During the economic slowdown of 2008, many corporate companies shut their doors. Tech stocks fell, the price of oil dropped, and the precious metal market suffered a bit. Through this tough time, one industry continued to hold on and struggle through the scarcity. Companies offering janitorial services managed to keep their doors open and businesses running. Large contracts no longer existed, and some steady customers started to drop off one by one. Even in this tough business atmosphere, maintenance and cleaning services survived–even if they did not thrive.

A Smart Business Model

If we learn nothing else from this terrible time, we should always remember who has the upper hand during times of trouble. A business can always readjust itself if it serves a need instead of a want. While everyone else was trying to reinvent the computer, janitors were earning their money through cleaning contracts. When the excess funds for computers dwindled, the funds for janitorial services stayed intact. Consumers were not totally out of cash during this time, so why would they hold back their money for a product and spend it on a service? Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper for them to purchase their own chemicals and clean their own spaces?

The answer is yes. It is easier and cheaper, but it is also labor intensive. Why spend your time rubbing and scrubbing when you could hire someone to do it for you? Janitorial services are time savers that can keep us from filthy and unpleasant tasks. We love to sit in clean places and spaces, but no one wants to clean up when it is time to leave. For a brief moment, think about the hotel industry. Everyone loves the clean room with the fresh towels and new soap. After a wild weekend, no one wants to touch the room, even if they actually made the mess.

Consumer Needs Over Wants

In most cases, a consumer will choose a convenience over a gadget or shiny product. This is why janitorial services are in the category of recession proof businesses. According to DigitalJournal.com, the janitorial market shoud experience strong growth by 2021. This industry is not suffering by any means, so what does the author actually mean by strong growth? It means the industry is going to build on top of the success it already has. So a cleaning company holding 17% of the market share may wind up with 34% by 2012.

Many Companies and Still Thriving

There are 10-15 major cleaning companies in the industry, and a ton of smaller companies with less prominance. Most of these companies been in business for a period of 5 -20 years or more. There are only so many contracts and so many one-time visits, so how could every single company survive in an economic downturn? The only logical answer is persistance, and this works well with a little bit of drive and creativity.