Running a commercial cleaning business can be tricky. There are many pitfalls for the inexperienced. To achieve success, make sure you avoid these mistakes.
Mistake #1: Ignoring your marketing
Don’t focus all your time on work and forget about pulling in new customers for your commercial cleaning services. If you don’t pay attention to your marketing you will find yourself struggling to grow your business.
- Get a website for your business. Most of your customers will find you online, so make sure your site looks good. Have a contact page so that potential clients can easily get in touch with you.
- Use social media. It’s worth spending a little time in chat groups. The people you get to know are much more likely to become your clients if they know you and trust you.
- Build an email list. Your client list is arguably the most valuable asset in your business. These are people who have already shown a willingness to hire you. By collecting their email addresses, you can continue advertising to them directly.
Mistake #2: Not monitoring productivity
How do you know if you are doing a good job? A simple way of doing this is to ask your clients to participate in surveys after each contract. It doesn’t necessarily have to be highly detailed.
Don’t use a rating system of one to 10. That would be confusing since each of them has a different idea of what a ten is.
Instead, just ask them a few simple questions to get an idea of where you stand. “How well did we match your expectations for our window cleaning services?” or “What part of our cleaning business could we improve?” are both good questions and will help you market your services more effectively.
Mistake #3: Not prioritising your time
If you spend a lot of time on admin tasks you are probably doing more work than necessary. Today’s technology makes it easy to automate. Use scheduling software so your team members can check-in and out of a job on their phone. There is no need for timesheets or a timeclock.
Payroll is easy to automate. The software will take care of the recordkeeping so you can stay on top of labour costs.
If you have company vehicles you can manage them with fleet tracking software. Use a software package that allows clients to book their appointments and pay their bills themselves. It will make your job much easier.
Mistake #4: Not knowing your customer
You must pay attention to your customers. It is important to define your target market; you can never know too much about them.
Ask questions of the people who hire you. Look at who is hiring your competition. The more information you have, the easier it will be to market your services.
It’s not enough to approach anyone who has an office building.
What kind of business are they? Do they regularly receive clients? Are they a new business or are they well-established? What kind of cleaning budget do they have?
Knowledge is power. Learn as much as you can about your target clients so you can pick up more.
Mistake #5: Ignoring relationships
It costs money to acquire new clients, so you should try to hold onto them for as long as you can. Besides, it’s much easier to retain existing clients than it is to acquire new ones. For example, if you are part of a commercial cleaning franchise or residential cleaning biz, there are many simple ways you can hold onto your clients and it only takes changing parts of your workflow that shouldn’t be too difficult.
Always follow up promptly on phone calls and emails. Clients don’t like to be left alone too long; it makes you seem indifferent. Make it a point to get back to your clients within 24 hours. They will appreciate it and trust you more if you make contact right away.
Always show up on time. It shows you are reliable and always deliver on what was promised. Clients hire you to clean so that they don’t have to think about it. Don’t give them anything to worry about and you will leave them with a good impression.
Mistake #6: Keeping unproductive employees
Managing your team also involves making sure that they get along with each other. If one member is bringing the others down with a bad attitude, you may have to let them go. It doesn’t matter if he or she is a good worker. You have to focus on the success of your business, and that means having a team that works well together.
On the other hand, you may have a worker who doesn’t do their job properly or takes a long time getting things done. Just because they have a great character, doesn’t mean you owe them employment.
It takes a certain amount of time to learn how to do a job well, and it applies to both part-time and full-time crew members. Figure out how long it should take a new employee to learn. If it is taking too long for them to fall in line with the rest of the team, then you have to let them go.
It may be hard, but as a small business owner, you must do what’s best for the team.
There are several other common mistakes to avoid when running a commercial cleaning company (which is very different from home cleaning companies, by the way). Why not explore a franchised business model when taking the leap? If you’re interested in flexible working hours, environment-friendly cleaning products, and a proven franchise opportunity, contact Crewcare today.