If you are just starting out, you may only have a few pieces of equipment that you store in a work van and drive a route of small accounts. As you grow, you will acquire accounts that require your assigning dedicated tools and equipment to that particular site. Hopefully by then, you will have a line of credit with a bank (possibly with your house on the line) that will allow you to purchase new commercial tools and equipment that will pay for themselves in reduced labor costs. Consider the following points in selecting equipment and tools as you are just getting started:

1. Buy commercial grade equipment since the investment will always be worth it.  Although a residential vacuum cleaner may look similar to its commercial cousin, the professional grade unit will last longer due to having a larger motor, better housing, longer cord and other features not needed in a unit purchased for occasional home use.

2.Look for efficiency and effectiveness in the equipment you purchase.  A back pack vacuum cleaner can save a lot of time in a large contract but may not be practical for small sites or routes.  Fit the tool or piece of equipment to the job whenever possible.

3. Use microfiber in not only cloths but also flat mops which can be pre-soaked eliminating the need for hauling a bucket in and out of the building and can oftentimes double as a dust mop and damp mop in all but the heavy soiled areas which will require sweeping first. Choosing the best microfiber flat mops system for the job has become a science within itself.

4. Purchase sufficient quantities of mop heads to allow you to use the mop once and then put aside to laundry. Seldom is it wise to try to rinse it out unless you are using one of the commercial grade double bucket systems with the butterfly mop handles. Those may be more appropriate in larger accounts but not for a route.  

5. Rent or borrow infrequently used equipment such as floor machines, pressure washers, auto scrubs, window cleaning kits, etc. until your business volume demands that you purchase a unit.  Nothing can be more frustrating than purchasing a complex machine such as a gasoline powered pressure washer and watch it slowly deteriorate due to lack of use.

Remember the advice, KEEP IT SIMPLE and don’t purchase equipment until you have a business case for doing so. Your comments and questions are important.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…..


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.