Cleaning business expenses are inevitable, but they don’t have to drain your bank account.

You can’t run a commercial cleaning company without incurring some cleaning business expenses. You have to buy supplies, pay business insurance and licensing fees, cover payroll, invest in marketing, and so on. You can’t do your job without spending money on these things. 

At the same time, most businesses run a tight margin. When expenses get out of control, your bank account starts shrinking. It’s not hard to reach a tipping point where you have more money going out than coming in. 

On the other side of that coin, when you keep your cleaning business expenses reasonable, your company can grow quickly. The trick, of course, is getting a handle on those expenses. 

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Cleaning Business Expenses

Fixed vs. variable expenses

Before we jump in, let’s look at two categories of commercial cleaning business expenses: fixed and variable. Your fixed expenses are those that stay relatively the same month after month. These expenses are easy to plan for and put in your budget since they don’t change. Some fixed expenses might include your office lease, business insurance, and any contracts you might have with, for example, payroll providers. 

Variable expenses include things like supplies, equipment repairs, gas for vehicles, and payroll. These expenses can change from month to month, depending on how busy you are, where your clients are located, how many hours your team needs to complete each job, whether or not your equipment needs maintenance, and so on. Variable expenses are harder to budget for. Even if you have a good idea of what they will be, you never know when your supply costs might increase, or your team might run into an issue and payroll expenses go up as a result. 

Usually, it’s these variable expenses that most impact our budget in unexpected ways. And it’s usually the variable expenses that we look at when we’re trying to get a grip on our cleaning business expenses. 

That said, your fixed expenses might not be as “fixed” as they seem. Though some changes here might take time, like looking for a less expensive office space, don’t overlook your fixed expenses as potential points of conserving revenue. Saving $200 a month on rent adds up to $2,400 a year. Not to mention the fact that a smaller office usually requires less energy to heat and cool, lowering your fixed expenses even more!

With that in mind, let’s get into some detailed ideas for keeping your expenses under control. 

10 Ideas to rein in your cleaning business expenses

1. Check your payroll. While it’s essential to pay your team fairly and for the hours they work, payroll is also the most significant expense for almost any business. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check your payroll and see if there are things you can shift that might help you cut back on this expense. Are some people getting overtime while others are short on hours? Do you need to manage your workloading in a different way? 

2. Check your payroll, part 2. Most of your employees are honest and clock in and out when they should. They show up and do the job without complaint or worry. Unfortunately, there are also a few people here and there who will take advantage of the system and clock in before they get to a worksite or clock out long after they’ve left. Other people might not even show up to work, but ask someone to clock them in and out. This scenario hurts everyone – you’re paying someone for work they aren’t doing, and your team is working harder to make up for the missing person. Our recommendation to curb this behavior is to have your team clock in and out with facial recognition technology like Janitorial Manager offers. 

3. Look for discounts. Special offers, closeouts, clearance, sales, money off your first order … there’s no shortage of ways discounts on supplies and equipment might show up. Now, that doesn’t mean you should ruin a good relationship with your vendors just to save a few bucks. But it IS worth keeping your eyes open. 

4. Don’t buy what you don’t need. In addition to looking for discounts, another way to keep your cleaning business expenses under control is to refrain from buying supplies or items you don’t need. While it might be nice to find a sale on 50-gallon metal trash cans, buying them is just money wasted if you don’t need them. 

5. Shop around. You don’t need to spend days price shopping for supplies, but a little looking around could net you some big discounts. This goes for big items, too, like your insurance. 

6. Don’t be afraid to spend money. This might seem like an odd tip when you’re trying to cut back on your commercial cleaning business expenses. However, sometimes it’s worth spending more money to get a product or equipment that will work more efficiently and last longer. For example, if an $8 broom doesn’t work well or breaks easily, you might find the $16 broom saves you time and lasts three times as long as the less expensive broom. 

7. Review your bidding. Your cleaning bids aren’t an expense, but they do involve expenses. For every job you bid on, you have to consider the supplies and payroll hours that will go into that job. So it might be worth looking at your bids and making sure that you’re charging enough. 

8. Order in bulk. If you have the storage space, you might find that ordering in bulk can save you money on shipping. Additionally, many companies offer a lower per-item price when you order in bulk, so you could cut expenses on your supplies, as well. 

9. Stay organized. It sounds simple, but good organization takes work. The upside here is that your work will pay off. Everything from inventory to ordering to keeping up with expenses like quarterly taxes is easier when you’re organized. 

10. Talk to your vendors. You might be a business, but you’re also a customer. You pay your vendors for supplies or services, and it’s worth talking to them if you need to trim your cleaning business expenses. They might have ideas or options you haven’t considered. Maybe they have new products or services that will meet your needs at a lesser expense. 

There are a lot of ways to cut expenses. And you don’t have to cut corners on quality to do it. Take a close look at your business and put some of these tips into practice. Your bank account will thank you.

Harness the value of Janitorial Manager to streamline your cleaning operation like never before. Learn more today with a discovery call and find out how to make your cleaning operation more efficient and cost effective!