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8 Successful Cleaning Business Stories That’ll Inspire You

Successful cleaning business stories: Katie Pearse of Green Clean Squad and Glisten Academy

How do you know if your cleaning business will make it big?

While there’s no way to know for sure, you can predict your success pretty accurately by comparing your business with successful cleaning business stories.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to Katie Pearse, a Canadian cleaning entrepreneur who built a million dollar cleaning business in just three years.

You’ll also meet other entrepreneurs whose cleaning business success stories are just as inspiring.

READ MORE: Is it worth starting a cleaning business?

Green Clean Squad: the million dollar cleaning business

In 2008, Katie worked in web communications. She was fascinated with online marketing and spent her free time learning everything she could about the latest tools and strategies.

However, she wasn’t able to try any of her ideas at her day job. So Katie decided to start her own business and make her marketing dreams a reality.

Katie partnered with a local cleaning expert who could handle the service side of the business. Together they founded an Edmonton-based cleaning company called Green Clean Squad.

READ MORE: How to promote your cleaning business

By 2015, Green Clean Squad reached:

✅ 200+ paying clients
✅ 12 full- and part-time employees
✅ 75 homes cleaned per week
✅ $115,000 in monthly revenue
✅ $180 hourly rate (up from $62!)

READ MORE: How much to charge for house cleaning

To achieve those numbers, Katie tried tactics that hardly anyone else in the residential cleaning business was doing. Here’s what Green Clean Squad did differently:

  • Mystery shopping: Katie started a mystery shopping program to evaluate her cleaners’ performance. Clients got 50% off a cleaning if they did a detailed evaluation of that day’s cleaners, and cleaners earned a bonus for top marks.
  • Customer service: Katie always did her best to create an exceptional customer experience and went the extra mile as much as possible. This high-end customer experience was the reason why the company could charge such a high hourly rate.
  • Online quotes: Most companies visit potential clients in person to provide a quote—but not Katie. She felt in-person quotes were inefficient, so she came up with a way to provide accurate quotes online.

“Work through what you would want from a cleaning company, then give that to the world.”

—Katie Pearse

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Green Clean Squad’s 7-year cleaning success story

Successful cleaning business stories: Katie Pearse of Green Clean Squad and Glisten AcademyKatie Pearse, co-founder of Green Clean Squad

  • 2008: Katie and her business partner launched their business in April, cleaning nights and weekends while working full-time day jobs. By May, business was going so well that Katie quit her day job. They hired their first employee in June.
  • 2011: The business hit its first million in sales.
  • 2012: Katie and her partner started an employee benefits plan for their staff. This helped them attract better candidates and keep rockstar workers on the team.
  • 2013: The business made $1M in sales in that year alone.
  • 2015: Katie invested more in advertising. In three months, monthly revenue jumped from $80,000 to $115,000. That year, Katie left the business and moved into consulting and other entrepreneurial ventures, including Glisten Academy.

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Read 7 more cleaning business success stories

Inspired by Katie’s story? Meet six of the most successful cleaning companies we know, and find out how they did it:

  • Karen Conchie started The Cleaning Ladies as a career change. The company now offers careers to even more professional cleaners. Part of The Cleaning Ladies’ success comes from using the Jobber mobile app to manage job details on the go.
  • Cleaning Ninjas cleans more than 500 homes and offices every month in more than 25 communities throughout Nebraska. They’ve found success through their unique cleaning company name, by paying close attention to details, and giving clients amazing service.
  • Marianna’s Cleaning Co. has been a successful residential cleaning business in the Los Angeles area for decades. The company nearly doubled leads by offering online booking through Google’s Local Services Ads.
  • My Cleaning Angel used a cleaning website, online advertising, and great client communication to grow the business. They’ve been able to hire 50 cleaners in several areas throughout Florida.
  • Grace Reynolds started Handmaid Cleaning as a single mom of two. Using house cleaning ads on Facebook, she was able to grow the business with her now-husband Kevin. They also run the American House Cleaners Association.
  • Hope Cleaning is making their community better by hiring employees from low-income areas or difficult life situations. They build trust with clients through word-of-mouth referrals and through their focus on social responsibility and green cleaning.
  • Irene Zibin of eSunshine Cleaning employs a team of cleaners to provide green residential cleaning services. Running a business is demanding, but Irene took back her time when she started using Jobber to solve her scheduling and invoicing problems.

READ MORE: House cleaning checklists to get (and stay) organized

What’s the average cleaning business success rate?

68% of new businesses are likely to survive the first two years. However, this rate does drop to below 50% within the first five years, so it’ll take effort and determination to succeed.

The cleaning industry is growing 20% year over year, according to current cleaning industry trends. And demand is growing, too, with 80% of households expected to use cleaning services by 2024.

If you aren’t already running one, now’s the time to learn how to start a cleaning business in the residential market. You can also find out how to start a commercial cleaning business.

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Originally published June 2016. Last updated on March 24, 2022.

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