8 Mistakes to avoid if want to sell your Cleaning Business:

8 Mistakes to avoid if want to sell your Cleaning Business:

1. The Owner as the “Primary” Cleaner

Remember you are starting a business not starting to become a full time cleaner. The key point here is the future owner of your business most likely doesn’t want to be cleaning 40 hours a week. Also, remember you don’t have time to run your business if you’re doing all the work. Hire reliable cleaners to assist you in the cleaning process and eventually trust them enough to do all the work, while you grow and maintain the relationships your business needs to succeed. Then move on to finding a General Manager so you continue to sell and build your business.

2. Thinking all Cleaning is the Same

Home Cleaning and Commercial Cleaning are very different businesses. In both you make a clean space out of a dirty space but the real similarities end there. Homes all have the same basic areas including a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. In Commercial Cleaning there are different types of spaces with cubicles and larger central bathrooms or hair salons with hard floors, mirrors, and chairs drilled in the center of the room. Understanding your rate and potential profit in different scenarios and spaces is critical to the success of your business.

3. Not having Signed Contracts

If you plan to sell your business in the future or you want to be confident in your customer relationships you should make every effort to get signed agreements with all of your customers. We have seen many operators who run their cleaning business without contracts and when it’s time to sell, the valuation is drastically lower. Bottom line is, get signed contracts. If you need assistance on what makes a good contract please let us know.

4. Billing Clients Per Cleaning

One of the most important parts of how you operate your cleaning business is the process of billing your clients. Generally speaking, you would think I go do work and I bill them on an hourly basis or at an agreed upon project basis (each time you clean the whole house). However, when selling your business the best type of revenue to have is an on-going monthly revenue stream where you know exactly what you make every month for an agreed upon amount of cleaning. This way the revenue is seen as more of a recurring revenue and has a higher valuation than project-based work.

5.Windshield Time

Having a lot of windshield time (in your vehicle) is all time you’re not collecting revenue. Make sure you don’t spread your customers too far from your home base or each other. Choose a territory wisely and do your best to stick with it. The further away your locations are, the more your time and service costs go up. The less driving you and your teams are doing the more money they are making or services are being provided. A tightly knit area to service is also far more appealing to buyers as well.

6. Growth through a Very Big Customer

One of the biggest weaknesses of any business is overly relying on one customer for your company’s revenue. As with growing an investment portfolio, diversifying your customer base can drive down risks that are inherent in having too much of your success coming from one area. Also, keep in mind that relying on one industry can be equally risky if the industry encounters issues. So diversify your clients and industries that they work in (commercial) and in turn you’ll have a stronger, more desirable company.

7. Too Thin of Margins

Be careful when negotiating your fees with your customers. Don’t give away too much of your margin. You need to know the market and understand what is expected but at the same time not give away too much. If you set your margins correctly out of the gate you will be much happier with the income in the long run. Also, it will make the process of selling your business a much simpler one.  If you need help with understanding how to set margins, be sure to contact us.

8. Basic Training is the Only Training

As an operational standard you should include additional training as your home cleaning company evolves, especially if it evolves into a commercial cleaning company. The fact that an employee has cleaning experience does not mean that they have cleaned homes the way that your cleaning company does. You need all your employees to be on the same page and clean in the same manner, this is your “standard”.

Likewise, if they have commercial cleaning experience, that’s not the same as residential and visa versa. Your cleaning staff needs the relevant cleaning processes in both home and commercial properties. This will ensure that your business succeeds and your employees have the knowledge to succeed in their positions.

8 Reasons to Sell Your Cleaning Business in 2023

8 Reasons to Sell Your Cleaning Business in 2023

As with most things in life, it’s best to plan for the eventual sale of your business. Here is a list of good reasons to consider putting your cleaning business for sale.


The best reason someone wants to sell their business is to retire.The classic reason a good buyer wants to hear you’re selling is for retirement. It’s a great way to fund a retirement and is exactly what many business owners eventually plan on. Selling your business often will give a seller the money, or extra money, they need to feel comfortable retiring. Timing is everything, the best time to retire depends on many different factors with your business and your industry but most importantly when you’re ready for the next step in your life. Most people have a time or age in mind and an amount that they’ll need for their retirement, so you need to make sure the sale aligns with your plans.

Personal / Family Health

Life is not life without your health! There aren’t that many things more important than making money to live. But money is not important if you don’t have good health. There are many situations that you should plan for through Business Continuity planning but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be ready. One of these is a health scare in the form of cancer or another terminal illness. Did you prepare your company to continue operating without you or other key employees being involved? If not, this may be the time to look into selling your business. As with many things in life it’s critical to focus on your personal or loved ones’ health because you don’t always know what the result will be or when it may be too late to try to fix yourself. If you continue to operate the business as you fight your illness your performance and the performance of the business will likely be impacted. It may be best to sell your business while it has its highest value because it’s still running smoothly. Know your situation and make a decision based on all the information that you have been given. Selling may set you free and eliminate all your stress which in turn could help you beat the illness you’re fighting.

New Opportunities

Most business owners are entrepreneurs and, therefore, are often looking for the next opportunity or the next step in their business story. Due to this fact it’s a common reason to sell to focus on the next opportunity or have the money to invest in the next business the owner hopes to own. Some people can manage multiple businesses at the same time and others find it too difficult to run multiple businesses effectively. So, sometimes it is best to sell and focus on the next step and let the new buyer come in with their energy to get your business to the next level.

A Fast Growing Business

A really fast growing business is often one that ends up not getting full value as an owner overruns their abilities to grow the business. Therefore, sometimes it’s best to sell the business and let more experienced operators continue to grow it at its current pace. It can be really hard to let go of an exciting business that is in a tremendous growth stage, but at the same time this is the point to get incredible multiples on the sale of your business. A fast growing business generally will sell above market value based on the idea that the growth will continue. However, the risk to you is that the growth won’t continue and that’s why the safest choice can be selling. This may be your big chance to take advantage of selling while your business is worth the most money.

Seller’s Market

Depending on economic conditions and the appeal of other assets that are available to investors the M&A market can turn into a seller’s market. This is one which is favorable to sellers generally due to the market having more buyers than sellers. A seller’s market arises when demand exceeds supply. In other words, it is created when there are lots of buyers but there are not many businesses for sale. It’s basic supply and demand but it’s very important to pay attention to when you see selling as a natural next step. In a seller’s market you’ll have more buyers to choose from; most buyers will pay more than what is typical and you’ll often get better terms associated with your sale. Therefore, the timing of your sale is very important to the value you’ll receive.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Sometimes you’re not even thinking of selling but a buyer decides that your business is worth so much to them that they make an amazing offer. Generally an offer that you’d consider when you’re happily running your business will have to be significantly above market value for you to consider it. Again, timing is everything and it’s unlikely that an offer like this comes around at all or will stick around for long. Therefore, if it’s high enough it’s probably a situation that you should take seriously and make sure you don’t just take a pass on. There are lots of reasons why a potential buyer would overvalue a particular business but it doesn’t mean that this is an offer you can refuse.

Family Obligations

There are many important things in life but none that match the importance of your family. You may have big plans for your business but your foundation usually is your family and you need a solid foundation to build upon. Therefore, it’s important to understand your family’s needs and your obligations to them so you keep your priorities straight! Don’t let your business be a distraction to your family and also don’t let your family become a distraction to your business. How do these two thoughts go together? Simple, if you take care of your family obligations they won’t be a distraction to your business. Likewise, if you take care of your business obligations you will have less distractions when you’re with your family and you will be able to devote time to them. The key is limiting your responsibilities to a level that is manageable for the lifestyle you need to maintain. You can run a business with a family but you also can lean on your employees until you’re ready to sell.

Maturing Business or Declining Business Landscape

Your business may have peaked or your industry as a whole could be maturing which will impact growth. An experienced operator that has seen their business grow through exciting times may not be interested in operating a mature business. This does not mean that there aren’t interested buyers that are looking for nice stable, mature businesses. Quite to the contrary, what might be boring for an entrepreneur could be a perfect asset for another buyer or a larger company that is acquiring businesses.
Very similarly, the environment for business can shift from being very welcoming and friendly to businesses, to it being an obstacle to growth. Circumstances will likely help decide if a business owner should sell their business by evaluating if the situation looks to be getting worse over time. If it is getting worse it’s important to sell before market values in your industry are negatively impacted.