How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business in Nigeria

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With the hike in cost of living, it’s only reasonable to start a business that is lucrative enough to sustain you through the hardship, and knowing how to start a commercial cleaning business in Nigeria may be the best venture to explore.

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Starting a commercial cleaning service in Nigeria doesn’t require a huge start-up capital. Unlike in other parts of the world, where you’ll be required to obtain training and licenses before operating, in Nigeria, what is needed are the essential equipment to clean and ensuring your new company is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (which is cheap to do because a commercial cleaning service is still considered a “small and medium-scale business” in this part of the world).

However, what I feel you really want to know is:

  • What are the benefits of starting this business?
  • What are the downsides?
  • Is it lucrative?
  • And what are the steps to follow?

We’ll be going through all these details together, and by the time you’re done reading this blog, you should be able to decide if starting a cleaning business is right for you. But first, let’s understand the steps involved.

How to Start a Commercial Cleaning Business in Nigeria

Research and Planning

Before starting a commercial cleaning business in Nigeria, you must plan and make the necessary findings. When I say “findings,” I mean you need to evaluate your area or town to know if a cleaning service will thrive (and what kind) will be required frequently.

Before I explain further, it would be better to highlight the various cleaning services offered by a commercial cleaning company here in Nigeria. They are:

Post-Construction Cleaning

This involves you cleaning new buildings after construction. It’s usually the most demanding cleaning company service and requires a huge team to complete tasks.

Though the revenue from this kind of work is usually high, you should only get involved if you have the training and experience to handle it because you could land in big trouble if anything goes wrong.

Renovation Cleaning

Depending on the kind of renovation, this task is similar to post-construction cleaning but has fewer requirements. You’ll still need to assemble a large team for this kind of work, and the revenue is in the same bracket as that of a post-construction cleaning service. As I’ve stated earlier, if you’re starting out, avoid these jobs (you still need to gain the experience for them).

House Cleaning

This is the perfect area to start your cleaning service business. It has fewer risks, and you don’t need a large team to complete the task. People rent new apartments daily, so you’ll have jobs and clients as soon as you start (well, depending on your town and area). We’ll talk more about that later.

House cleaning in a “Nigerian context” involves cleaning a newly built or rented apartment. Most of these apartments are two bedrooms, a living room, and a bedroom, or three —to five-bedroom flats. You’ll be required to clean the tiles, windows, toilets, rooms, and every visible area of the apartment for the occupants before they pack in.

This job doesn’t require much experience, just your ability to clean and do it properly (or professionally). The revenue is also reasonable, as you can charge around 40 to 60 thousand Naira ($40–$60) depending on the size of the apartment you’re cleaning. It might not be as lucrative as post-construction or renovation cleaning, but considering you could have 4 to 7 of this kind of job in a week (it can measure up pretty fast).

Janitorial Cleaning

This type of cleaning service requires not just experience but also a lot of good reviews. Why? Offering a janitorial cleaning service in Nigeria means you’ll be working with the elite. And what I mean by “elites” is that you’ll be working in a subscription-based mode for rich folks and companies.

Your services will be required daily, mid-weekly, weekly, or monthly. And referencing Compass Cleaning Solutions, a renowned U.S. firm that specializes in janitorial cleaning services in Phoenix, if you plan to succeed in this cleaning service line, you must provide perfection in every job you’re given.

In most cases, a janitorial cleaning service in Nigeria is “contract-based,” so you’d have to sign a contract with the estate, business complex, or company you’ll be offering your services. Your job will mainly revolve around floor cleaning, restroom cleaning, trash removal, window cleaning, kitchen and break room cleaning, surface cleaning, etc.

Research and Planning (in continuation)

Now that you know the various forms of cleaning services you can offer when opening your business, it’s vital that you evaluate your skill level and experience when choosing the area to specialize in. Also, know the type of service that will thrive in your area.

Janitorial cleaning is for an area with many estates and corporate buildings, while post-construction, renovation, and house cleaning are for residential areas with many “modern” houses. So evaluate your vicinity and make the best decision.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

The next step is handling all the legal requirements to give your business a more professional look. Unlike other ventures that require a license to operate, a cleaning service company does not need any permits in Nigeria (this may change later, but it’s an advantage for you now). So make good use of it.

You only need to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (which can be stressful, according to studies). However, you can use a CAC registration company to handle it, which should cost you around 30 to 40 thousand Naira ($30–$40).

Assembling Your Team

You don’t need a massive team to start a commercial cleaning business in Nigeria if you only want to specialize in house cleaning services. However, if you’re hoping to go into janitorial, post-construction, and renovation cleaning, you must assemble a large team to work with.

Your team must be experienced, capable of learning quickly, and always provide exceptional service. You’ll succeed in this line of work if you can recruit the right people for your cleaning business.

Perks and Downsides of Starting a Cleaning Company

Now, to answer your question: Yes, a cleaning company is a lucrative venture. What is essential is for you to have made your findings about your locality (if a cleaning business can thrive there). Have the necessary equipment to start, like:

  • Broom
  • Buckets
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Brushes
  • Towels
  • And the chemicals required to clean

With this equipment, you can start and make the needed adjustments depending on the jobs you get.

Then, finally, know the area to specialize in. Don’t choose just any area because of how lucrative it is; your skill level must match if you hope to become successful in the field.

The downsides of starting a commercial cleaning business in Nigeria revolve primarily around the stigma surrounding “being a cleaner” in Africa (it’s a cultural stereotype but a useless one). In most cases, people open a laundry business and include a commercial cleaning service as part of the services rendered to cover up the stigma. However, if you’re the type with a solid mental mindset and not easily fazed by the thoughts and opinions of others, then you’ll do just fine!

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