Learn how to adapt and move forward so you can run a successful cleaning business no matter what’s going on in the world.
Waaaaay back in 2019, you only needed a few things to create a successful cleaning business. If you did good work, hired a reliable team, and your marketing was halfway decent, you could get your business up and running. That almost seems quaint now. It’s hard to wrap your head around how much things have changed in such a short time. But if nothing else, the janitorial industry has always been able to shift and adapt to different circumstances even better than any other industry.
You’re used to your “office” being anything from a retail shop to a restaurant to a sports stadium. Sometimes, it might even be any combination of environments in a single shift. You work short-staffed, late nights, and early mornings. You and your team are used to making things happen no matter what. But 2020 was different and brought a few new challenges, to put it mildly. Still, the janitorial industry has kept up at every step.
You’ve had to make changes to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. You operate differently, use different cleaning products, work on different schedules, and use new, state-of-the-art equipment. Your entire team knows more about virus transmission than anyone should ever need to know.
And while you know about all the changes you’ve made, your customers and potential customers may not. You may be running a successful cleaning business right now, but if you plan to stay successful, it’s time for your business to continue to adapt to COVID-19 just like your operations have.
Janitorial software can help you to create and manage your COVID-19 cleaning plan. Check out a demo of Janitorial Manager today to see how we can help keep your clients safe.
Your 3-part guide to operating a successful cleaning business
There are many different aspects of creating and sustaining a successful cleaning business. We’re going to break it down into three parts here, specifically related to working in a COVID-19 era: business basics, internal organization, and marketing (which takes the first two into consideration).
1. Business basics
You already know that your employees are your greatest business asset. It’s no secret that good customer service is one of the most vital parts of running a successful cleaning business. But with COVID-19, along with the possibility of future pandemics or even more localized issues (a listeria outbreak at a school, for example), it’s time to expand the idea of business basics. Customers want to know that you’ve done your research and have the knowledge you need to keep them safe.
As it relates to viruses, do you know how these illnesses spread? What cleaning products neutralize and kill different types of viruses? For that matter, did you know that viruses have varying structures? Some have a single or double protein shell, while others have an additional shell known as an envelope. Why is this important?
It’s helpful if you can explain to your customers why you use a certain product, and why it’s effective. For instance, when we first began cleaning for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), there were no products that were tested and determined effective against that virus. We did, however, have a list from the Environmental Protection Agency of cleaning agents that demonstrated “efficacy against a pathogen that is harder to kill than SARS-CoV-2” or “against a different human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2.” And that’s all based on the structure of the virus.
The takeaway from all this is that, to run a successful cleaning business, it’s essential to keep up with the science and information available to you.
2. Internal organization
Your internal organization is always important. It’s the key to getting the right people to the correct location at the right time. It’s how you track things like your equipment maintenance and supply inventory. But especially now, your level of organization is critical in keeping your team and your customers safe.
Stable groups of workers going to the same locations cut down on the risk of viral transmission. Solid inventory management ensures you have the PPE and cleaning products your team needs. Organized, updated cleaning lists and schedules help your customers understand what you’re doing to keep them safe. And quick, easy communication can help keep everyone informed in cases where quarantining is necessary or your customer needs a deep clean because of a positive coronavirus case.
Incidentally, cloud-based janitorial management software can make all of this substantially easier. One software we know of even includes a communications app that you can share with your customers. (Feel free to click here if you want to find out more.)
There’s a lot to say about marketing, but again, sticking with the theme of coronavirus, aren’t people tired of hearing about it? In short, whether it’s coronavirus, the flu, or some other viral pathogen, people hire you, in part, because of your expertise. Don’t be afraid to share what you do to take these issues seriously. Here’s one example from Stratus Building Solutions, with franchise locations throughout North America.
They’ve put two special alerts on the front page of their website. When you click for more information, you get a full page detailing the steps they take to clean and disinfect facilities. They also include multiple links to coronavirus information from the CDC and OSHA.
One piece that’s especially beneficial to customers is their 10-page “Back to Business Plan” download. It includes a wealth of information to help businesses reopen, including what COVID-19 is, how it spreads, how you can prevent it, links to the World Health Organization, EPA, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There’s a detailed plan for reopening, remaining open, and what to do in the event of an exposure.
In Palm Springs, CA, Coit Cleaning & Restoration has a similar approach. They detail the differences between cleaning and disinfecting, how they follow all CDC guidelines, and the steps they take to sanitize and disinfect an area. They also post health and safety information on their social media feeds, adding value to their services for customers and potential customers.
In short, you’ve already shifted your business to deal with COVID-19. Now it’s time to let your customers know what you’re doing. Remind them that you stay up-to-date on emerging science about the best practices for cleaning and disinfecting. Stay organized so you can provide the best possible service for your clients. And don’t be afraid to use your knowledge and safety protocols as a marketing point.
Take charge of your cleaning services with Janitorial Manager where you can manage cleaning jobs, communicate with clients, and so much more. Schedule a free demo today to learn more!