Your cleaning business profit potential isn’t out of reach. Find out how to thrive and get to the top.
When you started your cleaning business, profit potential was probably one of the factors that pushed you to go through with it. You looked at the startup costs, the going rates for services, the monthly overhead, and the expenses. You concluded that the profits might be small at first, but they would grow. Eventually, you would make enough to feel comfortable in the success of your cleaning business. Things would be mostly smooth sailing.
Then you got stuck. That might even be where you are now. You make enough to cover expenses most months, but clients aren’t always steady, your employees are looking for other work, and if any equipment breaks down, it’s going to hurt. Yet somehow, you’re busy enough that you can’t quite find the time to market your services and bring in new, higher-paying clients.
You’ve hit the business version of the hamster wheel: you’re running hard, but you aren’t getting anywhere. It’s not just you, either. It happens across industries. You hear about profit potential in the stock market, in reference to professional athletes and new business ideas.
So how do you get out of this slump and reach your cleaning business profit potential? Your first step is making a plan.
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A 5-step plan for hitting your cleaning business profit potential
1. Take a hard look at your books
Like every business, you have income and expenses. What’s vital, however, is making sure those numbers are what they should be. This is an exercise that will take time, but the payoff could be huge. Here are some things to look at:
- Are you sending invoices to clients regularly
- Do you have a high percentage of outstanding invoices
- How much are you spending on supplies?
- Could you get a discount if you placed a larger order?
- Are your teams using supplies efficiently?
- Are your teams working efficiently?
How much does this all matter? Specifically, in the case of your employees working efficiently, you should think about factors like the distance between work sites. Are they taking the best route from site to site? Or do they need to backtrack to get to new locations? Are they spending time trying to get decrepit equipment to work?
These are just some of the ways your expenses and revenue can be out of balance. Every extra minute your team spends commuting from one site to another gives you a negative ROI. Every time they have to figure out why a floor buffer won’t work, or they run out of supplies, you’re losing money.
Don’t misread this. You do have to pay your team. And, to retain top talent, you need to pay them well. But with the right systems in place, you can keep up with equipment maintenance, track your supplies, and create the most efficient workflow—all of which can increase your revenue. This brings us to the second step.
2. Hire (and keep) the best people
Turnover is one of the most frustrating things to deal with in a cleaning business. Profit potential literally walks out the door every time you lose a good employee. Sometimes that’s simply out of your control. People move away, move on, go back to school, start their own businesses, and so on. Congratulate them, wish them well, and offer to welcome them back if they change their mind.
There are also many more reasons people leave that are within your control. Good pay is obvious, of course, as a way to retain people, but that’s not the only thing you can do. According to NBC News, between 79% and 82% of people who leave their jobs do so because they don’t believe their boss cares about what they do.
That is a straightforward fix. Especially if you have a high-quality communication app to reach your employees. Send a note at the beginning of every shift thanking people for their work. Mention people by name in your company communications. Thank people in person for what they do, for how hard they work, and for being a valuable team member.
3. Be a specialist
Establishing your business as a niche service can do wonders for growing your revenue. Through your professional organization, you can get certification in anything from carpet cleaning to green cleaning to mold remediation to biohazard cleaning. You may even be able to attain these certifications as part of your membership benefits.
4. Give your customers the best value possible
Value and price are not the same things. It’s unlikely you want to lower your prices, nor should you. You might gain a new contract or two, but more work for less money is not a winning strategy. Value, on the other hand, is about what your customers get for the money they pay.
For your clients, value means that you show up when you’re supposed to, you do your job the right way, and they don’t have to worry about you. Your clients are busy people, and the more you can ease their worry about keeping facilities clean, the better. They don’t want to think about their janitorial services; that’s what they’ve hired you to do.
Cleaning management software is obviously our preferred method of keeping everything organized, streamlined, and up to standards, but there are other ways. Make sure your team uses a checklist. Do routine audits and address any issues before you get complaints. Stay in touch with your clients, so they know how much value they get from doing business with you.
5. Ask for referrals
Easy and straightforward. If you have a good team, work efficiently, and offer excellent value, referrals are a simple way to reach your cleaning business profit potential. A happy client who tells their friends about you is the best advertising you can get.
The only caveat here is that if you genuinely expect referrals, you can’t rely on hope. Create a formal referral program and watch the result fly in.
When you’re working toward your cleaning business profit potential, any step in the right direction has a payoff. And many of those steps have minimal, if any, costs associated with them.
Make your business stand out with Janitorial Manager, software designed by janitors, for janitors. Contact us today for a free demo and learn about all the fantastic features!