No industry remains exactly the same through the years. Thanks to technology and the ever-changing needs of people, businesses have always had to adapt in order to grow and succeed.
Fortunately, there are such things as industry trends. While they aren’t accurate predictions of what a certain sector would look like in the future, as they tend to evolve over time, they can serve as guides for strategic decision-making.
For the cleaning industry, below are some of the key trends that commercial cleaning companies and aspiring entrepreneurs should keep in mind:
When you take a look at the services offered by a cleaning company, you’ll likely see either or both categories: domestic and commercial. For the latter, you may see different kinds of establishments such as hospitals, offices, restaurants, and schools.
Broad as these may seem, these can already be considered specialisations because each has different cleaning requirements. For example, hospitals require a higher grade of sanitation and disinfection compared to offices.
That said, there are also a lot of cleaning companies that offer hyper-specialised services. These include things like carpet cleaning, high-rise window cleaning, and floor polishing.
Beyond these, commercial cleaners have also come up with new services as a response to current social circumstances and needs. A good example here is COVID specialised cleaning. It provides certified high-level sanitisation and disinfection to prevent the spread of disease.
Speaking of COVID cleaning, technology has paved the way for more modern ways of disinfection. Traditionally, commercial cleaners used EPA-approved bleach to kill most harmful microorganisms. Today, more and more commercial cleaners are using machines.
Some examples include ultraviolet-c (UVC) and steam cleaners. UVC disinfection uses UV radiation with wavelengths between 200 and 290 nm. This is able to destroy the material that bonds the DNA of microorganisms, including so-called superbugs.
Meanwhile, steam cleaning machines work by heating up a small amount of clean water using a built-in boiler. The resulting pressurised vapour not only removes dirt, but also kills harmful pathogens and allergens. The high-heat moisture also dries quickly, so there’s no need for follow-up vacuuming.
These two processes are especially crucial for healthcare facilities, where it’s most crucial to prevent contamination and disease transmission.
Sustainability and Green Cleaning
One of the biggest trends not just in cleaning but across industries nowadays is sustainability and green cleaning. As people became more aware of environmental issues like global warming, they also began patronising more Earth-friendly products and services.
What’s interesting about sustainability is that, years back, it used to be almost like a fad. The brands and companies that went green were decidedly a minority at the time. This meant that their prices were higher, which meant that they had fewer customers, and the cycle repeats.
Over the years, the interest in sustainability continued to grow; now, it’s no longer a “nice to have” in your business model but rather a “must have.” From using eco-friendly products to investing in energy-efficient equipment, commercial cleaners should consider transitioning to more sustainable practices.
When you hear the term “technology” in relation to cleaning, you probably imagine heavy-duty cleaning equipment or robots (which will be touched upon later). This idea is not wrong, of course, but it also doesn’t present the complete picture.
This is because technology has applications in the cleaning industry beyond the actual process of cleaning. For example, there are business software and applications designed to help with scheduling, invoicing, and managing customer relationships.
Social media and search engine optimisation (SEO), on the other hand, play key roles in marketing and advertising. By following the best practices in creating content, you’ll be able to promote your cleaning business in the digital space more efficiently.
Finally, e-payments are also becoming a more popular payment method. Aside from faster transaction speeds, e-payments also provide security through encryption. They also allow your customers to choose their preferred way to pay, whether it be through card, NFC, or digital wallets.
While it’s definitely not on the level of construction or mining, cleaning is still a physically demanding job. At the very least, it involves a lot of manual and repetitive motions (e.g., pushing and pulling a mop). This causes muscle strain and other physical complaints.
There are also plenty of hazards in cleaning. These include the inhalation of fumes from cleaning chemicals, as well as the risk of falling when cleaning at height. Some workers may also be injured when handling heavy equipment.
In these cases, cleaning robots can help ease the burden. For example, there are now programmable machines that can clean floors and windows autonomously. This way, human workers can focus on other tasks that require more precision.
What’s great about cleaning robots is that they can safely enter contaminated spaces without the need for protective equipment. This is especially beneficial for hospital cleaning to prevent infection and reinfection, as well as in situations when hazardous substances (e.g., asbestos) are involved.
Keep in mind that these trends aren’t set in stone. There may very well be another event or perhaps new scientific discoveries that may change the landscape of the cleaning industry in the coming years.
That said, the above-mentioned trends are crucial things to keep an eye on. At the moment, they’re some of the most important ones that drive the industry.