6 Ways to Increase Your Janitorial Client Base And How to Effectively Manage Them

Janitorial client management is an integral part of building and maintaining your business. Sometimes, though, the challenge comes in deciding how to get started.

Commercial cleaning can be a lucrative industry. People will always need help keeping their spaces tidy and inviting. Businesses rely on you to ensure their employees have a nice place to work and their customers feel comfortable coming in. You also have a lot of competition, which means that your business needs to focus, in part, on your janitorial client management. 

Building your janitorial company is an ongoing and important process. You need new clients if you want your business to grow and be financially stable. However, you can’t take your current clients for granted. Just because they’ve signed on with you doesn’t mean they will stay with you. 

Your current janitorial clients are critical to your long-term success. These clients are a cornerstone of your business. They provide steady income and referrals. And in many cases, personal relationships develop over time. 

Ultimately, it’s not a separation of new and current clients. It’s a balance, really, of building your business with new clients and supporting that business with your existing clients. 

That means your janitorial client management requires a two-part strategy. 

1. Understanding Your Target Market

Your first step in building and maintaining client relationships is understanding your target market. Who are your clients? What industry are they in? Do you have an interest or specialty that makes your cleaning service company an ideal partner for them?

For example, if you enjoy working in an active, busy environment with a variety of duties, you might be well-suited to working in schools. These contracts may have specific requirements, such as criminal background checks for your team. Many school systems also require the use of green cleaning products. These jobs can also come with nice guarantees, such as long-term contracts. 

Similarly, if you like highly detailed work and love the more scientific side of things, healthcare facilities might be your target market. Here, you can dive into subjects like infection control, bloodborne pathogens, and disinfection and sanitation practices. 

Those are only two examples. You could just as easily choose office buildings, small retail shops, restaurants, new construction cleanup, or event work. Certainly, janitorial services will have numerous similarities across industries. However, you’ll have much more success building your business if you know the nuances of different industries. 

Bid tracking, to-do lists, cleaning checklists, supply inventory, timekeeping… it’s all here. Janitorial Manager can help you organize all your commercial cleaning operations. Schedule a free call with Janitorial Manager to learn more.

Janitorial Client Management

2. Networking, Referrals, and Finding Bid Opportunities

Once you have a target market in mind, the next step in janitorial client management is to think about how to find cleaning bids. Where do you find the companies and businesses that need your janitorial services? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find potential customers. Here are some ideas to get things moving.

  • Cold calling: Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you have to pick up the phone and dial dozens of random numbers. First, it’s important to be strategic here. You have your target audience, so start there. Let’s say you want to find janitorial clients in the banking industry. Make a list of banks in the area and either call or walk in and schedule an appointment with the bank manager. When the time comes, give them your best, most succinct sales pitch. 
  • Networking: There are formal and informal ways to network. On the more formal end, you can network at local merchant associations, small business association meetings, and events designed specifically for networking. Informal networking is also a powerful way to get your name in front of potential customers. These might include related industry events, such as commercial real estate open houses, or sponsoring local events such as a 5K or school fundraiser. 
  • Referrals: Referrals are the golden ticket for bidding opportunities. You get new business, your new client gets a vetted company to provide janitorial services, and the referring customer enjoys helping out a business they like. Referrals, however, can be a little slow-moving without some effort on your part. The simplest way to begin is to let your current customers you’re looking for additional clients. Ask them if they would be so kind as to refer friends your way. Include the request on your invoices or when you talk to clients in person. You can also elevate your efforts with a formal referral program, which you can read about here. 

As for the actual bidding? With janitorial management software like Janitorial Manager, you can take advantage of tools like a built-in bidding calculator, ISSA templates, conversion tracking, and more, which you can find out about on the bidding feature page. This streamlines the bidding process and ensures you stay on budget and meet your margins. 

3. Build an Online Presence and Effective Marketing Strategy

Along with in-person ideas for building your client base, it’s important to have an online marketing strategy, as well. The days of the phone book are gone. And even when you talk to people in person, they will look you up online. They want to see your website, your social media, and your reviews. 

Add to that the fact that there are plenty of people and businesses that need your services, but you won’t meet in person until they find you. There are numerous approaches to online marketing, but many of them have a few essentials in common. 

  • A professional website: This is a non-negotiable. Almost any business wanting to hire you will check out your website. It’s different for residential cleaners, in that most homeowners rely on word-of-mouth. They also don’t have the same liabilities and needs that a business hiring a commercial cleaner does. A professional website doesn’t need to be expensive. Nor does it need to be extensive. You want to include things like your business address, areas you serve, the types of businesses you serve, specialties or certifications, and contact information. Certainly, you can add to that, but these few elements are essential.
  • Social media: As tricky as social media can be, it’s also a great place to display your business personality. You don’t have to overdo it with a profile on every possible platform and you don’t need to post five times each day. Choose one or two platforms you like, whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever. Then share your business life. Post before and after pictures. Highlight local fun events such as a college football game, a parade, or a festival. Share “behind-the-scenes” videos or instructional videos. And don’t forget to be social. Comment on posts from other local businesses and reply to people commenting on your posts. And always keep things positive. 

You can also take some of these ideas into the physical world. Run small ads in weekly or monthly publications in your region. Advertise in the programs for school plays. Keep a supply of business cards on hand. 

This might seem like a lot. And when you’re running a small business, adding tasks like building a website can be overwhelming. So don’t overlook the option of hiring someone to do this work for you. The results are usually better and it’s a business expense, which is helpful when you do your taxes. 

4. Streamline Operations

As your business grows, your janitorial client management can get bogged down without systems in place to streamline things. Schedule and logistics get complicated. It gets more challenging to keep up with tasks like equipment maintenance. And checking in on clients can slip when you’re busy with other tasks. 

That’s why technology is essential. When it comes to schedules, managing numerous locations, supply inventory, customer requests, and more, there’s nothing like janitorial software to help organize your business. 

Software solutions built specifically for the janitorial industry make the entire process easy. With a few clicks, you can check schedules, view inspection histories, resolve customer inquiries, update task lists, follow up on referrals, and more. 

Janitorial Client Management

5. Scaling Your Janitorial Business

With janitorial client management systems in place, you can plan to scale your commercial cleaning business. Whether you want to move into new regions or grow your service offerings, there are options. 

First, we need to back up a bit. To scale your business, go back to the beginning and revisit your thoughts about your target market. Do you want more of the same? Do you want to expand into different industries? Do you want to open a new office in another city or state? The answer to these questions will direct how you scale your business.

As for market opportunities, thanks to the internet, it’s not too challenging to find out what kind of competition you might have. That said, you also have potential areas of excellence to highlight. These might include outstanding customer service, industry-approved certifications, specialized knowledge, or environmentally friendly cleaning practices. In other words, competition is only one factor in determining the next best move for your janitorial business. 

Another option for scaling your business is to let some of your supervisory staff work with customers and prospects to provide bids. That’s a simple step if you use software like Janitorial Manager. You can preset your templates to meet specific margins. Then your team fills in the details. Standardizing bids is a helpful way to work more efficiently and give your team leaders some additional responsibility. 

6. Utilizing Customer Feedback & Adapting to Industry Trends

One final consideration in your janitorial client management is how you use customer feedback and adapt to trends and conditions. The last few years presented a lot of challenges for the janitorial industry. So we know how adaptable janitorial companies are. 

However, there are always opportunities to grow and change. Industry best practices continually evolve through scientific and technological advances. Engaging with professional organizations and maintaining association memberships are two easy ways to stay updated on new developments. 

As important as the industry resources are, your customers also offer amazing chances to learn. As you work together, they may notice things from the outside that are impossible to see when you’re doing the work. Their needs change and may push you to try new things. 

They can also offer insight into your business practices. For example, if you get numerous requests for cleaning hard flooring, it might be worth looking into additional training in that area. Or if inspections come up lacking in one particular area for several clients, that’s your clue to explore a different approach. 

Janitorial client management, from the earliest stages of your business to growing and expanding, is an essential part of offering excellent customer service and ensuring your business thrives.

Make your janitorial client management easy with powerful scheduling, time tracking, workloading, and bidding tools. Get started now with a free call to Janitorial Manager to learn how mobile-friendly janitorial software can help you streamline your business.