Two recent conversations have ignited my excitement about our industry. In my interview with Ricky Regalado, he shared industry growth stats that floored me. Has the number of new cleaning business owners doubled due to the pandemic? A few short months later, I met with commercial cleaning industry leader Ed Selkow for coffee. Our conversation lasted 3 hours and I took so many notes. Ed will absolutely blow your minds when I bring him on the Smart Cleaning School Podcast for a multi-part interview series. He impressed on me something else. Technology is becoming a major part of our industry. We need to learn and grow with it or we'll be left behind. I can't wait to tap into Ed's brain to discuss this topic. In today's episode, I wanted to get the ball moving on where our industry is going. I consider myself an ambassador for the cleaning industry. I want to lift up the experts and resources and teach the newbies proper business owner mindset. I believe this is important work so that every new cleaning business owner can skip years of common pitfalls and mistakes. They can grow into the professional, business-minded leader our industry needs.
Let's start with industry statistics. What is going on and why? Bloomberg reports that the total number of janitorial jobs in the US grew from 908k to 958k in the 2-year period of 2006 to the 2008 recession. Those jobs sharply declined to 913k by 2010 and steadily rose year-after-year to 1.1M in Feb 2020. That's a 20% increase in 10 years! But then the pandemic hit the economy and the janitorial jobs plummeted to 922k by April 2020. I remember April 2020 well. The initial fear was still present, but people were starting to look for solutions. Big hitters like Mark Cuban were predicting the growth of essential industries like cleaning. The cleaning professional organizations were lobbying in DC to acquire the "essential" designation for service providers. I dug deep into the science of cleaning and proper disinfection to create my own free course and series on the "9 Mistakes in Disinfection". Our industry got the essential designation. Residential cleaning companies slowly bounced back and commercial skyrocketed as janitorial jobs returned to the 1M mark in August 2020! That's a growth of 80,000 jobs in 5 months or 12%! Job numbers have continued to climb to the current 1.04M as of February 2022. To put this in perspective, janitorial jobs accounts for just under 1% of all current jobs in the US. The actual number is this. 6 out of every 1,000 workers are janitors or cleaners! For more perspective, there are 1.1M plumbing & HVAC jobs, 977k electricians, 7.5M construction jobs, and 843k landscaping jobs. Cleaning is a big player compared to other blue-collar trades. Here's more perspective. There are 2.9M jobs in information services, 10M in professional & technical services like engineering, 5.1M hospital workers, 2.3M real estate professionals, and 1.1M couriers & messagers like Amazon and FedEx delivery people. Cleaning is carving out a larger and larger slice of the US economy, projecting to go upwards of $88 billion by 2025 or 0.3% of the US economy. This is astounding to me!
Let's look at the stats that Ricky Regalado shared in our interview. How many new cleaning service owners are there? We talked about the job numbers. How many new owners are there since the pandemic? I found a reputable industry market research report that confirmed what Ricky shared. It's mind-blowing! There were 763,000 janitorial companies in 2012. Today there are 1,136,000. That's an increase of 48% in just 10 years! When I dug into the year-over-year stats. From 2011 to 2019, an average of 33,500 new cleaning businesses formed each year. That average jumped to 52,700 for 2020 and 2021. Ricky was right! 57% more cleaning companies are starting post-pandemic. I could literally spend hours digging into statistics and nerding out. Here's a few more that confirm Mark Cuban's predictions. In an article by Home Cleaning Centers, they quote the U.S. Department of Commerce. "Last year, nearly 10% of all U.S. households paid a professional service to clean their homes. Within the next few years, the US Department of Commerce expects 80% of two-income households to use an outside housecleaning service. Residential housecleaning has become one of the fastest growing industries in the country. It’s currently approaching $20 billion dollars in annual sales with a projected annual growth rate of 20%!" Onedesk reports. "The hourly prices across the nation are now up to $55 to $65 per hour for deep cleaning, up from a national average of $25 to $30 pre-virus."
Are you getting the picture? If you're a cleaning professional right now, you ought to be jacked out of your mind. Our industry is exploding. More and more households and offices need our services each year. They are willing to pay more thanks to our industry's expertise in proper cleaning science and disinfecting. We can also thank all of those who went to bat for us in getting the essential industry designation. Here's the message. Buckle up. Serve your community more than you ever have. Share your knowledge. Position yourself as a local cleaning expert and you won't be able to stop the growth that comes your way. Couple this with the attractiveness of cleaning as a job, the increasing numbers of workers, and the technological breakthroughs happening right now and you are in for a fun 10 years!
What if you are listening to this podcast episode and you're not in the industry? Have you been looking for a side gig you can either work part-time or possibly start a side hustle business? You may have never thought of cleaning. Listen to the statistics I've shared. Go back through this podcast roster and find the interviews I've conducted with industry leaders. The cleaning industry is primed for substantial growth. We have some of the smartest business minds to resource you in your slice of that pie. All you have to do is step out. If you make that choice, I hope you'll make this podcast the vehicle that helps you accomplish your goals.
Would you like more information on CBF and the potential of growing your residential cleaning business beyond 7 figures? Check out my interview with the CBF Founder, entitled "A Buffalo Charges the Storm with Debbie Sardone". Debbie is offering free consultations to listeners of this show through the Smart Cleaning School Resources Page to see if CBF could be the right solution for you.
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."