Annually, Contracting Profits and Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), take time to listen to the community of building service contractors around the country, asking questions about employment trends, service offerings, market share and more. Often, respondents will share their prospects for business in the coming years. The results are compiled here in the “2023 Report on the Building Service Contractor Market”. 

With the economy steadily wriggling out of the pandemic-induced rut for much of the previous 12 months, the outlook for the near-future feels cautiously optimistic, and the commercial cleaning industry can likely expect a continued bounce-back as workers gradually return to offices around the country, businesses settle into new routines, and the supply chain continues to cooperate. Though the public can likely expect another year of possible outbreaks, occasional closings and steady case numbers, patterns of general behavior hold steady, and business goes on. 

If patterns continue, many BSCs can expect to see continued incrementally growing sales and profits: At the close of 2022, 68 percent of respondents reported that they either slightly or significantly increased their sales over 2021. Another 16 percent reported things remaining about the same. Last year, 72 percent of BSCs reported increasing their sales; but the number was just 58 percent in 2020. After an initial jolt, sales seem to have leveled off, but remain heading in a positive direction. The data suggests that many BSCs share that outlook; 78 percent also reported that they expect to either slightly or significantly increase their profits in 2023.  

Interestingly, the market sectors where respondents indicated they were performing strongest are a reflection on how the labor market has fluctuated over the last couple of years. While restaurants/clubs saw immense growth from 2021-2022 (42 percent of respondents doing well), only 33 percent reported that they were still strong in that sector. Meanwhile, 77 percent of respondents are reporting strong performance in the commercial office property sector.  

There are also several interesting areas that BSCs are planning to target: 76 percent are hoping to increase their presence in the transportation field, particularly as commuter levels increase and demand rises (over 80 percent had this area targeted for 2022). Secondly, as more recreational facilities have reopened and stayed open (especially indoor facilities such as movie theaters and bowling alleys), more contractors are going to be competing for a piece of that pie — just under 70 percent have their eyes on it.  

If anything, when it comes to how 2023 will be defined, legislative interest suggests that all eyes will be on the ever-in-flux labor market. Seventy-seven percent of respondents suggest that difficulty finding reliable labor is a primary concern and want the government to take action. Relatedly, the issues surrounding minimum wage and inflation (notably, the supply chain) are generating a lot of attention in the community as business owners look to hold the course from last year.  

Overall, BSCs are displaying a determined outlook for 2023. After a roller coaster ride that’s now stretching into three years, business owners are looking to find some stable ground, and they’re willing to work for it. BSCs are looking to shore up their castles as the economy chugs forward, and 85 percent report that they have no intentions to add additional holdings in the near future. Instead, BSCs will develop and hone their services in the “new normal”. Just under half of the respondents indicate that surface disinfection and touch points will see significant increase in attention in the post-pandemic workplace. Seventy-two percent of BSCs respond that they believe that the pandemic will affect how clients budget and manage services — paying more attention to cost and, in particular, price increases.  

Nevertheless, BSCs are largely still somewhat divided over what to prioritize the most: a healthy and sanitary environment for occupants (40 percent), a clean appearance (34 percent) and keeping prices low (coming in at 20 percent) all seem to play a role in success — and that’s just good business. 

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Examining Product Selection and Growth