Stop hoping for the best and take the steps you need to make your commercial cleaning business profitable and secure.
Is your commercial cleaning business profitable? Could it be more profitable? No doubt, these are questions that plague business owners. That’s understandable. You can’t keep a business running if it’s not turning a profit.
That’s also not always as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot to balance, and your revenue from clients has to cover everything from payroll to insurance premiums to equipment and supply purchases. The good news is that there are a lot of steps you can take to ensure profitability. Here are 10, including some that you might not be familiar with.
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The 10 ways to make your commercial cleaning business profitable
1. Charge enough for your work. While this might seem like a given, it’s probably fair to say that more than a few of us have taken on jobs that were money losers. Why? For one thing, when we get desperate, we have a tendency to panic and offer discounts, free trials, or negotiate our prices down. There’s a time and a place for that, but you have to be smart about it and ensure you can still make a profit, or at least break even.
2. Know your expenses. Put quite simply, if you don’t know what your expenses are for a job, you won’t know what to charge. What do your labor costs look like to clean a facility once per week, every weekday, or seven days a week? What is your supply cost? An easy way to figure this out is to use a bidding calculator, like the one built into Janitorial Manager. However, even without that, there are ways to determine your costs for a job. Do this, and you’ll know right away if a contract will make money for you.
3. Track your supplies. Tracking your supplies will help keep your cleaning business profitable. How? When you track supplies, you know if something goes missing. You know if too much (or too little) product is being used. And you know when to reorder so you can avoid extra charges for rush shipping or delivery.
4. Save your receipts. This one might seem like a pile of paperwork at first, but when tax time rolls around, you’ll be glad to have all of your business receipts. You’ll be even happier if you’ve kept them organized or even entered them into an app or spreadsheet. There is so, so much you can use as a business expense on your taxes that will help lower the business taxes you owe. Big ticket items are obvious, like new equipment or company fleet vehicles. But don’t overlook how much the smaller things add up. Mileage and gas for your vehicles; office supplies like pens, staples, and folders; first aid kit supplies; uniforms; and certification classes all count. Even if you use your personal cell phone for business, you can deduct a portion of that as business use. Consult a tax professional for more specific advice, but for now, understand that it’s vital to track every penny you spend on your business.
5. Offer certification training. How can spending money on certification courses make your cleaning business profitable? With certifications, you open your business up to more discerning clients or those with specific needs. Certification expands your business opportunities, and you can charge higher prices. It’s a winning combination for you, your team, and your clients.
6. Schedule efficiently. An efficient schedule will save you time and money, as well as wear and tear on vehicles. To the extent possible, schedule your clients so that when you leave one facility, your next stop is the next closest facility. If you’re skipping over locations and crisscrossing around town, you’re spending money on gas, employee downtime, and you could very well be taking up time that you could devote to another potential client.
7. Keep your team organized. You could argue that keeping your team organized is nearly impossible, since you are all at different locations. That was true at one time. Now, though, with software like Janitorial Manager, you can keep up with your team as they work through their checklists, leave or enter a job site, or add images to inspection reports.
8. Refine your customer service skills. Any time you work with the public, your customer service will be one of the most important aspects of your business. Yes, you still need to offer high-quality work. At the same time, even if your work is excellent, you still need people to hire you in order to make your cleaning business profitable.
9. Turn those service skills inward. As much as you need to provide excellent customer service to your clients, you also need to treat your team like gold. Happy employees lead to happy customers. Plus, if you can keep your turnover down, you can spend time marketing or picking up new clients rather than continually spinning on the hamster wheel of hiring and training.
10. Keep your expenses down. There are plenty of ways to keep your expenses down, several of which are noted above, such as efficient scheduling and tracking supplies. You can also keep expenses down with regular equipment maintenance, which should significantly reduce or even eliminate the chance of an unexpected breakdown or expensive repair. You can also opt for buying concentrates rather than ready-to-use cleaning solutions or look at the difference between renting or buying new equipment. One thing I should note is that keeping expenses down does not mean skimping on quality or cutting back on a good salary to your team. Nor does it mean buying the least expensive supplies. It’s about looking at your expenses critically and making your money work for you.
It takes work to make any business profitable, but with a few strategic tips on your side, you’ll get there sooner than you think.
If you’re ready to increase the professionalism of your cleaning operation through better organization, easy access to important data, unparalleled tracking, and more, schedule a call with JM today!