Swab the Deck? Or Full Speed Ahead?
Many janitorial owners blissfully believe that with just a mop and a bucket they will be able to eventually build a business that will either run itself or be worth selling when they’re ready to comfortably retire. However, that is rarely the case. Instead, as the captain of your commercial cleaning “ship,” you are responsible for strategically setting the direction of your business and then keeping it tightly on course. The speed and success of your voyage depend on how much you know about the condition of your ship and your understanding of the rough waters ahead.
It’s Not Voodoo Magic
When you look at powerhouse businesses like Wal-Mart, Amazon, or Apple, you may admire their ability to engage with their audience. They seem to magically know exactly what to stock on their shelves; when to run special promotions; the perfect timing for releasing new products; the right date to start bringing additional staff onboard for big sale seasons; and who to let go, when. There’s not necessarily a secret proprietary formula for this knowledge. Rather, these businesses employ a team of well-informed, strategically-minded individuals who are responsible for combing through astronomical amounts of data related to business operations. They stay aware of seasonal trends, notice behavioral tendencies, track the ebb and flow of data over time, and are able to leverage that business intelligence to support purposeful decisions that benefit the business and its bottom line. How about your business? Do you have access to the key business intelligence measures necessary for sailing your ship safely to your desired destination? Or are you aimlessly floating along at the mercy of the waves and the pull of the tides as they come and go?
Do You Know What You Need to Know?
One of the most important components of business intelligence that you should have access to are the things that affect your financial status… which is virtually everything! From labor turnover to the speed of cleaning product usage and the industries you pursue as customers to the accuracy of clock-ins and outs – it all impacts your bottom-line. This information should serve as the rudder to your ship, steering you towards (or away from!) what your business can handle.
8 Ways to Make Use of Business Intelligence:
Area Developer for Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, Troy Hopkins, has seen numerous janitorial business owners who have crashed against the rocks of ignorance due to their lack of business intelligence. In his book, The Business Remodel: Transform Your Business to Love it (Again!) or List It, Hopkins unpacks this reality and discusses how he addressed it in his own business remodel through eight specific business intelligence moves he made to take control of the rudder of his business:
- Maximize profits without jeopardizing the quality of service or employee morale.
- Clean up accounts receivable to show a potential buyer how efficient the receivable system was and how customers paid.
- Determine whether to keep all existing customers. “We asked ourselves: ‘Are we making money with the labor we are spending? Are some of our customers more trouble than they are worth?’”
- Clean up QuickBooks profit/loss and balance sheets.
- Review every penny being spent to ensure the best value for every dollar (This included insurance, phones, rent, utilities, and 30 other charts of accounts!).
- Ensure operations exceed industry standards.
- Make sure the company has a high cash flow in preparation for encountering three payrolls in one month.
- Clean up accounts payable along with any outlying departments.
As the owner of your commercial cleaning business, you are the only one who can address these vital areas. However, it can be overwhelming trying to manage people, gain new accounts, and keep your own head above water. That’s why companies have people entirely dedicated to gleaning business intelligence information full-time! You may not be able to swing that kind of investment, but all is not lost!
What Compass Are You Using?
As a trainer for janitorial companies (like yours!), Hopkins suggests that the best way for commercial cleaning businesses of all sizes to stay on track is to collect and respond to the business intelligence you need using an automated software system like Janitorial Manager. With this affordable, Cloud-based, customizable tool, you’ll be able to:
- Keep up-to-date with employees who are consistently achieving high marks on inspections… an excellent way to provide measurable recognition and rewards for work well done!
- Gauge the amount of labor being expended into each of the accounts, utilizing an integrated timekeeping app like Chronotek.
- Maintain a real-time eye on the profits and losses occurring each month. At the end of the year, it’s too late to do anything about issues! When data begins to trend in odd ways, dig into why it’s happening and address it posthaste.
- Track equipment and supplies as they are being utilized at each location for each account. This inventory management information allows you to discover problem areas right away and provide necessary training or correction before the problem spirals out of control.
- Watch automated dashboard reports with eagle-eye precision to see any developing or repetitive concerns that need to be addressed such as low inspection marks or persistent customer complaints.
- Ensure that you avoid excessive overtime assignments or notice if certain accounts are exceeding their allotted time quoted in your bids.
- Communicate quickly and easily in messaging apps specifically for clients or inspections reports.
Navigate the Business Seas with Confidence!
With the right business intelligence compass and a firm grip on the wheel, you will finally be able to sail into the possibilities that the commercial cleaning world can offer you. If you sense that you’re lacking the business intelligence you need to sail full speed ahead, it’s time to connect with the experts at Janitorial Manager. Schedule a FREE live demo of this highly recommended tool that will put the wind back in your sails and get you back on track!