How to Get More Commercial Cleaning Contracts

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

This is one of the most searched questions online in the cleaning industry. It’s also a question even the most seasoned cleaning business owners have.

After all, good commercial contracts aren’t easy to come by.

Most commercial cleaning companies get their contracts via referrals/word of mouth. While word of mouth is great, it’s not optimal. If your goal is to grow your cleaning company to its’ maximum potential, you will need more.

Let’s discuss the different marketing options for commercial cleaning businesses.

mopping through hallway

Outbound vs Inbound Marketing

Anything that requires your time and energy to get in front of a prospect is considered outbound marketing. Think all of the “old school” methods of prospecting:

  • Networking events.
  • Door knocking.
  • Cold calling.
  • Cold emailing.
  • Direct mail.

The benefit of these options? They are free!

You are sacrificing your time to promote your cleaning business, making it a great option for people starting out.

There’s also an element of personalization that some outbound strategies benefit you with. For example, meeting a business owner in person is about as real as it gets.

Business owners are inundated with hundreds, if not thousands, of unsolicited services and offers every week. It’s hard for them to decipher what’s spam or not.

If you want the best odds, personalize your outreach!

Take a few minutes to research the business you’re reaching out to. Find out the owner’s name, business partner’s name (if applicable), why they started the company, what types of organizations they belong to, what leisurely activities they enjoy etc.

The more info you can collect, the better.

Then, use this information to make your message standout! It will be a huge advantage for you and relief for the prospect.

The one challenge of outbound marketing is it’s very time-consuming. This means you cannot scale your efforts, unless you hire people to do the outreach for you or invest in automation tools.

Inbound marketing is the other side of the coin. This entails people coming to you as a result of your marketing efforts.

These marketing efforts can be from:

  • SEO.
  • Facebook advertising.
  • Google advertising.
  • Yelp advertising.
  • Newspaper advertising.
  • Radio advertising.
  • Television advertising.

This dynamic is more favorable for cleaning business owners because these prospects are pre-sold on the idea of working together.

Unlike a cold call where a prospect has no idea who you are (and you have only a couple seconds to “sell” your prospect), now people are reaching out because they know they have a problem and believe you can solve it.

This is ideal!

So, what’s the catch? Expense.

Popular advertising platforms for commercial cleaning companies are generally expensive.

If you take a look at Google, for example, this platform is fairly competitive for commercial cleaning companies. Google is also very smart and knows how lucrative the commercial cleaning industry is.
Because of this, they have no issue charging higher prices for clicks, let alone leads, in the commercial space.

This can rack up a hefty bill pretty quickly.

keyword planner results for commercial cleaning terms

Google suggests bidding upwards of $30-$40 per click for certain keywords in the janitorial space.

Which plan is right for you?

For newer commercial cleaning companies, I recommend starting with the outbound marketing strategies.

This will help you save thousands of dollars on advertising. Getting rejected by hundreds of businesses every week will also help you develop thick skin, which is a crucial trait all cleaning business owners need.

Once you have a few contracts under your belt, you understand the sales process, feel confident in your bidding process etc., start advertising!

Make sure you have the foundation for online marketing: Google My Business, website, social media pages and other platforms that support local SEO. Then, it’s time to make your money work for you!

I’d recommend starting with Google Ads since the search intent is already there. If you have good content with your commercial cleaning work, you may explore YouTube ads or even Facebook/Instagram ads to get leads.


person handing over contract and pen


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