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From new tools created to make cleaning and sanitation quicker and able to be achieved on a larger scale to tracking software that brings real-time data to the fingertips of its users, technology is a constant presence in the cleaning world. 

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About This Guest:

Sam Riegsecker

Sam Riegsecker

Marketing Operations Manager - Double A Solutions

A continuously evolving part of the world is technology and automation. We sat down again with Sam Riegsecker to talk about this ever-growing part of the cleaning industry as Double A Solutions and Janitorial Manager are at the forefront of it. We sat back down with Sam Riegsecker to discuss that which can be a cornerstone in a business’s success. 

Technology is a segment of tools and crafts that allow the user to become more effective and efficient in what they do. There are the physical technology and hardware like new dispensers and sprayers and there are software products that automate communication and tasks that might otherwise take longer. There have been far too many innovations as of late to discuss in a single podcast episode but we talk about a few and break down to keep it all from becoming overwhelmingly complex.

Podcast Transcription

 Halie  0:00  

Hello everyone and welcome to The Business of Cleaning podcast

My name is Halie Morris. I’m your podcast coordinator and host. With me today, I brought back my boss, Sam. So Sam, if you want to remind everybody who you are really quick.

Sam  0:45  

Yeah. I’m Sam Riegsecker. I’m the Marketing Operations Manager for Double A Solutions. And yeah, that’s who I am. I am Halie’s right hand, man, I guess as far as the podcast stuff goes. So it’s been a long process of planning. So it’s a pleasure to be here again.

 

Halie  1:04  

Thanks, Sam. So I know we’re doing things a little bit differently this time. But we had a couple of great topics that we wanted to make sure we touched on before the season rounded out. For that one today we actually want to touch on something that’s very close to home within the JM family. That’s new technology and automation innovations that are coming and sweeping through the cleaning industry right now. 

There’s probably a couple that you’re aware of or things that are you’re starting to see names surface, we just wanted to discuss some of those things that we’ve heard about really focusing on the software side because the software industry is huge, it can be overwhelming It is also is what is making the biggest sweeping changes as far as processes and how we do things. 

Then we’re going to talk about why it’s important to stay up to date and to really consider what things work for your company. And we’re going to discuss that ever, frightful learning curve. 

So, Sam, I know we were talking earlier about some of the things that are popping up. Can you recall some of the bigger innovations that are coming our way or had come our way?

 

Sam  2:07  

Yeah, with the whole COVID-19 situation, you’re gonna see continued growth in the non-touch free stuff, whether it be soap dispensers, water. I know that’s common now but I think you’re gonna see more and more stuff be touch-free. Robotics too are going to continue to grow in this industry. Speaking of which, when I was at ISSA North America last year at that big trade show in Vegas, robotics seemed to be the next big thing in this industry. 

Taking the time and doing your research on what makes sense for your business as a potential growth opportunity, streamlining your process, and that kind of stuff. I feel like that’s what’s coming or continuing to come. It may have already been here but just seeing what’s coming for the next six, eight months, or whatever.

Halie  3:11  

I’ve seen a lot with the touch free and just convenience type things as far as 

Sam 3:16

Yeah. 

Halie 3:18 

As far as those products that are out there already interacting with guests and people are coming through the areas that are being cleaned. A Lot of things like clean tools and cleaners and how their views I think we’ve always seen some innovation in the side of things anyway but I’ve seen more words of enzyme-based products pop up. Which is very interesting. They’re said to be a lot more sustainable, a lot easier to interact with because they’re safer.

Sam 3:47  

Safer. Yeah.

That actually brings up a good point too because a lot of these products have been around for a long time. I know, a couple of interviews back they were saying that they’ve been selling the product for eight or 10 years. It’s just coming into light now.

It’s proving to be effective against a COVID or against other different viruses that are out and about. So I think it’s really cool that businesses now we’re coming into the limelight with the products they’ve produced in the past.

Going back to the whole touchless idea, my wife and I went to a restaurant. The restaurant industry has gotten hit so hard. It’s amazing to be able to sit down in a restaurant. But, we talked about change and digital menus so we could sit down and we flip through a menu and we decide what we want to eat. 

That’s not necessarily specific to the janitorial world. But with the QR codes, I know QR codes are getting more and more attraction. It’s interesting to see over the last five years how the integration of QR codes went from being super exciting new technology to fading off because you have to download an app in order to read them. To now being integrated with our cameras, where we can just scan it with our phones, pull up what we need to pull up, and move forward. 

It’s definitely interesting to see technology advance across the board. Specifically in the janitorial space but also in other businesses and how they utilize what they do with technology. 

Halie 5:35  

What we’re kind of seeing, it’s maybe a little slower coming to the janitorial side. But all of these devices and your software, everything talking and communicating, it’s no longer one system here, one system here, it’s everything’s either integrated, or it’s part of the same system. So if you’re running low on dispensers or if you have a low inventory over here or there’s a problem with the customer here, it’s all coming back to the same Control Center. This centralized center where whoever’s running the company or whoever’s in charge of that aspect can go in and say, we need to check here, we need to go fix this. 

Sam 6:15  

It’s that lifetime reporting, then helps businesses make better decisions, faster decisions, more efficient decisions. It’s continued to play a big part. It’s going to continue to play a big part across the board. Especially the IoT tracking of stuff now. I mean, there’s just a ton of technology coming in this space. 

We’re utilizing technology in other spaces and now it’s finally starting to trickle in and to how we can utilize it in this space between tracking employees. When was the last time someone went into this room? When was the last time someone cleaned the room? How long were they in that? How long were they in that room to clean it? How long were they in the building clocking in and clocking out, using IoT stuff. 

If there’s anything that’s more coming out of the woodwork right now, I feel like it’s a lot of the tracking and being able to pull reporting on certain situations like employee-related things. So that’s just another step in that whole tracking process that’s changed.

Halie  7:26  

As I say it’s such a data-driven age, like people want information about what level they’re at, they want to know what’s going on. Transparency is a huge demand in companies right now. So being able to have that streamline communication and just know what’s going on in the understanding is sort of expected. Now, we see it on an individual level with cell phones and things like that. More and more people have a smartphone.

In fact, so many people in the US have smartphones, that it’s almost more shocking to see somebody with something else than to see them with the latest Cell phone. 

If your employees at your front lines even have smartphones and everybody in between you and them, then they’re going to kind of expect to know what’s going on, they’re going to expect everything to be convenient. A lot of times people want to use their phones. It’s such a part of their home life, they kind of expect it to go into their work life. So more and more technology is coming out to support this mindset that is wrapped around ease of communication, instant gratification, those types of things.

Sam 8:39  

Gamification too. So as relates to employees, there are more and more apps for training that are gamified. So people are more apt to do them. You know, games are big on cell phones now. I don’t necessarily play games on cell phones, but I know that there’s a lot of people that do and that’s a good way. 

There’s resources out there that gamify or make it easy to gamify training stuff too. So it can be something that’s a little bit childish but it’s something that people do to waste time. I mean, some people sit on social media all day. Other people play certain games. A lot of it is just personal preference but utilizing software to make your employees better using their phones, I think is important.

Halie  9:35  

It’s one of those things like we saw with TVs where there’s a reaction of the TV not being good for you. Just don’t watch too much and they kind of block it off. Now I think we’ve reached a point where they’ve realized people are going to do it anyways.

It’s like kids in schools, your employees, people on the street, they’re going to be messing with our phone. They’re going to be looking for touchscreen options at restaurants. Or the thing that you can pull up the QR codes and others just scan and have it right at your fingertips. Even if they don’t use it, they want the option. 

Now society says, “okay, we want to work with people versus against people”. The innovations are already starting to creep up, the expectation is almost ahead of the innovation. People still think their phones should work as well as you know, a $3,000 camera.

That ‘s the same thing with the software that’s coming into the janitorial spaces and the cleaning spaces. It has to have all that stuff, it has to be easy, quick instant communication. It’s got to have real-time updates and tracking. Again, as you said, gamification, because now we’re taught tying in the employee aspect. You want it all centralized, you want it to at least integrate.

A lot of people like the one and done system because software’s hard to wrap your head around. For anybody, even people who are in software, sometimes there’s a lot going on in one place. They like a one and done system or they like something where it’s just super easy for them to check into one place and everything’s there. 

So if you’d have gamification, you can have interactive learning modules for your employees that simulate hands-on training, you’re actually going to get significantly farther than if you just say, you have to do it my way.

Sam Riegsecker  11:25  

Well, it’s waiting for them to learn the processes easily though too. For some businesses clocking in and clocking out might be forgotten about. So having a system where you can go in and fix your times if somebody forgets to clock in and clock out is important. 

Obviously, that’s just the way to automate your training more but we talked about apps for phones. There continue to be people who almost expect apps when you work with a company. You expect there to be an app for your phone either on a reporting side or operationally. People just assume that you have an app. 

I know from personal experience, it drives me crazy when functionality is different from your app than something such as a desktop login. Why can’t I find what I want to find on their app? A lot of it goes back to gamification. We just talked about innovation in general. 

Ease of use with software is continuing to get better and better. Like with phones, remember the first smartphone you got to think about how much it’s changed since then. It might only be five years ago. Software and technology continues to evolve and change. Every year it gets crazier and crazier to even try to comprehend on the backside. 

So for me personally, I just enjoy it on the user side. I continue to learn more and more every single day about software. But it’s important for business owners to know that software is not going anywhere. It’s just a matter of how you use it in your business and how you can utilize it to help improve your business not necessarily count it as a burden. 

It’s more like “hey, this new innovation can help kind of take your business and be more efficient,” which might be an investment now and a burden now, but it’ll save you money on your bottom line moving forward. 

Halie  13:44  

I like to think of some of these things and it’s kind of like a hard way to put it for some people but It’s not an option anymore. Within the cleaning space and other industries too, software and technology is not an option. So realizing that you have to do it. It’s not something that as a business owner, CEO, or whoever you are- you can’t just say, “we’re going to make it work without that”. No, you have to do it. 

Now you have to realize like any other product, you have to make sales. So with sales, how are you going to get that done? What research are you going to put into it and things like that? What I hate is when I see people be blunt when they say “I don’t want to” and they think that is it. Well you’re in business and if you’re in business, there are certain things you have to do to maintain a competitive advantage. 

In today’s age, you may not like technology whatsoever. You may not even have a smartphone you may have like a flip phone. My grandpa did for the longest time he was a cop and he said I just have my flip phone works just fine. He has a smartphone now and a smart TV!  I don’t remember if they still have cable but they might be getting rid of cable and switching entirely to streaming. So it comes in handy and everybody who loves to just get their news off the radio and the newspaper eventually has to get out of your comfort zone. 

 

Sam 15:08 

Yeah, they have to get out of their comfort zone to see the advantages. There’s nothing wrong with flip phones. My grandpa still has one and he won’t ever get off of it, it’s fine. He grew comfortable with it. But when you’re running a business, sometimes you gotta get out of your comfort zone to really see growth. It’s okay to be scared of a business owner’s perspective because you just don’t know what’s around the corner. 

I know a lot of businesses that get comfortable where they are and they really don’t want to grow anymore or they are basically maxed out with the work they can do in a certain amount of time. Well, how can you potentially save time? By implementing software that will allow you to continue to grow, which will allow you to make more money, which will allow you to hire more people, which will hire you to grow your business? 

Technology is going to continue to get better and better and better and it’s never comfortable. If you would have told me four years ago or five years ago that I would be working for a software company, I would say you’re crazy.

 I came from an automotive background. I saw that there was a need and so I kind of stepped up and applied and I got this job. And it’s crazy to see how much has changed since I’ve been with Double A Solutions in the growth. 

So technology really isn’t going anywhere. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable with it. But it’s how you take that uncomfortableness (if that’s even a word) and use it to grow.

Halie  16:57  

Yeah, I think a lot of it comes back to sometimes when people are reaching for a goal, it’s their goal. So they think they’re going to get there their way. But there are sometimes things that you have to do that reach your own goal that aren’t within your comfort level. 

I talked to the director of the sales College, University of Toledo, for our other podcast. Our entire episode was about this frame of mind that people have where they don’t want to step outside their comfort zone, no ones ever challenged them, they haven’t truly failed enough to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

So then they kind of just stop. As you said, businesses that they’re at a level where they just say, “We’re big enough” or we can’t possibly handle more workload or something like that and they just stop. In business and many things in life, if you stop, you lose ground and you work backward because everybody else is still going forwards. At least the ones who are succeeding, tend to be going forwards.

Sam 17:57  

So I just did a quick Google search and the first listing said  8 out of 10 businesses fail. So that might be even after being in business for 10 years. They didn’t evolve, they didn’t utilize technology. Now they kind of fall by the wayside when their competitor implements technology and software. It might increase their cost this year but decrease their costs 2x next year.

They make more money. Then long term, they end up putting you out of business, because you didn’t take the initiative, and spend some money and kind of get out of your comfort zone to utilize software or technology.

Halie 18:42  

Yeah because it’s not that 80% of businesses that are going to fail when they put forth their best effort and do everything they should. 80% of businesses didn’t at least do what they could have done at some point in time. Maybe that is something that was hard to workaround.

 Like they’re just something that came up like COVID is a factor that was hard for people to adjust to in a short time frame you couldn’t have possibly known. But as far as technology goes there’s a lot of businesses that don’t actually do thorough research and say, “Okay, I need to adopt this so that I can do this”.

Sam  19:20  

Yeah, I was gonna say. It’s been interesting to see people in this space. You see people who kind of get scared of what’s coming in the shutdown emotionally and personally. But then you also get the people who took this “downtime” and really focused on how they can improve and how they can grow their business.

In my opinion, if you weren’t spending the time over the last six to eight months-close to a year already, geez. If you weren’t really focusing on your business and how you can improve and grow, then I think you’re almost behind the eight ball compared to others in the industry.

People who took that “downtime” either ramped up with cleaning or you weren’t prepared for it.  You kind of were behind the eight ball anyway if you weren’t spending the time on your business during this downtime, then you’re almost behind the eight ball. To me, that’s concerning. I think that’s part of the reason why 8 out of 10 businesses fail because they don’t utilize their time allocation in a way to help grow their business. 

Halie  20:35  

It’s like they panic. If you’re going on vacation for example and a huge storm is swept through the night before. It’s flooded the street, it’s knocked trees down but you don’t throw your entire vacation because your roads are blocked, you find a different road. 

So in business, why would you just stop? Whether you either stop and go home or stop and wait for the road to be cleared. When you’ve got a time-sensitive thing on the other side that you need to take care of and that’s this huge entity that you’ve created and put lifeblood into. 

Or if you’re not the guy or gal that created it, you’re still putting your life blood into it. You got to take care of the work that you’ve done or it’s not going to pay off. It’s not “Oh, I started it, it’ll operate by itself”. Nothing is like that. There is no perpetual motion in business. 

Sam 21:30  

Right. Like we hit on over and over and over: it takes time. A lot of people, the instant gratification that we talked about earlier. The gamification we’re so used to nowadays where when something doesn’t go the way we planned, you kind of go, “I don’t know what to do, what do I do?” 

When we just kind of get in our heads and we just aren’t sure where to go. We talked previously about trade shows, that’s where you spend and you invest yourself in training and usually use that time to grow yourself personally. Then also your business.

Halie 22:14  

Well, we’ve talked about thinking about all this and looking at it too. We talked a lot about why you wouldn’t avoid innovation and technology. Like we talked about the scary side of staying as you are when things are changing. But there are some really cool things like some really good reasons why you want to be ahead of the eight ball and looking at technology where you maybe want to sometimes instigate that relationship with a software company and say, “Can you do this”. 

That’s because it does things like increase job efficiency. So if you’re that company where you’re maxed out on business you can’t possibly handle more workload, then you actually can instigate a positive change that allows your workers to get jobs done faster, to be more efficient, and sometimes a lot more effective. They can actually clean better when you have some of these products and these things that are coming out.

Now,  you’re paying your employees the same amount, you’re getting the same amount of income, and it’s taking you half the time. So now you can fit twice as much in your workload and make double the profit than what you were doing before. So suddenly, you’re not maxed out, you have a higher capacity, and all you’ve changed is your technology. 

And yes, you’ll have a learning curve but it won’t be sudden like I said. It could take a year, it could take two years. Overall you can change the capacity by adopting things that could be one of your target areas, that could be where you work with the software partner. Then say, “Hey, can you guys do this?” Or “Do you have something that does this?” So we can get ahead of the game?

Sam  23:53  

With that, the potential growth opportunity, you’re doing the same amount of work in less time which brings up the point of “what you are doing to grow your business?” 

Where are you driving leads from? Are you following up with people who called in a week ago? How are you remembering that you need to call that person, Sally who called you a week ago about meeting her? She’s wanting to start there, she’s entertaining opportunities to reach out to you and your competitors to get a quote to clean her office building because people are coming back to work. 

That allows you time as a business owner or potentially as a salesperson for a cleaning organization to kind of take the next steps and continue to build your business. Now you have the time savings from utilizing technology on the implementation side. So frontline cleaners are using it to make their processes simpler. 

Okay, well how do I fill up their time? Okay, I need to generate more leads, I need to generate more customers, I need to generate more follow-ups after the bid to make sure people don’t lose. I need to make sure I don’t fall into the bazillion emails people get during the day. Hopefully, that fills your cleaner’s schedule.

Halie  25:26  

Well, and a large part of the software innovations in particular right now is automation. You see it on the, you know, the hard technology side too with these different products. But a large part of what we’re seeing is they’re automating more of that process. Like you mentioned, follow up. Follow up is a pain in the butt, to say the least. It’s hard to keep up with things when it’s not one or two people but 16 customers plus, that you need to contact in one day as an individual or manage that across your team. 

However, it’s hard to do. So a lot of these systems are CRM based systems or things like that where they incorporate some of the same features, allow you to go in and set automatic appointments, and do all this stuff to help keep up with that lead so that you could actually focus on the manual tasks that you’re in business to focus on. The things that need more attention, that need more innovation and thought on your side. 

When you get to the customer aspect such as when you’re reaching out and contacting them, you can actually be present in that moment versus looking up all their information real quick and finding out, “did we mess up?” Are we just doing a wellness check? What are we doing? 

Sam  26:36  

Or digging through paperwork. For me, if there’s anything I’ve learned is that paper really is almost obsolete at this point, at least for me.  Personally, keeping track of everything, having a system that automates email sends, and appointment reminders. So a big thing for me is setting appointments, like this one. 

For example, I knew that this was coming up because I got notified that said, “Hey, you have a meeting with Halie today”. “Okay, cool. Well, what’s the meeting about?” I click to open the invite and I can see that it’s about this, and this cool. 

We’re gonna talk about software and technology. Okay, cool. But I just got off a phone call with one of our outside vendors. I knew exactly what the call was about. Because my CRM told me. It said, “okay, it’s about this, this, this and it’s going to be about an hour & 45 minutes long”. 

I know going into that call or going into that meeting exactly what we’re going to discuss so I can be in the mindset and be more prepared for what we’re going to discuss rather than being blindsided. Which you might still get blindsided in a meeting, it’s all about thinking quickly on your feet.

Halie  27:58  

Even with technology, even when you have that back end extra help for human error. There’s still going to be some error because if we could have everything done for us in the world and we just had to make sure the system ran, then we would kind of be in trouble, there’d be no jobs. 

There’s a fear that it’s getting that way, but no because part of the reason you’re in business is because you’re a person who can do it. The person who’s hiring you appreciates that. So being able to get back to that human interaction, people understand you make mistakes too. You know?

Sam 28:39  

Or there’s a miscommunication. That’s a bad thing about technology. Sometimes you thought the meeting was going to be about technology and automation. Instead, you wanted to discuss sales. That’s the bad thing about technology, emailing, texting, or whatever. It’s tone. Tone is a big thing in text that you don’t really get in a phone call. 

Sometimes you might be on a different page than the person you’re talking to. Which happens, I think it’s happened to all of us at one point or another. You go into a meeting and you realize you guys are not on the same page. Then you have to find a way to get on the same page, especially during a sales call.

Halie  29:28  

Or I’ve had the opposite happen, where I schedule a meeting with somebody because I think we’re not on the same page and we have so much to discuss. Then the meeting comes and we’re completely on the same page. When this miscommunication happens you’re like, “why are we in this meeting? Um…”

Sam  29:39  

I get that.

Halie  29:40  

Yeah it’s kind of funny because then you’re like, “Oh, it’s good to see your face..uh, this is awkward”.

Sam 29:46

Right? 

Halie  29:50  

Technology is really cool and the employee relation aspect of being able to do better for your employees. Investing in the work they’re doing is big. Yes, you want to invest in your business. But ultimately you have people that make your business go round. So keeping them in the Center site is huge. 

Just making sure that their ability to do their job is efficient means that you’re not dogging them down with work because yeah, sometimes you want to be able to fill their schedule but sometimes their schedule is more than full and you need to back it up a little bit. 

Taking a look at your customer interaction, we were talking about the ability to do the follow-up. But customer portals are becoming bigger, everybody wants to have a place where their customers can come in and see all their stuff and interact with their own accounts.

Sam  30:45  

…And ask questions too. Being able to chat and ask questions is important because in live-time you can exactly see, “okay, have they read my message yet?” Are we clear on the answer? Do I need to reach out to somebody else? So I think customer portals are continuing to get more and more emphasis.

Like we talked about, most businesses have an app. Having a functional app is important. One that meets the needs of the frontline user and that goes either with the client or it goes with the frontline worker that’s cleaning. Or even on the manager side. So having applications that work that are fun, functional, and that makes an impact is continuing to be more and more important. And expected.

Halie 31:39  

Yeah, it’s expected. The big thing with technology, a lot of the reason that we innovate and we continue to grow is because we see flaws or opportunities. One of the other. Gaps that we want to fill or a chance to fill a gap that’s already there. So what you look for when you’re adopting whether it’s new product lines, that’ll help you do better, or it’s software that’s going to enhance the processes that you have is you want to be able to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. What you’re in business to do, you want to get down to business, essentially. 

The amount of time that we spend on busywork that gets us nowhere is sometimes ridiculous. So software helps cut that back without overwhelming the individual. The ability to communicate and streamline communication because growth, communication, and overall morale in business are so important to success. A lot of those 80% who have failed, have at some point lost all of those things.

You can add tools to your arsenal that help you get there. Yes, morales are a little harder, because it comes back a lot to the culture and how you run your team in general. But if you’re stressed all the time because your systems are overwhelming or your current processes are overwhelming then you’re not even gonna have time to focus on culture. 

The communication aspect is huge. Communication is something that everybody struggles with to some degree. We do it at home. We probably communicate best with our pets to be honest and they don’t even speak the same language. So that tells you where our communication skills are. If you can do something that helps, that it’s huge. 

At the end of the day, when you’re looking at these innovations and these things that are coming your way, the best way to keep up with them is by finding a good source of news. Like a good journal attending these trade shows. I know we had an episode where we talked about that. Going to trade shows, following up with journals, and other things that just post. 

When I was doing research for this one I found so many sites that are completely free that are talking about all the different products that are coming out. Like I mentioned, I’m getting super excited about the enzyme stuff. There’s really no dwell time with a lot of those products. It’s organic, it’s good for the environment, it’s good for people, things like there’s so much stuff like that. And industry news.

Sam 34:03  

Yeah, Industry news. Clean link is another one. If you’re an in-house provider, you know, APPA provides some great information. There’s a lot of these industry newsletters, my inbox, I get a bunch every day. I probably get a half dozen newsletters in the Jan San space where you just scroll through and you can kind of see ahead of time what’s coming. Or you might be the first one in your area that uses or implements a product that’s new in the industry. 

You’re the talk of the town that for example, they use robotics to clean my business. There’s a lot of information and I think the point is there’s continuing to be more and more information out there. So it’s information is what you do with it. So the more you can read, the more you know about the industry and it’s continued to change and evolve. It’s important for you to be ahead of the curve in any business to continue to see it grow.

Halie  35:07  

Yeah, so a lot of it just comes back to how we could talk about the different innovations, features, and products that are coming forth. We’d literally never stop. As we would be talking, there’s probably things coming out. 

We can’t do your research for you every time. But we can say that a Google search pulls up like 20 resources on the first page that anyone of them is going to give you a good idea. Once you find a couple of sites, they probably have apps that you can easily come up to date every day. You can show your employees that and say, “Hey, I know you work with these products. If you see something interesting then shoot management an email and we can look into it. 

That’s a great way to also help company culture and make people feel more included. Also feel like you’re helping your employees learn and continue to grow. When this is an industry where people typically don’t think of continuing their education. So that’s a way to do it free. 

Then we’ve talked a lot about why you want to keep up to date with these innovations, why you want to keep streamlined, why it’s good for your business. So really just help yourself getting a good do-er mindset stop this idea of “I don’t know”. So take that step out of your vocabulary. If something happens that sucks then what’s the next move? What can we do that you know you have to stop? 

Sam  36:34  

That’s a great example of a pivot! if COVID taught us over the last few months, I don’t even know how many months at this point. It’s all about how you pivot and how you respond to adversity. It might be hard to take that first step but the first step is always the hardest. So as the steps after that tend to get easier and easier and easier, every single step that you take. 

Sometimes it might seem overwhelming and tough but if you just take the time and ask questions- I feel like people are scared to ask questions nowadays. Ask questions in industry groups, there’s a bunch of Facebook groups out there, ask questions! There’s a bunch of other business owners that are literally in the same exact shoes you are. 

Having a resource that you can ask questions to as an owner or as a frontline worker- you can ask management or other employees or you can be involved in the Facebook groups and ask questions. There’s a ton of resources out there so you just have to take the initiative, that’s the hard part. Or you’re just intimidated because there’s a ton of information out there, which I get too.

Halie 37:40  

Yeah. So don’t stop going. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Don’t completely shut down everything. But maybe slow down and assess where you’re at. Look at where your gaps are. It’s really easy to be like, “I don’t know” and freak out. 

A big thing is if you actually look at what you have, then you can start to be like, “this area is shady and in this area have no idea”. You can start to formulate questions around that. Then as Sam said, there’s probably a lot of people, a lot of leaders in your shoes who have been there or are there right now. 

Even if everybody’s in the same shoes they don’t know what the heck they’re doing in this situation. If you have 20 minds putting your head together then you actually might be able to come to a solution versus sitting in your office and crying about it. 

Sam  38:25  

Moping.. yeah. I feel like that’s the difference between a growing business and one that’s pretty stagnant. There’s a lot of need for cleaners and businesses that run cleaning operations. Take that initiative and take that first step forward. You’ll see success sooner than you think. Implementing technology is scary but the amount of success that you’ll see out of it. 

You’ll see a return on your investment, you just have to start and that’s how any education is. That’s how college is if you went to college. We have a trade show episode that Halie have talked about, it’s investing and going to those either remote or in person. It’s subscribing to industry groups, potentially some you have to pay for, I know that but there’s a ton that is free. 

So it’s all investing in your knowledge. It’ll pay dividends for not only you but if you relay the message to somebody else or involve somebody else, you could see a pretty big scaling happen. It might be something as simple as spending $400 bucks or something like that. Then that $400 gets turned to $1,600. 

You have to kind of weigh the pros and cons but at the end of the day, the money that you invest in your business, you’ll likely get a return on your investment. If it’s a good investment obviously if it’s not-certain things. But technology is definitely not going anywhere. It’s getting quote-unquote scarier and scarier for some people. 

The faster you can kind of get a hold on what it is, the faster you can implement it, the faster you can take that intimidation away, and the faster you can really kind of see the benefits that outweigh the negatives.

Halie  40:34  

Yeah, a lot of times things are scary because you’re from the outside looking in. So you’ll start learning and you’ll be surprised by what you do.

Sam  40:41  

It’s the easiest way to learn: trial by fire. Speaking from a millennial perspective, I feel like a lot of adults in our age group, that’s how a lot of us learned. I remember when we had slider phones, and that was the coolest thing ever. Then the iPhones and then like the Google pixels came out, and now every year something new and great comes out. 

Handling that change. But also learning as fast as you can. Trying to stay up with technology can be overwhelming and difficult. But it’s important because you’ll kind of see what’s coming. Especially in the janitorial space because technology is new here. Getting something implemented and getting something starting your business now will just have you sign up for long term success.

Halie 41:40  

Exactly. All right, everyone, I’m gonna go ahead and close us out there. Thank you for tuning in for the Business of Cleaning Episode. 

Thanks, Sam for jumping in with us and having such a great conversation. Remember, we’re going to transcribe everything. So jump over to the blog, make sure you give it a read, look for any information that you’d like to see. 

Don’t forget to join those Facebook groups. Look for those resources. If you’re curious about where to start, you can always ask your friends in the industry. 

So that’s it for this week. Thank you and have a great day.

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