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Every year Contracting Profits surveys its readership to gauge the purchasing habits and market growth of building service contractors nationwide. Use the following survey results to benchmark against current product purchases, service offerings and market predictions.

For 2015, BSCs show the same optimism as last year with a similar majority believing business conditions will improve in the next 12 months. Nearly half of the respondents believe profits this year will be slightly higher than 2014; another quarter expect significantly higher profits over last year.

The commercial market remains far and above the most lucrative for BSCs, with 76 percent of contractors strong in this segment. Education, government and industrial are the most popular targets for growth.

The survey breaks down specific product purchases and brand specificity. Nearly three-quarters of BSCs purchase their products from a jan/san distributor. These orders are placed with an actual salesperson rather than through e-commerce. Even though distributors are becoming more sophisticated with their Web and mobile ordering options, contractors are still not buying products that way. The majority of respondents only purchase between 1 and 5 percent of their products online.

When asked about customer priorities, BSC responses mirrored those of facility executives, based on results of a 2014 Contracting Profits survey. Both BSCs and facility executives answered that a healthy and sanitary building environment and a clean appearance are both more important than green cleaning or even a low price.

It appears that customers will pay more for service that meets their needs. Many facility executives appreciate the ability to bundle services with one contractor. Not surprisingly, according to the survey, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, stone care and general building maintenance remain common specialty services that BSCs provide.