type of clients you wish to work with. However, it is important to note that if you wish to have a home cleaning business or an office cleaning business, you will need to come up with a good business plan to ensure that you are successful.

Check out this article to know how you can start a restaurant cleaning business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I clean more than one office in an office building?

If you have the staff to do it or rotating schedules between offices, this is very much possible. A good thing about office buildings is that there is a lot of communication between offices, so it’s possible they’ll refer you to new clients.

Can I do both?

As your company continues to grow and generate enough revenue, then yes, you can do both. One thing to consider is having two separate department staff members for residential cleaning and office cleaning to prevent burnout.

How can I get clients for a commercial cleaning business?

A great way to find clients for commercial cleaning is an advertising and cold calling. Many office buildings are managed by property management companies, so getting in contact with management companies is a great way to get your name out there.

To learn more on how to start your own cleaning business, check out my startup documents here.

Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.

1 thought on “Cleaning Business Residential vs. Office Accounts”

Comments are closed.